10 Best Hikes in the United States

Are you planning to hike with your friends or family in the United States but finding it difficult to choose which hiking destination suits you the best? We got you covered with a list of the best hikes in the United States. The USA has a lot to offer to nature lovers and adventure seekers. As home to some of the most captivating natural terrains, the country has a range of hiking trails for all kinds of travelers to choose from. Whether you are a regular hiker or a beginner, you can enjoy the best hiking routes in the US. The diversity of the landscape allows you to explore the trails of all difficulty levels, from day hikes to multi-day treks. 

We have put forth a list of the best places to hike in the United States in our effort of making your work easier. These places offer a unique blend of tranquil sights of nature, adventurous trails, and a rewarding experience. From the intriguing terrain of the Grand Canyon to the wilderness of the Continental Divide Trail, this list encapsulates your preferences. 

What are the 10 Best Hikes in the United States?

For those seeking to connect with nature and explore the outdoors in the USA, hiking or multi-day treks is the way to go about it. From subtropical forests to lush grasslands and steep inclination to bare plains, these trails will allow you to experience the natural beauty of the North American country in the best way possible. So, head into the well-curated list of the top 10 hikes in the United States and pick your preferred destination for your next adventure.

1. The Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Hike, Arizona6. The Appalachian Trail, Georgia to Maine
2. Half Dome Hike, Yosemite National Park, California7 Grinnell Glacier Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana
3. The Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii8. The John Muir Trail, California
4. The Maple Pass Loop Trail, Washington9. The Wonderland Trail, Mount Rainer National Park, Washington
5. The Continental Divide Trail, Colorado10. The Angels Landing Trail, Zion National Park, Utah

1. The Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Hike, Arizona

The Grand Canyon rim-to-rim hike is a multi-day hike across the North and South rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The trail promises a rewarding experience taking you through the nooks and corners of the vast Canyon. The region’s unique topography and the widely expansive towering rock formations make it one of the best hiking trails in the United States. 

Grand Canyon, Arizona, one of the 10 best hikes in United States
Grand Canyon, Arizona

Highlights of the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim hike:

  • Hike through the unique geological formations of the Grand Canyon from the North to the South rim.
  • Experience a wide range range of wildlife sightings, including California condors, mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, and so on.
  • Pass through historical landmarks such as the Bright Angel Lodge and Phantom Ranch.
  • Experience peaceful solitude hiking through waterfalls, the Colorado River, and the giant rock formations.

Facts about the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim hike: 

LocationGrand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Hiking distanceApproximately 48 km (30 miles)
Hiking duration4 days
SeasonSpring (March to May) and Fall (September to November)
Difficulty levelModerate to challenging

2. Half Dome Hike, Yosemite National Park, California

This 25 km stretch in Yosemite National Park is one of the most rewarding hiking trails in America. It will lead you to the peak of a granite dome elevated to the height of 8,842 feet. The specialty of this hike is the enchanting sight of astounding landscapes, such as the Sierra Nevada mountains, Vernal and Nevada Falls, and Yosemite Valley. 

Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, one of the best hikes in United States
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California

Highlights of Half Dome hike:

  • Experience the famous cable ride to the final ascend to the top of Half Dome. 
  • Breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding terrain, including Yosemite Valley, El Captain, and Yosemite Falls.
  • Pass through several waterfalls and streams, including Vernal Falls, offering you a refreshing sight of mist. 
  • Wildlife sightings of some of the rare animals in the region, including black bears, mountain lions, and deer.
  • Explore and learn about historical landmarks such as the Ahwahnee Hotel and Yosemite Village.

Facts about the Half Dome hike: 

Hiking distance25 km (16 miles)
Hiking duration10 to 14 hours
SeasonMay to October
Difficulty levelChallenging

3. The Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

The Kalalau trail is considered one of the most scenic hiking trails in the world, allowing you to experience nature from soaring sea cliffs and dense rainforests to captivating beaches. The route will offer you the sights of the Pacific Ocean, the beautiful Napali Coast, and waterfalls. Stretching from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach, the route takes you through diverse flora and fauna and various natural landmarks.

Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii
Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Highlights of Kalalau trail:

  • Come across several stunning beaches, including Ke’e Beach, Kalalau Beach, and Hanakapiai Beach, and watch the mesmerizing Napali Coast. 
  • Pass across Hanakapiai Falls, Kalalau Falls, and several other waterfalls throughout the hike.
  • Experience a challenging hike that takes you through steep inclines, rocky terrain, and narrow paths.
  • The region is home to several species of wildlife, including wild pigs, native birds, and goats, and has numerous ancient Hawaiian sites.

Facts about the Kalalau Trail:

LocationNapali Coast, Hawaii
Hiking distanceAround 35 km (22 Miles)
Hiking duration2 to 3 days
Difficulty levelChallenging

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4. The Maple Pass Loop Trail, Washington

The Maple Pass Loop is another one of the best picks in this list of the best hikes in the United States. From the enchanting alpine scenery to the colorful bloom of wildflowers during summer, the hiking trail is uniquely beautiful. The route is a 7.2-mile long loop starting from Rainy Pass on State Route 20. During the hike, you will come across some astounding lakes and mountain views which will make your trip worthwhile.  

