Summary of “The 22 best US national parks to escape the crowds, chosen by experts”

3 The attraction: Bryce Canyon national park, UtahThe alternative: Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument, Utah Hoodoo ‘garden’ in the Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument.
7 The attraction: Gettysburg national military park, PennsylvaniaThe alternative: Manassas national battlefield park, Virginia Henry Hill at the Manassas national battlefield monument.
In August 2015, Cole and Elizabeth Donelson quit their jobs to visit all 59 US national parks.
Residents of Chicago and Minneapolis may love their local parks – the popular Indiana Dunes national lakeshore and the St Croix national scenic riverway – but if they looked a little further afield they’d find this rich and uncrowded water wilderness.
16 The attraction: Joshua Tree national park, CaliforniaThe alternative: Saguaro national park, Arizona Cyclists ride the Cactus Loop road in Saguaro national park.
17 The attraction: Mount Rushmore national memorial, South DakotaThe alternative: Theodore Roosevelt national park, North Dakota The Little Missouri river flows through Theodore Roosevelt national park.
19 The attraction: Yellowstone national park, Wyoming and other statesThe alternative: Wind River range, including Bridger-Teton national forest, Wyoming The Jackson Ranger district in the Bridger-Teton national forest.
21 The attraction: Zion national park, UtahThe alternative: Cedar Breaks national monument, Utah The amphitheater at Cedar Breaks national monument in summer.

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Summary of “12 Hiking Destinations You’ll Want to Add to Your Bucket List”

So we decided to go straight to the source and asked 12 expert hikers, adventurers, and explorers to tell us about their favorite awesome, potentially underrated hiking destinations that are worth checking out-and how to make the most of your visit.
From waterfalls in South Carolina to international trails in Myanmar and Nepal, here are some of the picturesque hiking destinations seasoned trailblazers swear by.
“Summit Lake is relatively close to Seattle and makes for a great half-day or overnight backpacking trip. From the top of the ridge above the lake, there are stunning views of Mount Rainier and the Carbon River Valley 3,000 feet below. Because [it’s] located outside the national park, it’s a great place to enjoy Mount Rainier without having to deal with fees, reservations, or permits required for many of the hiking and camping facilities at the park. I always recommend checking the Washington Trails Association website for trail reports before heading out on any trail in Washington State. The trail reports often include recent photos and current trail and road conditions.”
“For an adaptive hiker like me, it isn’t heavily trafficked by other wheelchair users, and that might be because, frankly, it’s not wheelchair accessible at all. [It’s] an amazing adventure because I’m willing to get a bit creative. I rely on a friend to piggyback me up the tough parts and strangers on the trail to carry my wheelchair and gear. I hiked Devil’s Bridge on the weekend, because I knew there would be more traffic and I anticipated that I’d need more help on this trail. It’s all about anticipating your needs and planning for them.”
“There’s so much to love about Turner Falls, but the beautiful turquoise water, the stunning waterfalls, the natural pools, and hiking areas are my personal favorites. The difficulty varies based on the trail you decide to take, but you don’t need any hiking experience to enjoy them. Many visitors also rock-climb and kayak in the area, and the park also offers ziplining for those who don’t want to hike.”
“I love this trail because it offers something for everyone. If you want to do a long backpacking trip or an ultra-run, you can do the entire trail within one to three days. If you want to hike a piece of it for a day trip, you can do that too. It circumnavigates Mount Hood, an active volcano in Oregon, and I guarantee that the views of the mountain will be some of the most beautiful you’ve ever witnessed.”
“Not only does the hike bring you to an amazing waterfall, but it also leads you to the wild and scenic Chattooga River. You really lose yourself in the wild back there. Other people aren’t usually around, and if they are, they’re probably boating. It’s moderate to strenuous at time, and I think most people should have some hiking experience under their belt before trying to take on this trail. To someone wanting to hike it, I’d suggest planning to spend a full day hanging around Chattooga-maybe even book a yurt and a rafting trip to see it from both angles.”
It’s easy to access and not many people are on it because they are hiking the popular destinations in the park.

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Summary of “10 Most Breathtaking Day Hikes in the U.S.”

