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Favorite National Park Hikes Across the US

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A lake in the foreground of Grand Teton National Park.

Big Tree Circle Trail 

Location: Orick, CA, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Length: 0.3 mile loop

We looped around a few times to look at all the cool trees. Some of the trail was paved and some of it was a flat dirt trail.

Delicate Arch Trail 

Location: Arches National Park, UT 

Length: 3.2 miles 

This trail is listed as moderate on AllTrails but for me and my Cerebral Palsy it was very tough.  I call it my blood, sweat, and tears trail. We woke up very early to get to the top before sunrise.  We made it right as the sun was coming up. This trail goes from rocky, to slick rock, to sandy and then more slick rock with a drop off. I highly recommend everyone do it at least once in their lives, if they get a chance. I may even try it again someday.  

Tip: Make it a sunrise hike! You will not regret it one bit. It is phenomenal.  

Emerald Lake Trail

Location: Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Length: 4.0 miles (AllTrails lists it as 3.2 miles but we tracked it at 4 miles)

This trail is listed as moderate on AllTrails and again it is another trail that is very tough for me but SOOO worth it. It was my first trail that I hiked in snow in a National Park and I would totally do it again. The views are spectacular and along the way you can see Nymph Lake and Dream Lake; Emerald Lake is at the very end. I will definitely have to make it back to see it in the summer sometime but in the winter it is GORGEOUS! 

Tip: If you’re hiking in the winter, BRING SPIKES (AKA microspikes or crampons). We saw people trying to hike it without them and they were struggling. It is still tough going even using the spikes. You’ll thank me later. 

Old Faithful Geyser loop 

Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Length: .7 miles

This beautiful geyser is just a short walk from the parking lot. There is lots of seating around the boardwalk where you can sit and watch it erupt. The whole loop is wheelchair accessible..

Tip: Go early in the morning; the parking lot fills up fast. This is one of the most popular places in the park. If you have time, visit the visitor center. You can check online or ask a Park Ranger when the next eruption of Old Faithful will happen. It’s definitely worth the wait.

Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook Trail 

Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.  

Length: 1.6 miles, elevation 

This trail is connected to the Fairy Falls Trail and is just down the road from the Grand Prismatic Loop Trail. It looks down on the beautiful spring from above. 

Tips: This is a very busy trail. This is one that you will want to visit early in the morning to beat the crowds and to get parking at the trailhead. It’s also common for Bison to walk right next to the trail. It’s a great photo op but PLEASE be careful; many people have been gored by being too close to these big beautiful creatures.

Dog and man looking out in Utah
A hiker with his dog stopped looking at the view in Arches National Park.

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