Maple Pass Loop Trail, Washington, best hike in United States
Maple Pass Loop Trail, Washington

Highlights of Maple Pass Loop trail:

  • Panoramic views of Cascade mountains such as Liberty Bell and Early Winters Spires.
  • During summer, the picturesque colorful bloom of wildflowers throughout the trail adds beauty to the landscape. 
  • Pass by numerous alpine lakes, including Rainy Lake and Ann Lake.
  • The trail is also known for its vibrant foliage during fall, creating a spectacular view. 
  • The variety in terrain and sightings of numerous wildlife species add a sense of adventure to the Maple Pass Look hike.

Facts about the Maple Pass Loop trail:

LocationNorth Cascades National Park, Washington
Hiking distance11.5 km (7.2 miles)
Hiking duration3 to 5 hours 
SeasonJuly to October
Difficulty levelModerate

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5. The Continental Divide Trail, Colorado

This is one of the longest hiking trails in America which stretches from the border of Mexico to Canada passing through the Rocky Mountains. This months-long trek takes you through five states with strenuous yet rewarding hiking trails. The beauty of the route is the wide-stretching diverse landscape and ecosystem, making for an ultimate adventure in the wilderness.  

Continental Divide Trail, Colorado
Continental Divide Trail, Colorado

Highlights of the Continental Divide trail:

  • Hike through the high-altitude routes taking you to an elevation of over 4,200 m (14,000 ft).
  • Scenic views of surrounding valleys, lakes, and mountains, including the San Juan Mountains and the Weminuche Wilderness.
  • Sightings of a wide variety of animals and birds, including bighorn sheep, black bears, elk, moose, the bald eagle, and peregrine falcon. 
  • Witness the historic mining towns of Colorado such as Leadville and Silverton.

Facts about the Continental Divide trail:

LocationNew Mexico to Montana
Hiking distance4,988 km (3,100 miles) 
Hiking duration4 to 6 months
SeasonJune to September
Difficulty levelChallenging

6. The Appalachian Trail, Georgia to Maine

The Appalachian Trail is one of the most fascinating hiking trails in the world, extending from Springer Mountain to Mount Katahdin. This longest hiking trail in the USA attracts thousands of hikers yearly and offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s also one of the longest hiking routes, taking several months to complete successfully.

Appalachian Trail, Georgia to Maine
Appalachian Trail

Highlights of Appalachian Trail:

  • Witness scenic nature, including dense forests, waterfalls, rocky peaks, and enchanting panoramic sights of the landscape passing through 14 states in the eastern USA.
  • Come across beautiful small towns and local communities and experience their warm hospitality.
  • Pass through the historic sites, including the Civil War battlefield, historic settlements, and old mining towns.
  • Encounter diverse wildlife, including intriguing birds, bears, deer, and a variety of birds.
  • More than 2,200 miles of hiking through the rugged terrain with a challenging experience.
  • Walk through a large portion of the trail passing through dense forests, popularly known as the Green Tunnel. 
  • Explore unique ecosystems and diverse landscapes such as the Great Smoky Mountains, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the Shenandoah Valley.

Facts about the Appalachian trail:

LocationSpringer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine
Hiking distance3,540 km (2,200 miles)
Hiking duration5 to 7 months
SeasonMarch to November
Difficulty levelModerate to difficult

7 Grinnell Glacier Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana

The beautiful natural landmarks of the Grinnell Glacier trail, from serene alpine meadows to soaring mountains, certainly make it a perfect fit for the best hike in the United States. You will also encounter stunning lakes and impressive glaciers throughout the trail. The view of the Grinnell Glacier and Upper Grinnell makes for the alluring highlight of the trip.

Grinnell Glacier Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana
Grinnell Glacier

Highlights of Grinnell Glacier trail:

  • Witness the panoramic view of Grinnell Lake, Grinnell Falls, and other spectacular surrounding mountains. 
  • Up close view of glaciers along the way, including the sight of the Grinnell Glacier. 
  • Wildlife sightings of some regional species, including grizzly bears, moose, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep.
  • Witness floral diversity along the trail and experience a boat tour across Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine.
  • Come across the ancestral homeland of the Blackfeet Nation and learn about the region’s rich history.

Facts about the Grinnell Glacier trail:

Hiking distance17 km (10.6 miles)
Hiking duration6 to 8 hours
SeasonJuly to September
Difficulty levelModerate

8. The John Muir Trail, California

Another gem of the United States is the John Muir Trail in California, stretching from Yosemite Valley to the peak of Mount Whitney. It allows you to explore the vast landscape of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. With numerous other natural landmarks, this trail is a must-include in your travel bucket list.  