Here are some of the best national parks for hiking in the U.S., as well as some easy day hikes that you can do within each park.
Of course, there are plenty of multiday treks available in most parks as well, but if your time is limited or you’d simply rather spend your time doing other things, day hikes may be what you’re looking for.
So get your boots on, get your daypack stocked, and get ready for a look at the 10 most breathtaking day hikes in the United States.
The stunning scenery makes this one of the best day hikes at Yosemite, so if you only have time to do one hike, make it this one.
Devil’s Garden Trail: Spanning a breathtaking 7.5 miles of well-maintained trail, the Devil’s Garden hike is one of your best options for a power walk in Arches.
Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail: You can’t visit Acadia National Park without a hike up its tallest mountain! This hike is accessible any time of the year besides the dead of winter.
Canyon Overlook Trail: At just one mile round-trip, this lovely and leisurely hike won’t likely take you more than an hour, but it takes you through a giant natural cave and ends with breathtaking views over the Zion Canyon.
The Subway: Because this 9.5-mile hike does include some repelling and a decent amount of skill, it’s not recommended that novice hikers attempt to complete the entire trail without a guide.

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Summary of “20 of the best Nordic summer holidays”

Suits Adventure seekersPrice From £1,466pp a weekEpic mountain landscapes, grazing reindeer herds, Sami communities, ambling elks and ferocious wolverines, and rare and vivid flora are the natural highs on a hiking trip into the Unesco Sarek national park in Lapland.
Suits History buffs and foodiesPrice From €690 for 4 daysStyle-savvy tour operator Up Norway has excellent foodie, cultural and outdoorsy trips, including a vegan gourmet tour and festivals.
Suits Nature loversPrice Cabin from £110 a nightWith a feel a little like the Lofoten islands, Senja, Norway’s second biggest island, is famous for whale-watching in winter, but in summer it’s wonderful for spotting sea eagles, and for fishing and hiking amid heart-stopping landscapes.
Suits Romantics, familiesPrice Two nights from £358Whether it’s a hell-raising storm or calming, soporific waves, watching the sea from a Norwegian lighthouse is unforgettable.
Suits Stressed-out workersPrice Room from £142 a nightAt the Kurhotel Skodsborg, an indulgent take on the Scandi wellness experience includes rooftop yoga, cross-fit sessions in the Baltic and more saunas than you can shake a birch branch whip at, including SaunaGus, which infuses essential oils into the heat.
Suits Families, surfersPrice From £237 a night for fourThe white beaches of North Jutland are known for their cute wooden cottages, which thousands of Danes make a beeline for when the sun appears.
Suits Active explorersPrice From £755 a weekWhen your summer is only three months long, you have to go for it.
Suits Explorers/familiesPrice Cottage from £720 a weekFinland’s go-to holiday zone, its Lakeland, includes vast Lake Saimaa, which has a maze of inlets and forested strips hiking, kayaking and swimming.

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Summary of “Peak Performance: The cognitive trick that elite athletes use to achieve seemingly impossible goals”

Years later, I’m still struck by how I was able to move beyond my own fear so I could comfort two strangers.
According to Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness, who write about the accomplishments of elite athletes in their new book Peak Performance, there’s a simple phenomenon that allows people to overcome their fears and limitations: a concept called self-transcendence.
While researching their book, Stulberg and Magness interviewed countless scientists and world-renowned athletes.
Take the story of American long-distance runner Jennifer Pharr Davis who in 2011 achieved a new record by becoming the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail in less than 50 days: 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes, to be precise.
People who exhibit “Superhuman” strength are able to do so only when they focus on a purpose greater than themselves.
“A self-transcending purpose doesn’t come from thin air. It comes from inside you.” In the 1997 film, Gattaca, for example, we learn early on that Ethan Hawkes’ character, Vincent, has always dreamt of going into space.
An incredulous Anton demands to know how he was able to win.
“You want to know how I did it? I never saved anything for the swim back.” In other words, his desire to move past societally imposed limitations allowed him to transcend even the fear of death.

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Summary of “The man who went on a hike”

In his 61st year on this earth, the man who calls himself Nimblewill Nomad left home and walked a very long way through the mountains – about 10 million steps, he estimates, or 4,400 miles.
After some delicate negotiation – he harbored a deep if not altogether ill-founded suspicion of journalists – he agreed to let me walk with him.
On the appointed day, my sister and I drove south-east from Houston, eyes peeled for a walker by the side of the road. As we passed a place on the map called Alligator Hole Marsh, we spotted him: a white apparition on the far side of the highway, walking upstream against the traffic.
As we walked, Eberhart recounted his travels thus far.
His hikes gradually grew longer; he began systematically hiking the Appalachian trail section by section, eventually reaching as far as Pennsylvania.
In 1998, at the age of 60, he decided to set out on his first “Odyssey”, a 4,400 walk from Florida to Cap Gaspé in Quebec, along a sketchy agglomeration of trails, roads, and a few pathless wilderness areas.
After reaching the trail’s end, he returned to the south and, in a blissful denouement, walked another 178 miles from a town near Miami down to the Florida Keys, where he settled into “a mood of total and absolute, perfect contentment, most near nirvana”.
At his age, after all he had experienced, it amazed me that he could hike at all.

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