Top 5 Skyline Drive Hikes

The Skyline Drive follows the crest of the Appalachian Mountains for 105 miles through Shenandoah National Park offering visitors an array of outdoor opportunities including hiking, rock climbing, wildlife viewing or just relaxing in nature. The Skyline Drive offers over 500 miles of hiking trails so finding somewhere to hike is easy … but which…

The Skyline Drive follows the crest of the Appalachian Mountains for 105 miles through Shenandoah National Park offering visitors an array of outdoor opportunities including hiking, rock climbing, wildlife viewing or just relaxing in nature. The Skyline Drive offers over 500 miles of hiking trails so finding somewhere to hike is easy … but which trail should you choose? The following 5 trails are my favorite places to hike along the Skyline Drive.

1) White Oak Canyon Trail (Milepost 42): This is one of the most popular hikes on the Skyline Drive and it's my favorite trail in the park. You pass 6 waterfalls, including one that is 82 feet, and hike through ancient Limberlost Hemlock trees. It is a 4.6 round trip hike to the first and biggest falls. If you want to see all 6 falls, you will have a strenuous 9.6 mile day so plan accordingly.

2) Cedar Run Falls (Milepost 46): This is the sister hike to Whiteoak Canyon and another one of my favorite hikes in the park. You will find this hike less crowded but just as beautiful. The falls are not as high and dramatic as the White Oak Canyon Hike, but you will pass through old growth forests, ferns, and countless smaller waterfalls. It is an out and back hike so you can make it as short or long as you see fit. It's about 9.5 miles if you go all the way to the bottom of the falls.

3) Riprap Hollow (Milepost 89): If you crave solitude and great views, head to Riprap Hollow on the southern end of the Skyline Drive. This 9.5 mile loop offers great views from Chimney Rocks and the rest of the ridge that you will follow during this hike. You will also pass a spring and a nice swimming hole that is great for cooling off on a hot day.

4) Camp Hoover (Milepost 53): For those who want a close look at history, the hike Camp Hoover (also known as Rapidan Camp) will be perfect. It's a moderate 7.5 miles and you pass by the former retreat of President Herbert Hoover. The camp is restored and there are many signs that will educate you on the history of the camp.

5) Stony Man (Milepost 41): This is a great hike for people of all ages and ability levels. At only 3.7 miles, it is the shortest ride listed here but what it lacks in distance is made up for in scenery. Make sure you go on a clear day because this hike offers some of the best vistas in the entire park.

On your next visit to the skyline drive, grab a map and find one of the hikes listed in this article. Any of them would be a great way to spend the day.

Hiking Holidays – Things to Consider While Choosing Hiking Trails

If you want to enjoy your holidays, it plays an important role in your trip. Whether you are going for a day hiking or week hiking to avail your holidays, you have to choose the best trail that is suitable for you and your friends, by doing so your hiking adventure can be more joyful.…

If you want to enjoy your holidays, it plays an important role in your trip. Whether you are going for a day hiking or week hiking to avail your holidays, you have to choose the best trail that is suitable for you and your friends, by doing so your hiking adventure can be more joyful.

If you are in United States, you do not have shortage of options for, if you spend some time in investigation and searching, you will find some trails near your home.

So, you have a lot of choices and need to select a that is best for you. Whenever, there is choice we get confused and are worried that which one is the best for us.if you planned your trip properly and keep some time to research about different paths and their difficulty levels, you will not face any problem during your holidays. In this way you can check this.

Let me help you, first thing you should consider is the difficulty of that particular. In United States, hiking trails have some difficulty levels, some are difficult and are designed for expert hikers and youngsters while some hiking trails are not too much difficult and are designed for old people and children. You can enjoy your holiday there.

Choose the difficulty level according to your stamina and age and best utilize your holidays. In addition, its better to consider your safety while choosing it. By following these tips you can choose the best hiking trail and can enjoy your holidays.

The Dangers of Hiking and What You Can Do About It

In recent times many hikers have become lost or hurt due to their inexperience. Many of these hikers seem to be taking more risks due to technology that will send a 911 emergency message via their device. AP writer Tracie Cone wrote about this very thing on October 25, 2009. It is happening too much…

In recent times many hikers have become lost or hurt due to their inexperience. Many of these hikers seem to be taking more risks due to technology that will send a 911 emergency message via their device. AP writer Tracie Cone wrote about this very thing on October 25, 2009. It is happening too much and I hope to address what can be done.

