Access Special Features, Register Now!
Online Exclusive

20 Full Moon Hikes

The moon is full on Monday, July 26. Get out this weekend to explore open meadows and ridgelines at night.
moonlight 445x260(Photo by Kip Evans

A generous smattering of meadows, open ridgelines, or desert make these day and overnight hikes the perfect venue for full moon romps.

Balitmore, MD: Patapsco Valley State Park
You’ll find two wooded creeks and plenty of solitude on this 2.8-mile lollipop loop nestled in the heart of Patapsco Valley State Park.

Shenandoah NP: Old Rag Mountain
Navigate switchbacks, boulder scrambles, and rock mazes on this 8.6-mile loop that ascends Old Rag Mountain, one of Shenandoah’s most famous peaks.

St. Louis, MO: Grant City State Park
This 9.8-mile loop covers the Shawnee National Forest essentials: lovely waterfalls, scenic sandstone cliffs, singing birds, and colorful wildflowers.

Denver: Apex Park Loop
Just a short ride from downtown, this 5.1-mile dayhike climbs loops around the panoramic ridgelines of Indian Mountain.

Great Falls, MT: Windy Mountain Loop
This 7.1-mile dayhike in Lewis and Clark National Forest loops through the Highwood Mountains, skirting several creeks and the broad summit of Windy Mountain.

Big Bend Ranch State Park, TX: Closed Canyon
Descend into Closed Canyon’s slot for a 1.4-mile round-trip trek from Big Bend’s scenic River Road toward the Mexican border and the raging Rio Grande.

Santa Fe, NM: Valle Vidal
Explore the “Yellowstone of the Southwest” on this 28.4-mile loop that links a series of meadows, creek crossings, and a canyon in New Mexico’s Valle Vidal.

Seattle: Hamilton Buttes
Grab shotgun views of four volcanoes on this lonely 6.2-mile out-and-back in Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Point Reyes: Mt. Wittenberg Loop
Hike to the highest point in Point Reyes National Seashore in this 6.4 mile loop hike to the top of Mt. Wittenberg along the Sky Trail, Z Ranch Trail and Horse Trail.

Yosemite NP: Half Dome by Moonlight
Let the soft light of a full moon guide your way to Yosemite’s most iconic granite peak on this 14.2-mile out-and-back.

Got your own favorite moonlight hike? Add it to the comments section, or a submit a tracklog at

Leave a Reply

[advertisement unit="Popover" width=600 height=600]