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  1. #1

    Default Serious question, easiest hike with best bang for your buck.

    My wife has terminal cancer, somewhere around 12 months quality of life left according to the doctors. We are avid backpackers and we do most of our hiking in California and Europe. We attempted some trails in Sequoia NP recently and unfortunately she is weaker than a few months ago and had to turn back. I am looking for some places that are relatively flat, or very gentle with some sort of "wow" factor for here to enjoy. Here in Florida its flat of course but the heat is brutal. I have to be very careful and make sure she doesnt over do it. She is determined to hike, very strong willed, but she knows what she can and can't do. So if any of you know a cool place that she would enjoy let me know. We don't mind traveling. Thanks in advance.
    " 6 bucks and my left nut says we're not going to be landing in Chicago" Del Griffith

  2. #2
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    Very sorry to hear.

    The first 50 or so miles of the 100 Mile Wilderness. From Kahtadin Stream to the road before Whitecap.

    The Shenandoahs.

    For an overnight, from Bear Mtn State Park to Overmountain Shelter, on a clear night. The night view of the NYC skyline is very thought provoking from such a natural spot.

  3. #3
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Wow that really sucks so sorry.
    I would second the Shenandoah National Park in the fall. You could rent a cabin in the woods somewhere in the park as base camp and choose your hikes within park and views.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Wow that really sucks so sorry.
    I would second the Shenandoah National Park in the fall. You could rent a cabin in the woods somewhere in the park as base camp and choose your hikes within park and views.
    And after you have had enough hiking for the day, still more views via car on Skyline Drive. Also lots of prepared food and resupply options.

  5. #5
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    If you haven’t been to the Tetons, by all means GO!
    You can get up close with a car and low level trails. Sunset from the Oxbow is STUNNING.
    FLY TO Jackson Hole Airport. Rent a car. Our family has stayed at Signal Mountain Lodge on several occasions. It never disappoints. And the sunsets are stunning!
    Wayne

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    Thumbs up Add my vote to Shenandoah NP

    You can actually slackpack quite a bit of Shenandoah National Park.
    https://www.goshenandoah.com/specials/hiking-packages
    Pretty nice overlooks, wild animal sightings almost guaranteed,
    https://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/sho...archid=1082730
    and you can get off The Trail just about anywhere should you find the experience more than you can handle.

  7. #7

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    I’ll echo what others have said and admire strongly your commitment!

  8. #8

    Default

    I’m so sorry about your situation.

    If you fly into the Tetons, as Venchka suggested, I recommend you hike in Yellowstone, too. The scenery in the Tetons is astounding, but Yellowstone has some interesting things to see, as well, and the trails are generally pretty reasonable. PM me if you want ideas.

  9. #9

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    Milford Track in New Zealand. Its a multiday trip and very well graded trails with "huts" every night. No need to carry anything except for personal gear as they fly in the food to the staffed huts. It goes through a UN designated natural heritage area. The daily hikes are at most 4 or 5 or hours long for very slow people. The heli supported huts also serve as backup plan if need be, they do not encourage it but they can evacuate people out from the huts via helicopter. The down side is it is in southern NZ in the southern Hemisphere so seasons are reversed from North America. The flight there and back is a long one and it sucks but once there there are lot of options for both Alps like hiking to tropical hiking on the North Island. The flora and fauna are definitely different. Many folks spend 3 or 4 weeks over there and have only scratched the surface. Lord of the Rings was filmed all over NZ and lots of guided trips to areas they filmed.

    Start of the hike is boat ride up a sounc (Fiord) , then hike along a river, through tropical forests up to a pass in the mountains, then down the other side and another hike along a river to Milford Sound. Last day is boat ride up Milford Sound which has thousand foot cliffs on either side loaded with waterfalls.

  10. #10
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    Pictured rocks NL. Follows the lake Superior shore, so no big climbs. Getting permits this late could be a challenge. Call them.

  11. #11

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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. @peakbagger, NZ was on the list as well as Nepal prior to our situation. Unfortunately, we are limited on our travel windows due to treatments. Thank you for your suggestion.

    @venchka, Wayne I have been reading your words of wisdom for ages. Did you move? I thought you lived out west. The Tetons/ Yellowstone is on the list. When does winter set in, when would be the last week of the season more or less to visit?

    @odd man out, also, what is the weather window for Michigan. Actually, when I first thought of asking here, Michigan was my first thought. I've seen many pictures over the years, very pretty, until winter lol. Thanks for your suggestion

    To everyone else, we are headed next to Shenandoah NP. We will visit D.C as well. Thank you so much for making suggestions, I really appreciate it. Got some good suggestions via PM as well. I will offer my suggestion to you guys. If you have never been to Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia NP, I would encourage you to put it on your list. Don't worry about gas, air fare, economy, just go. What I have come to realize, tomorrow might not come. Just go!!

    Thanks everybody.
    " 6 bucks and my left nut says we're not going to be landing in Chicago" Del Griffith

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    While in DC, you might check out the C&O canal path. I know it goes at least as far as HarpersFerry, where it is part of the AT for a couple miles. Mostly for biking. Starts in Georgetown. .

