The well-maintained trail to Blue Lake is about 3 miles in length and is suitable for most hikers.
On the eastern flank of the Sierra Madre Mountains, Encampment provides an off-the-beaten-path destination, perfect for solitude and hiking.
But the sprawling Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, straddling the Gunnison River for 14 miles, offers the most exciting, scenic and challenging one-mile trek we’ve encountered.
Once summer fades into autumn, frosty mornings, bugling elk and golden aspen are harbingers of the coming winter.
During the summer, Navajo families still live and farm the bottoms of Canyon de Chelly, Canyon del Muerto and Monument Canyon, all of which make up Canyon de Chelly National Monument in northeastern Arizona.
While this area is heavily used during most of the year, venturing out during off-peak periods allows for a small measure of solitude.
At the edge of White Canyon in Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah, looking 500 feet down the steep walls of whitish Cedar Mesa sandstone — hiking to the bottom seems an impossibility.
Joshua Tree National Park is home to 50 miles of maintained hiking and horseback riding trails leading through three desert ecosystems, and is a mecca for serious hikers, backpackers and trail riders.
Unlike most Western “resort” towns, there is in Jackson the underlying reality that tourism will never completely wrest control here. Lycra will not replace leather.
Grand Lake is one of Colorado’s few natural lakes, and it’s bordered by the much-larger Shadow Mountain and Lake Granby reservoirs.