Happy Halloween! Looking for a hiking haunt to set the mood?

On my way to Pumpkin Rock!

Thank the Ancient Celts for giving us this holiday—Irish and Scottish immigrants for bringing it to America—and Madison Avenue for helping to make it so bloody commercial! What used to be day of general mischief, scary tales, and warding off evil spirits has since been replaced with an excuse for adults to tap into an alter ego, kids to over consume sugar, and the neighborhood Griswolds to deck the house like it’s a twisted Christmas Season. No longer the scary holiday it once was (Election Day has now become our scariest holiday), Halloween still clings to some of its origins and roots. So why not seek out a trail to a place that harkens the darker side of Halloween. Yep, no Superheroes or sexy nurses (not that there is anything wrong with them) here-just good ole fashioned demons, goblins and the macabre.

Skull Rock

So if you’re looking for a hike to help burn off some of that excess sugar you’ve been or will soon be consuming—how about considering one of these with its sort of Halloween theme. Okay-there really aren’t too many true Halloween themed hikes out there, but there are enough with names and images to help set the mood of the spooky holiday. But let’s look beyond the usual suggested hikes that often involve ghost towns, old graveyard sites, massacre and murder scenes, and sites of supernatural convergences! I’ve put together a slew of suggested hikes that have names or destinations that make them festive for the time! Your job is to set out on them and let your imagination and chill factor take over. And if you want to hike them as a super hero or sexy nurse, power to you!


Joshua Tree National Park’s Skull Rock is perhaps one of the spookiest natural landmarks anywhere.

Pumpkin Rock, okay this large boulder on a ridge in Riverside County’s Norco, has been enhanced-but it does the trick and looks like it’s straight out of a Tim Burton movie.

Bumpass Hell- this geothermal area in Lassen National Park was a living hell for a Mr. Bumpass


Skelton Point, no bones about it, this spot in the Grand Canyon will bring to life the most deadened soul

Pumpkin Trail- This lightly used trail carves a delightful route up Kendrick Mountain


Mesahchie Ridge- Take a hike on Easy Pass to view Mesachie Ridge, a Chinook Jargon that means wicked or evil, and the views are wicked amazing!

Deadmans Lake- This subalpine lake survived the blast of 1980 but must harbor a tale of demise somewhere along the line

Diablo Lake, hell of a nice hike, especially in the fall

Goblins Gate- hike to this spot in Olympic National Park, a portal on the Elwha River and beyond


Devils Rest-and it rises above Angels Rest

Seven Devil Hills-take to this rugged stretch of the Oregon Coast for a hell of a hike

New Hampshire

Devils Hopyard, a rugged and remote ravine not far from a former WW II prisoner of war camp

Devils Slide- Not too far from his hopyard is his slide in his own state forest in a town named Stark!

Frankenstein Cliffs-not a monster of a hike, and not named for the monster, but a German immigrant artist


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