2017 is coming to a close so we are taking a look back at what we have done and where we have been. It helps put things in perspective and creates excitement for the year to come and the adventures we’ll embark upon. Here is our list of our top 10 favorite hikes of 2017 (in no particular order):
1. Fimmvorthuhals Skogar, Iceland – We said these weren’t in any specific order, but we did want to put this at #1 because this ranks up there with the best hikes we have ever done. This hike provides amazing views, stunning waterfalls and the chance to experience several of the different landscapes Iceland has to offer.
2. Escarpment Trail Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan – The Porcupine Mountains are tucked into a corner of the US many people don’t ever get to see, but should be on your list if you are ever in the area. Escarpment Trail will give you amazing views and the wild feeling of being in the middle of nowhere.
3. Smith Dorrien Trail Canmore, AB, Canada – We didn’t technically hike this trail, but we did have dogs pull us along the trail and we yelled HIKE at them for direction. Either way, our January 2nd dog sledding adventure was one of our favorite experiences in 2017 even though it was -22*F when we started (without the windchill). The scenery on the trail was incredible and apparently where they filmed some of the movie, the Revenant. Check out Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours if you are interested. They treat their dogs well and have a great staff.
4. Lost Lake Trail, Red Lodge, MT – This trail sticks out not just because of the incredible views of the Beartooth Mountains as you follow the Lake Fork River, but because of the solitude this trail had. Not a single other person was seen on this hike which made it even more enjoyable.
5. Mammoth Caves Historic Tour Mammoth Cave National Park, KY – Most people pass the Mammoth Caves by or pass it without knowing they are there. Don’t be those people. This is a National Park and for good reason. We didn’t have a lot of time and the Historic Tour let us see a lot of what the caves had to offer.
6. Hornstrandir Nature Reserve West Fjords, Iceland – We got to cross this place off our travel bucket list and it exceeded our very high expectations. From artic foxes to massive bird cliffs, this was a once in a lifetime experience and further off the grid then we have ever been.
7. Black Elk Wilderness – Horse Thief Lake Area Trail #14 to #89 Black Hills, South Dakota – Tucked in the middle of the Black Hills, Black Elk Wilderness was a nice surprise and offered great views with moderate hiking. There was some scrambling up boulders for some of the more impressive views, but nothing the average hiker can’t handle.
8. Kings Bluff Trail Great River Bluffs State Park, MN – Minnesota isn’t necessarily known for it’s hiking. Lakes, yes. Hiking, not so much. So, when we hiked this trail we were pretty impressed. Not a long hike (2.2 miles) but it had great views and was a nice leisurely hike, which was prefect first thing in the morning.
9. Willow Lake Trail Cloud Peak Wilderness, WY – Wyoming doesn’t get mentioned very often among the great mountain states like Montana, Washington or Colorado, so expectations were low, but hikes like Willow Lake changed our mind about Wyoming being a great place to find adventure. Mountain lakes with fewer crowds? We will take it!
10. Drangarnir Hike or Gasadalur Town Hikes Faroe Islands - The Faroe Islands is a great place to blend in with the locals and immerse yourself into the culture of a small European country. There aren’t a ton of long strenuous hikes, but there are plenty of beautiful places to explore. We got a real taste of what the Faroe Islands were like on our first few hikes. Out to Drangarnir and around the town of Gasadalur. Beautiful scenery while hiking on private land and experiencing the interactions with locals (mostly the sheep).
What were some of your favorite hikes in 2017? New trails? Old trails rediscovered? Let us know on our Facebook or Instagram page so we can put them on our list for 2018. We are wishing everyone a great closeout to 2017 and cheers to our fellow hikers and adventurers for a great 2018!