Hiking in rugged areas can be dangerous. If you do not know what you are doing and are underprepared, then you should not bend in this way. Get some experience in easier surroundings first and then advance up to more challenging areas. I've been hiking for years, with a lot of my initial experience coming from survival training while I was in the Marines. I did do wilderness hiking as a child and in the scouts. All of this helped me to understand that it is more important to be over prepared than just barely making it.

In a recent incident that involved a deputy from California, he ended getting lost with his comrades and had to be rescued in a California mountain area. This incident showed how being unprepared can turn something serene into a potentially dangerous situation.

What can you do that will help you get more prepared. As I stated earlier, practice locally and then move to more challenging surroundings. Get yourself fit. This means do a lot of hikes and exercises that will challenge your body. Make sure you are fit enough to start this training. Like anything else, training is important. Just because you do some day hikes now and then, does not mean you're ready for a real hike in a rugged back country.

First and foremost, do not rely on technology to help you. It may fail and it also shows that you are not really prepared for this type of hiking or backpacking. Get some lessons on wilderness survival or at the bare minimum get a book and practice. Learn everything you can on locating water sources, reading maps, using a compass, orienting via the stars, orienting via nature, findingible and medicinal plants, trapping animals for food, avoiding dangers – wildlife and terrains, and what gear to take.

Even when I do short hikes, I always over prepare. I carry extra water and a first aid kit just for a short hike in Griffith Park. For any longer hikes I will make adjustments accordingly. Before venturing out into more rugged areas, know your terrain. Have plenty of gear to deal with any possible pitfalls. While being positive is great and I teach it, it is also important to look from the perspective of what could possibly happen. From there you prepare.

Prepare for possible weather changes. You do not want to get spoken in a sudden cold spell when all you have is summer clothing. Many times nights can get cold or a weather system bring with it a lot of rain. Learn how to build a survival shelter. Again, this is where practice prior to the hike is important.

Before taking off, notify relatives and park rangers where you're starting at and where you're planning to go to. Give each of them a full plan of your trip. Get yourself prepared mentally for any possibilities that you may be hurt and if it happens, learn to think positive if you do end up this way.

A great school, located in New Jersey, which will teach you how to survive and thrive in the wilderness, is connected by Tom Brown, Jr. His website is at http://www.trackerschool.com . Go there for more information.

I wish a great journey as you venture out into the wilderness with safety and enjoyment.

What Hiking Equipment is Essential?

If you are new to hiking, you have probably asked yourself, and possibly many other people, what equipment you need to get out hiking. With almost as many lists of essential hiking equipment as there are hikers, how can an inexperienced hiker determine what he needs? Depending on the length of hike you are planning,…

If you are new to hiking, you have probably asked yourself, and possibly many other people, what equipment you need to get out hiking. With almost as many lists of essential hiking equipment as there are hikers, how can an inexperienced hiker determine what he needs? Depending on the length of hike you are planning, you will basically need clothes, sustenance, something to sleep in or on, and something in which to carry everything. Sticking with strictly the basics, those are the only things you really need.

Traveling clothes do not need to be anything you do not already have in your dresser or closet. You will, however, need to plan differently for your clothing needs than you might in your everyday life. Often times you will start the day out colder than you will be once you are walking along, and your body temperature may drop at rest times if the weather is cool. Also, whether hot or cold you will need to protect your skin from the sun, so a long sleeve shirt and pants are better than a tank-top and shorts in most cases. The only specialized clothing you may need to invest in is hiking shoes or boots, if you expect to encounter rough terrain.

You will always want to bring along water on any hike, or at least have a way to filter or purify water on the trail. Unless you are planning to hike for only an hour or two, you should bring some food along with you as well. While some snacks will provide you with enough energy for a short hike, you will obviously need to bring more food with you on a longer hike. Dehydrated foods are often the best because the water in food can add unnecessary weight, and you will want to make sure you bring a good balance of protein and carbohydrates to provide you with the nutrition you need.

