Your favorite parks in the West

12:17 p.m. on July 11, 2011 (EDT)
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Come late August, I'll be setting off on a 5+ month hiking/backpacking trip. I'm starting in Grand Teton NP and then probably heading to Yellowstone. I'm trying to keep the trip open format so I can meet other hikers and not have the pressure of a schedule but I don't want to walk past amazing parks unknowingly.

So I ask: what are your favorite parks/hikes in the West?

3:13 p.m. on July 11, 2011 (EDT)
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That is a very open ended and full question to ask.As for National Parks I would select North Cascades National park and Crater Lake.For great wilderness areas Wind Rivers and surround wilderness areas.Goat Rocks and 3 Sisiters wilderness.Four of these are in the Pacific NW.Also I should add Olympic National Park.The forests and mountains there are stuning.this is just a short list and I could add much more but theses would keep you active for  some time.

4:07 p.m. on July 11, 2011 (EDT)
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Grand Teton, Glacier,Yellowstone,Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Canyonlands, Arches, Zion.

4:27 p.m. on July 11, 2011 (EDT)
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I have been to the Grand Canyon and Yosemite.  Plan on going back.

4:41 p.m. on July 11, 2011 (EDT)
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Zion, , Joshua Tree, Olympic, and Sequoia or Kings Canyon.  Zion, Kings, and Sequoia can be reserved in advance, but may be tough to get walk on camping permits as their popularity exceeds prevailing quotas. Joushua Tree is best attempted midweek as that venue does not have reservations and is quite popular. 

Late August is best time to see Olympic; it is the driest time of the year in that region.  The Sierra Nevada parks are also best visited earlier rather than later on your rota, as they are at altitude and fall brings the cold as well as unpredictable, sometimes tempestuous weather.  Zion is a good fall destiny; shoot for mid October to late November for best fall colors.  Joshua Tree is a good fall through mid spring venue; It may get down to freezing on mid winter nights, but precipitation is minimal.

Ed

9:38 a.m. on July 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Zion, Bryce, and Canyonlands, Greand Teton and Yellowstone. If you do Zion try and do the Subway hike, i missed my chance last year but i hear it is by far one of the best hikes in the US that not many people do.

8:59 a.m. on July 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Thank you for your recommendations everyone. Ed, you really nailed my thinking about traveling with the weather. I'll be meandering south as winter comes and your itinerary matches this idea.

October 21, 2014
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