Backpack the Mount Rogers & Grayson Highlands Loop
Great American Hikes Blog
by Dan Wagner
1M ago
An excellent overnight or multi-day loop through one of the most scenic areas in Virginia. The route leads hikers to the summit of Mount Rogers, the highest peak in the state, beside large rock outcroppings offering expansive ridgeline views, and through lush mountain meadows where wild ponies roam freely. The loop also features exceptional backcountry camping options, providing mountain panoramas sure to leave lasting memories for those who call Mount Rogers and the Grayson Highlands home for the night. Trailhead elevation 3,753' Water Thomas Knob Shelter and three streams after the shelt ..read more
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Backpack the Big Beechy/Middle Fork Loop in Cranberry Wilderness
Great American Hikes Blog
by Dan Wagner
1M ago
A good beginner backpacking loop in the heart of West Virginia's Cranberry Wilderness, one of the largest designated wilderness areas east of the Mississippi. The loop offers an incredible amount of solitude, landscapes similar to the Pacific Northwest, numerous waterfalls, and exceptional backcountry camping. Due to a few areas where the trail is challenging to locate, a downloaded trail map is recommended. In the spring, water shoes and hiking poles can prove useful when fording both Beechy Run and the Middle Fork Williams River. While encountering blacks bears is uncommon, proper food stora ..read more
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Hike to the USAF C-45 Plane Crash Site in Laurel Fork Wilderness
Great American Hikes Blog
by Dan Wagner
1M ago
An easy-going day hike with a bit of off trail navigation leading to the wreckage of a US Air Force C-45 that crashed into Middle Mountain in West Virginia's Laurel Fork South Wilderness. Trailhead elevation 3,110' Water throughout, along the Laurel Fork River Don't miss camping at the Laurel Fork Campground Hike to the Laurel Fork Wilderness USAF C-45 Plane Crash Site There are multiple routes to access the crash site, but the most straightforward path begins at the Laurel Fork Trail/TR 306, located near the southwest edge of the Laurel Fork Campground. The trailhead parking can accommodate ..read more
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Great Onyx Lantern Tour in Mammoth Cave National Park
Great American Hikes Blog
by Dan Wagner
2M ago
Experience Mammoth Cave as if you've stepped back in time to the 1800s with the Great Onyx Lantern Tour at Mammoth Cave National Park. The immersive tour takes visitors through chambers like the Spaghetti Factory, beside large dripstone formations such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and through passages adorned with shimmering gypsum crystals. Uncover the intriguing tales of the Kentucky Cave Wars era and explore the cave's storied past, from its initial discovery in the early 1900s to its transformation as a privately owned wonder, eventually becoming part of Mammoth Cave National Park in 1961 ..read more
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Backpack the Cranberry Wilderness South Fork/Middle Fork Loop
Great American Hikes Blog
by Dan Wagner
2M ago
In the heart of the West Virginia's Yew Mountains rests the largest Forest Service wilderness area in the eastern United States, Cranberry Wilderness. The more than 47,000 acre wilderness and designated black bear sanctuary features a beautiful and rugged landscape. Its mountains and valleys are filled with dense Appalachian hardwoods, thick rhododendron groves, and towering stands of red spruce. Its high plateaus are blanketed in sphagnum moss, drawing striking similarities to the primeval tempered rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Flowing through Cranberry Wilderness is its namesake rive ..read more
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Hike to Yahoo Falls & Yahoo Arch
Great American Hikes Blog
by Dan Wagner
2M ago
Explore the unspoiled beauty of the Daniel Boone National Forest and towering rock formations on a hike leading to one of Kentucky's highest waterfalls and a uniquely shaped natural arch within the Big South Fork. Renowned as among Kentucky's most scenic waterfalls, Yahoo Falls plummets into a natural basin, framed by a prehistoric rockshelter where the haunting tale of the Great Cherokee Children Massacre unfolded. Trailhead elevation 955' Water Yahoo Creek Don't miss the Cumberland River South Fork overlook and "Big Jake" Troxel's grave Hike to Yahoo Falls & Yahoo Arch Starting from the ..read more
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Hike to Pine Island Double Falls
Great American Hikes Blog
by Dan Wagner
2M ago
Pine Island Double Falls, arguably one of the most scenic waterfalls in the Bluegrass State, forms as two distinct streams merge and cascade over a limestone ledge into a beautiful bluish-green plunge pool along Pine Island Branch. Tucked away within the Daniel Boone National Forest, the 40-foot-tall waterfall sees far less foot traffic compared to others in the region, yet consistently earns a place on lists celebrating Kentucky's most stunning waterfalls. Getting to the falls is easy. Trailhead elevation 1,115' Water throughout Don't miss the unmarked junction to reach the falls Hike to Pin ..read more
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Hike to Grandfather Mountain's Cessna 182Q Skylane N735MB Crash Site
Great American Hikes Blog
by Dan Wagner
2M ago
Experience stunning ridgeline views, picturesque forest scenery, and uncover the remnants of a tragic 1970s plane crash as you hike towards the summit of Calloway Peak, the tallest peak in North Carolina's Grandfather Mountain State Park. This route incorporates segments of the Nuwati and Tanawha Trails, and the entirety of both the Daniel Boone Scout Trail and Cragway Trails, offering the most direct way to access both the crash site and Calloway Peak. Trailhead elevation 3,904' Water Boone Fork Creek Don't miss the view of Calloway Peak along the Cragway Trail Hike to Grandfather Mountain's ..read more
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Hike to the Black Mountain Crest 182H Skylane N2350X Crash Site
Great American Hikes Blog
by Dan Wagner
2M ago
Enjoy panoramic ridgeline views, discover remnants of a 1970s plane crash, and ascend to the summit of the second tallest peak in the Appalachian Mountains on a short day hike in North Carolina's Mount Mitchell State Park. This route follows a small portion of the Black Mountain Crest Trail, also known as the Deep Gap Trail, providing the most direct route to both the crash site and summit of Mount Craig. Trailhead elevation 6,575' Water at trailhead Don't miss the views from the summit of Mount Craig Hike to the Black Mountain Crest Cessna 182 Skylane N2350X Crash Site The hike begins from t ..read more
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Hike Mount Elbert: Tallest Peak in the Rocky Mountains
Great American Hikes Blog
by Dan Wagner
3M ago
Take on a demanding day hike to reach the summit of the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains and the second highest peak in the lower 48. Towering at 14,433 feet, Mount Elbert offers hikers with stunning 360-degree views of a seemingly endless sea of peaks from its rocky summit, making it a must-do hike for all who can get there. Trailhead elevation 10,061' Water Elbert Creek Don't miss identifying the numerous 14,000-foot peaks from the summit Hike Mount Elbert via North Mount Elbert Trail From the trailhead, the path initially winds its way up the mountain's northern slope, following the Con ..read more
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