And to carry all of this along the trail, most hikers opt for some kind of backpack. If you are going on a short day-hike, a small backpack or even a fanny pack could be sufficient, but for a longer hike you will want a pack that offers some of the most common having an internal frame. This will help to distribute the weight of your equipment and if properly fitted it will help reduce fatigue and strain. There are various sizes of these backpacks to suite different styles of hiker from the ultralight to the luxurious, as well as the length of the hike.

The final item is one that may cause some debt, but if you are going for more than a day-hike, you should definitely bring something to either sleep on or in. Depending on the weather conditions, you will need some way to keep warm and dry at night. Even in the warmest weather having something to insulate you from the ground will usually help you get a better nights rest, making it easier to face additional hiking the next day. While for many a sleeping bag or bedroll will fill this spot, others opt for the hiking hammock which is typically lighter and can be more comfortable as well.

As you can see, the deciding factors in finding the essential hiking equipment are usually the length of your hike and your personal hiking style. Of course, being new you may not know your hiking style, but let the rest of your life be your guide, and remember that the luxury you enjoy from the additional equipment can be offset by the added weight of carrying it, so try to find a comfortable balance.

Top 4 Trekking Destinations in the World

There are many tourist destinations scattered in the world, but why not choose an exotic location for your next vacation? Why not choose a spot where you are able to learn about the environment, interact with other cultures and explore the most beautiful places on earth? A trekking trip would be able to satisfy all…

There are many tourist destinations scattered in the world, but why not choose an exotic location for your next vacation? Why not choose a spot where you are able to learn about the environment, interact with other cultures and explore the most beautiful places on earth? A trekking trip would be able to satisfy all of your vacation needs, but where are the best places to go? Here are a few of the top trekking destinations in the world.

1. Discover Nepal.

Nepal has everything anyone could want in a vacation locale. There are breathtaking views, cities filled with spirituality, culture oozing through the country, and endless adventure opportunities available during your stay. You are able to partake in a spiritual journey by visiting the numerous sessions in Nepal and by climbing Mt. Everest embracing the natural environment and breathtaking views.

2. Encounter Tibet.

Tibet is the highest region on earth, and with the options of climbing Mount Everest or visiting the Potala Palace it is difficult to decide what adventure to partake in first when visiting this country. Potala Palace exemplifies Tibetan architecture to its highest degree. Potala Palace sits on the Marpo Ri hill 130 meters above the Lhasa valley. It stands 117 meters in height and 360 meters in width. It is the former residence of the Dalai Lama containing over 1000 rooms within 13 stories. It is divided in two parts, the outer White Palace and inner Red Quarters. The White Palace serves as administrative quarters while the Red Quarters houses the assembly hall of the Lamas, chapels, 10,000 shrines and a vast library of Buddhist scriptures. Thus, Tibet offers much to be seen in the form of a trekking trip making it a top destination.

3. Uncover the Kingdom of Bhutan.

The Kingdom of Bhutan is located at the eastern end of the Himalaya Mountains. It is bordered to the north by China and by the south, east and west by India. It is a nation who people believe in living in harmony with nature. As a result, the country has been identified with 10 bio-diversity hot spots in the world and as one of the 221 global endemic bird areas. It is enriched with wildlife and animals including the snow leopard, golden langur, blue sheep, water buffalo and elephant. Bhutan is a unique nation creating an unforgettable atmosphere for your journey.

4. Travel India.

Between the beaches, scenic mountains, people, and historical monuments, such as the Taj Mahal, India will captivate the heart of any tourist. India is filled with boundless sites and must-see places leaving it difficult to decide where to start. So, decide on what you prefer to engage in first. Ask yourself if you would like to see sites or begin climbing immediately. Keep in mind if you choose India for a trekking trip, then you will discover there is more to experience other than trekking making India a perfect choice for your next outing.

Regardless of what location you choose for your next trip remember do your research. Contact the Bureau of Tourism for each location, ask questions, and gather amounts of information. The more information you have the better decision you will be able to make ensuring you and your loved ones have an astonishing and unforgivable holiday.

