The Top 20 Pages on Anne’s Travels in 2020!

Waves at the Sodus Point Lighthouse, New York
Waves at the Sodus Point Lighthouse, New York

It’s the time of year when I get to review my Google Analytics and find out what posts are the most popular on Anne’s Travels in 2020!  As I expected, visitation was down this year due to the pandemic, but it wasn’t as bad as I had expected from the dismal summer numbers (usually my highest time of visitation).  Apparently a lot of people went hiking this fall!

Monument Basin from the White Rim Overlook, Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park, Utah
I went hiking this fall, too… including to one of the places I’ve been dreaming of hiking for a couple of years: Island in the Sky, Utah. This is the view from the White Rim Overlook.

A few things were very clear from looking over this year’s top posts.  Firstly, people were kayaking.  But secondly, people were sticking closer to home.  The number of oft-frequented posts about local trails (rather than famous national park trails) was much higher than I’m used to.  In fact, a small hike in rural New Jersey (one that I’d never actually travel to see) came out – overall – as the 3rd highest visited post of the entire year.

I also took some “more local,” “less-visited” hikes – including the Golden Eagle Trail in Tiadaghton State Forest, Pennsylvania

That doesn’t mean all of the top posts were about small-time hikes and local parks.  The second-most-visited page was about hiking in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument – almost everyone would have to travel to get there.  But it also signals a trend (which is carried through with more data): People were traveling to lesser-known and more rural national parks to try and “social distance” during these “unprecedented times!”

Kayaker by Lower Falls on the Genesee River, Rochester, New York
I possibly did more kayaking this year than ever before. Lower Falls on the Genesee River, Rochester, New York

It was also interesting how the DIY Hand Sanitizer Holder jumped up the list from relative obscurity to Number 10 overall.  It couldn’t possibly because people were, for once in their lives, washing their hands frequently…

Ibex Dunes in Death Valley National Park, California
One of my favorite pictures from 2020. Ibex Dunes in Death Valley National Park, California

But without further ado, here are the top-most-visited posts on Anne’s Travels in 2020 (only including posts that I published within the last 18 months – otherwise the top posts would always be the same with very little variation… After all, the Out of State Learner’s Permit Laws post always, without fail, comes out as the number 1 post!)

Note: You can click on the link or on the photo to go to the post.

The Top 10 Posts on Anne’s Travels in 2020

Views from the Chasm View Trail, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado
Views from the Chasm View Trail

1. The Best Day Hikes in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  My favorite hike is to Exclamation Point, but some of the rim-to-river routes are very fun.  I also prefer the less-visited north rim, only accessible via dirt roads.

Hiking up Echo Canyon, Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona
Hiking up Echo Canyon

2. The Best Day Hikes in Chiricahua National Monument.  There’s nothing else in the world quite like the Heart of Rocks Trail.  But to get there, you’ll have to walk through tons of rock formations and views, so it’s win-win.

The Genesee Valley Greenway Bridge over Black Creek, Rochester, New York
The Genesee Valley Greenway Bridge over Black Creek

3. Kayaking Black Creek: Genesee River to 4.9 Miles.  A quick little local trip is apparently popular!  This fall – though I haven’t posted about it yet – I did another section of Black Creek up near Churchville.

The King of Wings, Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness, New Mexico
The King of Wings

4. The Crazy King of Wings!  I’m not sure I’m happy that this post is so popular.  After all, there really aren’t any trails, it’s in the middle of nowhere, and if you got lost or hurt it could be weeks or months before anyone found you…  But that rock formation is certainly cool.

Wildflowers on Sahale Arm, North Cascades National Park, Washington
Wildflowers on Sahale Arm

5. Hiking Road Trip Itinerary for North Cascades National Park.  How can you argue with visiting places like Hidden Lake, Sahale Arm, Ptarmigan Ridge, and Skyline Divide?  In the summer, the entire area is totally sublime!

Upper Falls in Letchworth Gorge, New York
Upper Falls in Letchworth Gorge

6. The Waterfalls of Letchworth Gorge.  Always a highlight to visit the Letchworth Gorge, it’s especially nice in the autumn.  I especially enjoy hiking along the canyon rim to all three falls, even though you can drive the road to various viewpoints.

