"In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks." John Muir
Hiking can be so many things. Going on a hike can be challenging and exhausting. It can also be easy and fun. Some people love to hike because they love to spend time in nature. Others are after the adrenaline rush and physical challenge of a high ridge.
Hiking is such a broad activity. It's really hard to define in an exclusionary way. Hiking can range from a short stroll around a wetlands to an epic trek to the top of a peak. And there are as many emotional and physical responses as there are trails out there.
No matter the trail or the hiker, though, it's about connecting with nature. As you're drawn down the trail by a sense of curiosity about what lies ahead, the noises and stresses of life are cast aside. No one ever regrets going for a hike. Hiking is just straight-up amazing!
Here are some of the reasons we love hiking:
- It's simple: The act of simply putting one foot in front of the next, over and over, is incredibly pleasing. Compared to paddling or fishing or biking, there's not a terrible amount of preparation required. And you can turn a trip down (or up) a trail into a microadventure easily.
- It's quiet: Even if you're a speedy walker, hiking is about slowing down. Hiking is living in the present moment and unplugging. As you hike, you have time to ponder, to listen to the natural world, to chat with your friends and to open your mind.
- It's smart: Hiking has been proven to boost brainpower. It must be all that clear air! Plus, as you hike, you can learn about the natural world around you. Bring some binoculars and a field guide. Learn something new and stimulate your mind on the trail!
- It's healthy: Not only is it good for cardiovascular health and muscle tone that uses every part of your body, hiking can help you sleep better. Studies show that hiking can lower stress levels, which helps lead to a good night of shut-eye.
- It's for everybody: Since its such a broad activity, anybody can hike. Families with young kids, seniors who love wildflowers, groups of new friends, people wanting time to themselves... There's no sense of competition on a hike—there's no race! Just making it to your destination, be it a waterfall, a lookout or a summit ridge, is a goal worth striving for. And that feels good.
We are fortunate to live and work in some of the finest hiking destinations in the entire world.
Here are some of our favorite hikes:
- Crypt Lake, Waterton Lakes National Park. A challenging full day with major rewards.
- Hidden Lake Trail, Glacier National Park. Ramble through high alpine meadows dotted with wildflowers at Logan Pass. Get there early to beat the crowds!
- Lake Agnes/Plain of the Six Glaciers, Banff National Park. Two teahouses sit among high peaks and wide moraines near Lake Louise.
- Maligne Canyon, Jasper National Park. Geological wonders take you across bridges spanning a stunning canyon.
- Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park. Listen to the ice crackle on the glacier, and continue on to Harding Icefield Trail if you've got the muster.
- McKinley Bar, Denail Natonal Park. A moderate trail renowned for amazing views of the continent's highest peak, Denali, and the Alaska Range.