Explore the Chilling Experience of Trekking in the Lap of Nanda Devi

Amongst many blessed countries, India is the one that is highly blessed to have so many beautiful places in her lap. Sited amidst mountainous terrains and scenic grandeur of Garhwal Himalayas, Nandadevi is one of the beautiful and massively visited tourist destinations in India. Nandadevi is proudly counted amidst few places owed the two peak…

Amongst many blessed countries, India is the one that is highly blessed to have so many beautiful places in her lap. Sited amidst mountainous terrains and scenic grandeur of Garhwal Himalayas, Nandadevi is one of the beautiful and massively visited tourist destinations in India. Nandadevi is proudly counted amidst few places owed the two peak massif of Nanda Devi, which is the highest mountain in the Garhwal Himalayas and the second highest (after Kanchenjanga) in the country. Such proud possessions have managed to attract the fun enthusiasts and adventure lovers from all over the world. The steep roads that are surrounded by forests of rhododendron, offers exciting trekking routes as well as a fantastic way of connecting to nature.

The description of this trek on papers is complex and would be unjustice to the scenery that unfolds in front of the eyes of the beholder. Snow-clad mountains like Bithartoli-Himal (6354 m), Nanda Ghunti (6309 m), Ranthi Peak (6003 m) to name a few proffers a perfect alternative for people in search of an escapade. Moreover, trekking in Nanda Devi offers the tourists, a chance to have a view of ethereal beauty of Auli bugyals, Urgam valley and Lata village and forests of Rhododendron, Birch and Fir. So if you are one of those, who are in search of an exhilarating trekking experience, Nandadevi is the justified destination for you.

Some of the fantastic trekking routes in Nandadevi are:

Nanda Devi Trek

Scaling heights and all clad in beautiful valley of rhododendron flowers, Nandadevi is an apt choice for satiating your craving for adventure and fun. The trek takes a couple of days and along the route encompasses a whole lot of places that are paragon of beauty and splendor. Some of these places are Bageshwar – Munar – Mikila, Mikila – Rajkharak, Rajkharak – Namik village, Namik Village – Thalthok, Thalthok – Sudamkhan Pass – Bhuyadabli to name a few. During the trek, the trekkers also get the opportunity to experiencing the fun-filled base camps in Lwan – ND East Base camp, ND East Base Camp – Martoli being few of them.

Milam Glacier & East Base Camp

Based in the Himalayan region of Kumaon, Milam Glacier & East Base Camp is an ultimate region to quench your hunger for thrilling trekking experience. Encapsulating several beautiful paces along the way, the Milam Glacier also encompasses the splendor of the Mt.Trishul (7070m), which stands tall outshining everything in the locality.

Namik Glacier Trek

Rarely trekked route, Milam Glacier & East Base Camp is located in the heart of the Himalayan wilderness surrounded by the largest peaks – Nanda Devi (7848 m), Nandakot (6861m), and Trishul (7120 m). The route covers glimpses of villages that are rich in heritage from the Indo-Tibetan trade route and particularly the two villages of Gogina and Namik. Some of the places of interest are Kathgodam – Chaukori, Senar Gad – Dhaldauk, Sudamkhan – Hiramani Glacier and Gogina – Liti to name a few.

Nanda Devi Base Camp Trek

The Nandadevi Base Camp Trek tracks route through the Jauher valley, which is the center of ancient Indo Tibetan trade route. The valley is located on the outskirts of Nandadevi Sanctuary and wraps up the resplendent glimpses of famous peaks such as the Nanda Devi and Nanda kot. Passing through ancient villages and grassy meadows, the trek is along the river Gori Ganga. Some of the places of interest are Almora – Munsyari, Lilam – Bugdiar, Rilkot – Ghangar and many more.

Panchachuli Base Camp

Panchachuli Base Camp is one of the exciting base camps that set out its marquee in a 40-kilometer trek starting from Sobla to Panchachuli Glacier. The route to the glacier flourish in enthralling scenery, snowcapped mountains, gushing Alpine meadows and a rich variety of flora & fauna. Some of the places of interest are Almora – Dharchula, Dhar – Sela, Baaling to Duktu / Dantu and many more.

