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    Kirsten Chesney completed West Clear Creek Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed West Clear Creek Trail

    about 1 month ago

    We did not do the Bull Head Ranch trailhead, but rather took the Bald Hill Road instead. This 1 mile long road ends at the trailhead, but I would caution that any vehicle without good suspension and/or clearance avoid driving this last mile. We were in a car, so we parked at the beginning of Bald Hill Road (also called FR 214A) and walked the mile to the trailhead

    This trail is a killer. Especially getting down into the canyon, which I believe is called Copper Canyon. Very steep trail down with too few switchbacks and too many sandy spots to slip on.

    Once you get to the bottom, seeing the trail is hit and miss since it's not maintained. But it's not possible to get lost since the canyon funnels you along the creek. If you are headed to the waterfalls (Maiden Falls and also Supai Falls), hike upstream.

    The waterfalls are about 3 hours upstream, after rock scrambling, river wading, tree branch swatting, and inner tube floating. It is very slow going, so it's hard to gauge distances.

    Do bring an inner tube in your backpack, so you can blow it up when you get to the impassable section (this section is maybe 100 feet of paddling). We sat on the inner tubes with our backpacks in our laps and paddled with our hands. Wasn't too bad, but the water is COLD!!

    Also bring about 3 liters of water. And even then, I finished my water during the hike out of the canyon. And bring plenty of snacks, including electrolyte/salty snacks

    You will get wet on this hike. Rock scrambling serves you to a point, but there will be times when you must wade in the water. Usually less than knee deep.

    The most enjoyable way to do this hike in my opinion is to backpack partway into it and tent camp, and then finish the hike the next day. Otherwise you will be very sore for a couple days afterwards. There are a few "designated" campsites that others have used by the creek. I'd recommend using these so as not to create more vegetation disturbances/fire rings.

    The bottom of the canyon and the creek are beautiful. Lots of trees, mostly shady, steep canyon walls, tons of butterflies, clear bubbling creek. But it takes quite a bit of effort to get down into it and is technical in rock scrambling for 3 hours before finally being rewarded with the waterfalls.

    As long as you are prepared and know what to expect, you will have a great time! Not recommended for children or anyone with bad knees or poor stamina. Dogs would have a difficult time as well.

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Constellation Loop

    about 1 month ago

    Wonderful, easy hike! Although there are shady areas of the trail, most of it is in the sun. We hiked in the morning while it was still cool so as to avoid the worst of the heat. I would recommend this :)

    There are a handful of side trails that cross across the center of the loop, making it possible to cut the trail short if need be. The hike is very easy, good for kids and dogs as well as anyone else. Plenty of places to sit on a rock or a bench.

    Half of the loop is within the granite rocks and is a little more steep (although only slightly). Follow the painted white dots on the rocks to stay on the trail. Kids will love rock climbing and exploring along the tall spires. At the highest point, you can look out toward Granite Dells and see Hwy 89. This trail never leaves the sound of the highway, so if you're looking for solitude, this isn't it!

    Great hike if you're not looking to exhaust yourself and just want to enjoy nature a bit :)

    Kirsten Chesney completed Constellation Loop

    about 1 month ago

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed The Subway Trail

    2 months ago

    Amazing hike! You'll need a backcountry permit to do this hike. It's not maintained since you just follow the river upstream, but there is a definite trail to follow (unless you simply want to wade in the river the whole way). The current is not swift at all, and is actually stagnant in most places, so if you have water shoes go for it.

    The Subway is at the very end of the hike, and can be slick since the water is now running over moss-covered rocks. The circular pools in the Subway offer a nice place to cool off after sweating all day! Although we saw a number of people rappelling with wet suits on! The water is certainly freezing in the Subway where it's shady (not nearly so for the rest of the hike).

    The steep switchbacks at the beginning are the most difficult part of this trail. The rest of it is flat walking along the river, navigating boulders, trees, river crossings, etc. with little difficulty. Aside from the switchbacks, I would not rate this trail as hard. Although it is long.

    Bring water shoes and clothes that can get wet! Also, mind the weather and don't enter the Subway if you hear thunder.

    Kirsten Chesney completed The Subway Trail

    2 months ago

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Lady Mountain Trail

    2 months ago

    Steep, strenuous hike that is no longer marked/maintained since the 50's. After crossing the bridge across from Zion Lodge, take a left and follow the trail a couple hundred feet. You will then see an overgrown trail leading upwards on your right. Take this, and prepare to do some bushwhacking!

