Monday, August 7, 2017

7 Great West Coast Hikes

Redwood National Park
Wonderland Trail
Mount Rainier National Park
Families can get a good view of the largest glacier in the 48 contiguous United States on a segment of the Wonderland Trail at Mount Rainier National Park. The 93-mile trail encircles Mount Rainier, the Washington national park’s centerpiece. A few access points, however, allow small portions of it to be day hiked; among them is a 3.3-mile round trip trail in the Sunrise area.

Discovery Point Trail
Crater Lake National Park
No visit to Oregon's Crater Lake National Park would be complete without a hike along the rim of the dormant volcano where a clear blue lake now sits. The Discovery Point Trail follows the rim, offering views of it through an alpine forest, stopping at the spot where miners first saw the lake in 1853.

Great hikes bookend U.S. Hwy. 101 drive
If driving the stretch of U.S. Hwy. 101 between Port Angeles, Wash., and Crescent City, Calif., this summer, you’re in for a treat. This scenic drive along the Pacific Ocean is wonderfully bookended by two popular national parks – Olympic and Redwood.

Upper Yosemite Fall Trail
Yosemite National Park
Day hikers can get a great view of Yosemite Valley – and a good work workout – by walking a segment of the Upper Yosemite Fall Trail at the national park. Rather than hike the entire trail – which is 7.2 miles and extremely steep (Just hiking to the top of the trail would be the equivalent of taking the stairs to the top of the Empire State Building – twice), consider only going as far as a mile to Columbia Rock. 

Chernoff Trail
Upper Franklin Canyon Park
We’ve all seen the opening credits of “The Andy Griffith Show,” where Andy takes Opie to his favorite fishing hole – Myers Lake, located in Stokes County, N.C. The truth is Myers Lake really is Franklin Canyon Lake, located in Upper Franklin Canyon Park – located in no less than Beverly Hills (Beverly. Hills, that is. Swimmin' pools, movie stars ... But that's a different TV show).

Learn more about national park day hiking trails in my Best Sights to See at America’s National Parks series.