The Blog

The Best Way to Experience Cappadocia

The region of Cappadocia in the country of Turkey is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and intriguing places to visit in the world. It is an area rich with cultural history, and a stunning landscape to beat. Yet it is also slightly off the beaten path, and falls largely under the radar for the average tourist. For those looking for a bit of adventure in their travels, there are a number of ways to experience Cappadocia, and see all that Turkey has to offer.

Leafcanoer, girlxdeparture, recently shared her experiences in Cappadocia in her leaf entitled, Things to do in Cappadocia, Turkey. Her leaf is full of tips and suggestions on things to do while visiting Cappadocia. For those planning a visit to the area in the near future, here is our suggestion for the best way to experience Cappadocia.

experience Cappadocia

With its tall rock formations, often called fairy chimneys, Cappadocia offers travelers a surreal landscape to enjoy. Many of these rock formations were created by volcanic eruption, formed and shaped after millions of years of erosion. The region, located on a high plateau in central Turkey, has a number of cones, pillars, pinnacles, and chimneys reaching as high as 130 meters. Trekking and climbing are popular activities in Cappadocia, and there are a number of companies that offer walking tours and climbing excursions in the area.

experience Cappadocia

In addition to being a geological wonder, the area is also a historical one, with traces of settlements going as far back as several millennium ago. Many of these early inhabitants carved tunnels and caves directly into the rock. Often these caves served as hiding places for political and religious refugees, since Cappadocia sat in the middle of two opposing empires: first the Greeks and Persians, and later, the Byzantine Empire and their rivals. In the early days of Christianity, Cappadocia served as a refuge for Christians, and many monasteries were established in these caves. These days, Cappadocia is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and travelers can visit some of these well-preserved caves to learn about the history of the area.

experience Cappadocia

The major towns and areas to visit in Cappadocia include Urgup, Goreme, Ihlara Valley, Selime, Guzelyurt, Uchisar, Avanos, and Zelve. Many visitors enjoy seeing the historic mansions and cave houses in Urgup, Goreme, Guzelyurt, and Uchisar. Also in Goreme is the Goreme Open Air Museum, which showcases the monastic communities of Cappadocia. This museum allows visitors to see more than 30 churches and chapels carved from the rock formations. Many of these churches have frescoes dating back to the 9th and 11th centuries. Even if you’re not a history buff, it’s worth exploring for the sheer uniqueness of the experience.

experience Cappadocia

Being on the ground to experience the geography and history of Cappadocia is nice, but by far the best way to experience Cappadocia is from the air. From up high, you can really appreciate the otherworldly scenery, and see the influence of humankind’s touch on this natural landscape. Hot air ballooning is a popular activity in Cappadocia, and most of the companies that offer hot air balloon tours center around the town of Goreme. The best time of year to go is from April to October, when the weather is clear and not too cold. However, there are some hot air balloon companies that offer rides during the winter.

experience Cappadocia

If you’re the kind of traveler who is up for adventure, Cappadocia is the perfect place. It offers a good balance of nature and history, while still being a beautiful place to be in. For more ideas of ways to experience Cappadocia, or to find out other places to visit in the world, download the LeafCanoe app.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Six Things to Do When You Visit Maui

Maui is a traveler’s paradise. The second largest island in Hawaii, Maui is packed with stunning views and beautiful landscapes. The island is visited by over two million visitors a year, who come for the mildly temperate year-round weather. With the climate and the scenery, Maui is a perfect spot for travelers to visit any time of year.

visit Maui

LeafCanoer, sociakathy, recently visited Maui, and shared her experiences visiting the island in her leaf entitled, “Maui’s Must See List.” Taking a cue from sociokathy’s leaf, here are six things you must do when you visit Maui.

Buy Local
Hawaiian culture is very different from the culture of the mainland, and nowhere can you see it more than in the local arts and foods. Maui is a great place to buy local Hawaiian crafts and goods. Small towns, like Paia, have a number of boutiques and shops selling local artisan goods, and are a great place to experience local arts scene.

visit Maui

Take in a Sunrise
Being an island, Maui has several great places to take in a sunrise. A popular place to observe the sunrise is Haleakala Crater. At its peak, there is an enclosed gazebo that offers a stunning view of the sunrise. There are plenty of options to get to the peak: whether on foot, by car, or by bike. Any way you choose, the outcome is something that is both breathtaking and memorable.

