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Best Hiking In The US | 50 Unforgetable Hikes in America

Best Hiking in the US

If you’re looking for the best hiking in the US, then you’re in the right place.

The United States is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse hiking trails in the world. And there are options all over the country from New York, to Alaska. From the islands of Hawaii, to the valleys of Yosemite. There are no shortage of options.

But what trials are the greatest of the greats? Lets look at the best hiking in the USA. And find out for oursevles!

Are you ready? Let’s hit the trail!

The Best Hiking in the USA | 50 Best Places for Hiking in the US

Best Hiking in the United States

Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike through the Rocky Mountains. Or a stroll through the forests of New England, the US has something to offer hikers of all levels.

Here are some of the best hiking trails America has to offer.

Charlies Bunion Hike, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The hike to Charlies Bunion is a moderate 6.4-mile hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The hike offers stunning views of the Smoky Mountains and is a great hike for all skill levels.

This hike begins at the parking area for the Alum Cave Trail. The hike follows the Alum Cave Trail for the first 0.8 miles, climbing 400 feet to the top of Alum Cave Bluff. The trail then descends to the intersection with the Charlies Bunion Trail.

Charlie’s Bunion Trail follows the ridge of the mountain. And offers stunning views of the Smoky Mountains. The trail is a moderate hike, with a few steep sections. The trail ends at the junction with the Appalachian Trail.

The hike to Charlie’s Bunion is a great hike for all skill levels. The hike offers stunning views of the Smoky Mountains and is a great hike for all ages.

wonderland trail mount rainier, Washington

best places for hiking in usa

The Wonderland Trail is 93 miles long and circles, Mount Rainier. The trail passes through many types of ecosystems. Including old-growth forests, alpine meadows, and subalpine forests. Some several peaks and ridges can be hiked, including Mount Rainier itself.

This is an extraordinary hike. But it isn’t the easiest. There are a lot of areas of elevation gain and loss.

Mist trail, Yosemite, California

The Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular and beautiful hikes in the United States. The hike follows the Merced River up to the base of Nevada Fall and Vernal Fall, two of the tallest waterfalls in Yosemite. This hike is strenuous, with a lot of elevation gain. You get as high as 4,000 feet. But the views of the waterfalls and the surrounding scenery are well worth it.

One perk is that the Mist Trail is a short hike. It is only 7 miles around the trip.

Winter Trail Tongass National Forest, Alaska

Sitting outside of Juneau, Alaska is the Tongass National Forest. Did you know that this is the largest national forest in the country, and one of the best places to visit in the United States? And is in a breathtaking area of southeastern Alaska. The forest is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, grizzly bears, moose, and wolves.

The forest also contains several hiking trails. Including the Winter Trail, which is a 14-mile trail that winds through the forest’s rugged terrain. Around 7 miles, out and back, you can visit John Muir Recreation Cabin.

Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is a long-distance hiking trail that runs along the Appalachian Mountains from Georgia to Maine. The trail is over 2,000 miles long and passes through 14 states. So there are a ton of places you can hop on and off the trail. 

The Appalachian Trail is a great hiking trail for experienced hikers. Also known as the AT, this trail is very challenging and includes a lot of steep climbs and descents. The trail also passes through several remote areas, so it is important to be prepared for any emergencies.

The Appalachian Trail is a popular hiking trail, so it is important to plan accordingly. 

Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail is a long-distance hiking trail that runs from Mexico to Canada along the west coast of the United States. The trail is 2,650 miles long and passes through California, Oregon, and Washington.

For experienced hikers, the Pacific Crest Trail is great. The trail is very challenging and includes a lot of steep climbs and descents. The trail also passes through several remote areas, so it is important to be prepared for any emergencies.

The Pacific Crest Trail is a popular hiking trail, so it is important to plan and make reservations

Yosemite Falls Trail, Yosemite National Park, California

best hiking in the us

The Yosemite Falls Trail is a strenuous hike that takes you to the top of the tallest waterfall in North America. Most people take around 10 hours to complete the 7.5-mile hike. The views of the waterfall and Yosemite Valley are incredible, and it’s definitely worth the effort to hike to the top.

