The top 15 Pages on Anne’s Travels in 2018!

The Alien's Throne in the Valley of Dreams, Ah-She-Sle-Pah Wilderness, New Mexico

The Alien’s Throne in the Valley of Dreams, Ah-She-Sle-Pah Wilderness, New Mexico

It’s the end of 2018 (where did the year go?) and we get to look back for a bit and see what the internet thought was the most interesting (or useful?) posts and pages on Anne’s Travels were over the last year!

 




 

As usual, the top-most-visited page was Out of State Learner Permit Laws, with the top post being The Best (and Worst) Day Hikes in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (funny how that corresponds with the upheaval of the monument, but we’ll let politics rest).  The other top ten posts and pages were the 12 Best Day Hikes in Grand Teton National Park, the 6 Best Hikes on the Mt. Baker Highway, the 9 Best Day Hikes in Olympic National Park, the 5 Best Day Hikes in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, 10 of the Best Trails In and Around North Cascades National Park, Hiking Hairstyles that are Pretty and Practical, the Best Hikes in Big Bend National Park, and DIY Bug Screens for Any Vehicle.  You might notice that only three of the top 10 posts aren’t about the “best of” in various national parks.  But since I look for those posts too, I can’t complain.

Wildflowers above the Tunnel Slot in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Wildflowers above the Tunnel Slot in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

What I can complain about is that this list barely begins to mention more recent posts.  So I’ll dedicate this post to the most popular posts in 2018 that were published in the last 18 months (just to make it a little more fair for those posts that were published late in the year).

 

The 15 Most Popular Pages on Anne’s Travels in 2018

Views across Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, Washington

Views across Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, Washington

The 9 Best Day Hikes in Olympic National Park.  Well, this one actually did make it to the overall-10-best list.  The park is extremely spread out, but you get mountains, oceans, beaches, tide pools, rain forests, waterfalls, lakes, meadows, and wildflowers all in one park.

The Cooper Spur Trail, Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon

The Cooper Spur Trail, Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon

The 10 Best Day Hikes On and Around Mt. Hood.  The big mountain is often overlooked because it isn’t in a national park, and Portlanders hear far too often of accidents on the peak.  But as long as you stay on the trails and use your head (and not get in over your head), it’s a beautiful, spectacular place to hike.

Double Arch, Arches National Park, Utah

Double Arch, Arches National Park, Utah

The 6 Best Day Hikes in Arches National Park.  Arches has always had a special place in my heart – maybe because it was my introduction to red-rock country, and maybe because the trails were easy enough for us to do when we were young (and the 3 mile hike (RT) to Delicate Arch was the longest hike we could even imagine).  Except for the crowds on recent visits, it’s still a great gem.

Tillamook Head Lighthouse, offshore from the Clatsop Loop Trail in Ecola State Park, Oregon

Tillamook Head Lighthouse, offshore from the Clatsop Loop Trail in Ecola State Park, Oregon

Hiking the Clatsop Loop.  (Finally an individual hike!)  We almost didn’t do it, but somehow we braved the narrow roads of Ecola State Park to hike through the rain forest to an old WWII camp and views of a remote lighthouse, more than a mile offshore.  It was a pretty cool hike, though, and I’m glad we did it.

Indian Rock Arch in Yosemite National Park, California

Indian Rock Arch in Yosemite National Park, California

Indian Rock Arch.  Speaking of cool, Indian Rock is Yosemite’s only named arch, but it’s definitely worth the hike to see.  Besides the arch being pretty cool, you can see Half Dome through the span.

Spires along the Fairyland Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Spires along the Fairyland Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

The 5 Best Day Hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park.  When we first visited Bryce Canyon, we fell in love with it, and crowned it better than most of the other national parks in Utah (Arches and Canyonlands not withstanding).  We still like it, and we’ve visited it more times than I can recall right now – even one April afternoon after a late-season snowshower blanketed the formations in white (which I highly recommend seeing if you get the chance!)

Lake Siskiyou, with Mt. Shasta beyond, California

Lake Siskiyou, with Mt. Shasta beyond, California

Swimming Hole at Lake Siskiyou.  It was actually an accident that we found this gem of a swimming hole.  We just wanted to swim, followed some brown signs that led us nowhere, found a map, used the GPS to find that we weren’t in the right place, then used a combination of map-and-GPS to get to someplace we might be able to reach the lake.  But it’s a beautiful place for a swim.

Shelves for the back of a Ford E150 Van

Shelves for the back of a Ford E150 Van

DIY Shelves for the Back of a Ford E150 Van.  When we purchased a new (to us) van this spring, we had to work double-time to get it ready for an early summer cross-country trip.  This is the shelving unit we designed and built for our boxes of gear (and cooler, and water jugs) in the back of the van.

The swimming beach at Echo Bay, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

The swimming beach at Echo Bay, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

Swimming Hole at Echo Bay.  Despite the fact that this beach was built by the national park service, this is a great little swimming hole in the middle of the desert.  Lake Mead is usually pretty warm in the summer, but it’s still cooler than the air.

9 ways to camp for free

9 ways to camp for free

9 Ways to Camp for Free.  We’ve gotten pretty good at not paying for camping spots over the last 20 or so years of travel.  And to be honest, while there are more restrictions in some places, it’s actually easier (to do it legally, at least) now than it was back then.

Which states have 85 vs. 87 octane gasoline?

Which states have 85 vs. 87 octane gasoline?

Which States have 85 vs. 87 Octane Gasoline?  Our vans have never liked 85 octane (one of my group members jokes he can watch the gas gauge go down if we accidentally get 85 – and he’s not too far off), so on a quest for my own information, I passed it along to anyone else who might be wondering the same thing.  You’re welcome.

Stillwater Reservoir along the trail to the Causeway in the Flat Tops Wilderness of Colorado

Stillwater Reservoir along the trail to the Causeway in the Flat Tops Wilderness of Colorado

The 7 Best Day Hikes in the Flat Tops Wilderness.  This area of Colorado really is a hidden gem.  Usually it’s just the locals who come out to fish in its many lakes, but it makes for some beautiful day hiking, too.

Epic Day Hiking Road Trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Wyoming

Epic Day Hiking Road Trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Wyoming

Epic Day Hiking Road Trip to Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks.  Searching for an itinerary to the two parks?  Have only a week or (gasp!) only a long weekend to explore?  Look no further than this post.  It’s based on many, many visits to the area and includes all of my favorite hikes.

How to sleep 10 adults in a full-size van

How to sleep 10 adults in a full-size van

How to Sleep 10 People in a Full Size Van.  Perhaps the name is a bit catchy, but it’s true: you can sleep 10 people (even 10 adults) in one 8 passenger or 12 passenger van (don’t ask why you’d need to sleep 10 people in an 8 passenger van).  We do something similar to these diagrams just about every time we travel.

Swimming in Butte Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Swimming in Butte Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Swimming Hole at Butte Lake.  The trailhead is better known for Lassen’s Cinder Cone (and rightly so!)  But once you get back from the hike, if you’re feeling a bit sweaty, jump in the chilly waters for some extra fun.