My trail addiction began in 2009 as I was preparing to hike the Inca Trail. That year I bought a bunch of hiking books and dog-eared all of the strenuous hikes. Many years later, as I was training for the John Muir Trail I found that while technology had advanced, it was still extremely difficult to find the perfect hike.
I started Trees and Tents as a way to catalogue my hikes in hopes of eventually creating an easily searchable database of walks, hikes, and outdoor adventures. By sorting by difficulty level, distance, location, and elevation gain, our trail guides are designed to help you easily find the trail that fits your needs. Because sometimes you just want to stroll on the beach with your dog, you can also search by features, including hikes with waterfalls, bird watching destinations, lakeside hikes, and many more
Because wildflowers and panoramic views are best admired in person, our hike descriptions provide only the essential information you need to know before setting off on the trail. My goal is to help you spend less time researching and more time hiking.
A Guide to Our Difficulty Ratings
Everyone has a different level of physical fitness so I’ve tried to standardize the definitions of what is easy, strenuous, and everything in between. The criteria used when assigning a difficulty rating is outlined below.
Easy: Four miles,or less, and relatively flat (less than 500 feet of elevation gain). These trails are typically on paved trails or fire roads, and are easily accessible trail walks for families or people looking for a casual stroll.
Moderate: Distance ranges from 3-7 miles with some manageable incline or elevation gains. The trail may be rocky or uneven, but should be accessible to anyone who is moderately active.
Difficult: These hikes range from 6-9 miles with elevation gains of 700-1,500 feet. These hikes are ideal for physically fit adults or older children who have previous hiking experience.
Strenuous: Try these hikes if you want a workout and are looking for something that will make you sweat! Ranging in distance from 8-13 miles with elevation gains of more than 1500 feet, these hikes are best for hikers with a high level of physical fitness.
Butt-Kicker: Trails over 10 miles withserious elevation gains of over 2,500 feet are no joke. These hikes will kick your butt and are only suitable for experienced hikers who are very physically fit.
Like all outdoor pursuits, hiking can be dangerous. It is up to you to assess your fitness level and educate yourself about any potential dangers. While I try to regularly update the hiking guides, you should always research trail conditions before heading out. When available, the contact information for the park service or ranger station is listed at the bottom of each trail description. Always do your due diligenceand arrive prepared.
Being prepared means arriving to the trailhead with water and some basic provisions. Each and every time I hit the trail I bring a backpack with more water than I think I need, a small first aid kit, and a snack. Check out the 10 Essentials post for an easy packing list. Stay safe and soak up the magic of nature.