When most people think of Shenandoah National Park, they think of the infamous Skyline Drive. While that is certainly the most accessible and well-known part of the park, the real beauty is found when hiking in Shenandoah National Park. Though the park boundaries rarely veer far from Skyline Drive and the park is quite small, the number of great hikes in Shenandoah National Park is simply astounding. In fact, it’s hard to sort through them all and pick the best hikes in Shenandoah National Park.
Paulina Falls is a terrific short hike, located just south of Bend, OR in the little-known Newberry National Volcanic Monument. While this “hike” is more of an easy stroll, the reward for the effort is fantastic.
The trail is less than half-mile in total (round-trip) with several options, including one with little elevation gain that heads to the top of the Paulina Falls. You can also head down to the bottom of Paulina Falls for a different perspective (with some elevation change). Additionally, you can make Paulina Falls part of a much longer hike (see the “Paulina Creek Falls Trail” information below).
The Bumpass Hell Trail in Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the most popular, family-friendly trails in the park. Traversing alongside a mountain before heading into the forest, the trail enters a fantastic area of geothermal features that is so colorful and active that you simply won’t believe your eyes. It is also the largest hydrothermal area in the park.
In the remote southeast corner of Crater Lake National Park sits the Pinnacles Overlook and Pinnacles Trail. This little-known part of the park is not heavily trafficked and definitely not what jumps to mind when most people think of Crater Lake. However, the lack of people in the area only adds to the enjoyment for most.
It’s no secret that in order to really see Yosemite National Park that you have to get off the beaten path, and there are a ton of Tuolumne Meadows hikes that provide you many opportunities to do so. While there is a lot of things do in Tuolumne Meadows (without venturing far from Tioga Pass, the main road through this part of Yosemite) without even leaving your car, we’re confident that you’ll love the hiking in this wonderful, relatively isolated part of Yosemite National Park.