  13. #13
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    If travel to Europe is an option, I would recommend the Camino de Santiago where you can do sections and easily use public transit to skip around since some segments aren't that interesting. I am not a particularly religious person but still found the spiritual/historical aspects of the hike very uplifting. I walked from St. Jean Pied du Port to Burgos in October 2019. I am very sorry about your situation and hope you and your wife enjoy SNP.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    If travel to Europe is an option, I would recommend the Camino de Santiago where you can do sections and easily use public transit to skip around since some segments aren't that interesting. I am not a particularly religious person but still found the spiritual/historical aspects of the hike very uplifting. I walked from St. Jean Pied du Port to Burgos in October 2019. I am very sorry about your situation and hope you and your wife enjoy SNP.
    My wife is from Seville in Southern Spain, we were planning to do the Porto route in the fall of 2019, but we wound up spending end of 2019 to early 2021 for treatment in Germany. By the time she was healthy enough, lockdowns in Spain and Portugal were still going on, so we just came home. Its on our list, and our list isnt going anywhere. Thank-you for your suggestion.
    " 6 bucks and my left nut says we're not going to be landing in Chicago" Del Griffith

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    I'm very sorry to hear of your situation.

    I'm only familiar with Harriman State Park in NY and some NJ trails, and none of them are flat with a wow factor, but i hope you get to spend as much time hiking with her as you can.
    All the best

  16. #16
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    For northern UP of MI, i would say through early October. Fall colors propably peak in early October. In the fall, that Lake will help moderate temps. By the end of October, it can get wintery.

  17. #17
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    “venchka, Wayne I have been reading your words of wisdom for ages. Did you move? I thought you lived out west. The Tetons/ Yellowstone is on the list. When does winter set in, when would be the last week of the season more or less to visit? “
    Slowdive:
    Thanks for the kind words. Yes, we moved from northeast Texas to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
    The arrival of Winter: Researching my memory banks. I have visited Grand Teton NP from late May to early September. I don’t remember any snow around Jenny Lake or Lake Moran. Cold mornings in early September in a tent! I was in the Tetons-Yellowstone in early July 2 years ago. The Teton Crest Trail was closed above 9,000’. However, there was no snow anywhere accessible by automobiles. We took the boat across Jenny Lake and visited the cascades. A short and mostly flat trail.
    I didn't mention Yellowstone earlier because I have no idea what the situation is there right now. Again, low elevations accessible by car were snow free from late May until early September. We have visited Yellowstone from the Tetons by car as far north as Old Faithful. If you can get in, the Old Faithful Inn is worth a visit and day hikes around the thermal features on level boardwalks. You can do the same trip from the Tetons with an early start and a late finish.
    All the best to you and your wife!
    PS: Northern New Mexico is nice. Probably not as crowded as the Wyoming National Parks. Southwest Colorado around Durango is spectacular, but the terrain and altitude might not be acceptable for Y’all. The train from Durango to Silverton would be nice!
    It’s all good along the Continental Divide from Santa Fe to Jasper, Alberta!

  18. #18

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    I backpacked in Yellowstone this weekend. The high was maybe 80*, the low 42*. There was rain, hail and a thunderstorm. Things were squishy. Last year, I backpacked until the end of September, and then felt the weather was too unpredictable. They just started the online reservation system this year, and stringing together a longer trip might not be possible, but they have many walk in permits, and an overnight or two is possible. Currently, both upper and lower loops are open, and all gates are open EXCEPT Gardiner and the NE Entrance. I imagine you can’t backpack in the area of the park off the Roosevelt/Silver Gate road… though they might grant you a permit if you were willing to walk to the trailhead. I don’t know about that. If you are interested in staying in park lodging, check out Xantara. Supposedly there are openings because people cancelled. It’s pretty squirrely this year—some lodging is closed (Roosevelt, Mammoth), some of the food service areas are closed, and yet, I see more rangers. Questions, PM me.

  19. #19

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    September in Yellowstone is amazing. The crowds are mostly gone and the heat of the summer is usually over. With that said, the weather is even more unpredictable after Labor Day than mountain normal -- you might find more rain or snow than you care to deal with, or you might luck out with days of bluebird skies. Go prepared with backup plans and gear for all weather.

    The north side of the park experienced major flooding about a month ago, and some areas will remain closed indefinitely while repairs are done. I don't have current information on what is closed, but I know the main road between Gardner, MT and and Mammoth Hot Springs is gone (perhaps the old wagon road is open for tourists?), and the road between Roosevelt and Silver Gate/Cooke City is partially destroyed (with no good alternate).

    Shoshone Lake, in the southern part of the park, is one of my favorite spots. I've used my canoe to get there in the past, but a parallel trail through the woods shouldn't be too difficult.

    Best of luck to the two of you.

  20. #20
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    If looking for anything closer to FL, whether a scenic detour on the way back, or another trip, here are a few suggestions:

    The Roan Mountain balds are very popular with good reason. Its an easy hike to the balds for 360-view eye candy. About an hour off I-26 from Unicoi, TN but worth the drive. Better yet, stay at Mountain Harbour hostel and let them shuttle you to several excellent spots in the vicinity.

    Coming south from Roan, I'd do the Blue Ridge Pkwy for whatever distance you can before and after Asheville, taking in the city for at least a day. There are the highest altitudes on the BRP and some great pulloffs along the way to stop and enjoy the cool mountain air.

    Wayah Bald outside of Franklin, NC has a wonderful view, especially early in the a.m., and its both drivable and relatively uncrowded for as easy as it is to access.

    Lots of hikes around these areas that might be good if interested.

    p.s. I have relatives that live on N. Merritt Island.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

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