10 Intriguing Walks for Brave Trekkers
Every once in a while, it is nice to go on a solo or small group hiking trip with family or friends. Sometimes, we seek the quiet solitude and isolation that the outdoors and the wilderness provides - a chance for us to escape our stress-laden and overwhelming lifestyle, a chance to connect with the natural world, a chance to reflect on ourselves, our being, our purpose.
However, not all hiking trails can offer us that chance and privilege, as some of them are really crowded and touristy at most. Thus, here is a list of some of the roads (or trails) less taken by many adventurers, journeys that take us to some of the most intriguing, amazing and sometimes dreamy hiking trips there are.
Fern Falls Trail, California
This is one of few remaining under-developed trails in the area, and as such offers hikers the luxury of walking in an old-growth forest which looks pretty much as it did a century ago -allowing you to see the area the same way the courageous and brave Jedediah Smith did back in the early 1800s. Walk along the path that goes through low lying plains with groves of ancient redwoods to upland forest areas with mixed species of trees. Be amazed at the sight of those monster redwoods hundreds of meters tall, with treetops which are not visible from eyes on the ground. If you decide to do the walk in the early morning or in a foggy afternoon, you'd definitely feel like you're walking in one of Tolkien's mythical novels.
Camping: There are many other trails and day walks in the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, so it would be wise to bring a lightweight, durable and waterproof tent and camp overnight at the park. There are almost 90 campsites available with various amenities, as well as some camp activities that can be enjoyed when you tire from walking.
Buckskin Gulch, Utah
Warning: This trail is not for the claustrophobic, since the passes here can become very, very narrow, and deemed hazardous by some (probably why hiking permits available at the trailheads are required). However, for the brave and the fearless, a hike here in Buckskin Gulch can be one of the most interesting and most memorable one that can ever take. Be awestruck at the beautiful canyons designed by Mother Nature so beautifully -picture perfect at that. Aside from the narrow passes, be prepared to waddle in waist high waters trapped in the canyons.
Camping: Campsites are available at the end of the trailheads, situated in a grove of Box Elder Trees as seen in this video. However, the campsite can be full during the busy months of May and June, so another alternative is in the Paria Canyon and other campsites mentioned in this website.
Point Lobos Whaler's Knoll, California
This hiking trail in Carmel, California takes hikers to one of the most scenic views in all of California. It passes through a forest of pines and other trees, and along the coast of the ocean at some points. This track is a favorite of several hikers since it is the one which doesn't get a lot of traffic and is less maintained as compared to the other trails in the area. Aside from that, it is famous for the many beautiful birds that can be seen in the place. All these combined with the panoramic coastal views make this path truly paradise.
Camping: There are several tent campgrounds which can be found near the area, some within 20 miles or less radius like the Big Sur Campgrounds and Cabins and Pfeiffer Big Sur. They are perfect for solo camping or for family tent camping.
Butte Creek Falls, Oregon
Beautiful and robust forest foliage and majestic waterfalls are the main attractions of this hike. Walking in the thick forests here will make you feel like you're walking in a medieval countryside, with rugged footpaths and untamed wilderness on every side. The hike will lead you to a viewing point where you get to see the powerfully flowing Butte Creek Falls from hundreds of feet above. Continue walking further and you will reach the second waterfall, the Upper Butte Creek Falls where the water flows solidly from the ledge. More interestingly, you can enter the cave behind the falls to see it from a different perspective.
Camping: You can enjoy overnight camping at the Butte Creek Falls Campground. However, there are very few camping sites so you had better make your reservations before going. You can learn more about the trail and the campground here.
Crater Rim Trail, Hawaii
Brave enough to hike at the volcano's mouth? Well, if you are, then this hiking trip is definitely for you. The walk takes you around the active volcano, where you get to see steam and fumes coming out of the steam vents, commonly seen on the cliffs of the walking paths. However, it doesn't mean that everything in the place is burned or dead, since there are thriving rainforests in the surrounding areas, complete with wildlife and various beautiful birds.
Camping: There are two campgrounds in near the area - Namakanipaio and Kulanaokuaiki. Read more about the camping rules and requirements on this website.
Cottonwood Cove, Arizona
This is one of the lesser travelled hiking trails in Arizona, simply because it is one of the most challenging trails in the area. For one, there are no water or drinking stations within 30 miles from the starting point. In addition to that, there are no trail signs or directional signs, and if you are dependent on rock formations as your guide, you may want to change that habit, since the similarities among the environment can get really confusing. So why would you want to brave this seemingly difficult trail? Just look at the picture and you'll know.
Camping: Two campgrounds are available in the area, but only White House Campgrounds offer tent sites. Dispersed camping sites are available though, but they won't be even enough for a tent, so best bring a durable yet comfortable hammock tent . You can read more about dispersed camping here.
Gorman Falls Trail, Colorado
The trail itself is not so difficult, so it should be perfect whether you're going solo or with the whole family as even kids can easily traverse the paths in the trail. However, caution should still be taken as the paths are filled with cacti and sharp rocks. In addition, steep climbs and descents are required before you can reach the falls. You may even get to pass by some grazing deer in the area. The falls though, the destination, is truly unique and beautiful, with trees and overgrowth hanging by the ledges. The cascading waters and the clear pool below are brings you back to a time when the American outdoors were still being discovered.
Camping: Walk in sites are available for tent campers in various areas of the park. The best spots though, would be the ones near the river - some under the shade of trees and others under the wide open skies.
St. Mary's Trail Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park is one of the most famous destinations for many hikers, with the many hiking trails available all ranging from easy to moderate and difficult. One of those trails is the St. Mary's Trail. It is a short walk that takes you to one of the most picturesque lakes in America - St. Mary's Lake. The best time to go there would be in early spring when the snow in the towering mountains haven't melted yet and the somewhat strong winds make ripples on the turquoise waters.
Camping: Back country camping is available in the Glacier National Park, but you will need to get a permit to do so. Read more about the camping guides, securing permits and filling out day passes in this website.
Devil's Tower Trail, Wyoming
The name alone should be striking to brave trekkers; however, there is nothing very devilish about the trail. The hike takes you around one of the most revered monuments of Native American Indians and America's first national monument back in 1906 - the Devil's Tower. The monument has very striking features from afar, as though it were scratched from top to bottom by huge claws. Enjoy walks around the base with terrains of rocks and boulders, and watch the daredevil climbers claw their way to the top - something the inexperienced should never attempt without help.
Camping: The nearest campground to the monument is the Devil's Tower KOA, which boasts of complete amenities and activities for RV and tent campers.
White Cloud Peaks Trail, Idaho
The picturesque White Cloud Mountains and the surrounding mountain ranges are what make this trip popular among many hikers. In early spring, the mountains are capped with pristine white snow are just starting to melt, and the trickling waters form small and charming pools at the base of the mountains. This makes the hike a bit dangerous as the rocks become slippery and somewhat loose, so take caution with every step lest you fall tumbling down the rocky slopes.
Camping: Camping is generally permitted in all areas of the park; it is just up to you to look for that perfect campsite. Some of the recommended campsites would be near the lakes, like in Sapphire Lake or Champion Lake. Take along a lightweight tent that won't burden you as you hike along the trails.
Some hiking trails can be difficult and challenging, sometimes bordering on dangerous. However, it is often said that fortune rewards the courageous, and the trails mentioned above will generously reward with an eye candy full of experiences and memorable moments those trekkers who brave them.