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First things first! Guam is your new beautiful, breathtaking, and wonderful tropical escape. TROPICAL. So we are dealing with much hotter days than Hawaii and the humidity can definitely take it out of you. So first up, we have to discuss checking the weather, packing the right gear, bringing lots of water, packing the best-tasting foods, and applying and reapplying sunscreen. The hikes can range from 5-hour treks up and down mountainous terrain or a 1-hour stroll through lush jungle to a secluded beach. So checking the weather and packing the right gear from shoes to clothes will be your first steps to creating the best possible hiking experience.
The good news is Guam’s weather is stable enough to have 2 main seasons, wet and dry. During the drier months the daily temperatures average 87°F, rarely falling below 84°F or exceeding 90°F. The temperature is not the only thing that is pretty stable, the warm ocean waters around Guam keep the air warm and humid. The relative humidity commonly exceeds 84% throughout the year, so lots of iced water, electrolytes, and probably a couple of changes of attire are in order, especially since most of the great hikes on Guam end in an amazing water feature or white-sand shoreline.
We are starting off our list with a big hike because if you work your way up to this trip, it might just be the crown jewel of your island-wide hiking credentials (due to potential difficulty) serving up lifelong memories. This trek involves a challenging descent down the steep ridge of Cetti Bay, and a rope climb up the 7 waterfalls back to the top, and the routes will take you across eroded slopes, loose dirt, and ridgelines. So let’s be sure you’ve taken the time, done your research, and are prepared to slowly embark on this hiking trip. The slower pace will be worth it as the views will demand moments that stop and take your breath away. Or at least force you to catch your breath while enjoying a good view.
Be sure to get a good group of friends for this hike and head to the Cetti Bay Overlook along Route 2. The trailhead starts just down the hill adjacent to a light pole. From there it’s all downhill and you’ll start to think how grateful you are that you brought gloves. About 2 minutes down the path, take a left and you can find an outcropping. This ledge provides a great view and overlook and a great time to help those in your group who need a break, catch their breath.
You’ll make it to the river and want to head left until you hit the first falls. Feel free to enjoy some of the cool pools along the way. Take your time, stay cool, and refresh.
The main waterfall (waterfall #3) gives you your first choice of the day. Either climb a rope straight up the face of a waterfall or find the steep trail just off to the right. Whatever you choose, please remember – safety first. Know your limits, have more experienced hikers/climbers help less experienced friends, be sure to let the slowest in the group lead the way, and remember to keep going. The views at the top will be more than worth the steps you take to get there. When you do get to the top, pay close attention to the left side of the trail for markers that guide you back to the river.
Don’t worry if you feel like you might miss out on using a rope to climb up a waterfall (waterfall #4). There are going to be other chances for you to get your great climbing shots. Safety First! Whenever you climb, be sure to take your time, control your breath, and try not to place your entire weight on the ropes.
There’s no rush. Enjoy the view and the hike. Keep going and you’ll head back up to the roadside soon enough.
From Guam’s most treacherous hike to climbing the highest point on the island, we are going to take on one of the island’s most famous hiking trips, Mount Lamlam.
Meaning “lightning”, in CHamoru, this peak rises to 1,332 ft above sea level. Tell your friends, you are climbing to the top of the greatest change in elevation on Earth over a short distance. That’s because the true base of this mount is the nearby Mariana Trench. The deepest oceanic trench on Earth, Challender Deep exerts over 15,750 psi.
But let’s get back to the top. Experience this 2.7-mile out-and-back trail near Agat. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 1 h 39 min to complete. This is a popular trail for hiking and walking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of the day. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Dogs are welcome and may be off-leash in some areas.
Every year, at Easter, locals climb Mount Lamlam and pass along the marked trail to an area representing the Stations of the Cross. But don’t get distracted as heading to the right towards the giant crosses means you’ve missed the peak. Be sure to head to the left at the divide, make your way over some rocks and through the last bits of swordgrass, and you’ll soon find yourself surrounded by 360 degrees of beautiful tropical sights. Remember going down is going to be so much easier than the trek up, but you should still plan for enough time to get back down.
