top 10 hikes – The Wave, Arizona

One of our top 10 day hikes in the world.

The Wave

Only 20 hikers / day are allowed access. The BLM is considering an increase to a maximum of 96 per day .

Getting a permit is the BIG problem.

AT A GLANCE

  • on the Utah-Arizona border, halfway between Page, Arizona and Kanab, Utah in the Paria Canyon/Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness
  • in 2014 about 50,000 applied for permits. Only 15% were granted.
  • Wire Pass trailhead located in North Coyote Buttes permit area of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
  •  5.2 miles return
  • you can go any month of the year, if you can tolerate the heat

Above and slightly west of the Wave is what many call “the Second Wave“, which has fainter colours but is still of interest to most visitors and photographers.

Bearfoot Theory

Check our Wave information page.

top 10 hikes – Göreme, Cappadocia

For the next 10 days we’ll be rolling out our top 10 day hikes around the world.

Unique walks. Days you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

For example, exploring the “fairy chimney” rock formations of Cappadocia, Turkey. Göreme makes an ideal base.

Why We Like This Hike

  • Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia are World Heritage sites
  • start on the Rose Valley trail (5km), perhaps the best section of all

  • Love Valley is … interesting

  • to finish it’s downhill back to Göreme. A nice but often crowded trail.

Don’t miss the balloons of Cappadocia.

Click over to our Göreme information page for details.

NEW – Red Sea Mountain Trail, Egypt

You can day hike here independently. But the multi-day trip must be guided.

Located west of the beach resort town of Hurghada, the Red Sea Mountain Trail is created from a network of ancient routes used by local Bedouin tribes over the years. Owned and operated by the Khushmaan clan of the Maaza, Egypt’s largest Bedouin tribe, the trail aims to bring travelers away from Egypt’s main tourist path and to the clan’s traditional territory. The trail benefits the Bedouin community by creating jobs and helping preserve the culture.

“We want the Red Sea Mountain Trail to diversify Hurghada’s tourism and create a space for slow, immersive travel in which the Bedouin can . . . communicate their rich knowledge of their homeland to outsiders,” …

Egypt Opens 105-Mile Hiking Trail in the Red Sea Mountains

Cost is about $80 / day and up.

cycling Vegas to Red Rock Canyon

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

My favourite destination in Vegas is Red Rock Canyon.

It was Alistair Humphreys who first got me thinking about microadventures.

… short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding. …

Visiting friends in west Vegas it was only about 10 miles to the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center on excellent dedicated cycling lanes.

I cycled from their house short of the Conservation Area, turning one street early into the Calico Basin (no fees).

You can access similar gorgeous wilderness while avoiding crowds, parking hassles and entrance fee.

For the first time ever I cycled out onto the Kraft Mountain trails.

It was busy with locals climbing the Kraft Boulders.

Aside from April wildflowers, it was typical Nevada desert.

I did see one large desert tortoise, Nevada’s State Reptile.

At dusk I set up my tent in a quiet, hidden spot.

Next morning starting at 5am I began hearing voices.

As it turned out I’d accidentally set-up close to an unmarked but popular local trail.

Oops.

Hiking to Bob Hope’s estate, Palm Springs

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

Known as the Araby Trail, a short day hike takes you up to the Bob Hope estate, a saucer-shaped home once owned by Hope and also at different times by Steve McQueen and William Holden.

Not far from the airport, the trail starts above a trailer park — somehow symbolic of the divide between rich and poor.

It’s about a 1,000-foot ascent over 1.6 miles one way to get to the top.

hiking Coachella Valley Preserve, Palm Springs CA

AKA Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve.

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

I’d wild camped up high overlooking Palm Springs.

Next morning I headed for Coachella Valley Preserve before it got too hot.

Entrance by donation. Owned and well-managed by The Nature Conservancy, Bureau of Land Management, Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish & Game and California Department of Parks & Recreation

On the San Andreas fault-line, underground springs force water up to the surface.

Most visitors walk about 2 miles round-trip on the McCallum Trail to McCallum Grove.

It’s an interpretive walk with plant species identified.

I was told the Preserve was recently closed due to flooding — and wildlife quickly returned.

McCallum is closed, as well, during the heat of the summer (May 1 – Oct 1).

There are actually 28 miles of trails (easy to moderate) and I continued out into the desert out into Moon Country.

Almost immediately I ran into the first rattlesnake of my life.

There are plenty of lizards to keep them fed.

It was April — wildflower season — and I was lucky enough to see some.

I saw no other hikers climbing up into a dry wash. Most stick to the 2 mile loop.

If you get to Palm Springs, California, I highly recommend a visit.

Official site – CoachellaValleyPreserve.org

Palm Springs to Paradise Cafe – day 6

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Another fantastic campsite. Great weather again.

Here are views looking up from my tent.

Majestic.

I’d been steadily descending from the snowy heights. Vegetation now changing rapidly.

My only health worry was hot foot. Would I get blisters?

Just in case I took off the shoes every hour or two.

I’ve used the same pack for many a year – the super light frameless Granite Gear Virga 2.

The similar Granite Gear Crown2 is the 5th most popular on the PCT. My next pack will be a Hyperlite, the 3rd most popular. It’s heavier but near waterproof. And more durable, I reckon.

Cactus.

Here’s one of the main reason people buy the Guthook app — to find off-trail water in the desert.

Though I treated this pipe water, it did look and smell great in April.

Water is scarce. Researchers use watering holes to check on the health of mammals in the area.

Successful in the desert are birds, snakes and lizards.

Down, down.

Into the trees.

Here’s where PCT hikers often get their water. GIFTS from Trail Angels.

I finally reached the first road. Would the mini-resupply I’d hung in a tree still be there?

YES!

I had enough food for the final 40 miles to Warner Springs. Yet I diverted one mile down the highway to famed Paradise Cafe.

My camp fuel was running low. I didn’t think I could make it two more days.

Unfortunately Paradise does not sell camp fuel. I returned to the trail hoping my Jetboil Flash would run on fumes.

Back on the PCT, I made it another couple of miles.

It looked like wind and rain so I set up my broken tent high enough in the wash to avoid flash flood.

As I feared, my stove fuel ran out before I could boil water for dinner. 😞

___ day 7

Weather forecast for today was for rain and very big winds. Not good.

I started south. Stopped. Then turned around and headed back towards Paradise.

Skipping the next 40 miles meant missing most of the desert wildflower bloom. Too bad.

Three reasons for quitting on my intended route:

  • broken tent
  • no stove fuel
  • weather forecast

The restaurant was packed. As usual.

I ended up seated with a tourist couple from Philly. As they were headed for Palm Springs I offered to pay for breakfast in exchange for a lift to town.

My PCT week was over. After breakfast.

Despite glitches — I really enjoyed hiking southbound on the PCT during peak season. The highlight was seeing hundreds and speaking with dozens of normal people whom — for one reason or another — wanted to try to hike from Mexico to Canada.

They are inspiring.

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6