Making Rocky Mountain National Park the first stop on a road trip is epic. Adding a hike above 12,000 feet to the summit of Mount Ida on gusty day was definitely pushing past boundaries. But what better way is there to start an adventure?
On my way to Yellowstone, I made an unplanned stop at Split Rock in Wyoming. The rock outcroppings are feet from the parking lot and offer panoramic views of mountains for miles. The area is also full of history - a major stop for travelers on the Oregon Trail and riders of the Pony Express.
The famous overhang of McAfee Knob is the most photographed spot on the Appalachian Trail. The short length of the trail, just under 4 miles, also makes it an extremely popular day hike! It’s also easy to make this a picturesque backpacking trip by starting at Dragon’s Tooth and ending at Tinker Cliffs.
I thru hiked (uninterrupted hike from one end of a long trail to the other) the Appalachian Trail in 2014. It was a crazy and wild adventure, but it also helped me fall in love with the outdoors again. Here, I answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about my experience (53).
Though a gentle and short hike at just under 3 miles, Tibet Knob in the George Washington National Forest offers spectacular views. While probably not worth the long drive from D.C. by itself, the hike would make a good combination with Big Schloss or a camping trip to Wolf Gap.
One of several beautiful hikes in the Wolf Gap camping area, Big Schloss will get the heart and legs pumping in the first mile. Then the trail mostly levels out through a forest path. There are several beautiful views throughout the trail but the big reward is at the summit.
A favorite among new and experienced hikers in the D.C. area, Old Rag is a fun, boulder-hopping hike that offers plenty of views of Shenandoah National Park. The mountain offers something unique every season, but fall is my favorite time to take on this hike!