There are 193 million acres of forests in the United States, and many of those acres are protected in over 100 national forests. When you hit the trail to find that oh-muh-gawwd spot that fills your IG feed, be a good nature steward and hike responsibly: choose sustainable, eco-friendly options over single-use plastics.
Are you ready to explore the wild lands of America?
Chances are, there’s a forest trail not far from where you live. Here are some of our favorites:
Alaska: Tongass National Forest
From easy boardwalk trails to more robust routes, Tongass has over 700 miles of hiking trails for all levels of experience. Pack rain gear and be mindful of your footing as this is a national rainforest—that’s right! A rainforest that provides glacier views. Pack binoculars or a telephoto lens because Alaska is a great state to spot bears and eagles.
Arizona: Coronado National Forest
If Alaska gives you glaciers, Arizona gives you cacti. Packing extra layers, as always, comes in handy in Coronado, as you trek the desert lowlands in winter and the Ponderosa pine forest in summer (at a higher elevation). A popular hiking spot is Sabino Canyon.
California: Yosemite Falls Trail
The reward of this hike is the view of North America’s tallest waterfall. And, if that wasn’t enough, you’ll find panoramic valley vistas en route. Be warned that there’s an elevation gain of 2,700 feet, made climbable by steep, rugged staircases. The round trip is 9 miles.
🌲Runner up: McWay Waterfall Trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park—the trail is short (just 0.6 miles) but it leads to one of the most photographed sites on the Big Sur coastline; it’s worth the drive!
Colorado: Pike and San Isabel National Forests
Colorado’s Rocky Mountains span 3 million acres. Take your pick of any of the abundant family-friendly trails, or choose longer backpacking routes (like the Continental Divide Trail or the Colorado Trail) that weave you in and around nine different wilderness spaces.
Minnesota: Superior National Forest
What’s superior about this national forest is its boreal ecosystem. Take in over 400 miles of up-high trails with spectacular views and historic railroads down low. If your hiking sojourn is part of a camping trip, pitch your tent in any of the 2,200 designated campsites.
Montana: Trail of Cedars, Avalanche Lake
This 6 mile out-and-back trail is moderately challenging in Glacier National Park near Lake McDonald. A popular day route, budget at least 2.5 hours to complete it and leave fido at home—this is a no-dog trail.
New Hampshire: Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Trail Loop, White Mountains
The White Mountains have over 1200 miles of hiking trails, but our favorite is Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge. This 9.5 mile hike gives up some of the best views in New England. It’s a challenging route, so you’ll need almost 7 hours to climb its three peaks and take in views of mountain lakes, streams, and wildlife.
North Carolina: Pisgah National Forest
There are over 500k acres of forest in Pisgah, and hundreds of miles of trails up tree-lined mountain peaks dotted with waterfalls. Three popular trails in this national forest are Graveyard Fields, the Linville Falls Plunge Basin Trail, and Craggy Pinnacle.
Utah: Dixie National Forest
Utah is your hiking destination when you’re after red rock baked in the sun. With unique formations (different from Bryce Canyon), Dixie National Forest is crossed by hundreds of miles of trails that feature everything from lava fields to mountain lakes to rolling meadows filled with wildflowers. Day hike or gear up for days of backpacking adventure. Where to start? Try Cottonwood Forest Wilderness and Ashdown Gorge.
Virginia: George Washington & Jefferson National Forests
The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are lined with over 1,925 miles of trails to explore spread out across 1.8 million acres in the Appalachian Mountains. Spanning Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky, these beautiful forests protect 17 designated Wilderness Areas. For an easier hiking experience, walk the open forest roads and railroad grades that are closed to motorized traffic but open to bikes and horses.
Wyoming: Bridger-Teton National Forest
3.4 million acres of waterfalls and wildlife wait for you in the wilderness of western Wyoming (say that five times fast!). Do a day hike around the Jackson Ranger and Greys River districts. Other destinations to pin on your map: Bridger Wilderness, Granite Creek, Periodic Springs, and Snake River Canyon.
The ThermoFlask Water Bottle Sling is the Ultimate Accessory for your Next Hiking Adventure
Whether you’re a day tripper or a camping enthusiast, ThermoFlask helps you pack light and hike hydrated with our lightweight neoprene water bottle sling.
