Patreon June-July Featured Hikes – Zone 3 (Southwest) & Zone 4 (Rocky Mountain States)

Zone 3

Southwest (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona)


Ken Patrick Trail

9.9 miles shuttle (1.3 to 6.5 miles out & back of views from Pt. Imperial); 705ft. vertical change; Easy to Moderate

If you’re looking for a longish trail on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, I highly recommend the Ken Patrick Trail, named for the first national park ranger to lose his life in the line of duty (his father was a park ranger at Grand Canyon for much of Ken’s youth).  The first mile or so near Point Imperial have the best views; the remainder of the trail passes through the quiet forest.

New Mexico

Williams Falls

6 mile out & back; 865ft. vertical change; Moderate

Williams Lake is a favorite family hike above the Taos Ski Area, but those who stop at the lake miss out on the fun little Williams Falls around the southwestern side of the lake.

El Morro Loop Trail

1.8 mile loop; 324ft. elevation change; Moderate

Take the paved path to the 2000 historic inscriptions above a pool of water dating back before historic times.  Then continue on the Loop Trail to the top of the bluff and views over the surrounding area, then down the other side of the bluff and back to the parking area.  It’s not a long trek, but it’s historically interesting.


Hamilton Pool

1.8 mile out & back; 19ft. vertical change; Easy

You can’t beat the natural ambience for a swimming hole at Hamilton Pool.  Road closures and pool closures are common, so check ahead at the website before driving to the trailhead.  You must have reservations May 15-September 30 ($15/vehicle or $100/season).

Zone 4

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


Sawtooth Lake

9.4 miles out & back; 1,747ft. vertical change; Moderate

Take in the Idaho Sawtooths and a beautiful alpine lake along the trail to Sawtooth Lake along the Alpine Way.  It’s a nice day hike or a backpack with many options for exploring beyond the lake.

Iron Bog Lake, Idaho
PC Russ

Iron Bog Lake

3.3 miles out & back; 1,117ft. vertical change; Moderate

Enjoy mountain views and several lakes as the Muldoon-Ironbog Trail climbs the side of a hill before arriving at the lakes.


Bear Creek Falls

4.2 miles out & back; 675ft. vertical change; Moderate

Perhaps this is a trail through a valley rather than over ridgelines, but it’s a pleasant stroll along the Bear Creek Trail.  End your hike at Bear Creek Falls or continue deeper into the wilderness.

Munson Creek Trail #372

6.0 miles out & back; 1,250ft. elevation change; Moderate

Wildflowers are the star attraction this time of year along the Munson Creek Trail.  Waterfalls and the forest setting are also a draw.


Lava Mountain

About 8 miles out & back; 1,093ft. vertical change; Strenuous

There’s no trail along the Continental Divide from near Togwotee Pass and then up Lava Mountain just east of the Tetons, but the wildflowers and remoteness of the hike make it a fun adventure.

Vista Point

0.5 miles out & back; very little elevation change; Easy

It’s not long on miles, but the little trail at Vista Point along the Beartooth Highway is big on views.  Mt. Rearguard and the surrounding peaks and high meadows are spectacular and accessible to most people traveling the highway.


Hallett Peak

10.3 miles out & back; 3,238ft. vertical change; Very Strenuous

There’s no view quite like the view from Hallett Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park in June.  Snow still clings to the surrounding peaks, making views beautiful in every direction.  En route, enjoy the views over Dream Lake and the triangular sheer face of Hallett Peak.

Capitol Lake

13.2 miles out & back; 2,129ft. vertical change; Moderately Strenuous

Don’t underestimate the difficulty of this hike – mostly due to its length – but it’s a real treat to hike the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness early in the season.  The trail to Capitol Lake offers some great views to nearby peaks that will still be flecked with snow.

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