    This trail begins as an alternate trail to Emerald Pools, which is quite overgrown in places. Once you get to the educational sign about 10 minutes into the trail, stop and look up to your left. This is Lady Mountain, and to find the old trail from the 50's, veer into the bushes and start climbing!

    There is no sign of any trail whatsoever in this section. But as you climb, you will come near some rock faces. These rocks will have footholds blasted out of them, and you can see places in the rock where chain cables used to be secured. Yellow painted arrows will also guide your way up these rocks. The trail is quite easy to follow after this. Switchbacks and rock scrambles.

    We couldn't get to the top without a rope and climbing harness, so we stopped shy of the summit. The view is of the valley floor, Zion Lodge, and the horse arena. Beautiful!

    Do be prepared to get scraped up legs as you traverse the section where there simply is no trail. I think the park service made the right choice in covering up this trail, it is quite steep and exposed in places! But for those who like a challenge and some solitude, this is the trail for you!

    Kirsten Chesney completed Lady Mountain Trail

    2 months ago

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Hidden Canyon Trail

    2 months ago

    Love this hike! It's great if you're looking to stay in the shade and like traversing unmaintained canyon crevice. The first 1/4 mile or so is maintained, beginning with steep switchbacks, followed by steel cables bolted into the rock walls to guide you along the face of the mountain. But once you're back into the "crevice" between the mountains, there is a sign that says the trail is unmaintained. Simply follow it as long as you'd like (there's no fear of getting lost since there's only one direction to go). We did not take it to the end since I think it gets kinda technical later on. There were also some large hiking groups ahead of us that created a sort of bottleneck. Mind your footing on this trail, especially when you're next to the steel cables. The sandstone rock is very slick with beach sand.

    Kirsten Chesney completed Hidden Canyon Trail

    2 months ago

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed East Rim Trail to Observation Point

    2 months ago

    One of the best hikes in the park! If you've done Angel's Landing, then this hike will be similar, but without the treacherously narrow trail! Lots of switchbacks, lots of great views the whole way up, especially as you turn the corner and see the Zion valley below you. You'll keep this view of the valley for the last mile or so. At the top, you can look down on Angel's Landing and the whole valley. It took us about 6 hours to do, and we got started pretty late, after 11am. Definitely bring sunscreen and a hat and plenty of water! Hiking poles wouldn't go amiss either.

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Canyon Overlook Trail

    2 months ago

    Super fun trail you can do if you're short on time and/or want to beat the thunderstorms! Steep in the beginning, has handrails where needed, and a wooden bridge that is a little rickety. Not for those who don't like heights! Along the way you can see a slot canyon (I think it's called pine canyon) below you. The view from the top is amazing! You can see the "windows" of the car tunnel, and the valley floor. Plenty of places to spread out and have a picnic, take photos, sunbathe, etc. without bothering others. Bring your camera!

    Kirsten Chesney completed Canyon Overlook Trail

    2 months ago

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Katahan Trail Loop

    3 months ago

    This is a great trail! Great for people who like to stroll as well as people who just want to enjoy the views without thinking about how exhausted they are. This isn't steep, no switchbacks, and partly shady. I would bring a hat and sunscreen though.

    You are surrounded by hills and trees (not pine trees) but there will be mud if it recently rained. Our shoes were caked in it by the end, but only the bottoms and sides. If you're concerned, I'd wear actual boots that cover your ankles, although we didn't have a problem with that.

    The trail is slightly confusing since you won't see "Katahan" on any sign. But just follow 347 from the parking lot (the only option there is), and then turn right on 341 when you come to it about 15 min into the hike. 341 loops around and connects again to 347.

    This trail can obviously be made longer, and there is a way to connect it to Mint Creek. Enjoy!

    Kirsten Chesney completed Katahan Trail Loop

    3 months ago

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Mint Wash and Mint Wash Overlook Loop

    3 months ago

    Great hike! In the summertime, I'd recommend hiking this in the morning for obvious heat reasons. This loop is quite varied in its vegetation and granite boulders. You follow Mint Creek most of the way, and at times the creek is quite full, so water shoes would serve you here. It was not full when we went though, despite it being monsoon season. Lots of wildflowers, trees, boulders, slight ups and downs--an easy hike but it still makes you feel like you accomplished something. I think kids would love this trail too, since they can explore the creek and spot tadpoles :). Trails go in all sorts of directions here, so it's easy to find yourself on a different trail, but it all connects back to the same parking lot and it's all beautiful! Highly recommend!

    Kirsten Chesney followed Lyra Hoover

    3 months ago

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Woodchute Trail

    3 months ago

    This is a good trail with a steady grade and great views. It's mildly steep, then levels out, then gets steep again. Not bad. I'm surprised this trail has that much elevation gain, but I guess when it's spread out over 8 miles, it doesn't feel like much.