Panchachuli Glacier & Darma Valley Treks

Touted as one of the most frequently visited trekking glaciers, Panchachuli Glacier & Darma Valley Treks is the ultimate destination for adventure lovers based all over the world. Situated in Eastern Kumaon Himalaya, the trekking route forms the watershed between the Gori Ganga and Darma Valleys. Moreover, the eastern part lies through the Sona and Meola Glaciers and the Uttari and Dakshini Balati glaciers guard the western approaches. The starting point of the route is the Wayfarer Mountain Resort at Munsyari from where drive by jeep is for around 95 kms. to the Indo-Nepal boarder town of Dharchulla. From this town a further drive of 35 kms along the banks of the Dhauli Ganga River approaches the village of Sobla.

Sunderdhunga Base Camp

The Sunderdhunga Base Camp is another exciting trekking destination that manages to attract mass in all the seasons. Some of the places of interest are Almora – Loharkhet, Dakhuri – Khati, Jatoli – Kathalia, Kathalia – Maiktoli Top, Dhakuri – Loharkhet – Song – Bageshwar and many more.

Nanda Devi Sanctuary Trek

Nandadevi Sanctuary Trek is one of the attractive destinations that manage to attract wildlife as well as adventure lovers all over the world. The route to be followed was used by Shipton and Tilman on their amazing journey to the Nanda Devi basin. During the trek there are many views of the surrounding peaks and the Kuari Pass (3658m) itself has an unrivaled panorama of the Great Himalayan peaks including Nanda Devi (7816m), Changabang (6864m), Doonagiri (7066m) and Kamet (7756m).

Today, people from all across the world come to the Nandadevi for different purposes. Some people come to view the ethereal beauty of the nature and some for vacation and holidays. Reasons do not hold much importance, as the Himalayas foothills are just the perfect alternative to experience adventure and get freedom from monotony. Appreciated much for her splendor, Nandadevi encapsulate numerous breath-taking routes to offer you the real sense of adventure that you have been longing for.

New Hiking Trails in Kielder

Have you ever seen Mars, Venus or Mercury? Sure, through a telescope, but have you seen them with your naked eye? At the Kielder Observatory, you can see all those and more. They dangle in space, inline next to the forest track that leads to the observatory. These planets rotate and rock to the whisper…

Have you ever seen Mars, Venus or Mercury? Sure, through a telescope, but have you seen them with your naked eye? At the Kielder Observatory, you can see all those and more. They dangle in space, inline next to the forest track that leads to the observatory. These planets rotate and rock to the whisper of the wind. You would probably find yourself very surprised to run across these celestial bees spinning in the fingers of the wind should you be on any other mountain trail, but this trail leads to Kielder. Kielder is not like most observatories; it's not a big white dome sitting atop a rocky crag. It's more of a modern building that you would not expect to house an observatory.

Further along the track, you will come across another structure that is etched into the side of a crag. If you decide to explore, you will go through a tunnel and into an area you might think to have housed a medieval dungeon. This structure is cone shaped and it contains no windows to allow the light of day entrance. At the apex, you will find a hole to which the heavens seem to press. This weird structure is named Skyspace and is the creation of California artist James Turrell.

If you are planning on taking the jaunt up to Kielder, be prepared for a long trip new trail skirts England's most remote body of water and is shrouded in some of England's densest forest. You'll want to bring some supplies with you, as you will be quite a ways out into the countryside. If you drive up by way of Bellingham to Hawkhope, your eyes will be appreciated to some of the most gorgeous countryside you can imagine. From dark rivulets of water stretching for miles, to the density growth of tall sturdy conifers, the wind will not be the only thing that takes your breath away. The lake is bordered by Kielder Dam, which holds the dark waters at bay. The conifers march in line around the edges of the lake in an orderly fashion, testimony to the hands that planted them. Lakeside Way is constructed of stone and cinders to accommodate not only boots, but also bikes and mobility scooters. It winds around the reservoir for twenty seven miles and has been host to the footfalls of many awestruck tourists for the thirty years it has been in existence.

If you would like to digest a little art along with the landscape, you can manage that here too. The latest architectural tasks to make their way into the forest are six new Shelters that are nestled into the countryside next to Lakeside way. Stell is an isolated stone sheepfold that, as you get closer, you find is actually a sitting spot that sports lacy ironwork cushions. Silvas Captalis is a huge timber head, mouth open to the forest floor. If you are brave enough to enter the mouth of this giant head, you can climb to a point inside where you can look out through the eyes of this huge forest tenant. This beautiful area has no shortage of creation to view, be it nature or by the hand of man.

