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With the sun shining, the flowers blooming, and the birds chirping, summer is a perfect time to pull out your hiking shoes and hit the trails.


Of course, summer weather also calls for a little extra caution when it comes to safety. Start the day early to avoid the highest temperatures, and be sure to drink plenty of water. With a little planning, you could be safely seeing some of the most beautiful sites the US has to offer.


If you're not sure where to go, here are a couple suggestions for not-to-be-missed hiking adventures:


Joshua Tree, California With dozens of trails ranging from easy to moderate to challenging, Joshua Tree is the perfect spot for hikers seeking a desert oasis. Keep your camera handy to capture majestic mountain ranges, bighorn sheep, and some of the 700 archeological sites and 88 historic structures the park encompasses. Keep in mind that many of the moderate to challenging trails aren't recommended during the hottest summer months, so be sure to do your research before you head out. Which trails are recommended for the summer months?


Estes Park, Colorado A state known for its mountainous splendor, Colorado doesn’t disappoint. So why not make Estes Park your summertime hiking destination? You can choose short nature walks around peaceful mountain lakes, rock climbing to breathtaking vistas, and even trails for families with smaller children. Afterward, you can get some R&R at one of the dozens of eateries in town, or shop for local sundries. A nice thing about hiking in higher altitudes is that the weather tends to be cooler than it is at sea level. But you should give yourself at least 24 hours to adjust to the altitude before attempting vigorous exercise. Drinking plenty of water is also a must. Get the details about Estes Park right here.


Breakneck Ridge, New York This 5 to 9-mile loop trail near Beacon, New York, is perfect for the experienced and adventurous hiker. Those who enjoy scaling and scrambling rocks will be rewarded with stunning views of the Hudson River, fields of wildflowers, and open areas just perfect for picnicking. Reward yourself after your hike by exploring the town of Beacon, complete with restaurants and shopping options. Check this site to make sure you're properly geared up for the hike before hitting the trails.


Moab & Arches National Park, Utah Breezy streamside hikes and strenuous full-day excursions are just a sample of what you'll find at Moab and the neighboring Arches National Park. Novice hikers will find plenty of areas to stroll among awe-inspiring rock formations, while adventure-seekers can easily get themselves into some daring situations – rock climbing included. Keep in mind that it can be relatively easy to get lost among the rocks, so always take a map, travel in groups and be sure to let someone know what your hiking plans are. Learn more about hiking in Moab and Arches National Park.


Great Falls Loop Trail, Virginia Virginia is for … hikers! Or at least the Great Falls Loop Trail is. With 15 miles of hiking paths (some multi-use for biking and horseback riding), two national parks and plenty of opportunity to spot wildlife and wildflowers, this trail has something for all levels of hiker. Visit this site to choose the path that interests you the most.

The trails are calling! What are you waiting for?


*All content provided in this blog is supplied by Cheryl Locke and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.


Photo credit: Shutterstock

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