Top Hiking Destinations in the US : Part Two

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Top Hiking Destinations in the US : Part Two


While we all like to vacation, hiking is becoming a more popular way to spend time away from home. Whether you take an extended hike and choose to camp along the way, or just opt for a day hike and book accommodations, your trip is sure to be full of majestic views and landmarks. It is a fun and interactive way to enjoy places that you vacation at during the year.  Last week, I covered several destinations that are fantastic for hiking and decided there were too many for just one list.  Below you will find part two of the top hiking destinations in the US.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone has been a mystery in this country since the first explorers discovered it so long ago. This park offers up several hiking trails that meander the vast expanse of over 2,000,000 acres. You can take a walk through the hot springs and mud pots to see famous geysers and multicolored pools of hot sulfuric water that litter the countryside. It is an otherworldly experience as you walk past the bubbling emerald and sapphire colored pools of water. You can trek to Old Faithful and wait for it’s daily eruption.  Be sure to visit the Lodge at Old Faithful where they have a large gift shop and great accommodations.

You can also explore some of the Parks natural wildlife that is abundant.  Many of the hiking trails meander through the forested areas and around mountainous regions where you can take in beautiful waterfalls including Yellowstone’s own Grand Canyon. With enough hiking trails to keep you busy and intrigued for days Yellowstone offers hiking for the novice or the experienced person.

Morning Glory Pool, Yellowstone National Park

Grand Canyon

Seated in northern Arizona, this amazing work of nature spans over 277 miles in length and at its maximum width is 18 miles across. If you look over the edge of these cliffs you will see that the canyon is a mile deep! The view and striking visuals of the canyon itself are something that pictures cannot do justice.

Upon arriving you will find there are a multitude of ways to enjoy the area.  Hiking the famous Bright Angel Trail, you are sure not to be a lone wolf. Many people enjoy this track around the South rim of the canyon.  Sightseers and hikers prefer this particularly for the photo opportunities of the views. This is also the side of the canyon that has the most access to amenities and is mainly for people who want to take short hikes.

The North rim offers a very different hike and is a place where experienced hikers and even hard-core survivalist go for camping and some hiking that can be difficult. It’s a place you can go if you would like to experience the canyon without much of a crowd. Either way your experience at the Grand Canyon is sure to be breathtaking and one you will not soon forget.

Grand Canyon in HDR # 3

Jackson Hole

The home of the majestic Grand Teton Mountains, Jackson Hole, Wyoming is situated in a large valley and is surrounded by amazing jagged peaks that stretch to the sky. Jackson Hole Valley is a paradise that is surrounded by peaks and a National Forest, making it nature’s playground.

With miles of beautiful forest surrounding the area and rolling hills backing up to the mountains you are sure to find a trail that is suitable for your hiking needs.  They span from easy and moderate trails that weave through the forested areas, to more rugged trails that traverse mountainous places. Hiking enthusiasts of all kinds will find a fun and beautiful trail to hike here. When your hiking is over there are a plethora of accommodations for you to choose from.  Soak all of your sore muscles in a hot bath and enjoy a scrumptious dinner before sinking into a plush bed for the night. Also a popular skiing destination, Jackson Hole can be enjoyed year-round.

jackson Hole, October 2010

Hawaii, Big Island

We all know that Hawaii is touted for its amazing beach vacation spots and surfing, but many of us do not know that the Big Island is a hikers dream. Geographically, the abundance and variety of landscape makes this place an excellent spot for a hiker. You can experience beautiful black sand beaches and in a short time be traversing snow-covered mountain peaks. You may also hike through the famous desert (which is an otherworldly experience to find yourself in on an island known for paradise), or meander through beautiful and colorful rain forests that hug the mountainous hills. The biggest attraction on the island for hikers is the spectacular erupting Kilauea Volcano. The island offers a hiking experience that is a step above the rest and will not disappoint

Kilauea Iki Crater

Acadia National Park

Saying that Acadia National Park is picture perfect would be an understatement. There are opportunities for beautiful photographs around every turn and up every trail. You get the advantage of hiking the beautiful rolling mountains in the forest and also experiencing the wildlife such as the harbor seals that sun themselves on the coast. The hiking can be rugged and a bit rocky but is worth every step. There are several hiking trails to explore, as Acadia is over 47,000 acres. Be aware that if you visit in the spring, some of the hiking trails will be shut down to hikers. This is when the protected Peregrine falcon comes to nest on the Jordan Cliffs of the park.

With photo opportunities in abundance, this is a sightseers dream hike. You will leave the park with many pictures that you can enjoy for years to come.

Acadia National Park

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Ashley is the mastermind behind A Southern Gypsy, a travel blog focused adventure, outdoors, wildlife and Vegan food! In between bigger trips, she is delivering the best of her hometown, Nashville. Hates mustard & pickles. Needs coffee to function. Other passions | activism, minimalism, zero waste, books + writing.

22 Comments

  1. Katie

    September 27, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    Yellowstone (and Wyoming in general) is still one of my favorite spots we went to on our road trip across the US. It’s so gorgeous, and the sky is so blue! I’d love to hit up these other spots as well!

