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SirSaintly
New Orleans Saints Fan
Uptown, New Orleans
Member since Feb 2013
2505 posts

Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
Got a 4 day weekend coming up and want to go day hiking some easy to moderate trails with my nephew (introducing him to hiking).

We prefer to stay in a hotel as home base and drive to nearby trailheads. I've done Santa Fe, CO Springs, Denver, Gatlinburg etc and am wondering what other cities (with direct SW flights) offer decent hiking not too far of a ride outside of city(since it's such a short trip, prefer to spend time hiking and not in car)

Prefer Western States to East Coast


The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
23952 posts
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re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
I'm going to Sedona, AZ next month and my research has discovered a ton of hiking in that area.


Tigris
Clemson Fan
Fernando Poo
Member since Jul 2005
9628 posts

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
Estes Park Colorado would be hard to beat for this.


bluestem75
LSU Fan
Dallas, TX
Member since Oct 2007
1109 posts
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re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
Sedona is a great choice. Two hr drive from PHX.

Vegas also has good hiking if you get out of town.

You might consider flying into LAX and heading out to Palm Springs.

Reno/Tahoe.

Salt Lake City
This post was edited on 5/15 at 10:07 am


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21
Golfer
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2005
71776 posts

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
Vegas. Drive 2.5 hours to St. George/Springdale, UT and hike Zion NP


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50
Displaced
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2011
25417 posts

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
Jackson, WY

Just got back. The Tetons are gorgeous. Most of Yellowstone is open by memorial day too.


Tygra
LSU Fan
Bee Are
Member since Jan 2008
237 posts

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
You sound like a fairly experienced hiker, so I’m sure you know about AllTrails. Should be good waterfalls this time of year if you want to include a hike with a waterfall. You could always do a day of hiking and maybe a day of rafting/hiking. Has your nephew been to the same places?
I checked out where SW goes direct. I think the top choices are Denver, Nashville, Phoenix, and Vegas. I wish there were more NE options. If you included one layover in your list instead of direct flights you would get a ton more options. It might not make sense for a long weekend though so I get it.
I think if he has never been to Colorado, he would really enjoy the Rocky Mountains. I’ve been with multiple people on their first trip to Colorado, and even in the car they are awestruck by their enormity. Plus tons of options for hiking near the city. I’ve been to Denver numerous times and there’s endless hiking options. There’s some a couple of hours west of the city I want to go to next time. The Rockies play at home that weekend, it is good to have options for other activities especially with younger people.
Obviously the SW is a different vibe from the other two. If he is close to 21 you can always hold off on a Vegas trip until then. Unfortunately I don’t have much experience hiking in the SW. Next hiking trip I have planned is for Utah and Arizona.
This post was edited on 5/15 at 12:30 pm


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AncientTiger
LSU Fan
Mississippi- Louisiana - Destin
Member since Sep 2016
449 posts

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
Frisco, CO


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Lsupimp
Colorado Fan
The Mean Streets of Baton Rudge
Member since Nov 2003
58301 posts
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re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
Boulder would be your spot. Lots of hotels and an hour from DIA. You can park at Chautauqua Park and ease yourself in AT A LOWER ELEVATION until you are ready to take on some bigger hikes. Plus you are in a world class city with a great restaurant scene and the Boulder Creek, bike paths etc. If you need trail info, I can help.





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ColoradoAg03
Texas A&M Fan
Denver, CO
Member since Oct 2012
4336 posts

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
Gunnison, Salida, or Ouray, CO


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Bunsbert Montcroff
Arizona Fan
Phoenix AZ
Member since Jan 2008
4857 posts

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
quote:

Ouray, CO

is a beautiful town but i got a strange vibe there from the shop employees, like they were all carnies or irish travelers or something.


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nctiger71
LSU Fan
North Carolina
Member since Oct 2017
420 posts

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
Asheville, NC; lots of hikes around there.


Tigerroc
Member since Jun 2017
44 posts

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
I’m not much of a hiker anymore, but Guadalupe Mts were a beautiful site on our last trip. We flew into El Paso, TX and visited Carlsbad Caverns and other sites around.


Jax-Tiger
LSU Fan
Portland, OR
Member since Jan 2005
18179 posts

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
Portland, OR is a good spot. You can go west an hour and hike the coastal mountain range and hit the beach, too, or go east an hour and hike the Cascades around Mt Hood. Just to the north is Mt St Helens, which has some great hikes, as well.


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21
IllegalPete
USA Fan
Front Range
Member since Oct 2017
6337 posts

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
Lots of great suggestions here, if you are going Memorial Day weekend I would caution against CO/WY because of the record snow this year. You would likely be hitting mud season at its peak or still be postholing. I could be wrong but definitely check local Instagram or Reddit subs for on the ground reports. Alltrails would also have very up to date reports on trail conditions.

Flagstaff would be my first recommendation. Cheap flight to Phoenix, short drive to Flag, and a central location that allows day trips to South Rim Grand Canyon, Sedona, and lots of local hiking in Ponderosa pines including the AZ high point Humphreys Peak. Also for an uncle/nephew trip Flag is probably a more interesting town than Sedona, which has more of a couples/oldie vibe.

Another option, which someone mentioned is Guadalupe Mountains NP. Cheap flight to El Paso, 2 hours to GUMO which has many options including the TX high point and McKittrick Canyon. Carlsbad Caverns is 30 minutes up the road. You could turn it into a loop by staying in Cloudcroft or Ruidoso which are at 8k and 6.5k elevation and surrounded by pine forests and loads of trails, only problem is Memorial Day weekend will be packed. Then finish the loop by hitting up White Sands and back to El Paso. This might be a little much driving wise, and having to stay somewhere different each night.
This post was edited on 5/15 at 10:32 pm


Golfer
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2005
71776 posts

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
Half these suggestions in this thread don’t have direct flights from MSY via Southwest.


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40
iwantacooler
Member since Aug 2017
215 posts

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
Yosemite. More awesome hikes than you can shake a stick at and the scenery is unbelievable. Fly in to Sacramento. Not direct flight, but can be on the ground before noon.
This post was edited on 5/15 at 10:44 pm


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specchaser
LSU Fan
lafayette
Member since Feb 2008
1915 posts
 Online 

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
lot's of great suggestions in here, but for a short trip, convenience, and some great hiking, I think Colorado would be hard to beat. NOLA(msy) has direct flights to denver and there's several great mountain towns within a 2 hour drive of denver. my vote would be Estes park at the entrance of RMNP.


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Bunsbert Montcroff
Arizona Fan
Phoenix AZ
Member since Jan 2008
4857 posts

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
quote:

the AZ high point Humphreys Peak

upper summit trail still has lots of snow and more coming this weekend. usually a great hike, but maybe not this memorial day weekend.

still lots of great hikes in flag, sedona, and on the rim (not to mention in phoenix itself - we haven't gotten too hot here yet).


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jimbeam
USA Fan
University of LSU
Member since Oct 2011
53756 posts
 Online 

re: Recommend A City To Use As Homebase For Hiking
Leadville

You’d need a car though
This post was edited on 5/16 at 5:26 pm


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