Since it takes so long, plan on camping in Yosemite National Park

John Muir Trail – California

The John Muir Trail is a 211-mile long backpacking trail in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. This trail passes through the Ansel Adams, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite National Park. The trail is considered one of the most beautiful and challenging hikes in the United States.

Castle Trail, Badlands National Park, South Dakota

For experienced hikers, the Castle Trail is a great hike. And the trail is nine miles long and includes some steep climbs and descents. The views of the Badlands formations are incredible, and the trail is seldom crowded.

Queen’s Garden/Navajo Loop. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.

The Navajo Loop Trail at Bryce Canyon National Park is a moderate hike that offers beautiful views of the park’s unique landscape.

The trail is about 3.5 miles long and takes hikers through the Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop sections of the park.

Bryce Canyon is famous for its magnificent fairy chimneys. And raw, untouched beauty. The National Parks in Utah, are easily some of the best in the country. 

Garfield Peak Trail, crater lake national park

Garfield Peak Trail in Crater Lake National Park is a moderate hike that offers hikers beautiful views of the park. The trail begins at the intersection of the Cleetwood Cove and North Entrance trails and winds its way up to the summit of Garfield Peak. Hiking the Garfield Peak Trail is about 7 miles round trip and takes about 4-5 hours to complete. The trail is well marked and maintained, and is a great hike for those who are looking for a challenging but rewarding hike.

Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook Trail, Yellowstone National Park

The Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook Trail is an easy hike in the Midway Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. The hike offers magnificent views of the Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the United States.

The hike to the overlook is less than a half-mile round trip and is mostly flat. It’s easy to follow the trail as it is well-marked. The hike is wheelchair accessible.

The Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook Trail is a must-do hike for visitors to Yellowstone National Park. The views of the Grand Prismatic Spring are amazing, and the hike is very easy.

This is reason enough to go camping in Yellowstone National Park.

Cadillac North Ridge Trail, Acadia National Park, Maine

The North Ridge Trail in Acadia National Park offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Cadillac Mountain. The hike is moderate in difficulty, making it a great option for hikers of all experience levels.

We can find the trailhead at the end of Park Loop Road in the Acadia National Park visitor center. From there, the hike follows the Cadillac North Ridge Trail to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. The hike is approximately 8.8 miles round trip, and they recommended hikers allow for 4-5 hours to complete the hike.

Bear Lake Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

The hike to Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park is short, but still one of the best hikes in Rocky Mountains National Park.. But it is an easy hike that rewards hikers with beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The hike is popular, so be prepared for crowds on the weekends.

It is a short, beautiful trip, making it some of the best hiking in the US. It is also one of the quickest adventures on this list.

Halemau’u Trail, Haleakala National Park, Hawaii

best hiking in the usa

The Halemau’u Trail is a challenging hike that leads to the summit of Haleakala, the highest point on the island of Maui. It takes about six hours to complete the 8.4-mile hike. The trail is very steep and rocky, and it is necessary to use a lot of caution while hiking. The views from the summit are spectacular. And hikers are rewarded with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding mountains. And it is easily some of the best hiking in the US. 

Haleakala National Park is on the island of Maui in the state of Hawaii. The park comprises two separate areas, the Haleakala Crater and the Kipahulu Valley. We know the park for its hiking trails, which offer amazing views of the park’s unique landscape. Some of the best hiking trails in the park include the Halemauu Trail, the Pipiwai Trail, and the Sliding Sands Trail.

Mt Washburn, Yellowstone, National Park

The hike to the summit of Mt. Washburn in Yellowstone National Park is a moderately strenuous, 6-mile round-trip hike with an elevation gain of 1,500 feet. The views from the summit are some of the best in the park. With expansive views of the Grand Canyon, one of the best side attractions of Route 66, of the Yellowstone, the Hayden Valley, and the lofty peaks of the Absaroka Range.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a unit of the National Park Service on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the United States. We know the park for its dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, and forests. It covers 73,000 acres (295 km2) and is administered as part of the Hiawatha National Forest.