visit Maui

Ride the Waves
Maui, like the rest of Hawaii, is known for its surfing. There are plenty excellent surf spots around the island. One of which is near the small town of Haiku, which boasts some amazing surfing, as well as great beaches to hang out at. If you’re more interested in observing surfing, rather than engaging in it, you can go to Honolua Bay, one of the more popular surf spots on the island, to check out local and visiting surfers in action.

visit Maui

Explore the Local Flora
Hawaii is home to a diverse array of local plants and flowers. A common place to observe local flora is to visit the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. Situated in the uplands of Maui, the Lavender Farm offers a hidden gem, an oasis of flowers and plants. If you’re in the mood for exploration, and interested in learning more about the local environment, this is a great place to start.

visit Maui

Go on a Hike
The great thing about Hawaii is its abundance of outdoor activities. There are a number of national and state parks in Maui that offers plenty of trails for hiking. One of the most popular parks in Hawaii for hiking is ‘Iao State Park. Another popular trail for hiking is Twin Falls, which offers views of waterfalls, as well as several swimming holes. Leafcanoer, sociokathy, recommends Haleakala National Park, which includes a peaceful and secluded bamboo forest.

visit Maui

Take a Scenic Drive
Maui doesn’t have many major roads, but the roads that are there offer some fantastic views of the ocean and the scenery. A popular scenic drive is along Hana Highway, which winds past waterfalls, beaches, ocean views, and panoramic vistas. Another popular drive is along Kahekili Highway. This road takes you along hairpin turns, past roadside fruit stalls and along awe-inspiring vistas. It’s worth taking a day to drive along one of these roads to enjoy the scenery.

visit Maui

Maui is a wonderful place to visit, with its beautiful natural landscape and abundance of outdoor activities. For the nature enthusiast, Maui is a virtual playground of things to do. Or even if you just enjoy relaxing on the beach, Maui offers plenty of relaxing beaches and surf spots. This list is just a start for your next visit to Maui.

For more ideas of what to do when you visit Maui, check out more of sociokathy’s leaf. Or you can download the LeafCanoe app to explore other places to visit around the world.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Why You Need to Visit the Canadian Rockies

Experiencing the great outdoors is something that can be enjoyed any time of year. In spite of the cold winter months, a visit to a place like the Canadian Rockies can be jam-packed with outdoor activities. LeafCanoer, sociokathy’s leaf, “Canadian Rockies Summer Guide,” talks about the many things visitors can do when visiting the Canadian Rockies in the summer. But even in the dead of winter, there are plenty of other reasons to visit the Canadian Rockies.

lake-agnes-1033203_1920

Natural Wonders
Majestic snow-peaked mountains dominate the scenery of the Canadian Rockies. Accentuated by bright blue lakes and lush evergreens, this mountain range, running from the Canadian prairies to the Pacific Coast, boasts stunning scenery all year round. The Canadian Rockies’ mountains impress all those who come to visit. From high peaks like Mount Robson and Mount Columbia, to smaller ones like the Snow Dome, these mountains certainly stand tall along the Canadian Rockies’ skyline. Aside from mountains, the Canadian Rockies also serves as the source of many rivers including the Fraser, the Columbia, The North Saskatchewan, the Bow, and the Athabasca Rivers.

File Nov 24, 9 59 12 PM

National Parks
The Canadian Rockies consist of five national parks: Jasper, Banff, Kootenay, Yoho, and Waterton. All five of these parks were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984 due to its mountain landscapes. Additionally, they all offer a wide range of activities year-round for visitors of all types.

vermilion-lakes-954077_1920

Outdoor Activities
For the outdoor enthusiast, the Canadian Rockies is a dream come true. In the summer months, visitors can raft the white water rapids of rivers like the Sunwapta and Athabasca Rivers. Alternatively, visitors can stick to dry land activities like rock climbing or hiking. In the winter months, places like Banff National Park offers back country skiing. And if you are of the more adventurous sort, you can try your hand at mountaineering, or even ice climbing.

File Nov 24, 9 56 53 PM

Festivals Galore
An abundance of events and festivals fill the calendar for the Canadian Rockies. Winterstart Festival kicks off the season with events in Banff and Lake Louise, running from mid-November to mid-December. Other winter festivals in the Canadian Rockies include Jasper in January, happening in mid to late January in Jasper, and the Winter Magic Festival, happening in the town of Hinton, Alberta in the month of February. The highlight of the spring season is the Canmore Uncorked Food and Drink Festival, a new culinary festival in the town of Canmore. The summer months, on the other hand, are packed with events and festivals, including Performance in the Park at Banff, the Wild Mountain Music Festival in Hinton, and the Canadian Death Race, a challenging adventure race taking place in August in Grande Cache, Alberta.

