947 Hikes for Everyone by jamiegarrardfirst prev 1 next last
Grant Village, Yellowstone National Park1.4 miles N of Grant Village, Yellowstone National Park
West Thumb Geyser Basin is one of the smallest geyser basins in Yellowstone yet its location along the shore of Yellow-stone Lake ranks it as the most scenic. West Thumb derived its name from the thumb-like projection of Yellowstone Lake and the name was given by the 1870 Washburn Expedition. It was also known as Hot Spring Camp. West Thumb has less geyser activity than other basins. But West Thumb, for its size, has it all-hot springs, pools, mud pots, fumaroles and lake shore geysers.
Santa Cruz, California2.0 miles SW of Santa Cruz, California
This trail is perfectly tucked away from the business of Santa Cruz. Monarch butterflies, during the Winter, fly here to stay warm. As you walk through the Monarch Grove, you will see trees covered with butterflies. Their wings fluttering look like tree leaves blowing in the wind, until you take a closer look. It is a peaceful place to be as you learn about Monarch butterflies and watch them fly around.
Monarch butterfly migration begins at different times but they start arriving in the grove around mid-October. This is the perfect time of year to take a nice stroll on the boardwalk and watch the butterflies. The park is filled with eucalyptus trees which give the butterflies the perfect protection for them in the winter months. Since this is a preserve, it is asked not to grab or hold butterflies and to stay quiet to help continue making them feel safe. The end of the Monarch season is around mid-February. It is the perfect, family friendly location.
There is one main trail, but you can customize the length of your walk/hike depending on what you would like to do.
The trail leads to a beautiful sandy beach. You will see a huge, beautiful rock arch to your left of the beach. The water is refreshingly cool. Watching the sunset over the water, pulls out the orange colors of the arch rock making the scene bright and peaceful.
This is the perfect location to see shore birds, migrating whales, and playing otters offshore. As you continue to walk around the beach, you will come across tide pools where you can get a glimpse of sea life. The low tide allows visitors to see star fish and other sea animals. It is a great location for families to explore and enjoy their time together.
Important Information: There is a $10 vehicle day-use fee. The water is shallow enough for children to play safely, but it is necessary for parents to supervise their children because there aren't lifeguards on duty. Bikes are permitted on the paved roads around the park and beach. Dogs are also permitted on paved roads and in the park but not on the beach.
Burney, California9.2 miles N of Burney, California
Burney Falls has been considered one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the state. It stands at 129 feet tall and is coated by curtains of green fern. The best part about this waterfall, for many hikers and Californians is that it flows year-round. This is one of the very few waterfalls in California that has good water flow throughout the year. The waterfall is loud, but can also be pretty remarkable in how peaceful it can feel.
The main attraction, can be accessed directly from the parking area or through many different trails which lead to higher or lower views of the falls. Each angle is beautiful in their unique ways. The best time of the day to go is earlier in the morning and a little before sunset. If you go in the middle of the day, it could get crowded.
The water temperature never rises over 42 degrees Fahrenheit, but the fisherman never seem to mind because of the great fishing that happens. The fishing that takes place is catch-and-release fly fishing.
There is an $8 day-parking fee at this park. Do not park on the street near the entrance of the park, because your car could be subjected to citations or be towed.
Austin, Texas5.7 miles NW of Austin, Texas
This trail and preserve is a great place to hike and explore nature. You can get a guided tour, which allows for a more educational experience, or you can take your time to just enjoy the scenery and peacefulness. You can choose the difficulty of your hike. You can choose an easier loop or hike all the way around the preserve.
There is a donation box at the trailhead for $3.00 per person. That is also where you will find the different hikes and their difficulty. The "Easy Access Loop" is stroller-friendly for moms who have babies and want to take a little hike. There is a lot of things to see and do in the preserve. You could make this a day activity, or shorten it depending on your schedule.
Trails are available daily from sunrise to sunset. The Wild Basin Creative Research Center is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Parking and restrooms are available. Wild Basin offers educational events, guided hikes for the public and school field trips, volunteer workdays, and classroom space.
Pets, bikes and food are prohibited to keep the preserve clean and the species safe. Smoking is also prohibited. If you have any questions about anything, contact the preserve's Visitor Center.
Austin, Texas4.4 miles W of Austin, Texas
This hike can be up to 7.9 miles long and starts up near Zilker Park. You can choose the length of your hike, walk, or run. The easiest access to the Greenbelt, though, is through the Loop 360 Entrance. This location is filled with biking, hiking and running trails. There are great locations to have picnics.
