11 Amazing Trails of the West that are 1 Mile (or Less) in Length

This view is only steps from the String Lake Trailhead in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

This view is only steps from the String Lake Trailhead in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Short trails don’t have to be boring.  Nor do you have to forgo the best scenery because you can’t – or don’t want to – hike all day long, miles and miles on end.  So I thought I’d put together a list of 11 Amazing Trails of the West that are 1 Mile (or Less) – and that’s round trip!

 

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The trail to the fire tower overlooking Itasca State Park in Minnesota is also less than 1 mile RT

The trail to the fire tower overlooking Itasca State Park in Minnesota is also less than 1 mile RT

Really, there are more than 11 trails here…I just couldn’t resist …Read More

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Hidden Lake Lookout: A Most Fabulous View!

Hidden Lake from partway between the saddle and the lookout, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and North Cascades National Park, Washington

Hidden Lake from partway between the saddle and the lookout

Hidden Lake Lookout!  What a trail that promised much and delivered more!  The name evokes pictures in my mind of a half-frozen lake, rocky crags still studded with snow, and wildflowers galore along the trail.  Its 9.3 mile length also makes me think of partying girls and bear hunting, but more on that later.  The North Cascades certainly offer stunning scenery to the hiker who doesn’t mind a little show and a little scrambling to reach an old fire-lookout perched precariously atop a high, craggy peak.  Need I say more?

 

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Looking north from near the Hidden Lake Lookout, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and North Cascades National Park, Washington

Looking north from near the lookout

We spent the night at the Hidden Lake trailhead, figuring we could …Read More

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Lookout Mountain – Fabulous Views of Mt. Hood!

Mt. Hood from the Lookout Mountain Loop Trail, Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon

Mount Hood from the Lookout Mountain Loop Trail

The views of Mt. Hood from Lookout Mountain are downright stunning.  And I don’t say that lightly…it’s true!  So often, it’s difficult to get far enough away from the unique mountains that you can actually enjoy their splendor.  But here, on this high hill that once boasted a fire lookout, you get to see not only Mt. Hood, but the surrounding hills and lakes making for quite the worthwhile 3 mile hike!

 

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Views from Lookout Mountain toward the plains, Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon

Views from Lookout Mountain toward the plains

I first found information about Lookout Mountain in 2010 when we were planning a trip to the greater Mt. Hood area.  We didn’t end up hiking …Read More

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A View Junkie’s Guide to Dayhiking Colorado – My First Book!

A View Junkie's Guide to Dayhiking Colorado - Front Cover

A View Junkie’s Guide to Dayhiking Colorado – Front Cover

I’ve published a book – “A View Junkie’s Guide to Dayhiking Colorado” by Anne Whiting!  After so many years of friends and family members asking us to tell them about our favorite hikes, I’ve finally compiled about 30 hikes (with options for another 30 adventures) into a hiking book.  I decided to begin with the state of Colorado, since we seem to keep ending up there…even accidentally!  So I had a fair amount of hikes to choose from!

 

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Reading A View Junkie's Guide to Dayhiking Colorado by Anne Whiting

Reading A View Junkie’s Guide to Dayhiking Colorado

Why “view junkie”?  Well, I’m rather a …Read More

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Skyline Divide: Best Views around Mt. Baker

Hiking the southern end of Skyline Divide toward Mt. Baker.  Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

Hiking the southern end of Skyline Divide toward Mt. Baker

Skyline Divide!  What can I say for the jaw-dropping views, the endless vistas, and the snowcapped peaks nearby and far away?  Every time I thought we’d gotten to the best of the best views, we crossed another high point on the ridge and were awe-struck again by the grandeur around us.  Mt. Baker is at the head of the ridge – becoming closer and grander the closer you get – and Mt. Shucksan is a couple valleys away.  Meanwhile, the Canadian Cascades are beyond the end of the ridge.  The trail length is variable, but we hit what I’d consider the best of the views just before mile 5.  We went another half mile further for a total hike of 10.1 miles (anyone else have the problem that their GPS at the end of the hike isn’t reading double the amount it was reading when you turned around?)