File Nov 24, 9 57 54 PM

Retreat from Urban Living
City life has its perks, but sometimes you need to get away and disconnect. For those who visit the Canadian Rockies, it’s more than just an opportunity to be close to nature, it’s also a retreat from the pressures of urban living. A peaceful hike among the trees, or soaking in the beauty of nature on the banks of Lake Louise can help bring you more perspective on what’s important in life.

File Nov 24, 9 56 12 PM

Fulfilling A Challenge
For many who come to the Canadian Rockies, a visit there is also a chance to fulfill a challenge. Whether it involves climbing some of the highest peaks, like Mount Robson, tackling the rapids on the Kicking Horse River, or backcountry camping at Banff National Park, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to challenge themselves and test their limits.

File Nov 24, 9 59 57 PM

From hiking to mountain biking, skiing to whitewater rafting, there is always something to do when you visit the Canadian Rockies, no matter what time of year. For more ideas on travel to Canada and to other destinations, download the LeafCanoe app.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Seven Fun Facts About Yellowstone National Park

The summer months may be coming to an end, but there is still plenty of time left to enjoy the outdoors. From camping to hiking, biking to boating, late summer is a wonderful time of year to enjoy being outside in nature. One of the best places to enjoy the outdoors is at Yellowstone National Park. Leafcanoer, searchingforyourzen, recently posted a leaf called “Yellowstone National Park – Oh What a Place!” about his visit to Yellowstone National Park.  The gorgeous pictures and descriptions of his leaf can certainly attest to how memorable a place Yellowstone National Park can be. For those who are new to Yellowstone, and who may be planning an upcoming visit to the park, here are seven fun facts about Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park

1) Yellowstone National Park is America’s first national park.
Yellowstone National Park was first established in 1872 by President Grant. It encompasses areas in what is now the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. At the time of the park’s establishment, those three states had yet to be granted statehood.

Yellowstone National Park

2) Yellowstone National Park covers an area that is larger than the combined area of Delaware and Rhode Island
With an area of over 3,400 square miles, Yellowstone National Park stretches approximately 63 miles north to south, and 54 miles east to west. The majority of the area, approximately 80% of the park, is covered by forest, while the rest comprises of water and grasslands.

Yellowstone National Park

3) Yellowstone National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site
With over 50 mammal species, 311 bird species, 18 fish species, 6 reptile species, 4 amphibian species, and 5 endangered species, Yellowstone National Park contains the largest concentration of wildlife in the continental United States. Due to its biodiversity, Yellowstone National Park was accepted as a biosphere reserve in 1976. In 1978, the park was accepted as a World Heritage Site.

Yellowstone National Park

4) There are over 300 active geysers at Yellowstone National Park
With so many geysers, as well as about 10,000 thermal features, the park produces approximately 3.3 million acre-feet of water every year. The Grand Prismatic Spring alone pumps over 4,000 gallons of water every minute. There are also 290 waterfalls and 12 rivers that run through Yellowstone.

Yellowstone National Park

5) There are 26 American Indian tribes associated with Yellowstine National Park
In the past, Native Americans would quarry obsidian from the surrounding areas to be used for trade. And in the late 1800’s, Yellowstone National Park became a refuge for the Nez Pearce, who fled to the area after many of their tribe were killed in battle with United States Army in the Pacific Northwest.

Yellowstone National Park

6) Yellowstone National Park is an archaeological treasure trove
An 11,000 year old Clovis-type of spear was found at Yellowstone National Park, marking it as the earliest evidence of humans at Yellowstone. Other evidence of early inhabitants include a 9,350 year old campsite found on the shore of Lake Yellowstone.

Yellowstone National Park

7) Yellowstone National Park is visited by millions of visitors annually
The highest recorded number of annual visitors to Yellowstone National Park was in 2010, when over 3.6 million visitors came to the park that year. The park is fully equipped to handle large numbers of visitors. Its grounds contain 9 hotels, 7 campgrounds operated by the National Park Service, and 5 privately operated campgrounds.

