Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Opinions About the Top Ten Best National Park Hikes in America

In the picture you are looking at the switchbacks at the start of the Navajo Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.

Recently an entity calling itself ShermansTravel.com listed the Top 10 Best National Park Hikes.

The list was a little goofy in that actual hiking trails were not named for some of the National Parks Listed. Such as Mesa Verde National Park, at #8, which is more known for its Anasazi Cliff Dwellings than hiking.

Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, is #5, with no mention of a specific trail. Yellowstone National Park is only a few miles away, and not on the list, but with miles upon miles of some of the most incredible hiking in the world.

Grand Canyon National Park is on the list, with the suggestion to take the South Rim Kaibab Trail rather than the move heavily hiked Bright Angel Trail. I have hiked the Bright Angel Trail to the bottom of Grand Canyon. A better suggestion might be to do your Grand Canyon hiking from the far less crowded North Rim. There are a lot of trails to hike in the Grand Canyon.

Bryce Canyon National Park is #1 on the list of best places to hike. Of all the places I have hiked, I would have to agree Bryce Canyon is the best.

The picture on the right is why Bryce Canyon's Peek-a-Boo Trail is so-named. The aforementioned Navajo Loop Trail connects to the Peek-a-Boo trail, and other trails, beneath the rim of Bryce Canyon.

It seems odd to me that a couple other Utah National Parks are on not on this list, due to the fact that they contain some of the world's best hikes.

Zion National Park has miles of extraordinary, one-of-a-kind hiking trails, including the scary trail to the top of Angel's Landing.

Utah's Arches National Park has miles of hiking trails taking you to the world's biggest collection of natural arches and other scenic wonders. I have hiked the ranger led Fiery Furnace Hike twice. It is among the best hikes I have ever been on.

Not having Arches and Zion National Parks on a list of the Top Ten Best National Park Hikes is very goofy.

Yosemite National Park is at the #10 spot. Yosemite has incredible hiking trails. Of all the Yosemite Hikes the Outer Loop Trail through the Mariposa Grove is specifically mentioned. But not any of the hikes that take you from the valley floor to incredible views of the Yosemite Valley.

Mammoth Cave National Park is #7. With Carlsbad Caverns National Park not on the list.

The 101 miles of Appalachian Trail in Shenadoah National Park is #9. The Appalachian Trail in Shenadoah National Park does not look all that scenic.

Not when compared to the scenery you see when you hike any of the many trails in Washington's Mount Rainier National Park or Olympic National Park or North Cascades National Park in.

#2 on the list is Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia, specifically mentioning the Willow Pond Trail which takes you from the Atlantic Coast to a lush forest. I read that and remembered the hike from Lake Ozette to the Pacific Ocean, in Washington, the trail cedar planks through lush, rain forest green of giant trees to Cape Alava in the Washington Islands Wilderness of Olympic National Park.

The last one to mention, on the Sherman's Travel's list of the Top Ten Best National Park Hikes, is Haleakala National Park, Hawaii. No specific trail is cited.

Back to the state of Washington, I have to mention that there are many hiking trails in Mount Saint Helens National Monument. Very scenic hikes.

So, there you have it, my take on Sherman's Travel's list of the Top Ten Best National Park Hikes.

Now hit the road and do some hiking this summer.


Katie said...

I'm looking into doing a Grand Canyon hiking trip; you mentioned starting off at the north end would be good. The group I'm going with, Just Roughin' It, has a Rim to Rim hike, I don't know if I could do that yet, but it would allow me to hike the North side. Have you hiked Havasu Falls? As of now it's the most appealing trail to me, mostly because all of the Grand Canyon waterfalls look spectacular.

Durango Roadtripping said...

No Katie, I've never hiked to Havasu Falls. I think you need special permits for that. I've only hiked from the South Rim, down Bright Angel Trail. Going from the North Rim to the South Rim would be a tough hike. But I would love to hike it!