Hiking Thread

Volosaurus rex

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Ulysses, if you’re not already familiar with the area, another destination to add to your list of must-see attractions in Utah is Cedar Breaks National Monument (https://www.nps.gov/cebr/index.htm). It’s quite similar to Bryce Canyon but even higher. Those red sandstone hoodoos are absolutely spectacular at sunrise and sunset. If the light hits them just right, they then look like glowing embers. If you go early or late enough in the season to catch them draped in snow, the contrast is really dramatic.
 
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Ulysees E. McGill

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Ulysses, if you’re not already familiar with the area, another destination to add to your list of must-see attractions in Utah is Cedar Breaks National Monument (https://www.nps.gov/cebr/index.htm). It’s quite similar to Bryce Canyon but even higher. Those red sandstone hoodoos are absolutely spectacular at sunrise and sunset. If the light hits them just right, they then look like glowing embers. If you go early or late enough in the season to catch them draped in snow, the contrast is really dramatic.
Thanks I will check it out. I'm hoping to do a trip in that region sometime in the next three years. I'm committed to a Arizona trip next spring to spend some time with the in laws. I hope to knockout Grand Canyon and Death Valley national parks, along with a few other spots like Valley of Fire SP. It sucks that I can't really spend the time in those places that they deserve, but I just don't have that kind of time and money. I want to try to get all the National Parks in the lower 48 before I get too broke down to travel. I'm running out of time.
 

Volosaurus rex

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Also, be sure to check out the Mount Timpanogos, American Fork Canyon and Alpine Loop area of the Wasatch Range (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Timpanogos; and https://utah.com/scenic-drive/alpine-loop). I believe that Mount Timpanogos is about the only mountain in Utah that will remind you of the Northern Rockies. Because of its altitude, it was heavily glaciated. Portions of Jeremiah Johnson were filmed in this area (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068762/locations).

Depending on what time of year you go to Arizona, you may want to visit Saguaro National Park. In the middle of summer, it will be unbearably hot, but a spring visit would be nice. Those big cacti, of which there simply aren’t many left, would then be in bloom. I presume that you would have Monument Valley and the true Four Corners area on your wish list for that trip. The San Francisco Peaks (https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino/about-forest/about-area/?cid=stelprdb5340115), just north of Flagstaff, also would be well worth a visit. If you don’t already have it on your target itinerary, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/directions_n_rim.htm) is higher, cooler, and far less heavily visited than the South Rim.
 
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Smallvol#1

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Thanks I will check it out. I'm hoping to do a trip in that region sometime in the next three years. I'm committed to a Arizona trip next spring to spend some time with the in laws. I hope to knockout Grand Canyon and Death Valley national parks, along with a few other spots like Valley of Fire SP. It sucks that I can't really spend the time in those places that they deserve, but I just don't have that kind of time and money. I want to try to get all the National Parks in the lower 48 before I get too broke down to travel. I'm running out of time.
We did that. It was one of TO's bucket list items, "to hike in every National Park in the lower 48". We have done Alaska except for Kenai Fiord and the ones where you have to fly over glaciers. Great Basin and Big Bend are hard to reach. You can rent a seaplane or boat to Dry Totugas. We did the plane and really enjoyed it. We plan on going to both parks in Hawaii in a year or so, just a long time to have to sit on a plane☹️.

It's a fun goal to set. Enjoy them all. There's two I would never return to, but that's just my opinion:p.
 

Ulysees E. McGill

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We did that. It was one of TO's bucket list items, "to hike in every National Park in the lower 48". We have done Alaska except for Kenai Fiord and the ones where you have to fly over glaciers. Great Basin and Big Bend are hard to reach. You can rent a seaplane or boat to Dry Totugas. We did the plane and really enjoyed it. We plan on going to both parks in Hawaii in a year or so, just a long time to have to sit on a plane☹️.

It's a fun goal to set. Enjoy them all. There's two I would never return to, but that's just my opinion:p.
Which two are those? Just curious.
 

Volosaurus rex

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For those who frequent this thread, here is an interesting question to get opinions on: What is the single most spectacular vista/landscape you have ever seen? Needless to say, that is a different question than simply identifying your favorite national park or vacation spot. Examples of what I have in mind are the Snake River Overlook in Grand Teton NP, the Maroon Bells as viewed from Maroon Lake, Glacier Point overlook in Yosemite NP, etc.
 

