Are you looking for some less ventured paths to hike this summer or fall? Learn why outdoor enthusiasts and nature amateurs alike should embrace the opportunity to explore, learn, be inspired, or simply have fun on a great hike.
Have you heard of the Daytime Emmy Award-winning series Rock the Park? The show celebrates the National Park Service’s 100 years of conservation and historic preservation of America’s national parks.
On the series, Jack Steward and Colton Smith, the co-hosts and best friends, tap into America’s love affair with national parks, taking viewers on a journey to some of the most awe-inspiring places on Earth.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Jack and Colton. I asked them each to share their favorite “off the beaten path hikes.”
Here are their answers in the second post from my series tips for families visiting national parks:
10 Off The Beaten Path Hikes
1. Taylor Creek Trail, Kolob Canyon in Zion National Park – this trail straddles the creek as you slowly gain elevation. At the end of the short hike is the Double Arch Alcove – a beautiful formation within the sandstone cliffs.
2. Ptarmigan Tunnel, Glacier National Park – this is a popular trail in the summertime, but certainly still off the beaten path. It climbs high into the alpine to the tunnel, which was blasted through the mountain in order to serve better access to the valley beyond. The tunnel is like a portal to a whole new world!
3. Primrose Ridge, Denali National Park and Preserve – this off trail hike takes you high up to the land of scree and jagged peaks! The ridge gives you beautiful views of the park and is a great day hike in the summertime.
4. The North Country Trail, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – if you can handle the mosquitoes, this trail takes you through the lush forests of the north woods in The Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Make sure you check out Miner’s Castle, one of the rock formations which gave the park its name.
5. Anywhere in Badlands National Park – the Badlands are like one giant maze! You can see fossils, rock formations, big horn sheep and other wildlife. This park is a big playground for anyone who likes to go off the beaten path.
6. Katmai National Park: The Valley of 10,000 Smokes. You may not see another soul out here. A 40 square-mile area covered in up to 700 feet of volcanic ash. Hike to Novarupta, the center of the enormous eruption. Few places in the world give you an experience like this hike will.
7. Great Basin National Park: Wheeler Peak hike. The park itself is off the beaten path. I consider it one of the great hidden gems of the national park system. Wheeler Peak is the second largest mountain in Nevada. Amidst the challenge of the hike, you’ll find some amazing solitude.
8. Zion National Park: Double Arch alcove hike. Zion is an incredibly captivating place, because of that it can be difficult to get away from crowds. This hike takes you to a different side of the park, still giving you some of Zion’s amazing beauty.
9. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Mauna Loa Summit Hike. Hiking up the side of one of the largest volcanoes in the world, above 13,000 feet… you’ll have a hard time believing you’re in Hawaii. There’s no trail, only rock cairns that will guide you to the summit.
10. Badlands National Park: Anywhere in the back-country. The back-country of the Badlands instantly captivates you. The moment you start your trek, you feel solitude, completely immersed in nature. One tip… bring a GPS or compass. It’s quite easy to get lost out there. Trust me.
About Jack Steward, Colton Smith, and Rock the Park
Jack Steward and Colton Smith, the co-hosts and best friends, tap into America’s love affair with national parks, taking viewers on a journey to some of the most awe-inspiring places on Earth.
Jack and Colton are experts and can help families across the country plan for an amazing vacation in their own backyard! The importance of family-friendly programming and how a show like Rock the Park appeals to viewers of all ages.
Find more of my Netflix recommendations here.
More Posts for Families Visiting National Parks:
- 10 ways to embrace the America’s national parks
- 10 off the beaten path hikes
- top 10 camping and hiking essentials
- 10 must-see natural wonders
- 10 tips to plan an amazing vacation in your own backyard
Have you visited a path that not many others know about?