Crater Rim Trail, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Big Island

The 93-mile-long Crater Rim Trail circles the perimeter of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Which is on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. The trail climbs from the steamy rainforest at sea level to the summit of Mauna Loa. Which is the world’s largest active volcano, and backs down again. Highlights of the trail include the Thurston Lava Tube, the Kīlauea Iki Crater, and the Mauna Loa Summit Trail.

This park is like it’s on another world from Hawaii’s North Shore. 

Cascade Canyon Trail, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The hike to Cascade Canyon in Grand Teton National Park is a classic for a reason. And the views along the way are simply stunning, and the canyon itself is a beautiful sight. The hike is about 8 miles long, and it’s considered moderate in difficulty.

The best time to hike Cascade Canyon is in the summer when the wildflowers are in bloom and the days are long. However, the hike can be done year-round, so if you’re looking for a winter adventure, this is a great option.

Grand Tetons are a spectacular mountain range in northwest Wyoming. The park has over 200 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to difficult backcountry hikes. The most popular hike is the 8-mile round-trip hike up to the summit of Grand Teton.

Rim Trail, Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

The Rim Trail is a 12-mile (19 km) hike that circles the Bryce Canyon amphitheater. It is one of the most popular hikes in the park and offers superb views of the hoodoos and other features of the park.

The Rim Trail offers stunning views of Bryce Canyon National Park’s colorful hoodoos and cliffs. The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow, making it a great option for hikers of all abilities.

The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah

Easily some of the best hiking in the US. The Narrows, in Zion National Park, Utah, is one of the most popular hiking trails in the United States. And the trail follows the Virgin River as it winds through a narrow canyon, with walls that can reach heights of up to 2,000 feet. The hike is 16 miles long but can be shortened by taking a shuttle to the end of the trail. Beware, the hike is strenuous, with sections that require wading through the river, but the views are breathtaking.

Lost Coast Trail, California

Lost Coast Trail is a 24-mile backpacking and hiking trail in the King Range National Conservation Area. Which is in Humboldt County, California. The trail follows California’s lost and hidden coastline. And the hike is described as “wild, rugged, and beautiful”. The trail can be hiked in 3-4 days and is considered one of the most scenic trails in the United States.

Art Loeb Trail, Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

Art Loeb Trail is a 29.5-mile hiking trail in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. Near the best Glamping in Asheville North Carolina . The trail begins at the Davidson River Campground. And passes through the Black Balsam and Shining Rock wilderness areas, ending at the Mount Pisgah Visitor Center. This hike is strenuous, with an elevation gain of over 5,000 feet. The Art Loeb Trail is home to some of the most stunning views in the eastern United States. Including the Black Balsam Knob, the Devil’s Courthouse, and the summit of Mount Pisgah. This is one of the best mountain hikes in the United States. But it is also one of the hardest hikes in North Carolina.

Double Arch Trail, Red River Gorge Loop, Kentucky

The trails at Red River Gorge are well maintained and offer stunning views of the Kentucky landscape. Double Arch Trail is a moderate 4.6-mile hike that passes two arches and offers superb views of the river below. The Red River Gorge Loop is an 8.4-mile hike that takes in a variety of terrain, including ridges, waterfalls, and cliffs.

Coyote Buttes, Paria Canyon Wilderness, Arizona

The Coyote Buttes are a group of sandstone buttes and mesas in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. Approximately 50 miles south of the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park and 35 miles north of Lees Ferry. The Coyote Buttes lie within the Colorado Plateau physiographic region. And are composed of Navajo Sandstone. Which is a sedimentary rock formed from dunes during the Triassic and Jurassic Periods, about 225 to 145 million years ago. Erosion later exposed them and now stands as high as 1,000 feet above the ground.

This is one of the most beautiful places to see in America. And obvious why it is one of the lists of the best hiking in the US. 

Mount Katahdin Trail, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Maine

Mount Katahdin Trail is a challenging hike that takes you up to the summit of Mount Katahdin, the tallest mountain in Maine. The hike is a strenuous 10 miles one-way, and the elevation gain is over 4,000 feet. The views from the summit are stunning, and the hike is definitely worth the effort.

