3 Hidden Gems off the Beaten Path

If you are you wondering where you can find accessible hikes with spectacular views without being surrounded by crowds, then you've come to the right place. Here's our top 3 gems off the beaten path that were some of my best experiences in nature.


1. Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery

Located 40 miles northeast of Vernal on the Utah-Colorado border on 390 acres in a beautiful sandstone geologic setting, the hatchery provides management and production of trout for mitigation of Colorado River Storage Project waters of the Upper Colorado River System.


At the Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout are raised to stock areas in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. Visitors can walk among the hatchery raceways, where trout are raised, or enjoy a hike on the Jones Hole Trail which follows Jones Hole Creek for 4 miles one way, from the Fish Hatchery to the Green River. The trail ends near the confluence of Jones Hole Creek and the Green River.

Jones Hole Creek
Only 7000 Visitors annually visit this gem
Beautiful waterfall on Jones Creek
The only person I saw during my 2 days was this lady fly-fishing
End of trail provides beautiful views of the Green River
My campsite on the bank of the Green River
After spending 2 days exploring this gem I took a well deserved rest by the creek

2. Harpers Corner Trail

The trail features stunning panoramic vistas high above canyon country in Colorado/Utah’s Dinosaur National Monument. The landscape below, cut and eroded by the Green and Yampa Rivers, spans millions of years of geologic time. The drive to Harpers Corner Trail is spectacular as you follow the paved 32 mile (one way) Harpers Corner Road that starts at the Canyon Visitor Center in and ends at Harpers Corner. The road is typically closed in winter, and reopens in spring. The 2. 2 mile round-trip trail follows a ridge to an overlook where there are spectacular views of the Green and Yampa Rivers near their confluence at Steamboat Rock.

View of Green River and Yampa River from trail
View of the Green River from the overlook
The trail is 2.2 miles round trip.
Spectacular view of the Green River from the trail. I did not see another soul today!

3. Spectra Point and Ramparts Overlook

The Spectra Point and Ramparts Overlook Trail is the best hike in Cedar Breaks National Monument, and the most popular, since it starts right beside the visitor center, along Hwy 148 near the southern park entrance. The path follows the edge of the plateau, above the most spectacular of the red rock formations, then descends gently through light woodland to a white earth promontory, after 1 mile you reach Spectra Point, which overlooks the deep ravines of Jericho Canyon and Ashdown Creek. The next section drops down more steeply through denser, moister woodland and ends 1 mile later at Ramparts Overlook.

View from the trail near Spectra Point
Spectra Point
View from Ramparts Overlook
4 mile round trip hike with amazing views
I was the only one on this trail today!

Serenity in Nature

Nature provides some amazing gifts, but finding a quiet place to enjoy them can sometimes be challenging. Despite the fact that so many people are visiting national parks and monuments, I love being able to experience them without the crowds, to take in the beautiful views, and enjoy the serenity. These 3 hidden gems will give you soul-satisfying moments in nature.


Breathe in. Breathe in. Move on.

Mark

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