Need something to take your mind off the heat? We’ve compiled a list of the best National Parks to visit this Fall so you can take a hike and get back to enjoying all that Mother Nature has to offer!
Arches National Park: The Primitive Trails
Located in Moab, Utah, visitors to Arches National Park can discover over 2,000 natural stone arches, spirally pinnacles, and massive rock formations including balanced rocks. Set against the blue skies these impressive red rocks are the perfect palette for breathtaking views and glorious sunsets.
Devils Garden is known for its premier location within Arches National Park, and is home to three trails:
- Landscape Arch (easy)
- Double O Arch (difficult)
- The Primitive Trail (difficult)
Cross a Pool on Your Hike
The Primitive Trail is an alternative route to/from Double O Arch. It’s also the most dangerous and hardest to find. With steep slopes, narrow drop-offs, and rock scrambling and climbing, hikers will also need to cross a pool that may have water.
Perfect for thrill seekers, those with a fear of heights may want to stick to Landscape Arch.
Plan a fall visit in October, and you get the goldilocks of temps with an average high of 74 degrees and an average low of 42. Whereas the average summer temps in Moab can range from 90-100 degrees, which isn’t really surprising considering it’s located in the heart of a desert, known as “the Colorado Plateau.”
Oahu, Hawaii – Diamond Head Hike
What could happen when a single, explosive eruption sends ash and fine particles into the air? Well, in the case of Diamond Head State Monument (also known as a volcanic tuff cone), a giant crater is formed. This broad, saucer-shaped crater formed about 300,000 years ago when the materials settled and cemented together. The whole crater encompasses over 475 acres and is visible from the trail in the park.
Constructed for Coastal Defense in 1908
The Diamond Head Hike is near the eastern edge of Waikiki’s coastline, and the trail is etched in history and features stunning coastal views. Constructed in 1908, as part of Oʻahu’s coastal defense system, it’s the trail to the summit of Leʻahi, which is the Hawaiian name for Diamond Head Crater.
The Diamond Head Summit Trail is rated moderately difficult. It features elevation gains of 560 feet and is 1.6 miles round trip. The trail features a short concrete walkway but soon becomes a steep uneven trail with steep stairways in some places and a long, narrow, but lighted, tunnel in another.
Laugavegurinn Trail, Iceland
Looking to leave the US? The Icelandic wilderness calls! National Geographic hailed it as one of 20 holy grails of trails across the world. It’s also one of the most popular routes in Iceland.
Volcanos + Ice Caps + Waterfalls
Hikers of the Laugavegurinn Trail can peer into the remains of a volcano, experience breathtaking views of ice caps and glaciers, and on the last leg of the hike discover beautiful waterfalls, including the massive 200-foot-high cascade of Skógafoss.
Stay in a Hut Along the Way
A trail for true adventurers, hikers can enjoy steaming hot springs for baths and stays in huts after a long day of hiking, since this trail is a whopping 48 miles long and can take two to four days to complete.
What else should you know about Iceland? It has been ranked as the number one most peaceful country on Earth for 14 years now.
Lares Trek in Cusco, Peru
In need of a little introspection? For true isolation, grab your passport, because the Lares Trek in Peru might be just what you are looking for. Drenched in culture and Inca history, this 36 km (22.4 miles) hike boasts true isolation.
View the Milky Way
As far as views go, you make feel like you hit the lottery. Because high on the Andean Mountains (the highest point is 4,800 meters), the Lares Trek exhibits stunning views of the Milky Way and constellations.
Rivers, Waterfalls & Lagoons Oh My
Hikers will also discover rivers, waterfalls, and lagoons, and even experience rural Andean culture from the local communities nestled along the way. While the Inca trail is a well-known path to Machu Picchu, it requires a permit and is quick to book up. Fortunately, the Lares Trek is an alternative route to the Inca city that definitely isn’t second-rate and hikers won’t need a trekking permit.