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Adventure Hiking with the AllTrails App

Explore the world one hike at a time

Let me start by saying I have a love-on for the Alltrails App (via www.alltrails.com on your laptop or via the Android or Apple app versions of the site)! Add to the apps power with a Fitbit or activity tracker, and you have an opportunity for exploring any area you may be visiting with the rewards of great sights, new off-the-beaten-path adventures, and some healthy exercise to work off all the new foods you’ve enjoyed the past few days.

what beauty might you find?Combine the fact that my partner and I are very active people and uber-competitive. As such, we love cruising because it presents a new island or stop every day that you can get out and explore (and a great many stairs to climb between the dining and the pool deck). Park us at the beach for a day and we’ll get our 10,000+ steps walking the beach hand-in-hand seeking a secluded spot others may not venture to find. Drop us on an island with an extinct volcano (St. Kitts) and we’ll seek to hike to the top and peer over the rim – just because!

Alltrails.com opens up new paths to explore

Alltrails.com is an amazing app for the outdoor explorer with over 50,000 trails around the world. Whether you prefer the “Easy” strolls along creeks, waterfalls and fields or “Moderate” AllTrails apphikes with some strenuous elements of hills, rougher terrain or longer distances or the “Hard” hikes with very strenuous effort, terrain or conditions, I guarantee you will find some new areas to explore and see some great new terrain or vistas as you earn your steps for the day.

  • AllTrails is free as a guest or personal account with enhanced PRO features
  • Research hikes in an area you want to visit and favorite them for future reference
  • Customize your search options to narrow the selection (like location, difficulty, length, what to see, elevation gain)
  • Check out reviews from previous hikers and see the trail descriptors
  • View in topographical map format and see the mapped elevation of the hike
  • PRO enhancements include additional downloadable overlays, map downloads for tracking even in offline modes, and customizable map experiences

Samaria Gorge, Crete, GreeceThe GoGirlfriend team enjoys competing (who earned more steps, who’s setting the pace today), enjoys exploring a new area from a natural perspective, and we love to offset our sinful calories with healthy exercise.

As we’ve found the AllTrails app experience this past year, we’ve embarked upon a journey of exploration seeking to up our game with new records (step count, elevation in the floors climbed) and explore a visited area in it’s natural geographic beauty.

Oh, and while you are out exploring, consider finding a few geo-caches (there’s over 3 million). These geo-cache finds are great spots to slow down along your hike, take a breath and look for some geo-treasures!

A journey of adventure hiking

Here are some of our favorite hikes from our travels that started with a very aggressive cruise excursion hike 10 years ago:

summiting Mt. LiamuigaMount Liamuiga in St. Kitts – this was our first hike experience on a serious kick-your-ass, we’re-not-in-enough-shape-for-this kinda way cruise excursion while on our first Royal Caribbean cruise. This is a 4 mile hike up the side of an inactive volcano, climbing 2080 ft in elevation labelled as “Hard” (it was) that delivered a stunning view into the cone of the volcano and scenic panorama of St. Kitts and the Caribbean Sea. An out of breath, can’t-walk-the-next-day spectacular experience that hooked us into hike exploring if the opportunity presented itself.

Samaria Gorge, Crete, Greece – 11 miles, 7700 ft elevation drop labelled as “Moderate”. Truly a spectacular hike all downhill from a mountainous trailhead descending the side of the mountain and traversing the path of a dried riverbed with epic cliffsides and vistas. On this crazy terrain we learned that the proper hiking shoes can save your feet (and toenails) and that even the most remote regions of the Greek isles can yield spectacular beauty.

Indian Canyon, CaWest Fork Trail within Indian Canyons of the San Jacinto Mountains, California – 5.5 miles, 1580 ft elevation gain labelled as “Hard” up and into the dry mountainous terrain of the Palm Springs, Ca. area. The initial ascent up over 150 floors was a very strenuous workout, ending with just shy of 200 floors (setting our January 2018 record since we began fitness tracking) with crazy amazing mountain views and the harsh dry rocky terrain of the Mohave Desert.

Arizona’s Hot Springs Trail, Lake Mead area, Nevada / Arizona border – this was an interesting “Moderate” trail starting high and descending 3 miles distance one way and 1150 ft elevation one way to the Colorado River before ascending on a new path back to the trailhead. The Colorado River scenery was amazing but the exciting part of the trail was the natural hot springs you could soak in (pools starting about 95’F getting hotter to 115’F) and had to pass through to resume the trail. A fun, scenic, hot springs hike.

El Toro Trail, Puerto RicoEl Toro Trail, El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto Rico – a shorter 2.5 mile, 1350 elevation gain hike labelled as “Hard” to the highest point in Puerto Rico. A challenging uphill trek through the humid rainforest (post hurricane Maria so no forest canopy) in sopping mud tracks with the last 1000 ft a steep stone staircase climb to the summit. Unfortunately, rain and very heavy clouds prevented our panoramic view of the island, but we proudly summited in the rain before heading back down.

Profile Trail to Calloway Peak in the Grandfather Mountains, North Carolina – clocked as 7.6 miles, 2380 ft elevation gain and labelled as “Hard”, this punishing second half of the uphill portion and knee-stretching descent yielded Smokey Mountain vista’s that seemed to go on forever. This current elevation record of 277 floors once we ended the hike sets us a new record and a reinforcement to the myth that the downhill trek is easier than the uphill trek. Uphill is certainly a cardio and leg muscle workout, but the downhill certainly is punishing on the knees if the terrain is steep and uneven!

Grandfather Mountain, NCOur next big challenge … Ben Nevis in Scotland – 10.5 miles to the peak with an elevation gain of 4400 ft in what looks to be a solid 5 mile climb – I see new records being set!

While hiking we’ve learned that:

  • Downhills are often harder than uphill
  • Snacks are essential to keep the energy strong
  • Pack appropriate clothes for varying temperatures as you climb higher and/or rain gear in case you get caught in a passing storm.
  • Proper hiking shoes are a must (especially for rocky terrain and downhills) - love my Keen's!
  • Downloadable maps keep you on the trail even in no service zones

Thanks Alltrails.com for opening up a new way to adventure explore!

Are you an adventure hiker? Have you used and enjoyed the AllTrails app? We’d love to hear your hike records. Drop a comment below on your faves or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Viator

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