On the trail there are a couple of great swimming locations. When the water levels are right these are the access points to go to to find the best swimming locations:
- Spyglass Access (1601 Spyglass Dr.): There is usually easy-access street parking at this location. Once you head down the hill at the trail access, take a left and you’ll find your way to the Flats & the Campbell’s Hole swimming spot.
- Gus Fruh Access (2642 Barton Hills Dr.): You could get to Gus Fruh from the Spyglass entrance and just simply keep going, but you can take a more direct route and park in this residential neighborhood. The water in this location is beautiful and the swimmning is perfect.
- Trail End/Sculpture Falls Access (1710 Camp Craft Road): Here you will find the trails end, the famous Hill of Life and the Sculpture Falls swimming area. Be warned, however, that you’ll need to be ready for a half-mile uphill hike to get to the falls. The falls are small and beautiful and is a great location for family-friendly fun.
This trail is open year-round and have great activities for families. The best times to go are earlier in the day before it gets too hot and right before the sun sets.
Austin, Texas3.6 miles NW of Austin, Texas
Mayfield has so many great trails. There are a couple of loops you could travel that leads you to other trails, and will take you on many adventures around the preserve.
Please remember that Mayfield is a nature preserve, so when visiting, it is especially important to leave the wildlife alone, including the peacocks around the garden.This is to ensure their and your safety. When roaming the preserve refrain from boisterous activities and let the serenity of the area surround you.
Mayfield Park includes a historic cottage, 2 acres of colorful cottage gardens with beautiful, large palm trees, bright peacocks and beautiful water lilies. Mayfield Preserve is a 21 to 22 acre natural area that surrounds the park, containing walking trails and wildlife habitats.
Something to keep in mind that makes Mayfield interesting, is that it is a feature that makes GPS readings harder to come by. The heavy foliage cover over much of the park provided uneven GPS reception for much of the hike, but you can find the hike marked on the trails.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Open daily during weekdays between 8:30 am until 4:30 pm, but closed during the weekend. There are no pets allowed because of the wildlife. If you are looking to reserve a spot, or are a photographer, you must read through these guidelines to know who to contact.
North Bend, Washington5.5 miles SE of North Bend, Washington
During this three mile hike, you'll be trekking near the river. You will be surrounded by the peaceful sound of rushing water. About a mile and a half into the hike, you will arrive at the viewpoint bridge, which allows people the opportunity to view the beautiful waterfall. Rain or shine, this is a beautiful hike to embark on.
This amazing route has easy access to the river. It also provides plenty open places and overlooks which allow hikers of all ages and skills to go at their own comfortable pace. Due to the closeness to the many larger metropolitan areas near the trail, makes this a heavily used trail during the weekends. Using this trail on weekdays is highly recommended.
History of the location: This trail was forced to be closed at the beginning of 2014 dues to heavy rainfall and erosion that wiped out a key section of the trail. But, fortunately, through the work of EarthCorps, a local nonprofit, the trail was rerouted and rebuilt so the community could once enjoy the iconic Twin Falls and then reopened in May of 2016.
To many people, this is a must-see and must-do hike because it is peaceful, beautiful and enlightening.
Boise, Idaho3.0 miles SE of Boise, Idaho
Table Rock is located directly above downtown Boise, Idaho and is part of the extreme southwestern portion of the Boise Mountains. It is recognizable by the tall white cross, that lights up. If you're in Boise, this isn't an experience you want to miss. The view from the top allows you to look over Boise, and is the most beautiful as the leaves are changing colors in fall.
The two best times, to add to the experience, would to be either going before sunrise or sunset. Watching the sun rise is an emotional experience, especially after such a great hike. Or watching the sun set over Boise and watching the lights turn on all over the city, including the cross on the peak. The hike, or drive, offers grand views of the Boise skyline, foothills, and valley.
Pets are allowed on this hike, but they need to be on their leash. Don't let them run through the brush, especially suring summer months, where snakes hide in the brush. There are multiple paths to the peak, so choose your path before embarking on your hike. There are no fees for this hike.
WARNING: No fires or launching off fireworks from this location. It is too dry and can cause large wildfires. This happened in 2015, and the person who started the wildfire because of fireworks, which in turn burned homes, was convicted. Please be smart and use common sense, because this location is important and beloved by the citizens of Boise and other surrounding locations.
Norris, Yellowstone National Park3.9 miles E of Norris, Yellowstone National Park
Ice Lake and Little Gibbon Falls Loop is a 4.5 mile loop trail located near Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking, but there are many things to do at this location. You can hike, fish canoe, and camp. This is a kid friendly location and it is best to go during July through September.
