Hiking in the southwestern part of this country can be incredibly exciting. However, it can also be extremely hot and overwhelming if you do not plan your hiking adventure properly. The best time to hike in the southwest is during the spring and the fall. I also recommend hitting the trails early in the morning and leaving the rest of your day for other family adventures.
There are multiple hiking trails within the Grand Canyon. You can easily do a few of them on a whim. However, some of them require some advanced planning. Here are a couple of favorites to consider when you are booking your family vacation in the Grand Canyon.
The Cape Royal Viewpoint hike is a short, quick, and easy hike that is six-tenths of a mile long. You will find this hiking trail at the North Rim of the canyon. The best time to tackle this hike is really early in the morning, so you can watch the sunrise. The sun and the clouds will make the views of the Navajo Nation and the Painted Desert beyond stunning.
This rugged trail is perfect if you want to get your family off the beaten path and away from civilization for a little bit. This North Rim hike is a two-mile round trip. It is best to tackle this hike during the months of May or June. It gets really muddy after that when it rains. The best feature of this trail is the massive gorge with the three-thousand-foot drop.
This Grand Canyon hike is a nine-mile round trip. While you can do this South Rim hike at any time in the spring or fall, the months of October through December have the fewest people. Along this trail, you will see rock pictographs.
You won’t find as many trails in one area in Santa Fe as you would at the Grand Canyon. However, that doesn’t mean you will be lacking hiking trails during your vacation in Santa Fe. Here are a couple of favorite hiking trails you must consider.
The Tsankawi Ruin Trail is two and a half miles long. It is one of the best hiking trails in Santa Fe. You will find it near the Bandelier National Monument. There are a few tricky spots along this trail. You will need to be prepared to climb two Kiva Ladders and tackle some rocky terrain.
This network of trails is comprised of twenty-five miles of hiking adventures. The outer loop is the most challenging, so you may want to avoid that if you don’t want to deal with anything too difficult on your family vacation.
Sedona is a beautiful place filled with massive red rocks and stunning views. If you really want to appreciate this area of Arizona, you must check out these two hikes.
This easy hiking trail in Sedona is about three and a half miles round trip. However, you may find yourself hiking further, depending on the trail that you take to the summit. This family-friendly hike is perfect if you haven’t done much hiking in the past. This is a flat trail, but there are a few rocky areas. You will also find yourself climbing a hill a couple of times during your adventure.
The Cathedral Rock Trail might appear to be easy since it is only a mile-and-a-half-long round trip. However, its elevation gain and the fact that the trail disappears for a while make it a more moderate hike. I must warn you that you will need to utilize the foot and hand holds that are in place along this unique hiking trail in Sedona. They are there to help you scramble over the rocks. It is best to do this hike on a day when it hasn’t rained recently because the rocks do get slippery.
Most people forget about hiking in Albuquerque because there are so many other things to do. But the hiking trails in Albuquerque offer so much, which is why they must be on your list of activities. I recommend these two different hiking trails in Albuquerque.
Grassy Hills Loop is a four-mile looped trail that is easy and quite family-friendly. This hiking trail in Albuquerque links up to many of the other trails in the area. That means you can easily combine a couple during your family vacation when hiking in the southwest. This is an excellent hiking trail if you want to see gorgeous views of the nearby mountains.
The Tree Spring Trail is another easy hiking trail in Albuquerque. It is a little less than four miles long round trip. You will find this trail within the Cibola National Forest. It is best to allow for between three and four hours for this hike. There is so much to see along the way, so you will be stopping a lot as you are hiking.
These are the best places to go hiking in the southwest. Each area offers something unique, as does each hiking trail.
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