Leigh Falls, Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, Montana
Leigh Falls

7. Hiking the Cabinet’s Leigh Lake and Leigh Lake Falls.  Well, I wasn’t expecting this one to make the top ten list.  The problem with visiting lesser-known parks is that fewer people are looking to hike there.  But I guess Leigh Lake is making headlines this summer!

Paddling on the Intracoastal Waterway near Holden Beach, North Carolina
Paddling on the Intracoastal Waterway near Holden Beach, North Carolina

8. Paddling the Intracoastal Waterway.  The challenge of paddling on the Intracoastal Waterway is avoiding the larger boats.  But if you can stay to the shallows where the big boats can’t go, you can have quite a nice, long paddle.

Biking on the Irondequoit Lakeside Trail not far from Durand Eastman Park, Irondequoit, New York
Biking on the Irondequoit Lakeside Trail not far from Durand Eastman Park

9. Irondequoit Lakeside Multi-use Trail.  This is just another local path.  The part through Durand Eastman Park is especially nice, but I like to take it to connect with the Genesee Riverway Trail.

Hiking up the ridgeline that will take us to Star Dune, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
Hiking up the ridgeline that will take us to Star Dune

10. Climbing Star Dune in Great Sand Dunes National Park.  It’s always a choice: Do I hike to the biggest/tallest/bestest or do I hike around it so that I can look at the famous peak or canyon or whatever from nearby viewpoints?  With Star Dune I got to do both – and have a ton of fun in the meantime!

Views from St. Paul Peak, Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, Montana
Views from St. Paul Peak

11. Cliff Lake and Climbing St. Paul Peak.  Another Cabinet Mountains Wilderness I-thought-I-was-the-only-one-crazy-enough-to-hike-there trail.  But the views are great, so it’s a worthwhile hike.

The Keyhole arch at Monument Rocks, Kansas
The Keyhole arch at Monument Rocks

12. Visit Kansas’ “Chalk Pyramids” at Monument Rocks!  They’re easy enough to access if you can deal with the network of dirt roads.  Also, being so close to the highway, they make a great way to break up a road trip.

Beargrass along the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana
Beargrass along the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail

13. Swifcurrent Lookout – So Long a Hike, So Worth It!  One of my absolute favorite hikes last year was up to the Swiftcurrent Lookout.  Actually, it was the steep ascent up the side of the Amphitheater that was my favorite, but the views from the lookout were stunning, as well.

Sleeping bag liner for making the bag warmer
Sleeping bag liner for making the bag warmer

14. DIY Sleeping Bag Liner.  We made good use of this post – that sleeping bag kept one of my group members warm on those cold desert nights this fall!

In a lock on the Erie Canal near Pittsford, New York
In a lock on the Erie Canal near Pittsford

15. Kayaking the Erie Canal – Pittsford to I-390.  I loved this kayak ride.  I’ve watched canal locks work several times (even ones on the Welland Canal), so it was over-the-top cool to take a kayak through two real locks.

Reflections in String Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Reflections in String Lake along the Leigh Lake Trail

16. Hiking the Full Length of Leigh Lake.  I’ve long wanted to hike all the way to the north end of Leigh Lake.  On a whim, we came home via Grand Teton National Park and, looking for an easy hike, we did Leigh Lake!

In Haystack Pass on the Highline Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana
In Haystack Pass on the Highline Trail

17. Spectacular Wonders of the Highline Trail.  It’s one of the most photographed, most iconic hikes in the national park system… and with no wonder.  It’s simply glorious.

Views from Cape Royal, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Views from Cape Royal

18. Point Imperial and Cape Royal.  Two great vistas on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, neither viewpoint is especially difficult to access.  I slightly prefer Cape Royal, but maybe that’s because you can walk out on a fin that protrudes out into the Grand Canyon.

The "Tent Rocks" at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, New Mexico
The “Tent Rocks”

19. A Fun Hike at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks!  It’s small, but it’s just so much fun to see rock formations, slide through slot canyons, and scramble up to the rim for more views.

Atop Goat Peak looking over Wanless Lake, Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, Montana
Atop Goat Peak

20. Climbing Goat Peak near Wanless Lake.  And closing us out, here is another from the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness!  The absolute hardest hike we did in the wilderness area, the views were also some of the best.  Even from above, Wanless Lake is beautiful!

Here’s to an amazing 2021 to all of you & to Anne’s Travels!

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