Whether it’s challenging terrain, a particular lookout, or a memorable moment with our favorite adventure partner, we all have that one trail that we love above all else. Here are a few of our ambassadors favorite trails:
Observation Point Trail in Zion National Park
Brooke Froelich: @brooke.froelich
I’ve hiked a lot of miles all over the country with my son but the Observation Point Trail in Zion National Park stands out as a favorite. I took a road trip with my 14-month-old son, Huck, to southern Utah on a weekday in the spring and we nearly had the trail to ourselves. The 8-mile hike climbs over 2,200 feet and requires a moderate fitness level, but the views are nothing short of outstanding. After climbing in the shade and wandering through the rock canyon, the red canyon walls open up and the desert wind is the only sound you’ll hear for the last mile and a half. Sharing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with Huck while we overlooked the giants in Zion National Park was the best end-of-hike reward I could ask for.
When I’m hiking in the backcountry with Huck, having a stable and supportive hiking boot and an effective layering system is everything. While I’ll often try other shoes when I’m hiking alone, when I’m carrying a heavy pack and/or child, the Moab’s can’t be beat. I really work up a sweat while carrying Huck, but always carry a lightweight breathable and moisture wicking jacket along with a puffy layer that can be packed down small in my pack.
Merrell Gear: Moab 2 Mid, Micro Lite Vest, Midweight Long Sleeve
North Coyote Buttes in Kanab, UT
Justin Fricke: @JustinLFricke
My all-time favorite trail is North Coyote Buttes in Kanab, UT. That name probably doesn’t mean much, but most people know this famous trail as The Wave. This 8-mile hike through the desert, without any trail markers, is quite challenging. When I got to do the hike in 2016 with my brother, the BLM Office only allowed 20 people per day to hike to The Wave. They gave us a map of outdated photos to find our way to the geological phenomenon. Maybe winning the lottery for a permit and wandering our way to The Wave is why I love this hike so much, or it could be the sheer beauty of the place.
Merrell Gear: Capra Venture, Short Sleeve Tech Tee, Buff, Prins Pant
The Plain of Six Glaciers Hiking Trail in Banff National Park
Nick Zupancich: @NAZpicture
My absolute favorite trail that I’ve hiked would have to be The Plain of Six Glaciers Hiking Trail in Banff National Park. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada, it starts at the base of Lake Louise and steadily climbs along several tall cliffs and ridges before reaching the famous tea house at Lake Agnes. This hike is absolutely stunning and on top of it all, I witnessed three thunderous avalanches off the face of Mt. Lefroy before starting my way back to the trailhead. This is a moderate to difficult hike due to the steepness and takes around 4 hours to enjoy all the spectacular lookouts.
My favorite Merrell Trail Shoe is the All Out Blaze Mid Waterproof. They are the lightest and most comfortable hiking shoe I’ve owned to date. They are roomy enough for my wide feet and look great covered with trail dirt.
The Herman Gulch Trail, Denver CO
Chris Harrington: @CWHarrington
The Herman Gulch Trail, located just an hour west of Denver, CO off of I-70 offers amazing “bang for your buck”. The trail begins at 10,332 feet, offering grand Rocky Mountain views with various options for adventures. My two “go-to” options are the 6.6-mile round-trip hike to Herman Lake (moderate difficulty) and the 11-mile round-trip hike up to 13,144 feet on the Continental Divide (strenuous difficulty). I first visited this area last summer on the suggestion of my friend, Nick, and I was giddy running along the airy trails.
The trip to Herman Lake gains 1,600 ft in 3.3 miles, all of which is lost on the return to the car. While the trailhead begins in the trees, it soon rises above treeline and heads right for Herman Lake in a no-nonsense manner. The trail is steep and the air is thin, but it’s relatively easy to return to the trees if bad weather starts rolling in.
The trip to the Continental Divide begins the same, however 2.8 miles in you’ll veer right at the Jones Pass junction and follow the Continental Divide trail until you hit an obvious high point about 5.5 miles (and 3,000 ft up!) from where you began. Retrace your steps back to the car. This trip is as hard (if not harder) than many of Colorado’s famous 14ers. As with any hike above treeline, plan to start your day early to avoid afternoon summer storms, and give yourself an extra buffer.
Apparel (Torrent Wind Shell): It’s windy up high! A light packable wind shell can be helpful in the generally dry Colorado summers.
Shoes (Agility Peak Flex E-Mesh): I love the fit, cushion, tread, and how well this shoe holds up to rocky trails. This is my go-to shoe for long days on the trail running and hiking.
Which trail do you love?
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