 

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Looking back at the Skyline Divide ridge from near where we turned around, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

Looking back at the Skyline Divide ridge from near where we turned around

I have to admit, I like ridge walks to begin with, so Skyline Divide was …Read More

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Hiking the Bridge to the NJ/PA State Line on the AT

The Appalachian Trail crossing the I-80 Bridge across the Delaware River as the trail heads toward the NJ/PA state line, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Pennsylvania

The Appalachian Trail crossing the I-80 Bridge across the Delaware River as the trail heads toward the NJ/PA state line

I don’t hike the AT much, but it seems like when I do, it’s either in North Carolina or New Jersey/Pennsylvania.  I don’t know why; maybe it’s just because the AT is a convenient trail in those areas.  At any rate, a real highlight of AT hiking for me last summer was walking to the New Jersey/Pennsylvania State Line in the Delaware Water Gap.  It was especially special since the state line is in the middle of the river, so we had to cross a huge bridge, right beside I-80, to get to it!

 

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The Delaware River near the I-80 / Appalachian Trail Bridge, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Pennsylvania

The Delaware River

We decided to hike to the state line after trekking to …Read More

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Gear Review: Nalgene HDPE Water Bottle

The narrow mouth (left) and wide mouth Nalgene HDPE water bottles (the wide mouth is about 8 years old, thus the color difference)

The narrow mouth (left) and wide mouth Nalgene HDPE water bottles (the wide mouth is about 8 years old, thus the color difference)

What can I say?  The Nalgene HDPE Wide Mouth Water Bottle (1-Pint) have done us incredibly well.  Over the last 8 years they’ve been sat on, kicked, dropped, tossed, jostled together in a backpack, lost, found, and bumped all over the place.  They’ve survived temperature extremes from the 100s to well below freezing, 41 states, a couple provinces, hundreds of miles on the trail, and even toddlers (quite the accomplishment!)  And are they in perfect condition for it?  Not at all!  None of them have their original writing, one is lost somewhere in the desert of Utah, and two are beginning to leak.  But when the time came to replace them, it wasn’t a hard choice to go for Nalgene HDPE bottles again…albeit with a narrow mouth tops for a change.

 

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Our water bottles (peaking out of the packs) made it to within a couple miles (as the crow flies) from the cone of Mt. Baker!  Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

Our water bottles (peaking out of the packs) made it to within a couple miles (as the crow flies) from the cone of Mt. Baker!

We switched over to the Nalgene HDPE water bottles around 2005 or 2006 due to …Read More

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Hiking Third Beach to Strawberry Point: Rain Forests and Sea Stacks

The Giant's Graveyard from the beaches south of Third Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

The Giant’s Graveyard from the beaches south of Third Beach

I wanted a beach walk.  And I wanted sea stacks.  And it had to be long – at least, longer than a mile or two each way.  And since I was at Mt. Baker, Olympic National Park wasn’t too far out of the way, right?

 

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Driftwood along the beach, Olympic National Park, Washingon

Driftwood along the beach

So I looked at all the beaches in Olympic, studying pictures, trail descriptions, and regulations, and decided that Third Beach would be just about right.  There weren’t any …Read More

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10 Suggestions for Getting The Most out of the Mayflower II

The Mayflower II in Plymouth Harbor, MA

The Mayflower II

I’ve been on the Mayflower II twice – once when I was about 8 and a second time in 2014.    Both times were an interesting experience, although as much as I enjoyed it as a child, I’m sure I appreciated it more as an adult.  The costumed interpreters (and non-costumed interpreters) were fascinating, so happy to talk about the time period of the pilgrims. And just experiencing the famed Mayflower was so interesting.  I’d highly recommend it if you’re in the area and don’t mind spending a few $$.

 

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Because it isn’t cheap: we’re talking about …Read More

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Top 10 Pages on Anne’s Travels in 2014

Spray Park - which, social media mentions wise, was the most popular hike! Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

Spray Park – which, social media mentions wise, was the most popular hike!

So I thought I’d post the pages on Annestravels.net that were most-visited during 2014.  I know, I know, it’s not even 2015 yet.  But considering the numbers, I don’t think much will change in the next week and a half :-)

 

So here they are – from most visited to lesser visited.  Enjoy!

 

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#1: DIY Bug Screens for Your Van, Car, Jeep, Etc. …Read More

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