John Muir Trail, California, one of the 10 best hikes in United States
John Muir Trail, California

Highlights of the John Muir Trail:

  • It is one of the most stunning trails in the world with scenic landscapes taking you through high alpine passes, lush meadows, and glacial lakes.
  • Witness the snow-glazed Mount Whitney and other Sierra Nevada mountains along the way.
  • Witness Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, and other natural wonders.
  • Come across wildlife such as mountain lions, bears, deer, and marmots and several native communities, including the Paiute, Miwok, Yokut, and Mono.

Facts about the John Muir Trail:

Hiking distance339 km (211 miles)
Hiking duration3 to 4 weeks
SeasonJune to September
Difficulty levelChallenging

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9. The Wonderland Trail, Mount Rainer National Park, Washington

The Wonderland trail encircles Mount Rainier and offers a spectacular view of the mountain. Among the rewarding experience of the trail is the sight of the scenic Pacific Northwest region. Similarly, the scenic landmarks such as Carbon River, Spray Park, and so on make the hike an unforgettable experience and make you feel connected with pristine nature. 

 Wonderland Trail, Mount Rainer National Park, Washington
Wonderland Trail, Mount Rainer National Park, Washington

Highlights of the Wonderland Trail:

  • The stunning sight of Mount Rainier from throughout the trail as it encircles the mountain.
  • Breathtaking alpine sceneries of alpine meadows, subalpine forests, and glaciers.
  • Come across Spray Falls and Comet Falls including several other waterfalls along the way.
  • Wildlife sightings of a diverse range of species such as black bears, elk, deer, mountain goats, and so on.
  • Experience the remote wilderness and witness the unique geological feature of the region.

Facts about the Wonderland Trail:

Hiking distance149 km (93 miles) 
Hiking duration10 to 14 days
SeasonJuly to September
Difficulty levelChallenging

10. The Angels Landing Trail, Zion National Park, Utah

Lastly, another mention-worthy destination in the list of best hikes in the United States is the Angles Landing trail. Located in Utah, the trail passes through the wilderness of Zion National Park. It is known for its thrilling trail leading from the main canyon wall to the Angels Landing peak. The dramatic bends of the trail, including Walter’s Wiggles, add a thrilling experience to your adventure.

Angels Landing Trail, Zion National Park, Utah
Angels Landing Trail, Zion National Park, Utah

Highlights of the Angels Landing trail:

  • Witness the stunning scenery of the peak of Angels Landing, including the sights of Zion Canyon, Valley River, and surrounding mountains.
  • Most known for its dramatically thrilling routes with numerous bend and narrow paths, along with a famous switchback, Walter’s Wiggles, where hikers will have to hold on to a chain to ascend. 
  • The trail covers stunning landscapes extending from the main canyon wall to the Angels Landing summit.
  • Explore the unique ecosystem which includes wildlife such as Zion snails, desert bighorn sheep, and a wide range of wildflowers. 

Facts about the Angels Landing trail:

Hiking distance8 km (5 miles) 
Hiking duration3 to 4 hours
Difficulty levelModerate

Explore Some of the Best Day Hikes in the United States

If a multi-day trek is not your thing, the vast topography of the US offers plenty of options for a one-day hike. Like the trails mentioned above, the below-listed destinations offer the best of nature and rewarding outdoor experiences through short hikes. Make sure to explore these short hiking trails in America if you don’t have time for longer trips.

  1. Franconia Ridge Trail, White Mountains, New Hampshire
  2. Hoh River Trail, Olympic National Park, Washington
  3. Precipice Trail, Acadia National Park, Maine
  4. Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  5. The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah 
  6. Highline Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana
  7. Cascade Pass to Sahale Glacier Camp, North Cascades National Park, Washington
  8. Old Rag Mountain Trail, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
  9. Harding Icefield Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska  
  10. Mist Trail, Yosemite National Park, California

Tips for Hiking in the United States

If you are new to exploring the terrains of the United States, this is a must-read section for you. We have encapsulated some of the crucial tips for hikers for a successful hiking experience. The tips are:

  • Research all the necessary details of the trail before carrying out your journey.
  • Prepare a well-curated list of trekking essentials and make sure to carry everything necessary for the trip.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the hike.
  • Do not litter the trails and follow Leave No Trace principles.
  • Carry a map and a compass with you to keep track of the route.
  • Hike in groups for safety.
  • Make sure to follow the rules and regulations of the region you are traveling.

Ending Note

Choose your perfect destination from the list of the top 10 hikes in the United States and add it to your travel bucket list for future plans. Meanwhile, enhance your travel experiences by exploring famous trekking trails worldwide, such as the Everest Base Camp Trek, Kilimanjaro Climb, Inca Trail, and more. Make Himalayan Glacier a part of your adventure and prepare for a hassle-free journey. We will assist you in planning your trip, ensuring an unforgettable experience.

With numerous Trusted Client Reviews, we guarantee you the experience of a lifetime. Our prestigious record of 98% trip success and hundreds of positive testimonials from clients make us stand out as a trusted tour organizer. For any further inquiries or to book your trip, please contact our team of experts. You can also reach out to us via WhatsApp at (+1-410-307-0007).

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