Some are strenuous and difficult, while others are relaxing strolls through the forest. Some trails travel through mosquito-ridden swamps while others meander through alpine meadows.
Whether you like being out in the middle of nowhere or prefer trails that are adjacent to civilization, we’ve got you covered with this list of hiking trails across the country.
Mist Trail, Yosemite National Park, California
It’s no secret that Mist Trail is one of the best hiking trails in the country.
Located in Yosemite National Park, hikers can start their trek up at the Vernal Falls footbridge, where they can go to view the falls or stand along the railing to take a moment to catch their breath before making their way farther up. The trail is very wide, which makes it accessible for just about anyone who wants to partake in the beauty of this hike.
The first 2 miles after Vernal Fall are switchbacks, which ascend a total of 600 steps until reaching Nevada Falls. Hikers then take a detour along a bridge that crosses over the waterfall, which adds accessibility for those who are a bit less adventurous.
The Mist Trail is a 7-mile round trip and takes about five hours to complete.
Devil's Garden, Arches National Park, Utah
Devil’s Garden is a natural rock formation found in Utah. This unique place is one of the best hiking trails in the country and a must-see for anyone who loves nature.
The trail takes you to eight named arches and two natural bridges. It's well-marked by signs along the way. You can start at either the north or south ends of this trail, but it's best to start at the south end in order to see Landscape Arch first. The trail is 7.9 miles long and should take about five hours to complete.
Devil’s Garden gets its name from the rock fins that jut out of the ground like devil horns. The Devil’s Garden Trail is considered moderate to difficult due to narrow walkways and steep drop-offs. However, it still attracts hikers of all skill levels who are willing to take on the challenge for a stunning view at the end of the trail.
Cascade Canyon Trail, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the country, and for good reason. The dramatic peaks, alpine lakes, and glaciated valleys are a photographer's dream.
This hiking trail in Grand Teton National Park is one of the most gratifying you'll find anywhere. Once you reach the summit, you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of the "Cathedral Group," which towers above the canyon to the west, dominating the western horizon. Teewinot Mountain (12,325 feet), the Grand Teton (13,770 feet), and Mt. Owen (12,928 feet) are among the mountains that make up this group.
Hiking Cascade Canyon Trail isn't technically difficult, but it can be dangerous if you don't prepare. There are also plenty of wild animals to look out for; appropriate precautions should always be taken when exploring the wilderness.
Tongue Mountain Range Trails, New York
Tongue Mountain Range is a beautiful range of mountains located in the Adirondack Mountains region of New York. Most of the mountain range is in protected wildlife preserves, and the Tongue Mountain Range trails have certain restrictions placed on them, but nature lovers are still able to enjoy the magnificence of these mountains.
Some trails can be thick with trees, harbor dangerous animals, and difficult to follow, so use caution if you're going off-trail. The area is also known for its timber rattlesnake population. It’s not a destination for the faint-hearted.
Kalalau Trail, Hawaii
Hawaii has an abundance of hiking trails that are stunning and diverse. The Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast is considered one of the best hiking trails in the world. It is also known for being quite dangerous.
Kalalau Trail offers a pristine natural setting for hikers who prefer to avoid the crowds and want to experience Hawaii's unspoiled wilderness.
This 11-mile trail is extremely difficult and should not be attempted without a proper guide and equipment. The trail features steep cliffs, deep valleys, slippery terrain, narrow ridges, and, at times, dangerous footing. Hikers should be prepared for any type of weather, including tropical storms that bring heavy rains, high winds, and lightning. Exhilarating for some, petrifying for others.
Teton Crest Trail, Wyoming, Idaho
Teton Crest Trail is located in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. It is a long-distance trail that extends from Phillips Pass, on the border of Bridger Teton and Caribou-Targhee National Forests, to String Lake in Grand Teton National Park. The trail has views of Alpine Lake with spectacular panoramas of Alpine peaks like Mount Owen and Mount Moran.
The John Muir Trail, California and Nevada
The John Muir Trail is located in California and Nevada. The trail extends 210 miles through Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, and Sequoia National Park. The trail has views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains like Mount Whitney (14,494 feet) and Mount Humphreys (13,986 feet).
White Rim Trail, Utah
A portion of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, in northeast Utah, the White Rim Trail stretches 100 miles along the western edge of the Green River, between Canyonlands National Park and Dinosaur National Monument.
The path begins at Mineral Bottom near Moab, Utah, and winds along desert mesas as far as North Upheaval Dome and Uinta Mountain before ending at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. A permit is required to hike this trail.
White Mountains, New Hampshire
The White Mountains are home to several classic trails, including Mt. Washington's Presidential Traverse and Crawford Path, which was once used by Native Americans. The range also includes Franconia Ridge Loop, offering views of three states from the summit of South Twin Mountain.
Lassen Peak, California
Lassen Peak is the largest plug dome volcano in the world. There are several hiking trails around the peak. They offer views of cinder cones and lava flows, which are a great introduction to Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Gear to Take When Hiking a Trail
You'll need gear to hike a trail, including a backpack to carry water and food, clothing to protect you from the elements, and a map to help you find your way if you lose internet connectivity). You'll also want to pack reasonable trail shoes, such as the TRABUCO MAX™ trail running shoe, and a compass.
Bring at least one gallon of water per person, per day. If you're going to be gone for more than two days, bring more water just in case.
Other things you should pack include:
- First aid kit
- Waterproof matches
- Insect repellant
Get Ready to Experience a Hiking Trail Adventure
Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking to get out and run or a city dweller who wants to escape the grind with a hike in the great outdoors, hiking trails in America are national treasures that can provide you with a great experience. We hope that our guide has inspired you to try one of these marvelous routes.