The Hayden Geological Survey of 1871 was led by geologist Ferdinand V. Hayden. The 1871 survey was not Hayden's first, but it was the first federally funded, geological exploration group to explore and further document features in the region that, then, became Yellowstone National Park. William Henry Jackson and John Merle Coulter of this second Hayden exploration, get credit for discovering Gibbon Falls in 1872.
If you decide to fish, make sure to get the right permissions from the park. If you catch a native fish to the park, you can only catch and release them. If it is nonnative, there is no limit to how many fish you can catch. Native fish include the cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish and Arctic grayling. Nonnative fish include: brown trout, brook trout, rainbow and lake trout. Fisherman are asked to only fish with single, pointed, barbless hook and lead-free artificial lures. All watercraft needs to have a permit purchased from the park service.
Remember on your hikes to make noise and to carry bear spray, to keep wildlife away. If you come across wildlife, do no approach them under any circumstances. This is to ensure yours and their safety.
Canyon Village, Yellowstone National Park1.1 miles S of Canyon Village, Yellowstone National Park
Lower Yellowstone Falls is one of the most popular places to visit in Yellowstone, coming in just behind the geyser, Old Faithful. The tallest waterfall in the park, Lower Yellowstone Falls is about 308 ft. Upper Yellowstone Falls feeds this waterfall and can be accessed through a trail before reaching Lower Yellowstone Falls. Because of a turn in the river, both waterfalls are not visible at one time, instead visitors can see just one waterfall at a time.
Both falls are located in a 20 mile long canyon nicknamed the Yellowstone Grand Canyon. The Yellowstone River feeds the falls and it is the longest undamed river in the continental United States. The canyon was created through water eroding the volcanic rock. Lower Yellowstone Falls is particulary beautiful because the large waterfall contrasts with the yellow "rusting" rocks that make up the canyon walls. The iconic "yellow" color in Yellowstone is from the many rocks that oxidize because of the rust and iron found in the rock.
The 308 foot waterfall is taller than Niagra Falls and has many lookout points, offering a variety of views from up close to miles away. There are several trails that can be taken to experience all the views, each with a parking lot before the trailhead. The trails are still open in the winter, however please be aware that they may be icy, as well there are steep drops and switchbacks. In the winter, the trails can only be accessed by snowmobile or snow coaches.
Following the Grand Loop Road, visitors will be able to see the waterfall and access the various trailheads. The summer time will be the busiest time as toursits from all over are enjoying the park. Spring and Fall are especially beautiful, however the road to access the falls opens in mid-April and closes in late October. Turning onto North Rim Drive, visitors will have access to all the view points on that side of the waterfall. The first viewpoint is the Brink of the Lower Falls. Visitors are able to get quite close to the falls, putting them right next to the mouth of the falls as the water goes cascading down below them. The trail is a steep hike down, but a must see. While right at the mouth of the waterfall, visitors can turn and look out at the canyon and see it continue on its 20 mile journey.
Next is the Lookout Point. This offers a panoramic view of the surrounding canyons and waterfall. Though it is several miles away from the actual waterfall, visitors can still hear the booming of water flowing over the falls. The Lookout Point is also the trailhead for Red Rock Point, which gives the closest full view of the waterfall for visitors. It is a steep trail as well, with a sign warning "A steep descent to Red Rock will take you to the North Rim’s closest full view of Lower Falls. Please be prepared for steep grades, steps, and a rough surface. The trail descends rapidly—about 500 feet (150 m) in 3/8 mile (0.6 km). Wear sturdy walking shoes with good tread, and be prepared for a steep uphill return".
Grandview is another lookout point along the North Rim Drive. It provides another panoramic view of Lower Falls, though not as close as the one found at lookout point.
Inspiration Point is the last viewpoint along North Rim Drive. Not much of the Lower Falls are visible from here, but a panoramic view of the canyon reminds visitors just how small they really are when compared to the towering canyon walls.
On the opposite side of the Lower Falls are two additional trails, Uncle Tom's Trail and Artist Point. Taking South Rim Road, visitors will first see the trailhead for Uncle Tom's Trail. This trail consists of 328 steel steps that take visitors about 3/4 of the way down the Canyon. Like the view from the Brink of Lower Falls, visitors will be very close to the falls as the water goes tumbling down below them.
Artist Point is one of the most photographed views in Yellowstone. It is a very easy hike with little elevation gain. Visitors will be awed when looking at the canyon from Artist Point, for it shows just how wide and deep the canyon has become from thousands of years of erosion.