Thursday, November 2, 2017

8 Awesome West Coast Day Hikes

Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park
Ruby Beach Trail
Olympic National Park
Day hikers can explore a Pacific Ocean shoreline featuring gushing seastacks, piles of driftwood logs, and colorful, wave-polished stones on the Ruby Beach Trail at Olympic National Park. The 1.4-mile round trip trail sits on the Olympic Peninsula’s west side.

Discovery Point Trail
Crater Lake National Park
Day hikers can walk to the edge of the United States’ deepest lake on the Discovery Point Trail at Crater Lake National Park. The lake sits inside the collapsed remains of an ancient volcano known as Mount Mazama. 

Big Tree Wayside Trail
Redwood National Park
Day hikers can walk beneath some of the planet's largest organisms at Redwood National Park. Though the sequoias of the Sierra Nevada range are larger than coastal redwoods in volume, the latter usually grows taller. Coastal Redwoods can reach up to 30 stories high. Comparatively, the world’s largest animal – a blue whale – usually is only about 1/16th the size of a redwood.

Swinging Bridge Trail
Yosemite National Park
Day hikers can enjoy an old-fashion afternoon of fun at the swimming hole on the Swinging Bridge Trail in Yosemite National Park’s Wawona area. Your kids (and you) will enjoy the 1.5-mile round trip out-and-back trail and the time it allows for the trail’s swinging bridge, swimming hole, and natural waterslide.

Best Sights to See at Channel Islands National Park
Among the best ways to see Channel Islands National Park’s major sights is via a day hike. Though the park covers several islands, four short trails allow visitors to enjoy the park’s major highlights – migrating blue whales, fascinating tide pools, impressive wildflower displays, and the rare Torrey pine tree.

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