The Best Hiking Spots in the U.S.
By Elisa Hindes
Whether you’re an experienced hiker wanting a challenge or a novice looking for picturesque views there is no shortage of amazing hiking trails in this country. Some may be just an easy day trip, others may take weeks or more through grueling terrain. No matter what your personal goals and abilities may be, there is a hiking trail out there just for you. Here is just a short list of some of the best hiking spots in the U.S.
Appalachian Trail, 30-Mile Wilderness, Monson, Maine
The 100-Mile Wilderness stretch of the Appalachian Trail in Maine is the longest section that never crosses a paved road. But the first 30 miles of this section is rugged and beautiful, complete with rich Maple forests, river rapids, the Lower Wilson Falls, and great views of Maine’s back woods.
The Hayduke Trail's Hurrah Pass, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah
Advanced hikers will love this challenging 47.1 milk trek filled with majestic red rock views and rugged back country terrain.
Snowmass Wilderness, Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
Experienced hikers who embark on this trek will enjoy the breathtaking views of what is known as the state’s most photographed mountain landscape. Six peaks at more than 14,000 feet each are no small feat and the reward of accomplishment and natural beauty is well worth the effort and often busy trail.
The Lost Coast, California
This area of the north coast of California in Mendocino and Humboldt counties was so named due to the depopulation in the 1930’s. This difficult ocean front trek is only for the most experienced hikers. The 20 mile stretch boasts of beautiful scenery, but remember there are no roads here for a reason; it’s too dangerous to drive.
Long Trail, Jay Peak Long Trail North, Jay, Vermont
This trail in its entirety runs from Massachusetts to the Canadian border and is the oldest long distance trail in the country. However, the Jay Peak section is great for both experienced and beginning hikers.
John Muir Trail, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite Valley, California
This section of the Pacific Crest Trail is known for solitude – you can walk for weeks without coming across a single road. It also crosses Yosemite, Ansel Adams and John Muir wilderness, as well as Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.
Harding Icefield Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward, Alaska
This eight mile day hike is filled with spectacular views, glaciers, forests and meadows. Black bears are also a common sight, so be sure to brush up on bear safety.
The Highline Trail-Logan Pass to Granite Park Chalet, Glacier National Park, Montana
At just shy of eight miles, this hike follows the Continental Divide and is great for beginners. This beautiful trail isn’t short on majestic scenery, rugged peaks, and even bighorn sheep and mountain goats.