Rhododendron Trail, Grayson Highlands, Virginia

The Rhododendron Trail in Grayson Highlands State Park, Virginia. And it is a moderate 4.8-mile hike that takes you past rhododendron and laurel thickets, across mountain streams, and through open meadows. We know the park for its wild ponies, so keep an eye out for them while you’re hiking.

Kalalau Trail , napali Coast, Hawaii

The Kalalau Trail is a hiking trail on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i. The trail follows the Na Pali Coast and is 11 miles (18 km) long one way. It is one of the most beautiful and dangerous hikes in the world.

Kilauea Iki Trail, Volcano National Park, Hawaii

The Kilauea Iki Trail is a 4.4-mile hike that takes you through a crater that was once active. The views are incredible and you’ll see unfamiliar landscapes the further you get into the hike. This is a challenging hike, but it’s well worth it!

Volcano Park, as its name suggests, has a lot of volcanic activity. And it is easily the best national park in Hawaii.

upper hawksbill trail Shenandoah National Park

The Upper Hawksbill Trail in Shenandoah National Park offers hikers a challenge. But rewarding, hike to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain. The trail climbs steeply through a forest of pine and oak, with occasional views of the surrounding countryside. At the summit, hikers are rewarded with stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley and the surrounding mountains.

South Kaibab trail, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

South Kaibab Trail is in the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and is one of the most popular hiking trails in the area. The trail is 6.8 miles long one way and descends 4,780 feet from the South Rim to the Colorado River. The trial is well-maintained and has a moderate difficulty level. Hikers can enjoy incredible views of the Grand Canyon along the entire trail.

Best Hiking Trails In The U.s. for Beginners

Congress Trail, Sequoia National Park, California

The Congress Trail, in Sequoia National Park, California, is a great hiking trail. And perfect for those who are looking for a challenging hike with plenty of beautiful scenery along the way. Congress Trail is a 7.5-mile out-and-back hike that climbs to an elevation of 9,000 feet. The trail is well-maintained. And provides hikers with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Glacier Point Hike, Yosemite Valley, California

The hike to Glacier Point in Yosemite Valley is popular and for good reason. The trailhead is easily accessible from the valley floor. And the hike itself is moderate in difficulty, making it a great option for hikers of all abilities. As you make your way to the point, you’ll be treated to stunning views of Yosemite Valley and the surrounding mountains.

The hike to Glacier Point is about 7 miles round trip and takes around 4-5 hours to complete.

Highline Trail Hike, glacier national park

The Highline Trail in Glacier National Park is a hike that offers amazing views of the park’s many glaciers and mountains. We can find the trailhead just west of Logan Pass, and the hike is about 11 miles round-trip.

Hog River Trail, Olympic national park, WA

The Hog River Trail is a beautiful, scenic hike in the stunning Olympic National Park. Hiking this trail is a moderate 5.5-mile hike that takes you through some of the most picturesque areas of the park. Including forests, rivers, and waterfalls. The trail is well-marked and maintained, making it a great option for hikers of all levels.

billy goat trail Hike, Potomac, Maryland

The Billy Goat Trail is a 4.7-mile hiking trail along the Potomac River in Maryland. We know the trail for its challenging and rugged terrain, as well as its stunning views of the river and the Washington, D.C. skyline.

Skyline Trail, mount rainier national park

The Skyline Trail offers stunning views of Mount Rainier and the surrounding area. The trail is 28 miles long and can be hiked in two or three days.

Grotto Falls Hike, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

The Grotto Falls hike is moderate in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can take the 3.5-mile hike to the beautiful Grotto Falls. The hike is family-friendly and dog friendly, making it a great option for those looking for a hike that everyone can enjoy.

Best Day Hikes In the Us

Notch Trail, Badlands National Park, South Dakota

The Notch Trail in Badlands National Park is a 5.5-mile out-and-back hike that leads to an impressive notch in the otherwise flat landscape. This trail begins at the Medicine Root trailhead and is well-marked and easy to follow. And the hike is mostly flat but has a few steep sections, and the trail can be rocky in places. The Notch Trail offers beautiful views of the Badlands formations and is a great hike for hikers of all abilities.