    Take advantage of the viewpoints along the way, they are great!

    My major caution is to do this when it's not hot outside! The trail begins in the trees and then gradually gets lower, among juniper trees and scrub bushes. The temperature change was immediate as soon as we left the pines. And the scrub bushes are a bit overgrown and scratch at your legs. This area is also in direct sun.

    Kirsten Chesney completed Woodchute Trail

    3 months ago

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Little Bear to Sunset Loop

    3 months ago

    For clarity, this trail also includes Elden Springs trail. We began on Sunset, then took Little Bear to cut through to Elden Springs. A person can also begin on Elden Springs and end on Sunset. Either way. Little Bear trail is only accessed via these other trails.

    The only reason it's not 5 stars is because finding the Sunset trail from the parking lot is pretty difficult, as there are a handful of "social" trails that go off in different directions.

    It is beautiful! There are a variety of trees, foliage, burned trees, wildflowers, boulders, mountain views, etc. that make it picturesque. It's a little more sunny on the trail than shady, although you get to enjoy both :)

    You will encounter mountain bikers, but the trail is still well suited for hikers, and not "rutted" by overuse.

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Upper and Lower Tahquamenon Falls

    3 months ago

    We made this into a 4 mile one-way hike. We hiked from the Upper to the Lower falls, along what the signs called the "river trail." I would rate it as an easy hike, able to be done by children as well as adults.

    Clearly marked, but slightly muddy in some spots depending on the time of year. We went in July and I had to go around 2-3 muddy spots about 3 feet wide. Not a big deal at all.

    There are some very lopsided wooden bridges/walkways that cross the streams. We think the wooden support beams sank into the mud, creating a very sloped surface. If nothing else, this only adds to the charm of the trail and offers some interesting photo ops!

    For the most part, the trail follows the river closely, such that you get some great views along the way. We hiked it in the late afternoon and didn't get eaten by mosquitoes, although had we done this later in the day it could have been a different story!

    Highly recommend for those who want to hike but aren't up for the entire 10 mile trail! Plus, its a great way to get from one fall to the other, rather than driving.

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Mazama Trail

    3 months ago

    A moderately difficult trail, fairly steep in the beginning, but it levels out after a couple miles when you enter the white-barked, burnt trees that overlook the river far below you. This is a great place to stop for a snack and some pictures. The trail continues upwards but it seemed less steep to me. Most of the switchbacks are in the first couple miles.

    There was some snow as we went higher, and this obscured the trail completely. It was difficult to follow after that, only picking up previous hikers' paths but not knowing if these hikers were also lost! This trail meets up with the Timberline trail and we weren't sure if it continued past that or not. We were looking for a little cabin that was said to be at the end of this trail, but were unable to find it. The map we had was not detailed enough, so that didn't help at all!

    Over all it was a great trail, very beautiful with varying types of trees and foliage, lots of burnt trees too from the fires, but nothing that detracts from the beauty. In fact, the burnt sections add a dose of reverence and other-worldliness that has beauty in its own right. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is moderately fit and who can handle some steep sections. Some stunning views of the valley and surrounding mountains too!

    Note: We did come across a black bear fairly early in the hike. Clapping and talking to it steadily, while slowly walking toward it, worked at scaring him off.

    Kirsten Chesney completed Mazama Trail

    3 months ago

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Campground Trail

    7 months ago

    Great little trail. I rode my bike along it but it can easily be hiked as well. Wide path for the most part, easily marked. There is a marsh/swamp within a large patch of cypress trees, where an elevated boardwalk takes you over it. Very cool looking. Trail is good for all ages and is an easy activity whether you're staying in the campground or taking a day trip.

    Kirsten Chesney completed Campground Trail

    7 months ago

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Crooked Creek Short Trail

    7 months ago

    This trail was fairly easy to follow, but if you aren't used to mountain biking, it will be technical to maneuver the rocks/stumps/puddles in the path. It's not hard by any means, but it requires constantly looking down such that it's hard to enjoy the scenery. Because of this, I decided to take the horse trail back, which is very wide (used to be a service road (dirt)). If you are just hiking this trail though, it is a great trail. A bit narrow due to it being used by mountain bikes, but still enjoyable as a trail. Recommend.

