If you’re looking for a hike that gets credit for being something out of the ordinary, then try a tree hike. Avid hikers can expect to find pretty interesting things along the way, but stopping to gaze at magnificent trees really puts a spin on the traditional trip outdoors. Finding cool trees may seem like a tedious task, so head to these places to add some variety to your hike, without having to look too hard.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Joshua Tree National Park is the first place that comes to mind when it comes to planning a backpacking trip like this. Here, the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert meet in such a way that makes it a geological wonderland. The Joshua trees (yucca brevifolia), among other plants like the rare fan palm oases, are gems here. There’s quite a few hikes that’ll take you through, but don’t miss the 7 mile Lost Palms Oasis hike as well as the hike up Mastodon Peak.
Redwood National Forest, California
Many people have heard of Redwood National Forest, but not many have actually taken the paths through here. There’s more than 200 miles of amazing hiking trails within, but you can try the Leiffer-Ellsworth Loop Trail or the Simpson-Reed Trail to be captivated by these ancient and incredible trees. Near here, you can look out for the Hyperion tree, which has been measured as the tallest tree in the entire world.
Crowsnest Heritage, Canada
Located in Alberta, Canada, is the most photographed tree in all of Canada, the Burmis Tree. From seeing a regular image of it, you might wonder what makes it so attractive, inviting countless outdoorsy people to come and see it for themselves year after year. While the tree is not too far off of civilization, those wanting to spend some time here can take advantage of the hiking trails in Crowsnest Pass.
Olympic National Park, Washington
Here in Olympic National Park lies none other than the Kalaloch Tree Cave. What’s also known as the “Tree Root Cave” is a natural phenomenon that resembles the Tree of Life. This amazing scene can be found near the beach of Kalaloch, not too far from the main campground. To get here, or to make a day or backpacking trip out of it, hike the Kalaloch Creek Nature Trail, or the other 73 miles worth of coastline trails within the park. Make sure to also visit the Hoh Rainforest, which is a large temperate rainforest that’s said to be one of the quietest places on Earth. Perfect for admiring the beautiful trees.
Enchanted Forest, Florida
There’s several ‘Enchanted Forests’ located throughout the United States, but this one is no amusement park. Hikers can come to Titusville in Florida to access several miles of hiking trails through a wondrous environment of diverse wildlife, flowers, and of course, trees. You’ll see everything from oak scrubs and mesic, to pine flatwoods and hydric hammocks. Take the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Trail to see these special pieces of nature, some of which are hard to find elsewhere.
Sequoia National Forest, California
Similar to Redwood National Forest, this park is known for having some pretty big trees. In fact, Sequoia National Forest is home to the largest concentrated grove of sequoia trees in the world. Located in the Sierra Nevada, the opportunities for stunning scenery are everywhere, but there’s no question that the sequoias dominate in both size and hiker preference. Whether you come for a day hike or a backpacking trip, there’s plenty here for everyone. Head to the Hume Lake Ranger District or the Kern River Ranger District for the best trails in the park.
Angel Oak Park, South Carolina
Locals here are very proud of Angel Oak Park, which is home to one of the most famous trees in America, the Angel Oak Tree. The tree is believed to be 1,500 years old, which would make it the oldest oak tree on Earth. Of course, that fact makes it somewhat of a tourist attraction, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come here to hike! Johns Island, where the tree is located, is filled with tons of hiking trails, like the Marrington Plantation trail near Goose Creek.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
While none of the trees you see here at Grand Teton are unusual, they are unique in that they blend together so beautifully, like a scene out of a postcard. Hiking by Snake River, you’ll spot a view that is just breathtaking, as all the trees here seem to be talking to one another and agreeing on how tall they should grow and what colors they should change to. In the autumn especially, the way the trees look is amazing. There’s plenty of hikes here and high mountain peaks to climb, so plan on spending a lot of time in Grand Teton admiring the trees.
If you want to do something a little different this time around, then visit these amazing trees on your next backcountry trip!