2019 has been a year filled with lots of new adventures along with some old favorite trails. I’ve put together a list of my top 9 hikes from 2019 according to the Top 9 posts you guys liked the most this past year.
Blanca Lake, Washington
Henry M Jackson Wilderness Area in the Cascade Mountains
The road to the trailhead is closed due to rockfalls which adds about 2 flat miles to the journey if I recall correctly. Once you get on the actual trail, the trail starts with a lot of switchbacks; it climbs about 3 miles in 3000 ft elevation gain before you end up on a ridge and descend to the beautiful glacial lake. It’s a bit strenuous, but 100% worth it
Chino Hills State Park, California
The Upper Bane Ridge trail offers beautiful views of wildflowers in the Spring (assuming California gets a lot of rain) in only a short hike. The beginning is a bit steeper but flattens out – you can get views of wildflowers from all around the park actually!
Zebra Slot Canyon, Utah
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
I went right after a huge snowstorm and didn’t make it very far into the slot canyon at all. The trail to get to the entrance of the slot canyon is sandy, flat, and beautiful. The water between the slot canyon got deep fast – it was freezing cold, neck high, and got to the point where we would have to fully swim and I just wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t make it to the actual zebra slot canyon but the beginning was enjoyable.
Big Pine Lakes, California
Inyo National Forest
About 10.5 miles out and back. This is a local favorite and I like to call it the Patagonia of California. It’s located in the Eastern Sierra Mountains about 4 hours outside of Los Angeles. Read more about it here.
Fire Wave, Nevada
Valley of Fire State Park
1.2 mile out and back
This super quick and short trail is just one hour outside of Las Vegas. It’s mostly flat and a great option to see some wave-like sandstone formations. This trail is completely exposed and gets extremely hot in the summer and during shoulder seasons.
Teapot Mountain, Taiwan
This is a super short hiking trail along the northeast coast of Taiwan, about one hour outside of Taipei by car (two hours by metro). The trail is lush and very exposed, consisting of mostly steps and options to extend the hike. There is a cave with ropes to hike in just a little beyond Teapot Mountain, offering the perfect island views of green mountains and turquoise oceans. Keep in mind, Taiwan gets very hot and humid so timing is everything! I went in April and was dripping in sweat just standing outside…
Angels Landing, Utah
Zion National Park
This popular 5 miles ish trail offers the best views of Zion Canyon in my opinion. It’s a bit steep with switchbacks and ends with a fun but dangerous chains section. I’m scared of heights but actually found this trail to be more fun than scary… as long as you’re careful.
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Utah
This is one of my favorite places in the world and there are multiple trailheads to this area that walk along the river amongst ginormous red canyon walls. It does require a long drive down a dirt road that requires 4wd/ high clearance, but I’ve gotten by with an AWD. I’ve also gotten stuck on this dirt rock in a regular sedan though 😛
Duck Pass/ Barney Lake, California
Easter Sierra Mountains
This moderately easy trail near Mammoth Lakes can be done as a day hike or overnight backpacking trip to visit a couple of alpine lakes. Read more about this hike here.
Thank you all for your continued support in following my journey and I hope this inspires you to get outdoors more in the new decade and start planning adventures! Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to see what’s coming in 2020.
Don’t forget to practice leave no trace 🙂