Go early, go light, go fast, go far, go high and achieve your personal best in one day.

What exactly is an extreme day hike?

Hiking Tips

Hiking Tips

Go Early: Would you rather start out in the dark or end in the dark? You can always sleep after the hike is over. Getting on the trail at 3 or 4 in the morning sounds extreme, but it makes sense.  High altitude hikes can be prone to afternoon thunderstorms.  It’s much better to reach the summit by 10-11am and be out of harms way by the time of afternoon thunderstorms. Another benefit of heading out at or before dawn is cooler weather.  Less heat means less sweating, therefore less water needed and a lighter load.

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Extreme Day Hikes - Nature

Grand Canyon – Rim to River and Back  

It’s not often one can do an extreme day hike by going down to a river and back up the same day. The Bright Angel Trail at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon affords that opportunity and has incredible views. A word of caution: Do this in the wintertime during good weather and be in shape. This hike is famous for people getting in trouble during hot weather along with their tendency to underestimate the uphill climb.

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Extreme Day Hikes - Nature
longs peak day hike

Long’s Peak (Rocky Mountain National Park)

The day hiking wonderland of the Colorado Rocky Mountains has  54 peaks which rise above 14,000 feet. Long’s Peak is one of the more famous and rigorous “Fourteeners” and a “must do” for the extreme day hiker. However, like the other hikes described on this site, be prepared mentally and physically for this day trek of 16 miles round trip and 4850 feet of elevation climb.

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Zion National Park- Hiking -Angels Landing- Observation Pt

The National Parks have some of the great trail hikes.  The key is to go when no one else is there, which means: not summer.  Watch the weather maps and spot a window of opportunity for a pleasant, un-crowded hike.  Winters in Zion National Park are often mild with 60 degree daytime temperatures possible.  DayHiker has hiked this majestic red canyon the past two winters around Jan 1, found the weather great and the accommodations (Desert Pearl Inn, Springdale) upscale. Read more
Grand Tetons Day Hike

Wyoming: Grand Tetons – Cascade/Paintbrush Loop Hike

Many first experience the Teton Range as a visual drive-by on their way to Yellowstone on Route 89.  Stop next time and experience first hand the geologically-recent, dramatically uplifted mountains with canyons sculpted by glaciers.  This is the European Alps, the Colorado Rockies, the California Sierra Nevada’s, the Himalayas in compact form … easily accessible and hikeable on well maintained, gently sloped switch back trails. Read more

100km One Day Hike – Potomac

Well, this was a different and rewarding experience, and certainly an extreme day hike – flying from San Diego to Washington DC to walk 100km (62.5 miles for you metrically-challenged) along the Potomac River.  The walk (hike, race?), sponsored by the local Sierra Club chapter, started close to the Watergate complex (yes, that one) in the Georgetown section of Washington DC, and ended up many hours later a couple of states away at Harpers Ferry. Read more
san diego day hike

San Diego Extreme City Day Hike

This is the third in a series of articles about walking from your home in a highly populated area.  Pt Loma to Oceanside is an 11-hour 39-mile marathon kept interesting by the bay, beaches, and bustle of activity along the scenic coastline and Pacific Coast Historic Highway 101..   I walked this twice (returned by car) as a training hike for the 100km one day 100k trek along the Potomac River starting in Washington DC. Read more

DayHiker Does Dubrovnik

“Where are you hiking, I was asked a few years ago?”  I replied, “Croatia.”  I might as well have answered, “Phoebe” (one of Saturn’s moons), after hearing the next questions: “Why?” “Isn’t it dangerous,” and, “Where is that?”  Yes, the Balkans did have tragic times in the 1990’s, unwinding their pent up political and ethnic differences after the fall of Tito; and clearly, international travel is burdened with security concerns but not is Croatia. Read more

New Hampshire to Mt Washington : Presidential Traverse

For a west coast hiker the quickest way to get a flavor of east coast hiking is to do all or part of the Presidential Traverse. New Hampshire, the “Granite State” with its motto, “Live Free or Die,” gives a hint about the trails. They are free from the structure of easy sloping switchbacks trails so familiar around Europe and the western U.S. The hikes are characterized by constant ups and downs and the pace is slow. The deciduous trees of the lower slopes often blanket a rugged trail of granite-lined ravines. Read more