It’s been a while since I last explored using the #HikerChat hashtag, so it seemed like high time to see what the community has been up to.

What a trip you all took me on.

The photos took me from hiking in the redwoods out west to skipping rocks in waters along the Florida Trail. From coast to coast, you all have built this hashtag into a hub for explorers to get inspired for their next trail.

What got me this time were not just the iconic photos of well-known places. (Yes, those get a few highlights, too.) It was more the details of those places and the new regions you spotlighted. There are new ways of looking at the same place, and places that some of us never considered before.

I love that.

Check out the latest guide of 11 photos crisscrossing the U.S., and what the explorers had to say about ’em.

Explore with HikerChat - Blue John Canyon, Utah @mister.boring

“Darkness isn’t always bad,” says  @mister.boring  from Blue John Canyon in Utah. “I like to think of it as a substantial place to shine.”

Explore with HikerChat - North Carolina - @east_tn_hillbilly

The south has a special place in my heart, being that I’m from there. But it goes beyond that. The south is underappreciated for its quiet beauty.

Here,  @east_tn_hillbilly  captures the softer landscapes of this region as depicted along the Yellow Creek Falls Trail near Robbinsville, North Carolina.

 

Explore with HikerChat - Sleeping Bear Dunes - @ciesla504

“An extra special place that we love to share with our family and friends,” says  @ciesla504  of this scene.

Being a girl who grew up in a surf town along the Atlantic Ocean, I don’t think I’ll ever stop being surprised by the beach-like qualities of the Great Lakes. Photo: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Lake Michigan.

Explore with HikerChat - Grand Staircase-Escalante - @utahtravels

“Utah’s landscape is often described as ‘being on Mars’ and for good reason,” says  @utahtravels. “These same type of Moqui Marbles all over this area of Escalante have been found on Mars…That’s pretty neat if you ask me.” Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Explore with HikerChat - Keene Valley - @lynnie_sue

When I was road tripping around North America to climb, Keene Valley was one place I stopped. It was an unplanned stop, but ended up being a highlight in my six-month climbing trip. Here,  @lynnie_sue  shows just a little of why I loved this part of New York’s Adirondack Mountains.

Explore with HikerChat - Canyon de Chelly - @navajomylo

One of the greatest aspects of hashtag communities is the ability to learn from each other.

“Through social media, I’ve been able to connect with many about issues we face when it comes to the land, water and the government’s influence on Navajoland and Native America,” says  @navajomylo  from Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona.

Explore with HikerChat - San Rafael Swell - @mobridge5

“Looking like a hipster,” says  @mobridge5, navigating a slot in San Rafael Swell, Utah. “Acting like a boss.”

Explore with HikerChat - North Carolina - @jared_shields_

“A trip to the mountains always puts things in perspective,” says  @jared_shields_  while gazing across the Narrows from Cold Mountain in Shining Rock Wilderness, North Carolina.

Explore with HikerChat - Uinta Mountains - @xanders-images

“We always go through peaks and valleys,” says  @xanders.images, relating to this photo captured in Utah’s Uinta Mountains. “But there is some beauty in our struggle, the moment we appreciate the valley we are in.”

Explore with HikerChat - Havasu Canyon - @lizprairie

The focus of photos from Havasu Canyon is usually the falls. But during my time there, I was more intrigued by the many little pools that connected with each other, and the formations created by ages of sediment and water flow. This photo from  @lizprairie  takes a look at that view.

Explore with HikerChat - Dismals Canyon - @kamcline

Just when you thought you knew the natural wonders of your region, you see a picture that tells you differently. This repost from  @hikealabama  of the state’s “Dismals Canyon,” a photo originally shot by  @kamcline, is one of those times. Alabama is one of those places I wish I had discovered earlier in life. I traveled much further from home to see places just as beautiful as this canyon.
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When it comes to cool regions, what’s your tip for others in the #HikerChat community? Share with us on Twitter:  @TETONsports

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Although she’s a Florida girl, exploration called her away after the final bell of her high school career. Leaving home to journey westward alone, she chased the sun to Utah. Over the years, she was consumed with skiing, climbing, kayaking, mountain biking and getting lost on back roads. But exploration continued to call. After closing her bakery — which funded college courses and adventure — she stored her possessions and hit the road again, on a quest to reach the distant places of North America. For three years she lived in her little Mazda 3 and skied the backcountry of Alaska, slept under the northern lights in the Yukon Territory, ice climbed Colorado's frozen canyons and rock climbed across the continent, photographed Nova Scotia’s coves, backpacked in southern US wildernesses and munched on sugared tamarindo in the jungles of Mexico. But living in a car started to feel limiting, so after seeing the many glories this continent had to offer, she chose the only place fitting for an explorer to spend a lifetime of wild wonder: British Columbia. Dual citizenship in hand, she settled along the Powder Highway in the Selkirks and is now making her home between four walls and deeply wooded mountains. When she's not playing the part of a photojournalist, Gina can be found collaborating with women worldwide through her nonprofit, Outdoor Women's Alliance, and working to improve her outdoor skills and wilderness safety certifications.