Erica and I have been reminiscing about some of our favorite moments on the trip down the pan-american highway, and we decided to share some of that reminiscing here on our blog. Hopefully this is just the start of many “Top 5″ blog posts.
Disclaimer: we only considered hikes that we made while on our trip. On to the list, in no particular order:
#1) Angels Landing
Zion National Park, Utah, USA
I don’t know of any hike that gives you more bang for the buck over such a short distance. You start out at the bottom of the canyon in Zion National Park and work your way up towards a ridge. The hike has a few scary parts, but the view you get at the end is amazing and makes it all worth it.
#2) Skyline Trail
Glacier National Park, Montana
The amazing thing about this hike is that you start at the top (the bus will drop you off at Logan Pass) and then you hike down about 12 miles (where you can catch another bus back to your camp), enjoying amazing views along the way. About half way through the hike, you can opt for a side trail that runs up to a view of Many Glacier. It’s a popular trail, so get there early, and plan on spending all day — this hike is a monster!
#3) West Glacier
Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska
You start this hike in a forest and gain some elevation, finally reaching a ridge where you have some amazing views of Mendenhall Glacier. You’ll be able to see helicopters full of tourists below you checking out the glacier — the view is that good!
#4) Harbor Mountain Trail
Harbor Mountain, Sitka, Alaska
We actually read that you can start this hike in town, but we opted to drive up to Harbor Mountain and start near the top (this saves you quite a bit of time and elevation gain). Even if you just drive up Harbor Mountain, you will get some stunning views along the way. We only did about half the hike, turning around at the view point pictured above which was not too far from a small cabin that you can camp in.
#5) The Chief
Van Couver, BC, Canada
The Chiefs are several massive granite monoliths, similar to Half-dome in Yosemite (sadly I have never hiked Half-dome — yet!). It took several hours, but we reached the top of each one. There are some parts along this hike where you have to scramble across rocks and up steep inclines. It can be discouraging to lose altitude in between each summit, but the views from the top are amazing.
There have just been too many amazing hikes on this trip not to mention a couple more that were near the top of our list.
Plane of Six Glaciers, Banff, Canada
This hike gives you amazing views of Lake Louise, and there is a small tea house at the end where you can refresh yourself. Read more about our time in Banff.
Eagles Nest (aka: The Abyss), Juneau, Alaska
This hike turned into a bit of a disaster for us (read more here), but the views from the top were some of the best we’ve ever had!