NorCalVol67

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For those who frequent this thread, here is an interesting question to get opinions on: What is the single most spectacular vista/landscape you have ever seen? Needless to say, that is a different question than simply identifying your favorite national park or vacation spot. Examples of what I have in mind are the Snake River Overlook in Grand Teton NP, the Maroon Bells as viewed from Maroon Lake, Glacier Point overlook in Yosemite NP, etc.
The Snake River Overlook and Glacier Point Overlook are certainly up there.

Sunset at Ke'e Beach on Kauai.
Entering Zion from the East entrance.
The Tetons from the top of Table Mountain.

One of the most beautiful things I have experienced was when camping on the lower saddle of the Grand Teton. It was late September and there was a full moon that night. As the sun was setting as you looked toward Idaho, the moon was rising as you looked toward Wyoming. The wildfires in Idaho made for an amazing sunset as the moon was rising in the opposite direction.
 

Smallvol#1

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Which two are those? Just curious.
Channel Islands off the coast of California. May have just been when we were there, but literally everything was covered in sea bird dung. No place to sit, had a picnic lunch but no place to eat it, going in and coming out you have to walk metal steps up the side of the cliff - the handrails were nasty:sick:. When we got back hit the shower and hotel laundry, even washed our boots. Never saw anything like it. On top of that the boat trip over was sheer misery - cold, wet, windy and the one back was even worse.:)

Cuyahoga in Ohio. Not very pretty, not much to see, but the worst part is, it is a " bicycle park"; we were constantly 'just' being missed. Don't get me wrong, I'm not confrontational and we tried our best to stay on the side and out of the bikers' way. They were very aggressive towards pedestrians and we felt very unwelcome. We have good friends who bike, used to ourselves; the ones in that park would have scandalized the bikers we know. I actually felt unsafe while we were there and so did the other 3 people I was with. Again it may have just been bad timing on our part, but there wasn't anything in the park that was worth going back to give it another try to find out.

These are just my opinions/experiences. Someone else might think both parks are great.

Note: Custer State Park in SD, just outside Mt. Rushmore, is outstanding. Also there is a string of state parks up the east coast of Minnesota, going towards Thunder Bay, that are exceptional. None is very big, but they are all nice. If you ever drive up that way to go to Isle Royale, give yourself a day so you can enjoy them. And stay at the Naniboujou Lodge if you don't actually stay on the island. Great place with a fun history....Ring Lardner and Babe Ruth, no joke:).
 

Volosaurus rex

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The Snake River Overlook and Glacier Point Overlook are certainly up there.

Sunset at Ke'e Beach on Kauai.
Entering Zion from the East entrance.
The Tetons from the top of Table Mountain.

One of the most beautiful things I have experienced was when camping on the lower saddle of the Grand Teton. It was late September and there was a full moon that night. As the sun was setting as you looked toward Idaho, the moon was rising as you looked toward Wyoming. The wildfires in Idaho made for an amazing sunset as the moon was rising in the opposite direction.

There simply is no time of the year that is more magical than late September to be in the Northern Rockies. You practically have the backcountry to yourself (not counting hunters), the aspen and cottonwoods are at or near peak color, the elk are bugling in the canyons and, if you're supremely lucky, the peaks have received a fresh dusting of snow.
 

Smallvol#1

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For those who frequent this thread, here is an interesting question to get opinions on: What is the single most spectacular vista/landscape you have ever seen? Needless to say, that is a different question than simply identifying your favorite national park or vacation spot. Examples of what I have in mind are the Snake River Overlook in Grand Teton NP, the Maroon Bells as viewed from Maroon Lake, Glacier Point overlook in Yosemite NP, etc.
TO: (1) Tunnel View (Yosemite) and (2) Crater Lake.
SV: (1) Crater Lake and (2) woke up first morning of cruising glaciers in Alaska, looked out and had a full view of all the ice and water with the sun full on it. Hard to explain, but I have never forgotten it. Just one of those "very few moments" in a lifetime. That one view was worth the cost of the whole cruise.
 

Ulysees E. McGill

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For those who frequent this thread, here is an interesting question to get opinions on: What is the single most spectacular vista/landscape you have ever seen? Needless to say, that is a different question than simply identifying your favorite national park or vacation spot. Examples of what I have in mind are the Snake River Overlook in Grand Teton NP, the Maroon Bells as viewed from Maroon Lake, Glacier Point overlook in Yosemite NP, etc.
There is a spot that is my favorite place on Earth at the end of the String lake trail in GTNP where it goes down a flight of steps to the shore of Leigh lake, and looks out towards a profile of Mt. Moran. But there are so many majestic vistas in Jackson Hole, that it is impassible to pick just one, so I will just say the Tetons as a whole. Granted I've not been to a lot of the best places yet, so I might change my mind. Right now Artist or Inspiration Point in Yellowstone are close seconds.
 

