FIVE GREAT SUMMER HIKING TRAILS IN THE US
Summer continues to advance and the greatness of this country with its enormous diversity of landscapes allows you to find the best places for all types of walks, camping, and summer excursions, but the type of excursion you want to do is likely to depend on the time of year. For example, taking a long hike in the hot desert climates of Southern California or Arizona in the heat of summer is not recommended. The same goes for hiking and camping in a state like Maine or Montana in the winter. Some enjoyable walks are best done in the summer months (between June and September) although a little research online is highly recommended before planning your walking destination, as one person’s easy hike might be difficult for someone else
So, if you are planning to do some outdoor activity this summer, we recommend you consider 5 paths to know or visit again with different levels of difficulty:
- 1. LOWER YOSEMITE FALLS, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA (EASY HIKE)
- 2. TETON CREST TRAIL, GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING (EASY HIKE)
- 3. APPALACHIAN TRAIL, GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK TENNESSEE (MID DIFFICULTY)
- 4. BLACK ELK PEAK (MID-DIFFICULTY HIKE)
- 5. WHEELER PEAK (DIFFICULT HIKE)
One trail identified as easy is The Lower Yosemite Falls trail in California's Yosemite National Park, an easy trail hike, that is home to the tallest waterfall in North America at 2,400 feet. This is a short half-mile round-trip hike on paved roads, so it's good to do as a family or with kids.
The trails of the Teton Crest, Grand Teton National Park in the State of Wyoming are greatly enjoyed from mid-summer to mid-September, they are amazing for their natural beauty and wildlife in this park. A 37-mile trek can be done in a multi-day or one-day trek, doing just part of it. Along the way, you'll see alpine lakes in the middle of the Teton Range, fields filled with wildflowers, bison, elk, deer, and a variety of other species. It is important to consider that it is also the natural habitat of brown and black bears, and they roam the park.
The Appalachian Trails, at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, are a great choice to walk up to 71 miles enjoying the breathtaking scenery. You can drive to the trailhead at Fontana Dam and do as much as you want. Cabins along the way for overnight stays are plentiful and a good getaway for the family this summer. Even if you plan to stay in one of these cabins, it's a good idea to bring a tent in case they're all taken.
Black Elk Peak in South Dakota is the highest point in South Dakota at 7,242 feet, the highest elevation among the Rocky Mountains in the western United States. Surrounded by the beautiful Black Elk Wilderness, Black Elk Peak has become a popular summer getaway. Hikers of all ages seek to ascend to enjoy the amazing scenery and magnificent views of four states: South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and Nebraska which seem to have no end on the horizon. Although there are more than a dozen ways to make the ascent, the most common way is Trail No. 9, which begins at Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park. This is an easy hike that gets harder in parts but there are plenty of nice spots to rehydrate and take great photos and upon reaching the top you are greeted by a stone fire tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1938.
At an altitude of more than 13,100 feet above sea level, Wheeler Peak in New Mexico (named for US Army Major George M. Wheeler, who surveyed much of New Mexico in the late 1870s), is the tallest mountain in New Mexico, ranking eighth in the state in order of elevation. Located in the Sangre De Cristo (Blood of Christ) mountain range, it watches over the southern tip of the Rocky Mountains, inviting you to enjoy its grandiose views.
Although due to the altitude, you won't be dying of heat during a hike here in the summer, the 8.2-mile round trip hike will get you to the top, but it will take all the muscle strength in your legs to tackle the steep climbs and a great number of curves that go up. If you're up for it, a hike in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is worth the detour. Bighorn sheep are an abundant species in the area, but they are wary of visitors. There are two main routes to the summit, the Bull-of-the-Woods Trail, and the Williams Lake Trail. Whether backpacking or hiking, Wheeler Peak offers a spectacular outdoor experience.
Whatever your getaway this summer, keep in mind that it's important to be prepared with proper gear whether you're going on a day hike, a several days hike, or a camping stay.
WHAT TO PACK FOR A DAY HIKE:
- Hiking shoes
- Hiking socks
- Travel bags or a backpack
- Lots of Water – carry a hydration pack
- Healthy food that’s portable and filling, protein bars
- Lip balm with UV protection and Sunscreen
- Travel maps or GPS
- Pocket knife
- Flashlight or headlamp
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
IF YOU ARE OVERSTAYING CAMPING AND TRAVELING BY CAR, YOU CAN FIND USEFUL
- Comfortable thermal or waterproof clothing
- A good leather travel jacket for comfy nights by the fire
- Leather duffle bag for extra dry clothes and shoes
- Food & Snacks
Get packed and enjoy your Lastwolf, enjoy summer, enjoy life!