While there are the iconic hiking trails that all avid hikers seek to tackle at least once in their lives- like the Appalachian Trail, or ones in the most famous national parks- sometimes, the best trails are the ones less traveled. You don't have to be the fittest and toughest hiker ever or traverse the most popular routes to find your place out in nature.
Compared to some of the more extreme explorers out there, TikTok user @monicaneat may not be the biggest hiker ever. However, she was proud of herself for tackling a lesser-known trail in Silverton, Colorado that she called "the most bad*ss hike [she's] ever done."
For regular, avid hikers, an 8-mile, 6-hour long trail might be a walk in the park, but for those who aren't hardcore hikers (like Monica, presumably), such a route can be a challenge. However, she tackled that challenge and traversed the Ice Lakes Trail and was rewarded with a gorgeous view of a crystal-clear mountain lake that she and her companions had to themselves. We agree that, as she said, that alone is "bad*ss."
Her hike was admired by her viewers. "This is so beautiful," beamed @pacificroads. "One of my favorite places on earth!" agreed @satirahlovesbranson. "I love swimming in those ice-cold mountain lakes," @turn_meh said. Brr! Still, with clear waters that pristine and beautiful, we might be convinced to take the plunge.
"So what happened so bad that you almost died? Or was it just hyperbole," asked @bubdeligaa. "There was a 2500ft elevation gain and a 6-hour hike 😅," Monica answered. Again, that might be a breeze for a hardcore hiker, but for the average person, that's not an easy walk. Monica should be proud of her accomplishments, and commenters chimed in to tell her not to worry about other hikers coming for her as she worried in her video. "We don’t stand gatekeeping! Thank you for sharing!" @hiker_bean spoke up. "Colorado is beautiful. Screw those gatekeepers too. Their hubris is gross," defended @cantakcantaa.
We agree- don't listen to what the haters say. Whether you're taking on an easy mile-long hike or hauling yourself up the cables of Yosemite's brutal Half Dome hike, enjoy your hikes through nature and be proud of your accomplishments- don't let gatekeepers steal your joy!