When people in other industries go on vacation, they want to get as far away from anything relating to their business as possible. In the land industry, land experts and landowners take a break from land by… going to see more land! Here are our picks for five perfect hikes for land lovers.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
You won’t find views like these anywhere else in America. Bryce Canyon National Park is full of hoodoos (strange-looking natural towers of rocks) and one-of-a-kind views. Try doing the hike at sunrise or sunset for the best views. The light will look heavenly against the rich red rocks. Also, if you are a bird watcher, you’ll love this park. It is home to a hundred different species of birds!
Insider tip: You can book a night tour on nights with a full moon!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
If you are looking for magnificent mountain views, head over to Wyoming. Grand Teton National Park has 310,000 sprawling acres of breathtaking mountains, alpine lakes, and meadows. The flora and fauna in the area are incredible. Some species even date back to the prehistoric era! Plus, it’s only ten miles away from Yellowstone National Park, so you can get two trips in one!
Insider Tip: This beautiful park is home to lots of wildlife. One not-so-cuddly creature roaming these mountains is bears, both grizzly and black. When hiking in bear country, be sure to travel in groups of three or more. Experts say the sound of multiple footsteps is one of the best deterrents to bears.
Blue Spring Loop | Conecuh National Forest, Alabama
The Blue Spring Loop is the hidden gem of Alabama. A well-marked path leads you around a forest rich with pines and oaks, giving the air an incredible scent. The Blue Spring has a gorgeous blue tint. This is a gentle hike for days you want to enjoy nature without breaking a sweat.
Insider Tip: Poisonous snakes have been spotted on this trail. While most snakes want to avoid you just as much as you want to avoid them, you still want to protect yourself. Wear closed-toe shoes and long, loose pants to keep your ankles and lower legs safe. If you do come across a snake, take a step back to get out of striking range to go around it.
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Tennessee
Big South Fork has trails for all sorts of different hikers. Honey Creek Loop is the most challenging, with 5.5 miles of narrow trails, creeks, and boulders. Bandy Creek Loop Trail is a quiet 1.3 mile stroll around the pond.
Insider Tip: The weather in Big South Fork can be wildly different than neighboring towns. Pack clothes for both hot and cold weather. We are a big fan of wearing layers for this hike.
Bright Angel Trail | Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
This trail isn’t for the faint of heart. At its highest elevation, Bright Angel can reach 6,800 feet. If you are brave enough to hike the steep dirt trails, you’ll be rewarded with view of one of the amazing landscapes on Earth. An oasis waits for you at Indian Garden at the bottom of the canyon, where you camp overnight before the long and hot hike out (or continue through for the rim-to-rim experience, a bucket-list but challenging endeavor!).
Insider Tip: Many people are tempted to climb all of Bright Angel in one day. The hike is deceptively difficult, and some beginner hikers have died by pushing themselves too hard in the heat. In the summer, you’ll want to give yourself two to three days to complete this trail. Remember, the further you hike in, the more you will need to hike back up—so your motto should be slow and steady (plus park rangers recommend carrying a gallon of water for every mile you plan to hike).
America has some of the most incredible hikes in the world. Land experts and landowners especially will appreciate the natural beauty of America’s many land types. Now, go out there and explore!