Robbery While Backpacking in China

Some years back I traveled in February in north China through the Gobi desert. It sounds worse then it was, I traveled by train despite an outside temperature of minus 10C at daytime. It was amazing to see the Gobi desert in the snow. During that journey I was in cities like Hohot, Lanzhou and…

Some years back I traveled in February in north China through the Gobi desert. It sounds worse then it was, I traveled by train despite an outside temperature of minus 10C at daytime. It was amazing to see the Gobi desert in the snow.

During that journey I was in cities like Hohot, Lanzhou and later in Xining. From here my plan was to travel south into a primarily Tibetan and Muslim area. The idea was to have my first stop in Linzhia, and then to Xiahe where there the famous Labrang Monastery, one of the largest Tibatan monasteries in China, but outside Tibet and then further to Langmusi, Zoige, Songpan and finally Chengdu.

In the morning I went to the bus stop, bought a ticket and looked for the bus. There was only one bus ready at this small bus station.

Luggage goes always on top of the bus, with a piece of plastic covering it for rain, snow and other weather elements. So I dropped my pack over and made sure it was wrapped properly so I would not loose it. Satisfied, I got my seat in the bus, waiting for leaving, which should be any minute.

I looked out of the window and … saw someone walking away with a black / purple backpack. It could not be mine, could it? I went out of the bus and saw my pack was gone. And so was the guy who took it.

My backpack contained almost everything I had with me except money, camera, dairy which I had in a small day pack, plus, of course the clothes I was wearing. All my film rolls were gone too (that's why I can not offer a photo of Xining, I do not have any from that trip). Nothing from the beautiful Gobi desert, Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and other sights I saw earlier that week in and around Beijing.

The driver was upset too. The police came, and I found someone to help me out with the translation about what happened. The bus was scheduled to leave at 8am but at 11 the bus was still there. At a certain moment the bus driver came to me and asked if it was OK that the bus would go on it's journey. After discussing with the police, I agreed the bus could go without me (although I would not get my ticket back).

The agent turned out to be a very friendly and helpful guy who put my story in Chinese on an official paper, which was then translated by a very helpful lady who spoke English (she was an English teacher although I doubted her students would learn to speak proper English from her as her English was very basic).

After all the police work, I got the paper for the insurance. It was written on very thin paper but it made the journey home and I got a refund for my goods from the insurance company. But as it goes, you can reply materials, books, even a camera, you can not replace a photo made at a specific time.

The lady asked me to join her and her family for dinner. She told me she was embarrassed with the behavior of her fellow countrymen. I told her this behavior can happen everywhere, just bad luck it happened here and now.

The dinner was held in her own house, which is rare in China. Usually your Chinese friends bring you to a restaurant. However, this was my first experience of the Chinese hospitality. The family was not rich but special for the occasion they had bought chicken feet (my first experience with chicken feet) and other great food. After the pain of the loss of my backpack, this was giving the day a good end.

What is left is the memory of those early days of my first journey in China. What was more important is the memory of a theft and the help you get when you really need it. I have always been grateful for the people who helped me out that day.

Later that journey I had a small Chinese military backpack, which never had to be on top of the bus. However, some months after I cam back in Holland, I went again to China, and again with a backpack. And again, I had most of the time the pack on the roof of the bus. Most of the time there was simply not enough space in the bus to have a big back in anyway. That day in Xining was the only time my backpack was stolen. Bad day maybe, and in many ways I learned a lesson. But I got help in solving the problems, yin and yang, you loose some, you win some. Trust me, I did win quite a bit that day.

Since those days I have traveled, mostly on bicycle, many places including several years in China, but I never went back to Xining.

Transport Methods For Backpackers Backpacking in South Africa

A concern most backpackers will have about coming to South Africa will be on how to get around. Luckily enough transport in South Africa is as easy as it is to travel in your own country. Although there may be the obvious modes of transport they might not always be highly recommended. The best options…

A concern most backpackers will have about coming to South Africa will be on how to get around. Luckily enough transport in South Africa is as easy as it is to travel in your own country. Although there may be the obvious modes of transport they might not always be highly recommended.

