Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fifty Places to Hike Before You Die / My top hikes

After the BBC published its list of the “50 places you must see before you die” several years ago, author Chris Santella has been making a living off of writing about other “50 Places”.

Published just last week, his latest offering in his best selling series is Fifty Places to Hike Before You Die. Santella, along with top expedition leaders, explores the world's greatest hiking adventures, including Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, the Lunana Snowman Trek in Bhutan, the Kangshung Valley Trek in Tibet, as well as the more leisurely village to village hike along the Nakesando Trail in Japan.

After looking over the write-up for this book I decided I was going to attempt to create my own top 10 list. I couldn’t do it. It’s much too hard to narrow down a list of favorite hikes, and then rank them. What I’ve discovered over the years is that the last trail that I hiked tends to be my favorite. So what I did was I simply tried to narrow down a list that represents the “best of the best”. I guess you could say the following are my all-time hall of fame hikes. In no particular order:

• Hallet Peak (Rocky Mountain N.P.)

Sky Pond (Rocky Mountain N.P.)

Old Ute Trail (Rocky Mountain N.P.)

Bluebird Lake (Rocky Mountain N.P.)

• Chasm Lake (Rocky Mountain N.P.)

Scenic Point (Glacier N.P.)

Dawson Pass (Glacier N.P.)

Cascade Canyon (Grand Tetons N.P.)

Rocky Top (Great Smoky Mountains)

Gregory Bald (Great Smoky Mountains)

Mt. Rogers (via Massie Gap in Grayson Highlands S.P.)

Grassy Ridge Bald (Roan Mountain - Cherokee N.F.)

• Mt. Elbert (near Leadville, Colorado)

• Blue Lakes (near Ouray, Colorado)

• Horsethief Trail (near Ouray, Colorado)

Quandary Peak (near Fairplay, Colorado)

Gilpin Lake / Gold Creek Loop (Mt. Zirkel Wilderness, Colorado)

• Skyline Trail (Cape Breton Highlands, Nova Scotia)

How about you? What are some of your all time favorites?



Jon said...

Cliff Tops (Smoky Mountain NP)

JP said...

Cascade Canyon is still my number one hike of all time.

You've inspired, I'm going to have to go back and look at all my hikes and see what I can come up with.

Like you, my last hike is usually on my favorites list. I think some of them are seasonal too. Like Laurel Falls in the coldest part of winter is a great hike in the Smokies. It's good at other times, but when it's frozen it's really a beautiful sight (plus the views when the leaves are gone)