This is a very popular area for hiking, so you’ll likely encounter other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and muddy. You’ll often find folks using the clay red landscape to go off-roading. Be sure to try for the beginning of the year, during the dry season, to help your chances at a better, less muddy experience.
The hike starts just before the entrance to the LeoPalace Resort in Yona, Guam. The start point address is 221 Lake View Dr, Yona, 96915, Guam. Park on the side of the road just before you enter LeoPalace. Don’t leave any valuables visible in your car windows and be sure to pick the correct trailhead off the right side of the road (concrete barricade). There are several entry options that all lead to the same area, but the correct one is in eye view of the Leo Palace entrance.
This will be a half-day boonie stomp largely through exposed open air. There will likely be large pools of mud, large forests of swordgrass, and depending on when you go a real need for you to pack a good amount of ice-cold water to help with the heat. A good hat, long sleeves, and good friends are a must.
Like other hikes on Guam, there will be rope climbs, mud, and varying terrain. This hike includes a long trek through open land into beautiful river valleys that lead into the falls. You will definitely need shoes that can handle the half day on your feet that can handle the water crossings, a marsh crossing, and the pools at the base of the waterfall. It will be crucial you have some kind of map or guide that knows their way for your first time. Markers are few and far between, but you will find great sights like a WWII-era tank at the halfway point on the way to the falls.
When you can see the tank in the distance, know the marsh crossing is coming up. There is a trail to the right that leads to a makeshift bridge over a calm stream that will allow you to keep from getting bogged down. Get it?
Once you get to the tank, head past it, to the right. You will be able to get a good bird’s eye view of the trail you will be heading towards down into the river valley and off into the distance. The more technical parts of the trail begin as you descend into the valley. Streams, swordgrass, and technical terrain await. So be sure that all hikers are moderately capable. You’ll get to a rope crossing over some downed branches and over standing water. Keep moving. By now you’ll notice that you’ve gone up and down and up and down several times before reaching the top of the river valley.
See a Tank, head downhill to the right.
At Overlook Stop Two, you will be able to look down over the edge and see the top of Sigua Falls, where you will be continuing the hike. As you start your way down, you will come across the guided rope descent. Use both hands and all the trees to keep yourself secure. In some areas, it might be difficult to find solid footing, especially during the rainy season. So take extra care on this last stage of the journey to the bottom of the falls. While this is a great time to break out the snacks, go for a swim, and even jump from higher up off the waterfall edge, remember to carry out everything you brought with you.
So let’s drop the technical and start with a leisurely 25-minute stroll through tropical jungle and sand from Tanguisson Beach to Shark’s Cove and a coral reef that begs you to bring your snorkeling gear. Along the way, you will get to see the aptly named Mushroom Rock formations, so be sure to have your cameras ready and time your hikes to catch a world-class sunset.
This hiking trip is short and sweet, secluded and memorable, and perfect for an escape to turquoise-colored calm waters.
To get there, you’ll probably go for some tabis or other water-ready shoes to protect your feet from rocky outcroppings as you wade through lightly lapping ocean waves along the shoreline. Start at Tanguisson Beach Park and start the hike along the beach until you hit the Mushroom rock formations, pictured above. This is where those tabis come in handy. After about a mile, you’ll get to the 3rd beach surrounded by blue waters and large rocky cliffs off in the distance.
That’s it. Bring your snorkeling gear, good food, and of course, the ample amounts of fresh water and sunscreen to enjoy another slice of tropical island paradise.
Head out and find a few. Then let us know what your top 5 hikes or just your favorite weekend trek that you would recommend to anyone would be. Maybe you’d prefer a family-safe hiking option like Shark’s Cove, maybe you’re more a cave dweller and want to check out Pagat Cave, maybe you just like getting your steps in and love starting your weekend with a 1,000 steps to an ocean overlook. Whatever your preference, we just want to hear from all of you. So get ready and TAKE A HIKE!