Guest content contributed by Keilah Keiser.
The United States is home to over 1,661 known thermal springs across the country. Some are far too hot to soak, others have been turned into weekend wellness resorts that will melt your worries away while others have been left “au natural” — tucked away in nature.
Because hot springs are a product of geothermal heat, they are often found in areas with unique geological locations. Most hot springs in the U.S. are found west of the Colorado Rockies. Tucked away at the base of snow-capped mountains, among acres of protected forest, perched above whitewater rivers or set in the middle of grassy plains, hot springs are defined by the landscapes that surround them.
So how do hikers go about finding these hot springs?
While locations that have been turned into weekend resort getaways are easy to locate with a local director GPS on your phone, more remote locations are not. From California to Colorado and even farther north, hikers can use this guide to help plan their road trip and scout out some of the best and off-the-beaten-path-soaks in the Western U.S.
Click over to this page for Google map links for each destination.
This infographic was put together by Ireland Walk Hike Bike. They offer inexpensive self-guided tours.
Guest post by Dustin Walker
“National Parks Are Being Loved To Death.”
This headline has been repeated by media so often in 2018 that it’s become almost a cliché.
And it’s all because of recent statistics showing a more than 21% spike in visitors to U.S. national parks over the past decade. Canada is no different. Park attendance there jumped 27% in the past decade.
All this extra foot traffic means more pressure on park infrastructure, increased human-wildlife conflicts and added stress on the environment (check out the infographic below for more details on this).
What’s causing the surge? No one seems to be certain. However, theories range from social media influence and demographic trends to successful state ad campaigns. But one solution to the problem — at least, from my perspective — is far more obvious:
We need to seek out the trails less traveled.
Much of the overcrowding in parks is happening at the most well-known outdoor “hotspots.” Places like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite in the U.S. Or Banff and Jasper in Canada.
And yet, there are plenty of lesser-known backpacking and hiking trails throughout North America that offer an amazing experience — without the crowds.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting you avoid the best hikes altogether — I’d hate to dissuade anyone from trekking the West Coast Trail or the John Muir Trail.
But I do think that tourism organizations, governments and — to some extent — the media should put more effort into promoting North America’s hidden gems. Whether it’s a little-known hiking trail, a rarely explored park or a lake that’s simply left off the typical tourist map.
Not only would this help alleviate some of the pressure on crowded national parks. It would also introduce more people to the thrill of exploring off-the-beaten path.
This infographic was made by Slick & Twisted Trails
DUSTIN WALKER’S BIO:
Dustin runs Slick & Twisted Trails – a blog for hikers & backpackers who shun the beaten path. Based on Canada’s Vancouver Island, Dustin is always on the hunt for those rare, less-traveled routes through the wilderness.
India Hikes recommendations:
1. Rupin Pass
3. Kashmir Great Lakes
4. Buran Ghati
5. Pin Bhaba Pass
6. Tarsar Marsar
7. Kedarkantha Trek
8. Kuari Pass
… see our Kauri INFO page
9. Gaumukh Tapovan
11. Hampta Pass
12. Sandakphu Phalut
The trekking is GREAT in India. But logistics are often troublesome.
Next time I get to the subcontinent I plan to try a guided trip with India Hikes.
However, their list is certainly not definitive. Markha Valley is our favourite trek in India. It’s not included.
The latest episode of The Adventure Podcast is now available for download.
As usual, you can grab it from Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, and Spotify. I’ve also attached it to this blog post for those who prefer to listen directly from their browser ….
Adventure Blog – Interview with Rick McCharles of BestHIke.com
We talked best hiking trails in the world. My essential gear. Cam Honan. And much, much more. It’s a long episode.
I’ve learned a lot about a lot over the first 18 episodes.
Mac posted an excellent overview on how to tramp one of our top 10 hikes in the world.
- Beautifully maintained track
- Plenty of water available on the trail
- Great side trips (Cradle Mountain, Hartnett Falls, the Acropolis)
- Can stay as many days as you choose out on the track
- Climb Mount Ossa, the highest peak in Tasmania (side trip)
- Expensive – A$230
- Bookings required October 1 to May 31
- Crowded during the high season
- Can only be hiked one direction
Based on Mac’s information, we’ve updated our Overland Track information page.
Mac actually liked Tasmania’s Western Arthur Traverse better than the Overland.
Highpointing is the sport of ascending to the point with the highest elevation within a given area.
The Highpointers Club promotes climbing to the highest point in each of the 50 U.S. States.
Alaska’s Denali is the most difficult. The lowest is 350′ — Florida’s Britton Hill. About 20 of the states can be ascended by automobile. Only 10 to 20 require serious effort.
Elevations of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia
SummitPost – U.S. State Highpoints Mountains & Rocks