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 – Yellowstone National Park
8. Shoshone Lake – Yellowstone National Park
7. Hall of Mosses – Olympic National Park
6. Delicate Arch – Arches National Park
5. The Mariposa Grove
Location: The southern tip of Yosemite National Park, which is basically in the middle of California.
Distance: You can hike as far as you like. If you hike the lower and upper groves it should be a total of about 5-6 miles.
Elevation change: This varies as well depending on how much you feel like exploring. The maximum elevation gain should be about 1,200 feet.
Difficulty: On my totally subjective scale from a 1-10 (10 being the hardest) I would give it a 4. I hiked through pretty much all of the upper and lower groves (in the pouring rain).
Brief Description: This hike takes you through the largest sequoia grove in Yosemite. You can hike for as long as you feel like. There are many named sequoias within the grove including the Grizzly Giant which, at 209 feet tall with a diameter of 28 feet, is the largest sequoia in the park.
Highlight of the hike: Walking among the gigantic sequoias at any time is an incredible experience. I had good and bad luck when I did most of my hiking there. It rained and rained (so much that the valley was closed). So, I left my camera in the car and was water-logged the whole time I hiked. It worked out in the end, though. The rain stopped after a couple of hours and then a low fog covered the ground and beams of sunlight shot through openings between the monstrous trees. The scene was dramatic and well-worth enduring the rain for a while.
Tips: Hike the Mariposa Grove rain or shine. This is also another very crowded hike. As a result, it is best to visit early in the morning or else in the evening if you want to try to avoid the busiest times. Or you can avoid crowds by hiking in the middle of a big storm like I did. That works, too.
For more details on the hike and my personal experience CLICK HERE to read my blog post about it.