Yellowstone National Park

With so many things to see, in addition to all the geology and history to learn about, Yellowstone National Park is certainly worth a visit. People love Yellowstone National Park for its scenic beauty and wealth of activities and areas to explore. A trip to the park will most definitely provide you with a memorable look at Yellowstone’s flora and fauna, as well as leave you with a greater appreciation for the wonders of nature.

For more facts about Yellowstone National Park, and to explore other parks around the world, check out and download the LeafCanoe app.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Tips for a Great Trip to Glacier National Park

The summer months are coming to an end, but it’s still not to late to go out and explore the outdoors. One of the best national parks to explore the outdoors is Glacier National Park. Leafcanoer, searchingforyourzen, recently posted information about their trip to Glacier National Park in their leaf titled, “Jaw Dropping Scenery at Glacier National Park.” If you’re inspired to do your own trip to Glacier National Park, here are six tips to help you have a great trip to the park:

St. Mary

Dress in layers
The weather at Glacier National Park can be extremely fickle. Temperatures on a summer day can go from extremely hot to extremely cold. Additionally, wind and rain is a big part of the climate in the area, so it’s best to be prepared when planning a trip. Even for a day trip, be sure to dress in layers and bring a day pack. When it gets hot, store your layers in your day pack, and when it gets cold, put on those extra layers.

Going to the Sun Road

Let someone know where you’re going
Countless stories have been told of hikers getting lost at Glacier National Park. One of the simplest things you can do before heading out on your trip is to let someone know where you’re going, as well as give them an expected return date. Most smart phones these days have GPS tracking technology, so it wouldn’t be hard to set that up ahead of time with someone you know. But in case you’re in an area where that technology won’t work, it’s good to use the old fashioned method of telling someone where you will be.

Hungry Horse Dam

Plan your route
There are more than 700 miles of trails at Glacier National Park that you can discover and explore. If you only have a limited amount of time, it’s helpful to plan your route ahead of time. On a similar note, with over 150 mountain peaks at the park, elevation can fluctuate dramatically. Pace yourself, and take plenty of breaks so that you don’t get too exhausted too early in your trip.

Logan's Pass

Learn before you go
Part of planning involves doing a bit of research ahead of time. Before your trip to Glacier National Park, learn about some of the flora and fauna that you might see there. The National Park Service website has a page dedicted to Glacier National Park that has a lot of useful information including activities that the park is offering, the history and culture of the park, and facts about the animals and plants that inhabit the park. The NPS website also posts park alerts, so it’s helpful to check the site before your trip to stay up to date with what is going on at the park.

Ram

Stay hydrated and energized
With all the hiking and exploring that you’ll be doing at Glacier National Park, it’s important to stay hydrated, and bring snacks to keep you energized. Dried fruit and nuts are always a staple in every hiker’s snack list, but also consider bringing some fresh fruit. This can be a refreshing treat on a hot day.

Montana rivers

Bring your camera
Glacier National Park has an abundance of breathtaking views, it would be a pity not to be able to share it with others when you get back from your trip. If you can manage it, bring along a camera on your trip. A good DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera can help you capture some of the beauty of the park, but even a phone with a decent camera can suffice, though you won’t get the same quality photo as with a good camera.

Glacier National Park

Hiking in the outdoors is one of the best ways to enjoy the last months of summer. For more ideas of places to enjoy the outdoors, download the Leafcanoe app.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Summertime At Bryce Canyon

Summer is upon us! As the days heat up, and the summer sunshine inspires countless hours of energy and enthusiasm, our minds instantly turn to spending time in the great outdoors. Leafcanoer, Daijie, has some excellent ideas of how to spend a day in the outdoors, one of which includes visiting Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. In her leaf title, “Bryce Canyon National Park“, Daijie provides highlights of activities that families and travelers can do on their visit to Bryce Canyon.

The United States is lucky to be blessed with 58 national parks. These parks attract over 200 million visitors each year. Created by Theodore Roosevelt as a means to preserve the rich natural landscape of the country, the national park system is now something to be admired. A visit to a national park brings with it breath-taking views and a number of outdoor activities. At Bryce Canyon, there are plenty of activities to choose from. Here are five that you can do on your next visit.

Take in the scenic views
Bryce Canyon has an abundance of beautiful scenic views. From Sunrise Point to Sunset Point, Inspiration Point to Bryce Point, visitors to the national park can take in the best of what the West has to offer at any spot in the park. One of the things that makes Bryce Canyon so unique are the unusual rock formations, called hoodoos, which were created by millions of years of erosion.

