Author Topic: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?  (Read 1078 times)

Mr. Green

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2919
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Wilmington, NC
My wife and I just moved out of a house we shared with five other people. We had planned to take a car camping trip across the US in which we were isolated and self-sufficient (bathroom, bathing, etc.). We needed time away from an environment where we're surrounded by the challenges of another family in order to help us decompress and make some decisions about our own future (kids, where to live).

We find ourselves struggling with some vehicle problems that may inevitably cause us to reimagine how this trip could work for us. Car camping was a great way for us to practice maximum safety procedures during the pandemic while still being able to enjoy mountains, trails, etc. Staying at a number of AirBnbs for 2-4 weeks each where we have the whole place to ourselves, with just a little camping mixed in seems like it could be a good alternative to our car camping plan.

Pandemic related issues aside, what are some good places in the US that have exceptional access to hiking/adventuring where one could spend multiple weeks being isolated from other people without hiking the same few trails over again? We're particularly interested in the western half of the country since we're from the East Coast.

FatFI2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 362
  • Location: California
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2020, 09:51:31 AM »
Mather, CA. It's north of Yosemite with access to Hetch Hetchy trails and a whole bunch of lakes. Cedar Grove with access to King's Canyon trails. Three Rivers or Camp Nelson with access to Sequoia NP. These are all places along the John Muir Trail -- tons of trails all around and some of the most stunning scenery on the planet.

mountain mustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 560
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2020, 09:57:27 AM »
I am partial to the area of western Colorado that I lived in, the Arkansas River valley...surrounded by as many 14ers as you could ever want to hike, 100s of trails, easy to stay remote and away from people. Do you need trails to be accessible from your Air BnB, or can you do short drives? If you can drive, you could easily do a new hike every day for months at a time without repeats.

FatFI2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 362
  • Location: California
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2020, 11:36:27 AM »
I am partial to the area of western Colorado that I lived in, the Arkansas River valley...surrounded by as many 14ers as you could ever want to hike, 100s of trails, easy to stay remote and away from people. Do you need trails to be accessible from your Air BnB, or can you do short drives? If you can drive, you could easily do a new hike every day for months at a time without repeats.

Is that like Leadville, Buena Vista, Salida?

lhamo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1155
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2020, 11:43:21 AM »
Quite a few places in Washington state would fit the bill.  Winthrop/Mazama, Leavenworth, Wenatchee, Cle Elum, Darrington, Snohomish, Snoqualmie Pass (lots of ski cabins), North Bend, Issaquah (if you prefer being closer to stores, etc -- Costco flagship store is there), Enumclaw, Port Angeles, Walla Walla all come to mind.  July-mid-September the best time locally weatherwise.  We've had a fairly rainy/cool spring and early summer so forest fire risk is lower -- good year to check out E. Washington.  You could head further south to drier/warmer places as the weather cools.

Mr. Green

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2919
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Wilmington, NC
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2020, 12:29:20 PM »
I am partial to the area of western Colorado that I lived in, the Arkansas River valley...surrounded by as many 14ers as you could ever want to hike, 100s of trails, easy to stay remote and away from people. Do you need trails to be accessible from your Air BnB, or can you do short drives? If you can drive, you could easily do a new hike every day for months at a time without repeats.
We would be willing to drive up to an hour each day to get to hikes in the surrounding area. Closer would be more ideal but I think if we were staying someplace for 2-4 weeks we would probably spend two days hiking all day, followed by a down day, with additional down time as we needed it.

mountain mustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 560
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2020, 12:37:43 PM »
I am partial to the area of western Colorado that I lived in, the Arkansas River valley...surrounded by as many 14ers as you could ever want to hike, 100s of trails, easy to stay remote and away from people. Do you need trails to be accessible from your Air BnB, or can you do short drives? If you can drive, you could easily do a new hike every day for months at a time without repeats.

Is that like Leadville, Buena Vista, Salida?

Yes, exactly. You really can't go wrong with any of the towns...all amazing places to spend a few weeks in the Summer. incredible hiking and views, much less than an hour drive from town.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6880
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2020, 12:41:52 PM »
The Sierra Nevada mountain area has many great trails.

mountain mustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 560
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2020, 01:46:59 PM »
I am partial to the area of western Colorado that I lived in, the Arkansas River valley...surrounded by as many 14ers as you could ever want to hike, 100s of trails, easy to stay remote and away from people. Do you need trails to be accessible from your Air BnB, or can you do short drives? If you can drive, you could easily do a new hike every day for months at a time without repeats.
We would be willing to drive up to an hour each day to get to hikes in the surrounding area. Closer would be more ideal but I think if we were staying someplace for 2-4 weeks we would probably spend two days hiking all day, followed by a down day, with additional down time as we needed it.

