Living in New England I find myself kind of view deprived for much of the year. Which is not to say that Massachusetts isn’t beautiful, because it is. I’m just talking about those jaw-dropping views of the American West that I hunger for until summer vacation rolls around. Someday, in the not-so-distant future I’ll look out the window of an RV and see them everyday. For now, I have to engage in some daily creative visualization.
As some people read this, they’re thinking, “She has no idea what she’s talking about! New Hampshire has the White Mountains! Vermont has the Greens!” Sure, been there, done enough rocky, root-gnarled high mileage trails to know that those places still don’t compare to the views I’ve seen after hiking very short distances in some of my favorite place in the west. I got to thinking about a couple of hikes I’ve done that took very little energy for a very big payoff.
#1: Grand View Trail, Canyonlands National Park, Southeastern Utah
The whole darn hike is two miles round trip, walking on the edge of a red granite dreamscape in the Island in the Sky District, the most accessible of three districts, of Canyonlands National Park. I highly recommend taking lunch to the end of the trail and having the greatest view available for so little work.
#2: Byron Glacier Trail, Girdwood, Alaska
The Byron Glacier Trail is in the Portage Glacier area, about twenty miles south of Anchorage, Alaska, and off the Seward Highway. Three miles round trip, flat, accessible to almost everyone. You’ll see snow year round in some parts of the trail. And hey, where else can you see a glacier, eat a snowball, and get a tan while wearing a sleeveless top?
What great hikes have you done that were short and extremely sweet?