Ride a horse
Horseback riding is a popular activity to do at Bryce Canyon. Not only does it provide you with a scenic view of the surrounding area, but it also gives you a glimpse of how early explorers and settlers might have experienced the area many years ago. Canyon Trail Rides, which offers horse and mule rides throughout the park, is a popular company among visitors to Bryce Canyon. Ruby’s Inn also offers horseback rides around the national park.

Hike the trails
If riding horses are not really your thing, you can explore the park on foot by hiking the many nature trails throughout the national park. Popular trails among visitors to Bryce Canyon are the Navajo Trail, the Fairyland Loop, the Peek-a-Boo Loop, and the Queen’s Garden Trail. At the Peek-a-Boo Loop, and also throughout the park, hoodoos jut out across the landscape, giving the park its unique look. Another popular hike is the full moon hike, which is offered once a month for a limited number of visitors. There are also snowshoe hikes available during the winter months.

Camp out at the park
Many visitors to Bryce Canyon end up spending more than a day in the area, because there is just so much to explore. The park has two campgrounds, one in the North and one in the South. For those wanting less rustic accommodations, there are plenty of lodging options around the park.

Learn about geology
One of the biggest draws to Bryce Canyon, is the landscape. The park’s many rock formations make for interesting photo opportunities. For those visitors interested in learning more about the geology of Bryce Canyon, they can join the geology talks offered by the National Parks Service on a daily basis at Sunset Point. Another opportunity to learn about Bryce Canyon’s geology is through the Annual Geology Fest, held every summer. The festival features guided hikes, children’s educational activities, exhibits, and talks, teaching visitors about the geology of the area.

Of the many national parks in the United States, Bryce Canyon is both unique and enchanting. It’s the perfect spot to explore the great outdoors, and the perfect place to spend the summer.

Looking for more places to visit this summer? Check out other leaves on LeafCanoe by downloading the LeafCanoe app.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Zion National Park Highlights

Nothing says summer like spending time in the great outdoors. With the temperatures getting warmer, and the official start of summer just weeks away, now is the right time to start thinking of where to go for that perfect outdoor getaway. Leafcanoer, Daijie, has plenty of suggestions for places to experience the outdoors. One such place is Zion National Park, which Daijie shares in her leaf titled, “Zion Family Adventure.”

Zion National Park is located near Springdale, Utah, in the Southwestern part of the United States. It covers an area of 229 square miles, and features geological highlights like a 15 mile long and half mile deep canyon called Zion Canyon, freestanding arches, and a tributary of the Colorado River called Virgin River. Popular among avid hikers and day trippers alike, Zion National Park offers beautiful views, and an abundance of outdoor activities to keep any visitor happy and satisfied.

Zion National Park - Canyon Overlook

History
Zion National Park has a long and varied history. The first people to have inhabited the area that is now part of Zion were called the Anasazi. Known to be the ancestors of the Pueblo Native Americans, the Anasazi lifestyle centered on agriculture and the cultivation of crops. Despite being in the middle of the desert, Zion offered three things that made farming in the area ideal: a level area for growing crops, a river, and an adequate growing season. After years of living off the land, however, drought and overuse led the Anasazi to move southeast. Subsequent inhabitants of Zion have come and gone, including the Paiute people, as well as European and American settlers.  All of these people had to cope with the harshness of the desert climate and landscape. For visiting history buffs, there are archaeological sites that exist throughout Zion, allowing visitors to catch a glimpse of what life was like for the early inhabitants of this area.

Highlights
Zion National Park’s diverse natural landscape, formed from 250 million years of changing climates and geography, draws millions of visitors each year, making it one of the most visited national parks in the United States. The park contains geological features ranging from high plateaus, deep sandstone canyons, rivers, springs, and waterfalls. There are also 2,000 foot Navajo sandstone cliffs. Over 1,000 plant species exist in Zion, including prickly pears, cholla, and yucca. Among the wildlife that live at the park are 67 species of mammals, 29 species of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians, 9 species of fish, and 207 species of birds, according to the National Park’s website.