I would recommend staying somewhere like Salida, CO where you can do plenty of hiking within a 5-20 min drive, and then bigger days if you want within 30-60 min. There are a lot of river activities too, good fishing, lots of things to do outdoors and while yes Summer is busier than other times of year, it's still a rural/remote area of CO

FatFI2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 362
  • Location: California
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2020, 08:18:40 PM »
These are all great suggestions from @lhamo and @mountain mustache IMO. If you do pick Colorado, just be advised that they don't use the Spanish pronunciations of their Spanish-named towns. ;)

Mr. Green

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2919
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Wilmington, NC
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2020, 09:07:27 AM »
These are all great suggestions from @lhamo and @mountain mustache IMO. If you do pick Colorado, just be advised that they don't use the Spanish pronunciations of their Spanish-named towns. ;)
So Saleeda is actually Saleyeda?

betsbillabong

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2020, 09:43:48 AM »
Yep. And folks native to Colorado say Colo-RAA-do ( as in “rad”) not Colo-RAH-do.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4677
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2020, 02:38:09 PM »
These are all great suggestions from @lhamo and @mountain mustache IMO. If you do pick Colorado, just be advised that they don't use the Spanish pronunciations of their Spanish-named towns. ;)
So Saleeda is actually Saleyeda?

Weird.....

All I know is high school Spanish and my brain still can't handle this.

mountain mustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 560
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2020, 03:13:33 PM »
These are all great suggestions from @lhamo and @mountain mustache IMO. If you do pick Colorado, just be advised that they don't use the Spanish pronunciations of their Spanish-named towns. ;)
So Saleeda is actually Saleyeda?

Weird.....

All I know is high school Spanish and my brain still can't handle this.

Yes and people love to smirk at tourists who get it wrong. Gotta love picking a Spanish word as a name for your town and then insisting on an incorrect pronunciation of that word.

Mr. Green

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2919
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Wilmington, NC
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2020, 08:24:05 PM »
These are all great suggestions from @lhamo and @mountain mustache IMO. If you do pick Colorado, just be advised that they don't use the Spanish pronunciations of their Spanish-named towns. ;)
So Saleeda is actually Saleyeda?

Weird.....

All I know is high school Spanish and my brain still can't handle this.

Yes and people love to smirk at tourists who get it wrong. Gotta love picking a Spanish word as a name for your town and then insisting on an incorrect pronunciation of that word.
There's a few of these where I live that instantly identifies out of towners. topsail Island is, for some reason, pronounced Top-SUL. Kerr Street is CAR. And Kure Beach is CURRIE. I'm not originally from the area so I still find them weird.

secondcor521

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3648
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2020, 09:38:32 PM »
Huh.  I'm from Idaho and I say Colo-RAH-do.  Maybe they've been smirking at me behind my back all this time.  Oh well.

OP, there are lots of places that would fit the bill.  The Sawtooth Range in Idaho has lots of lovely hikes to beautiful mountains and lakes.  Glacier / Waterton up in Montana is gorgeous.  Western Colorado (pretty much anywhere west of Denver basically I think), the Wasatch range in Utah as well as the national recreation areas in southern Utah, most of Oregon, and western Washington State would also all be good choices, as would the area around Yosemite that someone mentioned.

Paul der Krake

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5404
  • Age: 13
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2020, 01:08:28 AM »
Montana is the tits. Plotting my escape out of here to go there in a few weeks. Probably won't see you there, or anyone else for that matter. Walk for two hours in Glacier NP in any direction and it's just you and the bears.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8887
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2020, 05:50:53 PM »
Western CO, or Utah (many National parks - we stayed in an AirBNB in Kanab).  California (the Sierras).

dang1

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 248
Re: Places in the (western) US with exceptional access to hiking trails?
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2020, 08:53:36 PM »
if you prefer remote, milder weather, closer to sea level, in the redwood forests- check out Crescent City, CA/ Brookings, OR area