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Redwood Loop Trail

    7 months ago

    Great, easy hike that puts you among the trees right out of the parking lot. The trees tower above you, it's difficult not to take pictures around every turn! You will see the Mother and Father tree (with signage and a description of their size), as well as a few trees that have been burned out in the middle, allowing people to step inside the resulting "cave." Great wide gravel path the whole way. I went with a 3 year old and a stroller and both handled it great! The parking lot gets crowded very quickly however, even in January! So, arrive early or feel free to continue driving to the picnic areas and parking there. Highly recommend this (or any) of the trails here!

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Pikes Peak Highway: Cascade to the Summit of Pikes Peak

    7 months ago

    Awesome drive with great views! View the landscape that prompted the song, "America the Beautiful." I was there in December and it was insanely windy at the top, which froze your ears and hands, so bring warm clothes. If you get car sick, you might have issues during the drive, but there is plenty of horizon (albeit at a 20 degree angle) to gaze at to help calm the stomach. There is a nice gift shop and cafe with hot drinks and comfort food at the top. If coming from sea level, the elevation might make it difficult to breathe. I was able to run a bit at the top without too much trouble except a slight light head. But everyone responds differently to elevation. Bring your camera!

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Grayton Beach Nature Trail

    7 months ago

    Nice trail along the inner marsh with white sand dunes and pine trees. Please stay off the sand dunes and respect the signs that point out the trail. It forms a short loop easily done in 20 minutes. Great for the family. Some shade once you hit the pine trees, and open sun when you're in the dune area. Be sure to wear footwear you don't mind getting sand in!

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Econfina Creek: FL 20 to CR 388

    7 months ago

    Awesome area. This river trail goes through Pitt and Sylvan Springs state park. I only explored the state park and did some fishing, not the river trail itself. There are several natural springs here that you can snorkel and fish in. Also a hiking trail along the creek (about 2 miles I believe), that takes you to another swimming hole and a place to launch your kayak/inner tube. The river is narrow enough that the trees will cover much of it and provide some nice shade while paddling. Excellent place to bring kids, picnic, etc.

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Cascade Falls Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Great hike! Easy to follow trail with rocky sections. Crossing the waterfall requires some rock-hopping and has slick rocks. Beautiful overlook of Cascade Lake. Recommended to people of all ages.

    Kirsten Chesney completed Cascade Falls Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Avenue of the Giants Scenic Drive

    about 1 year ago

    No drive up the California coast would be complete without driving (and ideally hiking) through Avenue of the Giants. There aren't words or pictures that can grasp the magnitude of these trees and the utter silence that falls in the forest as soon as you step off the road. These giants seem to live in a world all their own, casting a spell over anyone who wanders through them. What a delightful drive in a serene little corner of the world.

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Redwood Nature Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Easy trail, mostly shaded, towering trees, moss-laden branches, and banana slugs! Great for kids, dogs, and everyone else. Awesome little trail for those making their way up the Oregon coast and just want to stop and stretch and enjoy the beauty of these magnificent trees.

    Kirsten Chesney completed Redwood Nature Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Shepperds Dell Falls

    about 1 year ago

    Super easy, wide trail, great for kids and people of all ages. Shady, lush, brings you close to the waterfall, which isn't really very large or "fally" but pretty nonetheless. The trail to it is most of the enjoyment of this small hike. Recommend!

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Burroughs Mountain Trail

    about 1 year ago

    This is the same trail as the Burroughs Mountain Loop Trail, so I will repeat my review here: I combined this hike with Fremont Lookout Trail. The signage is good and the trails are easy to follow. The Frozen Lake wasn't a lake when I was there, so it confused me to thinking I was on the wrong trail, but the signs straightened me out :) I hiked to the first and second Burroughs to catch a view of the glacier at a wonderful overlook to eat lunch. The trail to get up the Burroughs is steadily steep and you're walking on shale rock that can easily slip beneath your feet. It's definitely a heart-pumper! From the visitor center most of the trail is in the sun and above tree line, so bring hat, sunscreen, and water. Totally doable if you are used to hiking distances.

    Kirsten Chesney completed Burroughs Mountain Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Kirsten Chesney reviewed Burroughs Mountain Loop Trail

    about 1 year ago

    I combined this hike with Fremont Lookout Trail. The signage is good and the trails are easy to follow. The Frozen Lake wasn't a lake when I was there, so it confused me to thinking I was on the wrong trail, but the signs straightened me out :) I hiked to the first and second Burroughs to catch a view of the glacier at a wonderful overlook to eat lunch. The trail to get up the Burroughs is steadily steep and you're walking on shale rock that can easily slip beneath your feet. It's definitely a heart-pumper! From the visitor center most of the trail is in the sun and above tree line, so bring hat, sunscreen, and water. Totally doable if you are used to hiking distances.