Top Hiking Destinations in the US

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Top Hiking Destinations in the US

top hiking destinations us

If the thought of strapping on a pair of hiking boots and donning a backpack on your vacation makes you rejoice, then you need to visit these top hiking destinations in the US. From the beginner hiker to the intermediate trail explorer, the United States has many options for you to take advantage of.

Pacific Coast Trail

The Pacific Coast Trail is an 8,650 mile hike that spans three states, 24 national forests, and 7 national parks. Along the way you will traverse mountainous terrain and take in spectacular views of more than 1000 lakes and 19 major canyons.

Known also as the PCT, this trail runs from New Mexico all the way to Canada. You will hike your way across landscapes ranging from low deserts to arctic mountains. If you don’t want to travel the entire length of the trail you can access portions of it from places such as San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland. Many people opt to make a weekend trip of hiking these shorter portions.

It is a popular hiking and camping destination for any avid nature enthusiast.

Pacific Crest Trail, heading north via east

Appalachian Trail

Starting in Georgia and winding up to Maine, the Appalachian Trail is a hikers paradise. It is a 2,178 mile trail that is broken up into a series of smaller trails.  The Appalachian Trail makes its way through 12 states.

You will hike through 6 national parks along the way and 8 national forests. Be sure to carry a map and come prepared as the trails on this journey range from hiking trails that meander up mountains, to extreme trails that will have you climbing up steep faces.  You will have unprecedented views from atop the Appalachian Mountains such as beautiful waterfalls that snake through canyons and down the faces of cliffs. It is a hike that will not only leave you breathless from exercise, but also, from the spectacular surroundings.

Appalachian Trail Landscape Photography in Western North Carolina

Denali National Park

This is a hiking experience unlike any other in the rugged and wild country of Alaska. Here the trails are not as well marked as other national parks so you feel much closer to nature. Some, if not most of the hiking, cuts straight through the woods and is not on trails at all.  You will be backpacking in its purest form, and will have many challenges to contend with.

This hike may leave you feeling more like a first-time explorer then a traditional hiker. Though the hike is rugged and harsh along the way, the views will make up for any inconveniences.  However, this is not recommended if you are a weekend hiker or a novice. You will want to take someone who is experienced along with you and learn to practice some survivalist type skills. If you can do this then you will thoroughly enjoy your hiking experience.

OUTSIDE OF DENALI NATIONAL PARK-Explored June 26

Yosemite National Park

Although America is painted with beautiful scenery throughout all of its national parks, Yosemite National Park in California, boasts some of the most spectacular vistas and views. The park itself is roughly the size of Rhode Island and you can take advantage of over 800 miles of hiking trails that range from novice to expert.

You will be pleasantly surprised to find out that there are dozens of trails to traverse that will make your hiking experience a fulfilling one. From the beautiful glacial mountains that surround it, and the lush forests that you hike through, you are sure to see an abundance of wildlife teaming amidst the giant Sequoia trees.  For real adventure seekers, make sure you hike the trail that leads to the peak of El Capitan, one of the largest mountains in the park. Be sure to take your camera to snap pics of the beautiful scenery which will not disappoint. Hiking in this area will be an experience unlike any other.

Yosemite National Park

Glacier National Park

Proving over and over again to be a true hikers dream, Glacier National Park is one of the most majestic places in the United States to hike. You will have access to more than 700 miles of marked trails inside the park itself.  Traveling through this vast area you will likely be able to traverse these trails and never meet up with another hiker.

From its stunning and impressive peaks to its crystalline green-blue lakes, the park is akin to walking through a living postcard. Along the way you will no doubt see an abundance of wildlife from beavers and local rodents such as marmots and groundhogs, to even bears and possibly a lone wolf or two. It is also common to see elk and moose in the rivers and along the paths in the woods.  If breathtaking scenery is what you seek, then Glacier National Park is definitely a hiking experience that you should take advantage of.

Glacier National Park - Wild Goose Island Overlook

These trails are visited and hiked by many people each year in this country. All of them should be explored by anyone who is a hiking enthusiast whether it is their first trip or their 100th trip.  These trails are beautiful and amazing.  The adventure to be had at these locations is the stuff of legends.  Get your packs ready, the trails are calling…

Which hiking destinations would you add to this list???


Traveler. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Vegan. Risk Taker. Voice for the Voiceless.

20 Comments

  1. Sammi Wanderlustin'

    September 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    I kind of want to go to all of these 😉

  2. Mandie @ RamblingMandie

    September 20, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    I can’t believe the only one of these that I’ve hiked is Glacier. Time to change that up in the spring!!

  3. Jessica @ Independent Travel Cats

    September 20, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    I’ve hiked parts of a few of these trails. There are these and so many other great hiking spots in the United States!

  4. Corinne

    September 21, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    Ashley, Great list! I think the US National Parks are fantastic for hiking. My favorites are Denali and Grand Canyon!

  5. Esther

    September 21, 2014 at 2:53 AM

    Really beautiful pics! I loved the USA national parks, they’re SO large! (Hey, I am from The Netherlands… our National Parks are like playgrounds compared to those in the US).
    Thanks for hosting the linkup too, always nice to meet some new bloggers!

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  7. Molly S

    September 21, 2014 at 3:20 AM

    I’d love to visit Yosemite and Glacier – I’m not a massively experienced hiker, but the scenery just looks incredible.

  8. Maria from Nerd Nomads

    September 21, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    I just LOVE hiking!! All of these look amazing! Would really like to try the Pacific Coast Trail, it looks beautiful. Have heard so much about the Glacier National Park, that is high on my bucket list of hikes I want to take in the USA.

  9. Angelica @BkChickTravels

    September 21, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    All these are on my list, specifically I want to start with Yosemite or Glacier, but how can I choose between them? Tough choice but got to start somewhere. Which are your top two?

  10. Amy @ Amy and the Great World

    September 21, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    The USA has so much beauty. I’ve only been to Glacier but it was definitely a dream! 🙂

  11. Marissa | It's The Little Things

    September 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    These all look like great destinations for hiking! I’ve been doing a lot more hiking recently, so hopefully I will have a chance to check out more of these in the coming years!

  12. Dennis Kopp

    September 21, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Ashley, I am officially ashamed to say that during all the years that I lived in the US I haven’t been to any of these places. But I guess it means that I do have to come back at some point and see a little bit more of this huge country than just the east coast with its many big cities… 🙂

  13. Amy Lynne Hayes

    September 22, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    All of them – I would add all of them to my list!! I read Cheryl Strayed’s book “Wild” about the Pacific Coast Trail and have been itching ever since to get out and hit a few trails myself. It’s a definite on my list of things to do frequently once I move to New Zealand in 2 weeks!!

  14. Jess

    September 22, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    I’ve done short portions of the Appalachian trail, but my favorite place anywhere to go hiking is Denali. There are actually only trails in a three mile section around the entrance of the park – which is the size of Massachusetts, so that’s a lot of backcountry! The best way to do it if you don’t have a guide is on a ranger led day hike.

  15. Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

    September 22, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    I haven’t done any of these. I’d like to do a couple hours on the Appalachian Trail and then tell people for years afterwards about how I hiked the AT.

  16. Christa

    September 23, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Hi it’s Christa, host of the Sunday Traveler, I just wanted to pop in and say thanks for joining in on the fun! Great photos! All the places to hike are breathtaking. So many amazing places to visit so little time. We loved Yosemite this summer and would happily go back.

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  18. John Hunter

    October 6, 2014 at 4:48 AM

    I would chose from that list Glacier National Park, it is amazing. Photos from my trip:

    http://curiouscat.com/travels/usa/montana/glacier-national-park/2005/two-medicine-lake-area/2

    Olympic National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and Zion National Park have some pretty great hikes.

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  20. Viswa

    March 2, 2015 at 3:45 AM

    These all look like great destinations for hiking,Really beautiful pics.Thanks for Sharing.

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