Zion National Park - Canyoneering

Popular activities for visitors to Zion include backpacking, camping, canyoneering, climbing, and hiking. The park offers 90 miles of trails for backpacking and hiking. There are 37 designated backpacking sites and three campgrounds for drive up camping. For canyoneering and hiking, The Narrows is a great spot to spend the day. Covering the narrowest section of Zion Canyon, the Narrows has a small section that is paved, while the rest of the hike involves wading through the Virgin River. Another popular hike, for the more advanced hiker, is The Subway, a strenuous 9 mile hike that involves route finding, creek crossing, rappelling, and scrambling over boulders.

Another highlight of Zion National Park is Kolob Canyons, which is located 40 miles north of Zion Canyon and 17 miles south of Cedar City. The canyons offer scenic views, which visitors can see along a five-mile drive through Kolob Canyons Road. For a more up close and personal view, visitors to Kolob Canyons can choose to hike the canyons, or go further into the wilderness for backpacking.

Whether visiting for a day trip, or coming for a multi-day camping trip, Zion National Park offers something for everyone. With its beautiful landscape and scenic hikes, Zion National Park is worth a visit at any time of the year.

Zion National Park - The Narrows

Looking for more travel ideas for the summer? Download the LeafCanoe app and see what other Leafcanoers have to say.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Five Excellent Hikes Near Seattle

One of the wonderful things about the Pacific Northwest is its close proximity to the outdoors. Whether it’s lakes, beaches, mountains, or forests, the Pacific Northwest has it all, and many of these outdoor spots are relatively close to Seattle. If you’re into hiking and the outdoors, here are five hikes near Seattle that you need to check out.

Hoh Rainforest at Olympic National Park
The Hoh Rainforest is unique as it is one of only a few temperate zone rain forests in the world. While you won’t find any monkeys or elephants here, you will find an abundance of lush evergreens, as well as deer and elk that call the rainforest their home. The park is accessible by way of Port Angeles, and there are several drive up camping locations for those interested in a relatively easy camping experience. If you’d rather opt for a more rugged experience, you can hike further into the park and do some back-country camping.

IMG_4797

Hiking trail at the Hoh Rainforest

 

Whidbey Island
The Puget Sound is home to a number of islands off the coast of Seattle. Whidbey Island, just west of Seattle, has several state parks that visitors can enjoy, including Deception Pass State Park, Fort Ebey State Park, and South Whidbey Island State Park. These parks offer stunning beaches and views of the Puget Sound. Additionally, Penn Cove, which is located in the northern part of the island, is known for its seafood, particularly mussels. Whidbey Island is accessible by ferry ride from downtown Seattle. However, if you’re wanting a more scenic route, you can head north of Seattle and then west towards Deception Pass. Going this route will take you through some quaint towns, including La Connor, a small yet historic seaside town in western Washington.

Snoqualmie Falls
For a more well-trodden yet breathtakingly beautiful hike, head east of Seattle along I-90 towards Snoqualmie Falls. The falls is a favorite among locals and visitors. The hike towards Snoqualmie Falls is relatively easy, and once there, you can dip your feet in the water and enjoy the spray from the 269 feet high waterfalls. This is a popular hike for kids and families.

20140804_134828

At the base of Snoqualmie Falls

 

Leavenworth
Also east of Seattle, along Highway 2, is the town of Leavenworth. Set within the mountains of the Cascades, and known by tourists as a Bavarian village, the locals know it as a great starting point for nature hikes. There are plenty of hiking trails to choose from. Visitors can go along the Hidden Lake route, or follow the old trail of the Great Northern Railroad. For a more challenging hike, follow the Icicle Ridge trail, which increases in elevation to give you aerial views of the town and its surroundings.

Paradise at Mount Rainier National Park
One of the most beautiful hikes in the Pacific Northwest is the area known as Paradise at Mount Rainier National Park. Paradise is located on the south side of Mount Rainier, at about 5,000 feet, and is accessible by car. The area is known for its stunning views of Mount Rainier peak, as well as its peaceful alpine meadows. Several trails heading up and around the mountain begin at the Paradise Jackson Visitors Center. From the visitors center, hikers can choose to hike to Pinnacle Peak, where they can get better views of Mount Rainier or Mount Adams. Or if they want something a little easier, they can hike laterally towards the nearby Myrtle Falls.

IMG_5674

A gorgeous view of Mount Rainier peak

 

The Pacific Northwest is a great place to experience the outdoors, and one popular outdoor activity is hiking the many parks in the area. With so many national parks and state parks to choose from, finding great hikes near Seattle is an easy task to accomplish.

Looking for more ideas for outdoor and travel activities? Check out and download the LeafCanoe App.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS