If you’re looking for the best hikes in the U.S., you’ve come to the right place! We are huge hiking fans. Hiking is fun, you get a chance to explore, get out in nature, burn some calories, and make lasting memories. What is not to love?
In this article we’ll cover some of our research on the best places to hike in the U.S., including day hikes, backpacking trails, beautiful hiking trails and some of the hardest hikes you can do if you’re up for the challenge. So, if hiking is your thing, be sure to save this article for future reference. Let’s get started!
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Why the U.S. is one of the best places to hike
The U.S. is considered by many one of the best places in the world to hike. Home to a variety of diverse environments spread from coast to coast, each with a unique climate and terrain. The U.S. is home to 423 national park sites and 63 national parks, spanning more than 84 million acres. Within the U.S. alone there are five major climate types from tropical to highlands, each creating a unique hiking territory.
For U.S. residents, traveling between hiking hotspots is easy -- with the option of domestic flying or driving, and no language barrier, currency changes or passport required. This makes hiking in the U.S. an appealing option for anyone looking to plan a trip.
The first step in planning a hiking trip is to research the best hiking trails in the U.S.. AllTrails, the most widely used site to find hiking trails has compiled information on more than 72,000 trails in the U.S. and is a great place to start any research. But to make things easier for you, we’ve rounded up the top seven U.S. hiking trails you can try.
Zion National Park is one of the most popular places to hike, and for good reason. The 270- million- year- old canyon offers a view like nothing else, and an enjoyable climate to make the hike one to remember.
The trail starts at Grotto Trailhead and is five miles in total, taking an average hiker around five hours to complete due to the steep incline. During the first part of the hike, you’ll be follow the river, making for a scenic journey; finishing your hike at Scout Lookout where you can enjoy the unforgettable views.
This four- mile intermediate hike is home to the largest natural sandstone arch, a must-see natural landmark. This hike is perfect for beginner or casual hikers who want to enjoy a shorter, easier hike without sacrificing beautiful views or elevation. The 4,600-foot elevation of Devil’s Bridge will get progressively harder, but if you’re in good shape, only takes around two hours to complete, so is easier to push through.
This aptly named hike begins from Bear Lake and has a steady climb to Nymph Lake. The lake is ringed by pond lilies and makes for a perfect scenic pic or selfie. Continuing along the hike, you’ll reach Dream Lake and Lake Haiyaha, before finally reaching Emerald lake after 3.3 miles. This hike is just over an hour and encompasses a number of spectacular lakes, making it a hike to remember.
You may not have guessed that Tennessee would be a place for hiking, but home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this state has plenty to offer. This hike is recommended for the more advanced hikers, ranging 10.6 miles and taking up to 9 hours. But according to this blog, it’s “strenuous, but not technically challenging.”. There are also a number of stops to see along the way: Myrtle Point, Inspiration Point, The Eye of the Needle, and many small water crossings.If you’re a beginners looking for some popular, yet easy hikes, the Cathedral Rock Trail may appeal to you as it’s just over a mile, and takes less than 30 minutes. However, it’s important to bear in mind that this hike, according to the USDA, is “more of a rock climb than a hike.”. It is a moderate slope, which ascends steeply, making it difficult to navigate. Make sure you’re wearing the right hiking boots for this one to avoid slipping!
This strenuous and steep trail has been labelled “hard” by AllTrails. This 8.6 mile hike will take advanced hikers a little longer than six hours to complete. But it’s worth it. Featuring a rocky terrain, several waterfalls, panoramic views and a bountiful river, this hike is one of the best on the east coast.
This 6.9 mile heavily trafficked hiking trail has an elevation gain of 2,706 ft, making it a tough but rewarding hike. It’s recommended to visit this hike from June until October due to the heavy snowfall, avalanche risk and fog that affects visibility. During the summer, this hike has views of the lake and colorful aspen trees.
The U.S. is home to a diverse variety of hiking trails, spanning coast to coast, offering different views, natural landmarks and climates –- making each trail unique from the other. Here at FitMyFoot, we are advocates of the great outdoors, and hiking combines the joys of nature with the benefits of movement.
Before you make a decision on your next hike, be sure to check out our blog for more hiking tips, including the essential hiking gear you need like proper hiking footwear. Enjoy!