Hike In The US
Home to many stunning landscapes and breathtaking scenery, North America offers infinite opportunities for hikers and those seeking an unforgettable adventure. But choosing the best hiking trails for you is no easy task. The US is a big country full of amazing natural wonders, so selecting the best hikes can be daunting. Here is where we come in!
Thanks to our extensive National Park system, there are lots of places out there where you can surround yourself with the beauty and splendor of nature…and maybe even challenge your stamina and courage. While many trails can be considered among the best, we have chosen a mixed list representing a variety of lengths, levels of difficulty, and regions of the country.
Hiking is for everyone, so these hikes will get you out to enjoy spectacular trails and amazing scenery no matter your level. Check out our 8 favorite places to hike in the US!
DELICATE ARCH TRAIL
- Location: Arches National Park, Utah
- Length: 3 miles
- Difficulty: Easy
The Delicate Arch is one of the most favorite landmarks for those going to Arches National Park. This towering, carelessly balanced stone arch sits in a natural amphitheater, the perfect place to sit and admire this great biological marker.
A compact layer of salt deposits created the eponymous stone structures of Arches National Park in the rock, which later became fluid, pushing upwards to form strange stone domes. The weather over time has all but destroyed these domes, leaving behind only the fragile arches that characterize this otherworldly landscape.
Delicate Arch is a unique and impressive piece of natural architecture, making this trail one of the best hikes to go on. While there are easily accessible viewpoints, the only way to get up close and personal with the arch is to brave the steep climb along a narrow ledge.
Watch for Ute Indian petroglyphs in the rock near Wolfe Ranch Cabin. Just be aware that you won’t find any shade on this hike, and the summer heat can be very intense.
- Where: Yosemite National Park, California
- Length: 8 miles one way
- Difficulty: Hard
This trail passes several stunning waterfalls and takes hikers along the Panorama Cliff ridgeline for amazing views. You’ll see the mists rising from the overflowing waterfalls, enjoy sensational views up and down the valley, and spend an entire day in some of Yosemite’s most dramatic views.
It’s a great place to snap a picture of Half Dome and one of the best ways to experience this iconic park. Choose between two different routes. One will take you along several miles of the John Muir Trail. You can combine this trail with the Four Mile Trail, which is closer to 5 miles, for a long and strenuous loop.
You can also hike the Panorama Trail one way during the summer season because a bus is available to return you to Glacier Point. Walking from the top to the bottom of this trail makes the Panorama Trial one of the most unique hikes in Yosemite National Park and one of the best in the country.
SKY POND AND LAKE OF GLASS TRAIL
- Location: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
- Length: 8 miles round trip
- Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
Just imagine being in the presence of majestic Rocky Mountain peaks reflected on a clear mountain lake. The Sky Pond and Lake of Glass Trail give you numerous opportunities to experience this as you pass The Loch and the Lake of Glass on your way to Sky Pond.
Climbing up from the Loch, you’ll start ascending a steep path that will take you to Timberline Falls, a picturesque spot for a break after the grueling climb. But once you reach the final lake, you’ll see that the gorgeous mountain vista is reflected in the pristine waters, making this a wonderful place to stop and contemplate the majesty of the Rockies.
The beautiful waterfalls of the trail make it easy to understand why this is one of the best hikes in the United States.
BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL
- Where: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
- Length: 9 miles round trip (not a day trip)
- Difficulty: Hard
You can hike the Grand Canyon on an ancient trail along a natural fault line that’s been used for a very long time by the natives in the area. This is the safest hike in Grand Canyon National Park because it’s well-maintained and has access to drinking water and sheltered rest areas.
But, attempting this route in one day will be a challenge! If you’re planning to go down into the canyon and come back out the same day, you’ll have to start early and be prepared for a rough hike. We recommend splitting this hike over two days and camping at the wonderful Bright Angel Campground.
This will allow you to relax a bit and enjoy the magnificent canyon scenery, but you will also be able to admire the canopy of stars that will pop up when the sun goes down. This trail is the premier trail in one of America’s premier national parks, so it is only fitting to be counted among the best hiking trails in the US.
OCEAN PATH TRAIL
- Location: Acadia National Park, Maine
- Length: 2 miles one way
- Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
This hike is a fairly flat walk along Maine’s rocky coastline. The popular trail can be crowded during the peak season, especially during the late mornings and early afternoons. Regardless, it’s usually a quiet, peaceful place to watch the sunrise. And if ocean views aren’t enough, you can explore one of the many side trails that takes you to the water’s edge.
The Otter Cliff and Otter Point routes are awe-inspiring, with beautiful sea views. We recommend you keep an eye on the sea at all times, though, because rogue waves can make the trail become a bit slippery. Still, it’s a fantastic route for the whole family and an enjoyable outing for children.
The accessibility of this trail, mixed with the inspiring ocean vistas, makes it one of the top 10 hikes in the country.
CANYON OVERLOOK TRAIL
- Location: Zion National Park, Utah
- Length: 1 mile
- Difficulty: Moderate
Just because the length and accessibility of this trail are shorter doesn’t mean the views won’t be worth the effort! The best thing about this route is that the park service has created a path along the way, with a helpful railing for people who struggle with exposed trails.
It’s still a bit rocky, and there are steep drops along the way, but it brings you to a viewpoint with some of the most picturesque views of the lower Zion Canyon and the Pine Creek slot canyon. This fantastic trail is also extremely popular, and it’s easy to see why!
The view from the top gives you an amazing view of Bridge Mountain and Mount Spry, as well as the Court of the Patriarchs and the towering West Temple. Whatever your fitness levels or hiking experience are, you’ll be able to enjoy this magnificent trail in Zion National Park. The path is one of the best hikes in the United States and can also be enjoyed year-round.
ROCK HARBOR TRAIL
- Location: Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
- Length: 11 miles one way
- Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
This hike will be a lovely stroll along Lake Superior’s shoreline. You’ll find lots of wild berries by the end of the summer, and the autumn colors are a sight you can’t miss. Make sure to look out for the area’s fantastic wildlife along your path.
The trail itself is easy and lets you focus on the fantastic views surrounding you. You might even forget you’re looking at a lake as you gaze out over the spectacular barrier islands and then see the waters of Lake Superior stretch towards the horizon.
Follow the Rock Harbor Trail past the campground, and you’ll finally come to a picturesque cliffside and an arched cave. This charming spot is a perfect area to rest, and you can extend the hike along the Tobin Harbor Trail before looping back through the spruce and fir trees to the Rock Harbor Trail itself.
GRINNELL GLACIER TRAIL
- Location: Glacier National Park, Montana
- Length: 11 miles round trip
- Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
This amazing hike will lead you to a turquoise glacial lake, where you’ll see icebergs floating in the water. And as if the view at Grinnell Glacier weren’t enough, the entire trail offers spectacular views of the mountains but also the glaciers of the many areas in Glacier National Park.
The trail itself will guide you through the trees before appearing to embrace the shores of the beautiful Lake Josephine, boasting crystal waters that mirror the surrounding peaks. As you climb, the views will get better and better, but you’ll need to cross a narrow ledge and a waterfall to get to your destination.
Another thing worth mentioning is The cirque at Upper Grinnell Lake is exquisite, offering tons of opportunities to snap some epic pics. The mountain goats and moose just leisurely grazing in their natural habitat may also delight you! Hiking the Grinnell Glacier Trail is the experience of a lifetime, and it is truly one of the best hikes in the country.
So what did you think about all these amazing hiking locations? Have you packed your bags yet? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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