It’s been a while since I last explored using the #HikerChat hashtag, so it seemed like high time to see what the community has been up to. What a trip you all took me on. The photos took me from hiking in the redwoods out west to skipping rocks in waters along the Florida Trail. From coast to coast, you all have built this hashtag into a hub for explorers to get inspired for their next trail. What got me this time were not just the iconic photos of well-known places. (Yes, those get a few highlights, too.) It was more the details of those places and the new regions you spotlighted. There are new ways of looking at the same place, and places that some of us never considered before. I love that. Check out the latest guide of 11 photos crisscrossing the U.S., and what the explorers had to say about 'em.
“Darkness isn't always bad,” says @mister.boring from Blue John Canyon in Utah. “I like to think of it as a substantial place to shine.”
The south has a special place in my heart, being that I’m from there. But it goes beyond that. The south is underappreciated for its quiet beauty. Here, @east_tn_hillbilly captures the softer landscapes of this region as depicted along the Yellow Creek Falls Trail near Robbinsville, North Carolina. “An extra special place that we love to share with our family and friends,” says @ciesla504 of this scene. Being a girl who grew up in a surf town along the Atlantic Ocean, I don’t think I’ll ever stop being surprised by the beach-like qualities of the Great Lakes. Photo: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Lake Michigan.
“Utah's landscape is often described as ‘being on Mars’ and for good reason,” says @utahtravels. “These same type of Moqui Marbles all over this area of Escalante have been found on Mars...That's pretty neat if you ask me.” Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
When I was road tripping around North America to climb, Keene Valley was one place I stopped. It was an unplanned stop, but ended up being a highlight in my six-month climbing trip. Here, @lynnie_sue shows just a little of why I loved this part of New York’s Adirondack Mountains.
One of the greatest aspects of hashtag communities is the ability to learn from each other. “Through social media, I've been able to connect with many about issues we face when it comes to the land, water and the government’s influence on Navajoland and Native America,” says @navajomylo from Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona.
“Looking like a hipster,” says @mobridge5, navigating a slot in San Rafael Swell, Utah. “Acting like a boss.”
“A trip to the mountains always puts things in perspective,” says @jared_shields_ while gazing across the Narrows from Cold Mountain in Shining Rock Wilderness, North Carolina.
“We always go through peaks and valleys,” says @xanders.images, relating to this photo captured in Utah’s Uinta Mountains. “But there is some beauty in our struggle, the moment we appreciate the valley we are in.”
The focus of photos from Havasu Canyon is usually the falls. But during my time there, I was more intrigued by the many little pools that connected with each other, and the formations created by ages of sediment and water flow. This photo from @lizprairie takes a look at that view.
Just when you thought you knew the natural wonders of your region, you see a picture that tells you differently. This repost from @hikealabama of the state’s “Dismals Canyon,” a photo originally shot by @kamcline, is one of those times. Alabama is one of those places I wish I had discovered earlier in life. I traveled much further from home to see places just as beautiful as this canyon. . . . When it comes to cool regions, what’s your tip for others in the #HikerChat community? Share with us on Twitter: @TETONsports