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California

Hiking to Mt.Whitney, Hiking Mt.Whitney in 2020, Hiking the highest point in the lower 48 states, hiking in California

Mt.Whitney (14, 505 ft) is the highest peak in the lower 48 United States, the tallest peak of California, and sits a full 2 miles above the town of Lone Pine, CA! Hiking Mt.Whitney is on many peoples' hiking/backpacking bucket list but requires a long day of hiking, if doing it in one day. This 20 mile round-trip trek is not for the faint of heart - it gains just over 6,100 ft of elevation over 10 miles one way. But wait, that's not even the hard part. Getting a permit will be your first step - only 1/3 of 17,000 applicants are rewarded a day hiking permit! Combined with backpackers hiking through the John Muir Trail (JMT), close to 20,000 people will summit Mt.Whitney in one year!

California

Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak

Dude Benchmark Peak (7,212 ft) is the high point in between Salt Lake City & Bountiful, Utah. The ridge extends for miles, with City Creek Canyon below to the South and views of Thurston Peak and Ben Lomond Peak to the North. There are several routes to reach Dude Peak, but the easiest is from the North side in Bountiful, starting from a neighborhood trailhead. The hike itself is easy in that there is nothing technical or super steep. It follows the rolling hills along the ridge, with several up and downs, until it reaches the small rocky outcropping overlooking the entire East side of the Salt Lake Valley. Some sections are rocky, but lasts for a short time.

California

Soaking at Crystal Hot Springs, Hot Springs in Utah

Crystal Hot Springs is a natural hot springs in Northern Utah that ranges from 120-134 degrees F. The swimming pools are regulated so that you can soak in a range of temperatures from 98-105F. Crystal Hot Springs also contains the highest mineral content found in the world! It has roughly 46,000 mg/L - the average hot spring has closer to 1,000 mg/L. You'll notice this mineral content, as you lick your lips or wipe your hands over your face - it's very salty tasting. Get ready to soak in a 22,000 year old hot spring!

California

Hiking Mary Jane Slot Canyon, Moab, Hiking in Moab with Dogs, Slot Canyons in Moab

Mary Jane Slot Canyon is one of Moab's hidden gems - the "trail" is a creek the entire way, which leads to a 30 ft waterfall. This is a great trail to do when Moab is too hot, and you, the dogs, or kids need to cool off. The canyon walls get higher as you hike further into the canyon, and eventually will reach upwards of 100 ft! There are several side canyons that allow for exploring tighter slot canyons. I first hiked this trail in March 2015, and really loved it. I just had to get back to show my friends what it was like! You can check out my original article on KSL here.

California

Hiking the Onion Creek Narrows, Moab

Onion Creek is located off of HWY 128 near the gorgeous Castle Valley and Fisher Towers area - both excellent for hiking and climbing. Onion Creek actually extends for roughly 22 miles, but the best section, the Onion Creek Narrows, lasts for only 1 mile. Because of the short distance, it's a great hike (really more of a walk) for the whole family - dogs will appreciate the cool relief of the creek on a hot summer day.

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