Patreon April/May Featured Hikes – Zone 3 (Southwest) & Zone 4 (Rocky Mountain States)

Zone 3

Southwest (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona)


Onyx Bridge

5.0 miles out & back; 333ft. elevation gain; Moderate

Trek through the desert of Petrified Forest National Park to a very long petrified log, better known as the Onyx Bridge.  Between colorful badlands, petrified wood, and petroglyphs, this trail is more than just a stroll to an old log.

SP Crater

1.9 mile lollipop loop; 685ft. elevation gain; Strenuous

The trail up the SP Crater is the perfect hike for anyone who loves views, volcanoes, and geology.  There isn’t much trail in some places, so come prepared with sturdy shoes and a sense of adventure.

New Mexico

White Sands Exploration

Varies; Varies; Moderate to Strenous

There are very few official trails through White Sands National Monument.  You’re much better off just exploring the dunes by wandering wherever your feet and the sand ridgelines take you.  This is one of my treks through the dunes.

Playas Peak

1.9 miles out & back; 1,102ft. elevation gain; Strenuous

Playas Peak is not exactly a stroll in the park.  You’ll be off-trail much of the time, but the views are fantastic!


Ron Coleman Trail

6.8 miles out & back; 3,150ft. elevation gain; Strenuous

Known as one of the most famous trails in El Paso, the Ron Coleman Trail may also be the most exciting.  With chains, steep grades, slickrock, arches, views, and more, it’s worth the hike if you’re up to the challenge.

Inks Lake State Park Trail

4.7 mile lollipop loop; 370ft. elevation gain; Moderate

Rocks and views of the lake feature on the Inks Lake State Park Trail.  There are rock formations galore along the trail, some even mimicking bluffage of wilderness areas in the more northeastern US.

Zone 4

Rocky Mountain States (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado)


Stack Rock Trail

9.4 mile lollipop loop; 1,424ft. elevation gain; Moderately Strenuous

Stock Rock is a famous landmark near Boise.  This route takes you to the famous rock on a forest-and-views hike.  Other trails branch off from this hike, so you can extend the hike as you wish.

Luby Bay Campground to Hills Resort

1.7 miles out & back; 22ft. elevation gain; Easy

Take the quick and easy Luby Bay Campground to Hills Resort Trail for some nice views.  You can extend the hike on the Beach Trail if you want a longer like-side stroll.


Garnet Mountain Trail

7.7 miles out & back; 2,814ft. elevation gain; Strenuous

You’ll get great views from Garnet Mountain.  When the trail is snow covered, it adds to the adventure.  Either way, enjoy views in all directions and watch out for wildlife… mountain lions have been reported in the area.

Holland Lake and Falls

3.3 miles out & back; 485ft. elevation gain; Easy

Lake views, mountain views, and a waterfall greet hikers on the Holland Lake and Falls Trail.  Even with the elevation gain, the trail is easy enough for most skill levels.


Sherd Lake Loop

10.4 mile lollipop loop; 1,559ft. elevation gain; Moderately Strenuous

There are multiple lakes along the Sherd Lake Loop.  While most people hike the trail in the summer, the spring can also offer a unique experience as parts may still be covered in snow.

Leigh Lake

4.8 to 8.0 miles out & back; 1,077ft. elevation gain; Moderate

The Leigh Lake Trail is almost completely flat, making it a great choice for either early spring snowshoeing or later spring adventures.  A clam day makes the lakes stunning with the mountains reflected in the water.


McCullough Gulch

2.3 miles out & back; 465ft. elevation gain; Moderately Strenuous

You might not even notice the grade on the McCullough Gulch Trail.  Mountain views are visible almost every step of the way up to the waterfall.  Use care, as the trail can be muddy.

Bear Peak

5.7 miles out & back; 2,541ft. elevation gain; Strenuous

Hike up Bear Peak for a real workout – and some great views!  Bear Canyon, the Flatirons, Green Mountain, Boulder, and the Continental Divide all feature on this strenuous hike.

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