Spontaneous hiking! I think it must be what I did in Helena, Montana. I was getting ready to leave the city early in the morning, but before doing so, I decided to cruise the streets. What really caught my attention was the mountain visible from every direction. I wondered how to get there, because I would love to hike up for a super view of the city. The mountain is named Mount Helena and is part of Mount Helena City Park, a huge and popular area for runners, mountain bikers and hikers. Being persistent helped me to get closer to this intriguing mountain and a trailhead. I found one at LeGrande Cannon Blvd.
There was no information on how to get to the summit, so my hike started into the unknown. My first shot was the Ambrose Trail, but a local runner told me it wouldn’t take me to the top. I walked back and followed Swaney Trail and then Prairie Trail. At some point I could have taken the 1906 Trail, but instead, I decided to follow what appeared to be a trail. Soon after, I must have gotten off trail. I didn’t meet anyone, and it got really steep. I had to scramble a few sections but managed to reach a highpoint that I believed to be the summit. Now it was just a matter of deciding for a spot to settle and enjoy the view. The hike back down was a challenge because of the steep descent. Later on I realized that I might not have been at the official summit, and there’s probably an easier way to the real summit. Anyway, my view was picture-perfect and I had a great morning hike in Helena.
Ask me why I love to travel in Utah, and I’ll show you my photos of Arches National Park. This dream-like landscape of contrasting colors is simply why I find Utah so attractive. I’ll describe this park as surreal, kinda like a Dali painting. Here you’ll find thousands of stone arches as well as hundreds of pinnacles, fins and balanced rocks.
To me, the main attraction is Delicate Arch. During my full day at Arches I made it to Delicate Arch twice. I spent several hours at the arch in the late morning, and then also in the evening when I went back to shoot sunset photos. The hike is a 3 mile round trip, strenuous but not difficult. It’s actually a nice trail with wonderful scenery all the way to the arch. The arch is heavily visited, so don’t expect a solitary experience.
During the sunset, some photographers became clearly annoyed because people were standing beneath the arch. Although I understand a photographers mind, I also find it important to be courteous to other visitors. Besides, people can add scale to a photo of this 65-foot-tall landmark. I got plenty of photos with and without people. The hike back in the dark with hundreds of people using headlights was a magic ending to a perfect day. During the day and in between my Delicate Arch visits, I roamed the park to see some of the other arches and stone features. Most attractions in the park require only a short hike. There are lots of hiking trails, most are considered easy to moderate, but there are also some few strenuous trails, which I’ll consider for my next trip to Aches.