Monday, October 2, 2017

7 Great West Coast Day Hiking Trails

Crater Lake National Park
Ape Caves Trail
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Who says a hike needs to be through the woods or to a mountain peak? It also can be through a cave – and for kids, that’s one cool adventure! Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument offers just such a hike, the Ape Caves Trail, which include a pair of 2000-year-old lava tubes. At 12,810 feet, the Apes Caves are among the longest known lava tubes in North America and the world.

Best trails for seeing Crater Lake highlights
Among the best ways to see Crater Lake National Park’s major sights is via a day hike. Just five short trails allow visitors to enjoy the park’s major highlights – its namesake, the Pumice Desert, the Pinnacles, old-growth forests, and a historic fire lookout tower.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
Yosemite National Park
Day hikers can see some of the world’s largest trees – a few towering more than 20 stories high – during a walk through the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park. Mariposa marks Yosemite’s largest grove of sequoias with more than 500 of the trees and so is a popular destination among park visitors. The park’s tallest and most voluminous tree both reside here.

Cavern Point Loop Trail
Channel Islands National Park
Spectacular views of the ocean and California coast await day hikers on the Cavern Point Loop Trail at Channel Islands National Park. Among the highlights of the trail are the variety of marine life – including blue whales – often visible from the ocean overlooks.

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