Hiking the Appalachian Trail may be the most epic hike you can think of, but it isn’t exactly beginner-friendly and it takes months to complete. For Labor Day weekend, though, we’ve found three other spectacular hikes that are just as memorable but won’t take as much planning or time to do. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a long weekend hiking with friends or need an activity that will keep your kids entertained while they’re out of school, one of these epic hikes will suit your needs perfectly!
Lake Katherine Trail, Colorado
The first hike on our list is the Lake Katherine Trail. This trail is great for several reasons. First, it’s only about an hour from downtown Denver, making it a great option for those who don’t want to spend all day driving. Second, the trail is relatively easy, with only a few moderate sections. And lastly, the views from the top are absolutely stunning. You’ll be able to see all of Denver laid out before you, as well as the mountains in the distance. It’s a beautiful and refreshing spot to take in some nature and enjoy the beauty of Colorado.
For those looking for something more challenging, we recommend heading up Mount Falcon Park. It’s also not too far from Denver and offers some beautiful views as well, but it does have some pretty steep terrain that can make it difficult for some hikers. For this reason, we recommend going with at least one other person if possible!
Finally, if you’re looking for something that will give you bragging rights back home with your friends and family (or your boss), we recommend trying out Devil’s Head Mountain. We would rate this one as being extreme due to its sheer difficulty level- but this should serve as a fair warning!
Lassen Peak, California
Hike through the Cascades and up to the summit of Lassen Peak, the largest volcano in the park. The trail is about seven miles round trip and has an elevation gain of 2,000 feet, so it’s a moderate hike. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Make sure you’re prepared for temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit at the top. If you go during this time of year, bring extra layers and warm clothing. With less than 1,000 people on the peak on any given day, your chances of having the summit all to yourself are pretty good.
Angels Landing, Utah
One of the most popular trails in Zion National Park, Angels Landing is not for the faint of heart. The trail is five miles round trip with a 1,488-foot elevation gain. But the views from the top are worth it! You’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views of Zion Canyon. The two-mile hike up Angel’s Landing Trail will make you feel like you’re on top of the world. As you reach the summit, it’s time to stop and soak in your surroundings before making your way back down. It might be tempting to look around at every new discovery but resist this urge if you want to complete your journey safely. Do as many stretches as possible at the bottom so that your muscles have time to recover before tackling another challenging hike this weekend.
Hiking essentials to pack
Before you leave on your adventure, you will need to pack a few essentials. If this isn’t your first hike, then you already know what you should take with you. However, if this is your first time or if you simply need a reminder. Here’s a quick list of must-haves:
- A good pair of hiking boots is key for any hike, no matter the distance. Look for a boot with good ankle support and traction.
- This cord belt helps keep your pants or shorts up, especially uphill.
- Pack plenty of water and snacks to keep your energy up.
- A first-aid kit is always a good idea, especially if you’re hiking in a remote area.
- A map is essential if you’re hiking in an unfamiliar area.
- A compass can be helpful if you get lost.
- Make sure you have proper clothing for the weather conditions.
- It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
No matter what your plans are this Labor Day weekend, get out and enjoy the last days of summer! And if you’re looking for a little adventure, why not try one of these epic hikes? From stunning mountain views to rushing waterfalls, you’re sure to find something special. So grab your hiking boots and head out for an unforgettable weekend.