Trails I've Hiked: Hidden Lake Overlook in Glacier National Park

Just getting out of your rig in the parking lot atop Logan Pass in Glacier National Park offers spectacular views, but with a little effort and perhaps two hours of time you'll be searching for a word to amplify "spectacular."

Easy Park Hikes – Lily Lake Trail at Rocky Mountain National Park

Lilly Lake trail overlook.
Sometimes a short, easy hike is just what you need for a nice change of pace during a park visit. Here's a suggestion for a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park—and an alternative to the justly-popular Bear Lake Trail.

Easy Park Hikes – Forest Loop Trail in Glacier Bay National Park

Forest and pond
Sometimes a short, easy hike is just what you need for a nice change of pace during a park visit. Here's a suggestion for a trip to Glacier Bay National Park.

Trails I've Hiked: Anthony Creek Trail to Spence Field in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A.T. Shelter, Spence Field, Great Smoky Mountains NP, Kurt Repanshek photo
As with so many of the footpaths in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Anthony Creek Trail doesn’t hesitate much before pulling you up into that landscape.

Trails I've Hiked: Far Below And Long Ago—Basin Creek Trail to Caudill Cabin in Doughton Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Video thumbnail view of Doughton Park
Countless Blue Ridge Parkway motorists peek over Wildcat Rocks to see tiny Caudill Cabin 1,500 feet below in North Carolina’s Doughton Park. Take this hike to the cabin and explore a quintessential setting of Appalachian isolation.

Trails I've Hiked: The Windows Section of Arches National Park

You don't need to be a long-distance hiker to tackle what arguably is not just the shortest but also the most impressive hike at Arches National Park. A comfortable pair of shoes, a bottle of water, and perhaps 90 minutes of your time will be enough to explore the Windows Section of the park.

Trails I've Hiked: Arches National Park's Primitive Trail, Via Landscape and Double O Arches

Landscape Arch, Arches National Park, copyright Kurt Repanshek
There might be no finer time to hike in Arches National Park than early mornings, when the soft light of the rising sun glints off the red-rock and the spindly Utah junipers and waves of fins cast long shadows.

Trails I've Hiked: Canyonlands National Park's Elephant Hill Trail

Chesler Park, Canyonlands, copyright Kurt Repanshek
Without a doubt, there is no better time to hike in Utah's canyon country than spring. In Canyonlands National Park on the Elephant Hill Trail mid-May blends on one palette the reds, yellows, golds, and whites of wildflowers against a redrock backdrop daubed with cream and buff.

Trails I've Hiked: Acadia National Park's South Ridge of Cadillac Mountain

Any visit to Acadia National Park should involve a walk in the woods. Whether you're just looking for a short lake-side stroll or a more demanding trek up the Precipice Trail, there are options for most visitors. Perhaps my favorite hike in the park is the 7.4-mile-long roundtrip up the South Ridge of Cadillac Mountain.

Trails I've Hiked: Douglas Spring to Bridal Wreath Falls, Saguaro National Park

Douglas Spring Trail, Saguaro National Park, Kurt Repanshek photo
For a quick, relatively easy, immersion into Saguaro National Park, the Douglas Spring Trail in the Cactus Forest of the park's Rincon Mountain District is hard to beat.
AttachmentSize
SAGU-Cactus Forest Hiking Trails.pdf262.73 KB

Hikes Abound in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Both Short and Long

If national parks have their specialties, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hiker’s park. The scenery is diverse: mountain views, old-growth trees, waterfalls, streams, and more shades of green than a paint chart. Trails are well-marked, wide, and easy to follow. Comfortable backcountry campsites and spacious front-country campgrounds make the park an excellent first-time, family camping destination.

Trails I've Hiked: Yellowstone National Park's Observation Point Trail

Often over-looked, perhaps because of its short distance or the many other opportunities to be found in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park, the Observation Point Trail offers a quick, low-effort hike that rewards you with a grand view of the Old Faithful Geyser.

Trails I've Hiked: Bryce Canyon National Park's Under-the-Rim Trail

While the view down into the ruddy and tawny maw of Bryce Canyon National Park is pretty spectacular, you should try looking up at the park's colorful ramparts! And one of the best places to enjoy this view is along the park's lone long-distance backcountry trail, the 23-mile-long Under-the-Rim Trail that rises and falls down along the floor of the park, an area that few folks actually get to see because they prefer not to hoist a pack on their back.

Trails I've Hiked: Reef Bay Trail, Virgin Islands National Park

Mango trees, lime trees, and one of the best preserved ruins of a sugar plantation in Virgin Islands National Park are among the payoffs of the Reef Bay Trail.

Trails I've Hiked: Golden Canyon, Death Valley National Park

You won't find many long-distance hikes in Death Valley National Park, which probably is a good thing considering how hot it can get during the summer months. But for those looking to stretch their legs, the trail through Golden Canyon is viewed by many as the "to-do" hike in the park.

Trails I've Hiked: Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

Most avid hikers know Half Dome. In fact, as the signature landmark for Yosemite, its image is recognized worldwide. It's even on the 2005 U.S. quarter. From mid-May to mid-October, visitors can attempt this extremely strenuous 16-mile hike.

Trails I've Hiked: John Muir Trail, Lyell Fork drainage, Yosemite National Park

Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River, Kurt Repanshek photo
Woven tufts of gold knit the meadows together, thick pine forests give way to observation towers of granite and sky-scraping peaks, and a river runs through it. That's the setting the John Muir Trail wanders through in the High Sierra of Yosemite National Park.

Trails I've Hiked: Awesome Hiking Along The Blue Ridge Parkway

MacRae Peak. Randy Johnson photo
The Blue Ridge Parkway's half-a-thousand mile ridge-top route between Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains offers countless great hikes. Randy Johnson, author of Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway and Best Easy Day Hikes Blue Ridge Parkway, leads the way to one of the East’s premier national park hiking experiences.