MULIWAI TRAIL, Big Island, Hawaii,

The Muliwai Trail on the Big Island of Hawaii is a spectacular hike that takes you along the edge of the Waimanu Valley and the Makapu’u coastline. The hike offers amazing views of the ocean, coastline, and valley below, and is worthwhile.

HOH RIVER TRAIL Olympic National Park, Washington

The Hoh River Trail is a 19-mile hike that takes you through the heart of Olympic National Park. Hog River trail follows the Hoh River, crossing it 12 times, and providing beautiful views of the river and the surrounding forest. The hike is moderately difficult, with some inclines and a few rocky sections, and is best hiked between May and October.

Devils Garden, Arches National Park, Utah

The Devil’s Garden Trail in Arches National Park, Utah, offers a challenging hike that leads to a beautiful destination. The 7.2-mile hike is strenuous, but the views of the park’s red sandstone arches along the way are worth the effort. Some arches hikers can see on this trail include Landscape Arch, Double O Arch, and North Window.

FRANCONIA RIDGE LOOP, Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire

This 8.8-mile hike offers stunning views of the White Mountains. Including Franconia Ridge, Liberty Bridge, and the Pemigewasset Wilderness. The hike begins at the Lafayette Place Campground. And climbs to the summit of Mount Lafayette, then continues to Mount Lincoln and Mount Flume.

Best Hikes In U.S. National Parks

Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, CA

The hike up to Half Dome in Yosemite National Park is strenuous, but it’s well worth it for the amazing views. You’ll get off the park’s iconic granite formation and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains.

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, UT

The hike to Angels Landing in Zion National Park is a 5.4-mile round-trip hike that gains 1,488 feet in elevation. The hike is strenuous, but the views from the top are worth the effort.

Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park

The hike to Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park is a difficult 7.6-mile trek that rewards hikers with an up-close view of the glacier. The trail is well-maintained. And mostly level, making it a great option for beginner hikers.

Hiking Discovery Trail, Joshua Tree National Park, California

The Joshua Tree National Park has a lot of hiking trails, we even wrote about the best hikes in Joshua Tree National Park. Many of which will take you through the unfamiliar landscapes of the park. One of the most popular trails is the Hiking Discovery Trail. This trail is a moderate hike. And it will take you through the desert landscape and up to a viewpoint that offers superb views of the park.

Best Hikes In North America

Ridge Trail, Old Rag Mountain, Virginia

The Ridge Trail on Old Rag Mountain in Virginia is a strenuous 9-mile hike. And it offers stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley. The trail winds up a rocky ridge and features several challenging ascents and descents.

The sheer beauty makes it great hiking in the US. 

Highline Trail, Montana

The Highline Trail is a jaw-dropping hike that will take you through alpine meadows. And along ridges with expansive views and past turquoise lakes. This hike is best enjoyed during the summer and fall when the wildflowers are in bloom and the colors are at their peak.

Chilkoot Trail, Alaska

Chilkoot Trail is a 33-mile-long hiking trail in the Coast Mountains of Alaska. The trail starts at the Dyea River and ends at the Canadian border. This trail is considered one of the most scenic and challenging hiking trails in North America. The trail passes through some of the most rugged and remote terrains in the world, including the Chilkoot Pass, which is the highest point on the trail. Hikers can use the trail from late May to early September.

Undermountain Trail, Bear Mountain, Connecticut

Undermountain Trail at Bear Mountain in Connecticut is a great hiking trail for experienced hikers. The trail is approximately 8.5 miles long. And features several steep ascents and descents. The trail is also home to many natural obstacles, including rock scrambles and creek crossings.

Mount Mitchell, North Carolina

The Mount Mitchell trail is a 6.4-mile hike that leads to the summit of Mount Mitchell, the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River. The hike is strenuous, but the views from the summit are worth the effort.

With the sheer amount of diversity in landscape. With many a long trail, national scenic trail, and day hikes. So if you are looking for an adventure while waiting for how long it takes to get your passport.

It is easy to see why people from all over the world come to experience the best hiking in the US.

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