The best options to choose from when getting around would be to rent a car, fly or travel on the Bazbuz. With such a great exchange rate to the rand would be budget travelers can benefit from the more luxuries lifestyle than they could back home. Car rental is seen as a great option for friends who come over together. The road infrastructure in South Africa is extremely good and most people will find the wide highways a sheer delight in comparison to tight roads back home. All the main towns and cities in South Africa are linked. A great advantage of renting your own car is that you get to see and do things in your own time. Trips and detours can be made spontaneously adding to the adventure of your holiday. Motor vehicles are often targeted by criminals for their quick cash return so make sure to keep it locked up at night and do not leave valuables in eye sight when you leave the car unattended.

Flying around is great if you are only on a short visit. Most cities with an airport will have a car rental but a serious disadvantage would be that you miss out on everything in between the major cities and when it comes to a country like South Africa that can be a lot.

The Bazbus option is a great option for budget backpackers as this is a hop on hop off service that is linked to pretty much every backpacker's. The nice thing about this is that you are picked and dropped off outside the backpacker's hostel. This way you do not have to worry about getting lost in cities you've never been too. There is no extra tax fare involved to find the hostel and you will get to meet loads of people in the same situation as you. The Bazbus service operates throughout the country so an open season ticket will get you to see everything there is to offer.

There are also many smaller mini bus companies that operate between towns for backpackers not wishing to plan their visit. If traveling by a national coach service make sure that when you make your booking that you will arrive during the day and that there will be someone there to pick you up on the other side. There are many opportunists in South Africa and if they notice you aimlessly wandering around you could find yourself in a stick of trouble.

Top 3 Spots For Hiking in Colorado

Hiking trips account for a large percentage of vacations and getaways, and for several good reasons. Hiking is an activity that provides physical exercise and allows one's mind to drift away from the problems and stresses of everyday life and focus on what's right in front of them: nature. Whether it's a summer hike through…

Hiking trips account for a large percentage of vacations and getaways, and for several good reasons. Hiking is an activity that provides physical exercise and allows one's mind to drift away from the problems and stresses of everyday life and focus on what's right in front of them: nature. Whether it's a summer hike through Glacier Gorge Colorado to appreciate the waterfalls or a winter hike through Canyon Loop Trail, a sense of wonder and amazement is bound to set in.

Naming the “best” hiking spots in Colorado would be strictly up to the observer; as trails range from beginner to more advanced, perilous areas. However, here are my picks for the top three prettiest, most enjoyable trails for “getting away from it all.”

Glacier Gorge

Length: 9.6 miles
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Top Elevation: 10,600 feet
Nearby City: Estes Park
Season: Midsummer through mid-fall.

Located in Rocky Mountain National Park, you will see wildflowers and alpine lakes. Glacier Gorge is a U-shaped canyon that was carved by glaciers. Within a few feet of the trailhead is Bear Lake Branches to the right and thirty minutes in you will arrive at the first point of interest: a beautiful waterfall called Alberta Falls.

Longs Peak

Length: 14 miles
Trail type: Out-and-back
Top Elevation: 12,800 feet
Nearby City: Allens Park

Also located in Rocky Mountain National Park, Longs Peak is actually the highest in the Rockies. Longs Peak boasts of the most climbed route of any fourteener route in the state: The Keyhole Route. This is usually a pretty busy trail which may not work for you if your goal is to avoid other people, but it can be ideal if you are traveling alone, since there will be others around to help if you need it. Tip: It's a long one so save your strength!

Devil's Canyon Loop

Length: 3.2 miles
Trail type: Loop
Top Elevation: 7,420 feet
Nearby City: Boulder

Devil's Canyon Loop Trail is a breathtaking sight. The painted canyon walls, red valleys and massive rock columns make this trail a must see. The Loop is full of waterfalls and sandstone cliffs and is colored with sage and juniper (making it a fragrant hike as well)!

Whiche trail you choose, your Colorado hike is sure to be a memorable one. Make sure that you are prepared with a plan, a map and adequate supplies for the length of your journey. Another tip: bring a camera so that you can share your adventure with family and friends when you get back home!