Category Archives: Strenuous Hikes

Devil’s Lake Loop (Devil’s Lake State Park, WI)

It’s not too often that visitors are able to walk in a mountain range with rocky bluffs dating to 1.6 billion years ago, in addition to a rare freshwater endorheic lake—a body of water situated in a natural depression with … Continue reading

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Lost Coast Trail – Wheeler Camp to Little Jackass (Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, CA)

Even as the northern half of the 53-mile Lost Coast Trail has become one of the hottest destinations for California backpacking, the stunning southern half—in Sinkyone Wilderness State Park—is much less visited. This is in part due to the difficulty … Continue reading

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Lost Coast Trail – Needle Rock to Wheeler Camp (Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, CA)

Traversing one of the few stretches of the California coast without a paved road, the Lost Coast Trail has become an enormously popular backpacking destination known for its striking cliffs, black sand beaches, redwood groves, and frequent wildlife sightings (seals, … Continue reading

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Chilnualna Falls Trail (Yosemite National Park, CA)

Yosemite National Park is the land of towering waterfalls—although seeing them often comes with a price: contending with throngs of other visitors for the best look at the majestic drops. Yet this is not the case everywhere: lesser-known waterfalls such … Continue reading

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Juniper Canyon Trail to High Peaks Loop (Pinnacles National Park, CA)

So jagged, sharp, and forbidding are the towering spires of central California’s Pinnacles National Park that there is no road able to bisect it, leaving visitors to drive up to the base of the breccia wonderland—and then hike the rest. … Continue reading

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Rattlesnake Canyon (Joshua Tree National Park, CA)

Rattlesnake Canyon in southern California’s Joshua Tree National Park is a rough-and-tumble, off-trail route that is well-known and advertised in Joshua Tree guidebooks—although perhaps it should not be. Despite its short length—the entirety of Rattlesnake Canyon upstream from the trailhead … Continue reading

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Flatiron via Siphon Draw Trail (Superstition Wilderness, AZ)

Described as “one of the state’s top ten hikes to experience” and one of the “best hikes near Phoenix,” Flatiron in Arizona’s Superstition Wilderness offers an exceptionally scenic vista, but most hikers will remember it for its challenging and unique … Continue reading

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Arch Canyon (Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, AZ)

Stenocereus thurberi, or organ pipe cactus, is the primary draw of the park bearing its name. But visitors to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southwestern Arizona are also rewarded with sweeping views of rugged mountain landscapes, broad valleys, and … Continue reading

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Cerro Este & Little Yosemite Loop (Sunol Regional Wilderness, CA)

Spanning 6,859 acres of the northern Diablo Range, Sunol Regional Wilderness is a hiker’s paradise close to home in the East Bay, wedged between the massif of Mission Peak (2,517’) to the west and Ohlone Wilderness and Rose Peak (3,817’) … Continue reading

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Scorpion Canyon Loop Trail (Channel Islands National Park, CA)

Scorpion Canyon is a usually dry drainage that cuts through the northeastern section of Santa Cruz Island, the largest island in California’s Channel Islands National Park. This moderate-to-strenuous hike follows the lower reaches of the canyon before rising steeply to … Continue reading

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