Time: 6-8 hours
The words “extreme” and “focus and destress” don’t usually go together, but an exception can be made for hiking. An “extreme” day hike consists of any trail 14 miles or longer, with an elevation gain of at least 4,000 feet. The challenging mileage and elevation, however, will reward you with majestic views and pristine wildlife. An extreme hike is an excellent escape from the stresses of everyday life.
Cody’s Extreme Day Hike Challenge:
- Prepare for your hike: Plan your route, and pack your bag the day before you leave. Adequate food and water are essential for full day hikes. Embark on your day hike as early as possible in the morning.
- Warm up: Avoid mid-hike muscle cramps by stretching for at least 10 minutes. Test out the weight of your bag by doing 10 squats with your backpack on. If it is impossible for you to do 10 squats with your backpack, you need to lighten the load.
- Hike: Choose a pace that allows you to hike steadily with few rests. Short bursts of fast hiking, and many rests will actually take up more time than steady hiking.
- Turn around time: Always aim to return to your starting point before sunset. You don’t want to be hiking in the dark, and the wildlife is much more dangerous at night. Even if it means turning around early, give yourself enough time to hike back to your starting point before nightfall.
- Cool down: Work out those muscle kinks and cramps from a full day of hiking with some easy yoga. If you feel like collapsing in a heap, consider collapsing in a bath, hot tub, or sauna so that you muscles still have a chance to relax.
Don’t know what counts as an extreme day hike? Here are some example extreme day hikes.
Don’t know where to hike? Alltrails.com is a great resource to help you choose a route in your area.