Though not a long long-distance trail (only about 40 miles), this route through the high country of Grand Teton National Park draws top ratings for its natural beauty.
Trails I've Hiked
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is arguably the world’s most iconic long-distance trail. It falls and rises, swaggers and turns, following meanders for 2,185 miles from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia.
The trail climbed steeply uphill, helped by a wooden staircase, and into the trees. The crowds, though, mostly went straight, making our choice easy. Up we went!
We splash downstream in The Narrows of the North Fork of the Virgin River, deep in the backcountry of Utah’s Zion National Park, mostly craning our necks up like turkeys hypnotized by falling rain. But our fascination is not with rain, but red walls on both sides that rise hundreds of feet overhead. The sun does not find us in this deep canyon, where the air temperature approximates the inside of a refrigerator, and the ankle- to calf-deep water feels about the same.
For many, the focal point of a visit to Lassen Volcanic National Park in California is a hike to the summit of Lassen Peak. But to really appreciate the volcanic forces that tore the peak open back in May 1915, take a short hike around the Devastated Trail.
Late September and early October, they say, are the best times to while your day away hoping to hook into one of the brown trout that call Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone National Park home. And one of the best ways to reach the lake for some fishing is via the Lewis RIver Channel Trail.
Thinking about tackling Lassen Volcanic National Park’s iconic trail, the Lassen Peak Trail? Test your stamina with the much shorter Ridge Lakes Trail not far from the Kohn Ya-mah-nee Visitor Center just inside the park’s Southwest Entrance.
Though short, at not quite a half-mile, the Castle Crest Wildflower Trail offers a refreshing walk through a cool, colorful corner of Crater Lake National Park.
If there's no other hike you do at Lassen Volcanic National Park -- and hiking to the park's roof atop 10,475-foot Lassen Peak is not for everyone -- the nice walk to Bumpass Hell is the one to do.
Glacier National Park offers a cornucopia of hikes, from casual strolls to serious expeditions, so choosing the best of any category of trails in this park is admittedly both a challenge—and just a bit subjective. That said, if you're looking for a short hike that offers magnificent views, and is easy enough to be completed by almost any visitor, one rises to the top of my list.