A look at my travel journal for our 2020 National Parks Road Trip for the segment where I hike to the top of Grays and Torreys Peaks.
An overview of my itinerary planning for Day 3 of my 2020 US National Parks Road Trip
If you are like me, the thought of spending time in the mountains gets your adrenaline flowing and you just can’t stop thinking about the breathtaking vistas, exhilarating hikes, and the unforgettable adventures exploring amazing slopes, valleys, and peaks. That’s why mountain landscapes are my favorite landscapes in the world. Not only are they amongst the prettiest landscapes you will find on this planet, but they are also some of the most exciting landscapes to explore. In addition to having some of the most epic hiking trails and climbing routes in the world, mountain destinations also have some of the most amazing wildlife to view.
If you are an outdoor adventure enthusiast, there may be no location on Earth that is better suited to fulfill your dreams than the city of Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island. Widely regarded to be the “Adventure Capital of the World”, every year Queenstown attracts millions of tourists from throughout the world who flock to the city to test their mettle bungy jumping, skydiving, jetboat riding, canyon swinging, downhill mountain bike riding, and a myriad of other amazing outdoor adventures. Around every corner in the city it seems is the headquarters of another adventure activity.
As a beginning hiker, the tougher 14ers in Colorado like Capitol Peak, Long’s Peak, Little Bear Peak, or “The Deadly Bells” might be too much for you to tackle at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set your sights on the clouds. In fact, there are a number of challenging, yet completely doable, 14ers in Colorado that beginning hikers can attempt to tackle. With the experience of summiting these easier peaks under your belt, it won’t be long before you build up the experience and confidence needed to tackle some of the more difficult peaks in Colorado.
For some people, sitting back and relaxing while traveling is just not in their DNA. I know that I am one of these people. When I travel, I always have to be doing something active. Depending on where I am traveling, it is typically kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, sky diving, or my favorite travel activity, which is hiking. For me, there is no better way to appreciate the beauty of an area than to hike thru some of its most breathtaking landscape. In fact, I love hiking so much that sometimes I will plan an entire trip around a single hike that I want to do.
There are a lot of amazing adventures to be had on New Zealand’s South Island. Milford Sound and the Milford Track is something that every traveler should experience, the city of Wanaka is home to quite a few of New Zealand’s most infamous hiking tracks, and the city of Queenstown is known across the globe as the “adventure capital of the world”. However, none of these adventure locations in New Zealand are quite as unique or as special as the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers on the west coast of the South Island.
The area surrounding the city of Wanaka on New Zealand’s South Island is known for its incredible hiking tracks. After all, with two of the South Island’s prettiest lakes and the stunning Mount Aspiring National Park right at the doorstep, the landscapes in the area are beyond fantastic. When it comes to these incredible hiking tracks, the infamous Roy’s Peak Track gets most of the attention.
However, many people that visit the Wanaka area don’t realize that there is an equally incredible hike located on the north side of Wanaka as well. While it doesn’t get nearly the amount of publicity that the Roy’s Peak Track gets, the Isthmus Track delivers equally exceptional views and typically has far smaller crowds to contend with than Roy’s Peak.
Situated roughly 50 miles Northeast of Portland, Oregon, and roughly 96 miles South of Seattle, Washington as the crow flies, Mount Saint Helens is located in a beautiful part of America’s Pacific Northwest that has an abundance of tourist attractions. Visitors to the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument can learn about the 1980 eruption that left such a lasting impact on the surrounding landscape, hike in some of the most beautiful and serene landscape, and marvel at the power of mother nature.
Imagine a place where cactuses grow to be as big as telephone poles, the sunsets look like they came right out of a postcard, and the roadrunner you grew up watching on cartoons really does scurry around the landscape. If that sounds intriguing to you, then you will absolutely love Saguaro National Park in Arizona.
This beautiful desert park also includes over 100 miles of great hiking trails and a number of paved roads that assist visitors in seeing the park. Visitors to the park are able to hike, camp, bird and animal watch, go star gazing at night, or just relax and enjoy the serenity of the desert. One thing this park is never in short supply of is peacefulness.