Ulysees E. McGill

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Channel Islands off the coast of California. May have just been when we were there, but literally everything was covered in sea bird dung. No place to sit, had a picnic lunch but no place to eat it, going in and coming out you have to walk metal steps up the side of the cliff - the handrails were nasty:sick:. When we got back hit the shower and hotel laundry, even washed our boots. Never saw anything like it. On top of that the boat trip over was sheer misery - cold, wet, windy and the one back was even worse.:)

Cuyahoga in Ohio. Not very pretty, not much to see, but the worst part is, it is a " bicycle park"; we were constantly 'just' being missed. Don't get me wrong, I'm not confrontational and we tried our best to stay on the side and out of the bikers' way. They were very aggressive towards pedestrians and we felt very unwelcome. We have good friends who bike, used to ourselves; the ones in that park would have scandalized the bikers we know. I actually felt unsafe while we were there and so did the other 3 people I was with. Again it may have just been bad timing on our part, but there wasn't anything in the park that was worth going back to give it another try to find out.

These are just my opinions/experiences. Someone else might think both parks are great.

Note: Custer State Park in SD, just outside Mt. Rushmore, is outstanding. Also there is a string of state parks up the east coast of Minnesota, going towards Thunder Bay, that are exceptional. None is very big, but they are all nice. If you ever drive up that way to go to Isle Royale, give yourself a day so you can enjoy them. And stay at the Naniboujou Lodge if you don't actually stay on the island. Great place with a fun history....Ring Lardner and Babe Ruth, no joke:).
I love Custer state park.
 

Ulysees E. McGill

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There simply is no time of the year that is more magical than late September to be in the Northern Rockies. You practically have the backcountry to yourself (not counting hunters), the aspen and cottonwoods are at or near peak color, the elk are bugling in the canyons and, if you're supremely lucky, the peaks have received a fresh dusting of snow.
I wish we could have moved our trip in September back just a couple of more weeks, but the fist week of september was the only time we could all get our schedules together. Oh well..any time spent there, is time well spent to me.
 

NEVolFan

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Hitting all the Nat. Parks... gonna be tough to accomplish I think.

Have you hiked Isle Royale Nat. Park.... it's definitely off the beaten path.
 

Volosaurus rex

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I wish we could have moved our trip in September back just a couple of more weeks, but the fist week of september was the only time we could all get our schedules together. Oh well..any time spent there, is time well spent to me.

Make the following extra special note to yourself: Do precisely that when you eventually go to Glacier NP and the Canadian Rockies. If you stay at one of the St. Mary KOA's camper cabins (east side of the park) at that time of year, you are almost guaranteed to be serenaded by bull elk bugling at sunset and early evening. 'tis truly one of the signature sounds of wilderness. Tell everyone it definitely will be well worth their time to schedule that time slot.

Oxbow Bend is definitely one of the top fall foliage views in the Tetons. Because of the willow thickets, it is also a great place to view moose, if you are there at daybreak or dusk.
 
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NorCalVol67

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There simply is no time of the year that is more magical than late September to be in the Northern Rockies. You practically have the backcountry to yourself (not counting hunters), the aspen and cottonwoods are at or near peak color, the elk are bugling in the canyons and, if you're supremely lucky, the peaks have received a fresh dusting of snow.
Agree. The crowds are gone and it is beautiful.
 

Volosaurus rex

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There is a spot that is my favorite place on Earth at the end of the String lake trail in GTNP where it goes down a flight of steps to the shore of Leigh lake, and looks out towards a profile of Mt. Moran. But there are so many majestic vistas in Jackson Hole, that it is impassible to pick just one, so I will just say the Tetons as a whole. Granted I've not been to a lot of the best places yet, so I might change my mind. Right now Artist or Inspiration Point in Yellowstone are close seconds.

Have you previously or are you planning to dine at the Mural Room in the Jackson Lake Lodge? It's quite expensive, but, as this photograph (http://www.gtlc.com/lodges/jackson-lake-lodge#undefined1) richly attests, it probably offers the finest view of any accommodation in a national park anywhere in the United States.
 
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