  2. Ryan Biddulph

    September 27, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    Hi Ashley,

    Absolutely awesome pictures!

    The Big Island snags my attention because I’m an island hopping kind of guy. I’m not TOO far away from there, as I’m hanging out in Savusavu, Fiji now. Polynesia up north and we’re here in Melanesia. Hawaii is intriguing because you see such versatility, and hiking potential.

    Jungle hikes, volcano hikes, and a few landscapes in between you have a bit of it all over there.

    Here in Fiji we did a waterfall hike last week. After asking permission from a woman to walk through her village we found a jungle stream full of pure, fresh water. After an hour long swim and lunch we hiked back, through scenery and landscapes that looked oh so similar to the Hawaiian backgrounds you see in movies like Jurassic Park.

    Stunning, and if you want to talk about pollution free, I’ve been in many places on earth, but here on Vanua Levu, on a clear night, you may as well be in a planetarium. I’ve seen many paradises but I’ve not seen anything like this island in Fiji, when it comes to being unspoiled.

    Absolutely awesome pics. All of my US travel sked, for sure.

    Tweeting soon through Triberr.

    Thanks Ashley!

    Ryan

  3. Lyn - A Hole in my Shoe

    September 27, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    I have never been to the states and am not a hiker but I did enjoy the read. Thanks so much for linking up #SundayTraveler

  4. Sammi Wanderlustin'

    September 28, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    One of my favourite stories about Yellowstone is how they were looking for a volcano they were stood right in, because it is so massive! I just can’t even begin to imagine what that place is like, have you been already?

    I’d love to go to the Grand Canyon, but I’d like to see it from below rather than above (I really don’t like heights)

  5. Jessica @ Independent Travel Cats

    September 28, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Love hiking in Hawaii, what hikes have you done on the Big Island? I’ve been able to spend about 2 weeks there and love the hiking opportunities. Hiking in the Volcano National Park is great of course but there are some amazing valleys here for some fab hikes!

  6. Amy Lynne Hayes

    September 29, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    So many places, so little time! I absolutely love Wyoming, but I never made it to Jackson Hole. We used to go to the Buffalo/Sheridan area. It’s gorgeous out there!

  7. Corinne

    September 29, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    Ashley, I love all the places you mention. The U.S. has so many awesome hiking spots! One of my favorites is Joshua Tree. Have you been there?

  8. Jess

    September 29, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    I’m hoping to make it to Acadia this fall – I can’t wait!

  9. Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

    September 29, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    What a wonderful list. I’m in the midst of planning Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, but that trip won’t be until next summer. Unbelievably, the hotel that I wanted has been 100% booked out for Summer 2015 already. I’ve already done both Acadia and the Big Island, and both were indeed wonderful. Have you seen the recent photos of lava flows in the Big Island? You can get so close you can feel the heat.

  10. Adelina // Pack Me To

    October 2, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    Fantastic choices! I’m surprised I’ve been to 3 of the 5. Time to check out the other two.

  11. Em

    October 5, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    They’re all beautiful, but I have a special place in my heart for Yellowstone; I remember being in stupid awe there as a little kid on a family camping vacation – and plugging my nose because of the sulphur 🙂

  12. Hannah

    October 9, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    All of the above look great but I Hawaii is top of my list…I have a fantasy about living there for a month of so spending my days exploring and surfing…hopefully avoiding sharks. Sigh…one day.

  13. Jenna

    October 9, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    These all look so great! We loved the Grand Canyon, but haven’t made it to any of the others on the list. I would love to visit them all, especially Yellowstone!

  14. Megan Claire

    October 10, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Have managed to tick all of these with the exception of Arcadia National Park – though it’s on my list! Slowly hiking my way through the best of the US with the aid of your awesome guides!

  15. Lauren

    October 10, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    These are all fantastic and give me so many ideas for future trips. I love hiking and exploring nature. The Big Island is near the top of my list!

  16. Margherita @The Crowded Planet

    October 11, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    sooooo beautiful! I don’t know which one I’d like best. Maybe Yellowstone, with the colorful pools? Or Big Island? Amazing stuff!

  17. Antonette

    October 12, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    I was at the first three last year and loved all of them. Yellowstone is great for hiking but we also wanted to see lots so didn’t get around to too much hiking. Grand Canyon was OK but too crowded. Best place was def Grand Teton, almost nobody on the trail we did… would love to return there one day!

  18. Beth

    October 12, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Yellowstone is my dream destination when it comes to hiking and national parks! I can’t wait to get out there someday.

  19. Raphael Alexander Zoren

    October 13, 2014 at 4:56 AM

    I love the fall colors, this looks great!!!

  20. Chris Boothman

    October 13, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    All of these are destinations still on our bucket list, especially Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon! Hiking down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon would be an amazing experience though I am sure the route out of their is a little more tricky especially in the heart of summer.

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  22. Agness of aTukTuk

    June 26, 2017 at 6:08 PM

    Awesome ideas! Hiking is a pleasure when done at stunning places like these!

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