Hiking is one of my favorite free-time activities, and there are many great reasons for it. Social, mental and physical benefits are helping more and more people explore new regions of the country and make unforgettable memories. However, if you don’t have a chance to hike often, you might find it challenging to pick the best location for your hiking experience. Luckily, the country has tons of amazing locations popular among hikers, and this post will narrow your options to only the best among them. Here are the 10 best hiking trails in the US you should consider for your upcoming meeting with nature.
Benefits of hiking
People who haven’t tried hiking before are simply not aware of all the benefits hiking can bring them. That’s why we want to list the main reasons why hiking is good for you, and try to convince you to make travel plans even faster. Some of the benefits of hiking (even a short one) include:
- All the oxygen – hiking makes sure more oxygen comes to your lungs, your heart and your brain. Regular hiking sessions improve our health and minimize the risks of heart disease and diabetes.
- Building muscles – regular physical activity makes us stronger, and hiking is one of the ways to do that. The reason is that hiking is not only walking but also can include climbing, jumping over obstacles and going over uneven and difficult terrains. Such physical activity challenges our bodies to be stronger than before.
- Hiking it’s good for your soul – not only does it improve physical health, but hiking also tackles your mental health. Hiking gives the feeling of freedom, and calmness and also is a perfect time to think about all the things that bother you at home.
- You connect with nature – going back to nature has a strong calming effect, and gives you the chance to reconnect with all the things we lost touch with after living in the city for so long.
- Social benefits – going on a hike with your loved one, a friend or a family member is a perfect chance for some quality bonding time. Making some unforgettable memories through this unique experience is something to go through with someone really special.
Where to go hiking? The best hiking trails in the US
There are so many ways to explore nature in the US. This vast country includes the majority of natural landmarks you can find – forests, deserts, beaches, never-ending grasslands and mountains covered in snow. You name it! It’s so diverse and filled with natural wonders and it’s only up to you where you should go and explore. However, we’ve come up with the best hiking trails you should consider for your next adventure.
1. Bryce Canyon, Utah – The Queen’s Garden/ Navajo Loom
This amazing national park will give you some of the best hikes ever with views you’ll never forget. There are different hikes you can take in Bryce Canyon, but we recommend the combination of The Queen’s Garden/ Navajo Loom. It’s not that long and difficult, but it will give you a good feel of the park. However, if you’re looking for something more challenging, go on the Fairyland Loop, which is an 8-mile hike with 2300 feet in elevation. Both of these trails will ensure you enjoy the view of the red stone spikes all around and the beautiful, rugged nature of the Bryce Canyon.
2. The Grand Canyon – South Kaibab Trail
We can’t mention any canyons and forget the most iconic one of all – the Grand Canyon. It’s the place where you can take one of the best hiking trails in the US, the South Kaibab Trail. It takes 4 to 6 hours to finish and it’s listed as a difficult one.
3. Mount Rainer National park, Washington – Wonderland Trail
Another strenuous trail for those who want a more challenging adventure – Wonderland Trail is 93 miles long and includes various landscapes and terrain. It’s best to take this hike in the late summer and be sure to make reservations in case you decide to take the whole length of the trail.
4. Kauai, Hawaii – Kalalau Trail
Finally, let’s finish this list of the best hiking trails in the US – Kalalau Trail in Hawaii. This is an 11-mile trail that goes from the Ke’e Beach all the way to Kalalau Beach and gives you the most beautiful sights on the coast. And as this is one of the places with amazing weather all year long- you can choose to visit it any time.
5. Tongue Mountain Range, New York – the Tongue Mountain Loop
This amazing peninsula surrounded by Lake George is one of the most popular hiking destinations. Hikers love the Tongue Mountain Loop which is 13 miles long and gives you the chance to see magnificent views of the lake.
6. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming – Teton Crest Trail
Rich wildlife is what attracts many visitors to the Teton Mountains who like to hike here and see this flourishing ecosystem. The Teton Crest Trail is considered to be rather challenging, so be prepared for 25 miles of adventure.
7. Sierra Nevada Mountains, California – John Muir Trail
This is one of the longest trails on this list and takes about two weeks to complete. John Muir Trail passes through some of the best of California’s national parks – Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia. This trail is all about wilderness in the mountains, so make sure you’re prepared for such a journey.
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8. Acadia National Park, Maine – The Beehive Loop Trail
This national park offers plenty of different hike options, all of them of different lengths and difficulty levels. There are over 120 miles of trails you can explore in Acadia. However, one of the best is surely the Beehive trail which gives you access to the amazing views of Sand Beach – but it’s not for those who are afraid of heights.
9. Mount Rodgers, Virginia – Mount Rodgers and Appalachian Trail Loop
These two locations mix in one of the best hiking trails in the US. You can enjoy beautiful autumn foliage sights and see some of the breathtaking sceneries of Virginia. It takes about 10 hours to complete, and it’s considered moderately difficult.
10. The Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado – Monarch Lake to Crater Lake
If you’re looking for the essence of Colorado’s nature, this is the place to go. Waterfalls, flowers, deer and moose –will welcome you all along this trail. You’ll enjoy a beautiful mix of scenery along this 8-mile trail, and finish with a spectacular view of Crater Lake.
With so many different hiking options, it’s hard to pick just one. That’s why it’s time for passionate hikers to create a bucket list and start ticking it off as soon as possible! List your own favourites of the best hiking trails in the US and start the adventure.
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