Local Hikes: Mountain West

Spot a grizzly, basecamp amid Fourteeners, and relax in secluded hot springs. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)
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Spot a grizzly, basecamp amid Fourteeners, and relax in secluded hot springs. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

1. Favorite multiday: Swiftcurrent Pass

From Glacier NP’s Logan Pass trailhead, take the Highline Trail to Swiftcurrent Pass, then descend through Many Glacier Valley, past turquoise icemelt pools. You’ll cross fields of glacier lilies (watch for grizzlies here–they love the bulbs) and steep slopes (watch for mountain goats). 14.7 miles

2. Megafauna: Yellowstone NP

Yellowstone’s 60-by-40-mile rectangle packs in 1,000 miles of trail, 600 griz, and 12 wolf packs. Hike the 17-mile Specimen Ridge Trail for vistas of it all. You won’t share; it’s off the tourist route.



3. Best dayhike: Zion Narrows

Unknown? No. Unbeatable? Yep. Do it as a dayhike or an overnighter.

4. Favorite soak: Rainbow Hot Springs

From West Fork trailhead, hike eight miles round-trip to these sandy-bottom, 104°F pools. Seats eight.

5. Easy peak: Sandia Crest

Hop the tram to 10,000 feet. Then cruise 12 miles from aspens to desert.

6. Life-list basecamp: Chicago Basin

Take the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Train to the Needleton stop; hike six miles to this cirque at 11,200 feet. Bag three Fourteeners or just explore.


Quick City Escapes

Amazon’s best-selling guidebook authors choose killer dayhikes near…

Denver from Tracy Salcedo-Chourre

Best Easy Day Hikes Denver, Falcon, $10

> Bergen Peak Trail, Elk Meadow Open Space

> Ponderosa and Sisters Trails, Alderfer-Three Sisters Open Space

> Red Rocks/Morrison Slide Loop, Matthews-Winters Open Space

Phoenix from Stewart Green

Best Easy Day Hikes Phoenix, Falcon, $10

> Camelback Mountain Summit and Cholla Trails, Echo Canyon Recreation Area

> Piestewa Peak Circumference Trail, Phoenix Mountains Preserve

> Peralta Canyon Trail, Superstition Wilderness

Salt Lake City from Greg Witt

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Salt Lake City, Menasha Ridge Press, $17

> Brighton Lake Trail, Big Cottonwood Canyon

> Ladder Trail, Lone Peak Wilderness Area

> Cecret Lake Trail, Little Cottonwood Canyon