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Devils Garden and Primitive Loop Trail

Devils Garden and Primitive Loop Trail

Arches National Park

This is the big one – the longest maintained trail in Arches National Park. The one with the most arches. And the second-most crowded (beat only by Delicate Arch Trail). Devils Garden Trail is a full-day hike, and worth every minute. The featured arch on the hike is Landscape Arch, the longest in North America. There are also six other main arches, a large obelisk called Dark Angel, and a few other formations that aren’t as well advertised. The trail…

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Tower Arch Trail

Tower Arch Trail

Arches National Park

After getting set up at Devils Garden Campground and checking out the visitor center, we went on our first hike in Arches National Park. We chose Tower Arch Trail, in Klondike Bluffs, the northwest section of the park. The 2.5 mile trail is named after the titular Tower Arch at the end. Along the way is a well known rock formation called the Marching Men, which looks exactly like it sounds. Compared with most hikes in the park, this one…

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Backpacking White Rocks via Nicholson Hollow

Backpacking White Rocks via Nicholson Hollow

Shenandoah National Park

We don’t go backpacking too often in the middle of summer (travels aside). But we had a free weekend, and we wanted to test out some new gear and get in shape for an upcoming trip to Glacier NP. So it was back to Shenandoah National Park for a quick one-nighter. Initially we wanted to hike Jeremy’s Run, one of our favorite backpacking routes in the park. In reading some trip reports, it seemed like the trail could be laden…

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Riprap and Wildcat Ridge Loop Trail

Riprap and Wildcat Ridge Loop Trail

Shenandoah National Park

Surprisingly, this was our first hike in the southern section of Shenandoah National Park. Before this, the furthest south we had travelled in the park was Bearfence Mountain. Most of the well known hikes are in the central and northern districts. And while we consider Shenandoah our “home park,” driving there from Northern Virginia can take a while. We spent a weekend at Big Meadows Lodge, and planned to hike Riprap and Wildcat Ridge Loop Trail, one of the most…

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Garfield Peak Trail

Garfield Peak Trail

Crater Lake National Park

On our final day in Crater Lake National Park, we checked out of Crater Lake Lodge, and simply walked to our trail. Garfield Peak Trail begins just off of Rim Village Drive adjacent to the lodge, though we wouldn’t reach the trailhead sign for 0.2 miles. With easy access from the lake’s south rim, the trail is convenient and popular. Garfield Peak was named after James Rudolph Garfield, who was Secretary of the Interior when the park was established in…

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Mount Scott Trail

Mount Scott Trail

Crater Lake National Park

So far in Crater Lake National Park, we had hiked some lesser known trails like Boundary Springs. It was finally time to do some more “popular” hikes. Today we decided to hike Mount Scott, a 4.3 mile out and back trail located on the eastern side of the park. The trail ascends 1318 feet, and features views of Crater Lake and the surrounding mountains. Mount Scott is the highest point in Crater Lake National Park at 8929 feet and is…

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Mazama Campground

Mazama Campground

Crater Lake National Park

Our drive from Redwood National & State Parks to Crater Lake National Park was uneventful, other than a few stops to see some carnivorous plants and wildflowers. We spent seven days in the park, which was enough time to see *almost* everything. Our plan was to spend three nights at Mazama Campground on the southern side of the park. Mazama is the largest and most centrally-located campground in the park. When we visited, it was managed by Xanterra, a concessioner…

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Best Hikes, Itinerary and Planning Guide

Best Hikes, Itinerary and Planning Guide

Redwood National Park

Crater Lake National Park was at the top of Kristin’s bucket list for a long time. We started planning a visit, and decided to include Redwood National Park, since it’s relatively close. And we ended up enjoying Redwood more in many ways. Redwood is unique because it’s not just a national park – it also includes three California State Parks: Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek. Managed collectively, they’re known as “Redwood National and State Parks.” The primary mission of…

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Boy Scout Tree Trail

Boy Scout Tree Trail

Redwood National Park

We were feeling a bit sad on our last full day in Redwood National and State Parks. But we were going to go out with a bang. Our main activity for the day was Boy Scout Tree Trail, a 5.6 mile out-and-back hike located in Jedediah Smith State Park. The trail is gorgeous, and features many old growth redwood trees. A small waterfall, called Fern Falls, makes the turnaround point a scenic lunch spot. Near the end of the trail…

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Backpacking Redwood Creek & Tall Trees

Backpacking Redwood Creek & Tall Trees

Redwood National Park

There are plenty of places to backpack in Redwood National & State Parks. All backcountry camping must be done at designated campsites – except for Redwood Creek, located in southern Redwood National Park. Along the creek, camping on gravel bars is allowed. We only had time to do one backpacking trip in the park, and Redwood Creek was our choice…

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