I hiked sooooo many trails out West and I loved every one of them for their own individual reasons. I won’t even say every state is different because even in every state, most of them have different climates in them! The West has so much diversity and it is unbelievable. I think some of us Americans take for granted the real treasures we have right in the US. I’m about to show you my favorites!!!
Siyeh Bend- Glacier National Park
This trail is not traveled by many and is roughly 8 miles long. It is a one-way trail, but it is not an out and back trail. You start at one point, hike 8 miles, end at another point, and thank you to the park service for providing free shuttles, you don’t have to worry about getting back to your car. The park service shuttles you for free!
I feel like you really see Glacier National Park on this trail. There is an abundant amount of wildlife here, you have gorgeous views (the first two miles there isn’t much of a view,) pretty red rocks, purple mountains, and it smells so good out there. Of all the trails I hiked in Glacier, and I enjoyed all of them, but this one was my favorite. For more info on this hike, you can go to this link which brings you to a more detailed article on the area. http://livingonthedirt.com/glacier-national-park-montana/
Navajo Loop Trail- Bryce National Park
Bryce National Park I enjoyed, but I did not think it was all that great just from the top looking down. It was when I went on this trail where I really felt connected with this park and loved the park. Most people just see Bryce from the Rim Trail, which is nice but definitely spare at least a couple hours and explore the park. The Navajo Loop Trail starts/ends at Sunrise and Sunset Point. The hike is a few miles and you get a bit of elevation gain. Definitely bring some water! On this hike you pass the infamous Wall and the Queens Garden Hike. Check these out! It really is so cool in here!!! For more info, here is the link. http://livingonthedirt.com/bryce-canyon-national-park-hiking-one-utahs-big-5/
Half-dome- Yosemite National Park
As far as scenery’s go, Half-Dome is amazing but that’s not what makes this trail so special. It’s climbing up those cables! It was so much fun!!! Make sure you wear gloves because if you don’t, you probably won’t have hands by the end of it. You do need a permit to hike Half-dome because everyone wants to do it. It is harder to get a day pass than it is to do a backpacking trip. There is an overnight camp just a few miles away from half-dome. I would recommend staying here, but the bears have become insanely habituated with the humans and have come really close. There has never been a bear attack and the bears are kinda small but when I went, a bear brushed up right against a tent, in the middle of the night with a guy inside it. The bears get a little too close for comfort here. But like I said, never a bear attack. Anyway, this hike is crazy! If you are afraid of heights I wouldn’t recommend it, but hey if you like a challenge and overcoming your fears, this would definitely challenge you! You can’t get better than this. http://livingonthedirt.com/yosemite-national-park-hiking-yosemite-valley-floor/
Angels Landing- Zion National Park
Angles Landing is a very fun 5 mile hike round-trip! One of the most exciting hikes I have ever done. At first you go up grueling switchbacks, but then it starts to level out and you start to be on ridges with 1,000 foot drop sheer walls! You hold onto ropes at this point because you are walking up rocks next to a cliff! But after all this adrenaline hiking, and the difficult ascending hike, you get a glorious view. One of the best views I have ever seen. The work is worth it!
I would also say though, that Observation Point, the Subway and the Narrows are also amazing. If you come this far to see Zion, don’t leave until you have also done the Narrows, the Subway, and Observation Point. Just a note, if you are pressed on time, observation point almost has the same view as Angels Landing, but the hike itself is a lot more scenic.http://livingonthedirt.com/zion-national-park-day-hiking-camping-angels-landing-narrows/
Sahale Arm- North Cascades National Park
This hike is probably the best hike I have ever done. You start climbing toward Cascade Pass, a very beautiful pass, and most people stop here, but that is not it. Keep going and you will see a sign for Sahale Arm. Take this all the way up to the camp. This is a grueling hike, not going to lie. But it is so worth it! If you are planning on doing this in one day, it is an out and back trail and round-trip will be 12 miles. If 12 miles shutters you, there is a campground up here and let me tell you, probably the best campground I have ever seen. Make sure though you stop at the park ranger station because you do need a permit to camp up here. It only has a few spots. It’s also very common to see mountain goats, friendly people and majestic scenery. Loved this hike! Make sure go at the earliest, the middle of the summer. This hike is so high in elevation that you need to wait for most of the snow to melt. http://livingonthedirt.com/cascade-pass-sahale-arm-washington-hike-north-cascades/
Prismatic Spring- Yellowstone National Park
There are thousands of hot springs in Yellowstone but none like this. I never seen so many beautiful colors! This is the largest hot spring in Yellowstone and I think the coolest hot spring in Yellowstone. The colors were unimaginable and it is impossible to capture it all on the lens. This very simple flat hike, is absolutely breath-taking!
Vance Creek Railroad Bridge- Olympic National Forest
Now this is not a trail, and it’s abandoned and illegal but, it’s one of my favorites so it counts :). This abandoned railraod bridge soars 300 feet up in the sky with its missing and rotting railroad ties scanning across this gorge. Sounds fun right! Lol, it sounds petrifying which is why this was so memorable. Like I said the railroad ties are rotting so if you are a daredevil and want to check it out, I would do it sooner rather than later. I wrote an article on this hike equipped with directions if you would like to check it out. Come here and really feel like you are FREE! http://livingonthedirt.com/2nd-tallest-railroad-bridge-america-washington/
Cape Flattery- Olympic Penninsula
This trail is very short and easy, but the picturesque view at the end is what got me. Plus this brings you to the most northwestern tip of the United States. You can’t get anymore Northwest than this point. Knowing that also made it a bit more awesome :). You get to look out into the Pacific Ocean, and hopefully, you will get to see some marine life. I saw a harbor seal when I was at this very exact spot! http://livingonthedirt.com/cape-flattery-washington-hiking/
Maroon Bells- Aspen
Maroon Bells blew me away! The mountains are huge, the water is clear, and the reflections are gorgeous! There is also Moose which are common around here, and from this spot, you can walk all the way to Crested Butte. It will take you a few days though. There are so many gorgeous trails in the area. It’s like a big giant playground. Expect towering peaks, lakes everywhere, and an abundance of flora and fauna! http://livingonthedirt.com/aspen-hiking-maroon-bells/
I took most of these pics with my Waterproof Camera, the Olympus. Love this camera. Super durable. I fell on it on rocks, jumped off waterfalls, etc. and stand by it.
Well, I have more favorites but I can keep going on and on and on with all the trails I enjoyed. Looking back though on all my adventures, for me these are the most memorable. The best views I enjoyed, the most intensity I felt and the most fun I had. Hope you enjoy. I know a lot of these are “touristy,” and some of you might not like that, but these are the trails I honestly mostly enjoyed.
Thank you for reading and hope you like it.