My Top 10 National Park Hikes (6 miles or less)
I enjoyed making blog posts about my top ten National Parks, so I decided to make a list of my top ten National Park Hikes. I quickly encountered a problem. There were too many hikes to choose from. So, I decided I can make two lists. I’m starting with my top 10 shorter hikes. Eventually I’ll make a list of my favorite longer National Park hikes. I decided to make 6 miles the cutoff. So the list I am starting now will be of my favorite hikes of 6 miles or less. I love National Parks and I like making lists, so this is fun for me. I hope you enjoy, too. Let me know if you agree with me, want to add other hikes, or want to try some of these out.
My list so far…
10. Cleetwood Cove – Crater Lake National Park
9. Avalanche Peak
Location: The eastern side of Yellowstone National Park (between Yellowstone Lake and the east entrance), in northwest Wyoming.
Distance: 4.2 miles roundtrip
Elevation change: 2,100 feet.
Difficulty: On my totally subjective scale from a 1-10 (10 being the hardest) I would give it an 8. This hike is short, just 2.1 miles each way, but it is incredibly steep.
Brief Description: This hike brings you high above treeline in the Asaroka Range. The trail takes you through forest for much of its length before ultimately ending atop a rocky summit following a strenuous climb up a talus slope.
Highlight of the hike: The views from the summit are unquestionably the highlight of this difficult hike. The peak is surrounded by other mountains. On a clear day you see the Tetons. It’s hard not to feel like you’re on top of the world, despite the hike barely covering two miles.
Tips: Be careful. The area is popular among the park’s grizzly bears. So make noise while you hike. Be cautious and observant and hike with others if possible. I saw a mama bear and two cubs pretty close to Avalanche Peak right after completing the hike. You have to traverse a relatively short knife-edge ridge in order to reach the summit. If you have a fear of heights (like me) be careful, get low, and take your time. If your fear is extreme you may want to avoid this hike. The steepness of the trail is another concern. Use hiking poles, despite the fact that it is short. Adjust them for the descent and again go slow. I went to quick going down and my knees paid the price. They were sore for a few days.
For more details on the hike and my personal experience CLICK HERE to read my blog post