The peaks, cliffs, volcanoes and old-growth forests of North America are calling, and there’s never been a better time to go exploring them. If you are ready to pack your hiking boots and visit the scenic trails of the United States, these are the destinations you must check out.
Nugget Falls Trail, Tongass National Forest, Auke Bay, Alaska
Hikers are often able to spot bald eagles, sockeye salmon, and black bear cubs on this hiking trail, which is a nature lover’s paradise. A wooden boardwalk trail provides access through swampy bogs and dense forests, plus visitors can explore caves. Hikers can explore more than 700 miles of trails without seeing the same sights twice. Nugget Falls is one of the most scenic hikes in Alaska, and it offers spectacular views of the waterfall and glacier – all along a two-mile hike that is accessible for most ages and stages.
Penobscot and Sargent Mountains, Maine
This is a rewarding hike in Acadia National Park due to its two summits and rocky scrambles.
You can begin and end the challenging 5.4-mile loop at the Jordan Pond House eatery, enjoying creature comforts and local delicacies like popovers (a local roll that is similar to the Yorkshire pudding in that it is made of egg and batter). The loop ends at Jordan Pond House as well, but expect to be challenged on the rugged trail in between popovers.
Penobscot Mountain puts you in a tricky position between boulders, lowering you down to Sargent Pond, then scaling 1,373 feet up Sargent Mountain. A panoramic view can be enjoyed from almost anywhere along the Down East Coast because it is surrounded by water on three sides.
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, St Louis, Missouri
From northwest Colorado to Oregon, there are 3700 miles of trails to explore, offering endless historic experiences. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were sent by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the West in 1804 and were commemorated by this trail named in their honour. Over a two-year period, they travelled from St Louis, Missouri, all the way to the Pacific Ocean, then back towards St Louis.
That trail captures a romantic view of the American West, and it’s a trail you can return to year after year and experience something new each time.
There is no doubt that this hike is the most popular in the park. There are several moderate hikes in the park, but the Queen’s / Navajo Combination offers the most variety of scenery. It combines the open views of the Queen’s Garden Trail with the narrow sections of the Navajo Loop Trail, which features huge red rock walls, and a half-mile of easy walking along the Rim Trail, offering breathtaking views of the Bryce Amphitheater area.
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California
Climbing Half Dome is one of the best American day hikes for those seeking thrills and adventure. Located 5000 feet above the valley floor, the granite dome is a heart-pounding challenge for even experienced hikers. In Half Dome’s last 400 feet, hikers can pull themselves to the summit with the aid of a metal cable system. Half Dome’s cables alone are not for the faint of heart, and mother nature will not always allow hikers to climb it due to sudden afternoon snowfall and lingering snow.
Burroughs Mountain Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
This is renowned as one of the best hikes in the USA. It’s a pretty strenuous hike at around nine miles round trip that can be hard on the legs. However, it’s a great hike, flanked by dramatic glaciers and filled with scenic spots, and it rewards you with some of the best views.
Additionally, you can reach the highest point of the park by foot from this trail, giving you incredible views for days. You should stick to the trails and check local weather conditions before heading out.