It’s one of those accessories you can’t live without once you’ve slung it.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why:
Sure, you can hold your bottle as you walk, but that means setting it down to take a picture, or tucking it somewhere—in your pants?—when you need both hands to scramble up a tough trail, open a zipper, apply sunscreen, eat a snack, walk your dog, or simply tell an animated story 👈 which we highly encourage.
All ThermoFlask bottles are finished in a durable powder coating that prevents scratches and dings, and our easy-to-carry handles make lugging them around easy. But some days are extra-mile days. When #adventureawaits, it’s nice to have some extra protection that makes sipping on-the-go super accessible but out-of-the-way.
Unlike some slings out there, our lightweight neoprene sleeve fits ThermoFlask 32oz and 40oz bottles nice and snug with a stretchy hug, so you can move without your bottle moving. The generous height of the sleeve secures your bottle from top to bottom, and the finished edges level-up the durability.
Since humans range from small to tall, we made our 24” long strap fully-adjustable, so it fits you whether you prefer over-the-shoulder or slung across your body—loose or snug. And when you don’t need all that strap, remove it and hit the festival with a short handle that you can clip to your backpack or slip in your bag.
Easy to clean
Nature is dirty. But we made our ThermoFlask bottle sling out of neoprene, so you can wipe it down with a damp cloth and save the fuss for something else.
Okay, so now you know how convenient a bottle sling can make hydrating when you’re out in the woods. But we want to make sure you’re prepared for your nature romp with some thoughtful hiking tips too:
We wouldn’t send our ThermoFlask family out into the big woods without a checklist! Here are some tips to make the most of your trip from the know-how basics to the right gear:
1. Plan ahead: know your route and how long it will take
If you’re not an experienced nature bather, a short out-and-back route not far from home is your best option. Consider the terrain, time of year, distance, and your fitness level before dashing out into the wild.
As a benchmark, the average person treks about 2-3 miles in an hour on flat terrain. Add another half hour for roughly every 325 yards of elevation gain. Don’t forget to build in time for snacks and breaks and, if you can, always hike with a buddy; it’s safer and more fun that way!
2. Take a picture of a topographic map or bring a guidebook
Not every trail has adequate trail markers, and not every inch of America has cell service. You may find yourself in the great outdoors without a signal. That means the trail map you were depending on won’t load. So snap a picture of it ahead of time, or fall back on a good ol’ paper map or guidebook in a waterproof sack. A compass is an essential for even the simplest day trips, and a GPS and altimeter are good to have for longer trips with higher elevation.
3. Watch the weather
Mother Nature and Father Time can mess with the best plans. The weather might look great first thing in the morning when you set out, but it can change without warning. Pack sunscreen, an extra layer, a hat, and a waterproof jacket just in case. Tell someone where you’re going, who you’re going with, and when you expect to be back. And don’t forget to call them when you’re back safely so emergency crews don’t try to find you when you’re not actually lost!
4. Trade flip-flops for hiking shoes
Even an easy trail calls for footwear with treads and ankle support. Save your slides for the beach and put on a pair of wool-blend socks to prevent blisters and keep your feet dry.
5. Gear up!
Pack an LED headlamp (for hands-free illumination) or a flashlight, and spare batteries. Don’t rely on your phone flashlight which drains your battery quickly. You need your phone for emergencies.
Pack a basic emergency kit with bandages, scissors, bug spray, Polysporin/Bactine, a triangle of fabric (for sprains), matches (in a waterproof case), lighter, multi-tool or swiss army knife, folding saw, pliers, and Bivouac (bivy) bag (waterproof nylon emergency bag).
Pack more water than you think you’ll need, and carry that water in a ThermoFlask reusable bottle that you pack in and pack out. Many nature trails don’t have garbage bins along the way, and the last thing the world needs is a bunch of single-use plastic bottles littering the trail. Choose an insulated stainless steel water bottle instead.
6. Hydrate frequently
Rule of thumb: drink 16oz for every hour of hiking. Small children need half that amount. So if the hike should take you 5 hours, you need 80 oz of water. Check out our 40oz Bottle Two Pack w/ Four Lid Combo 😉. Is there a treated water source on the trail? If so, you can get away with one bottle.
We hope you enjoy your adventure happily hydrated and hands-free. For a limited time, enjoy 50% off ThermoFlask water bottle slings with any 32oz or 40oz bottle purchase and add convenient portability to sustainable refreshment.
Use code SLING for 50% off (with any 32oz or 40oz bottle purchase)
*Offer available while supplies last