If hiking to a place that is not easy to reach gives you a sense of accomplishment – clean your boots, pack your backpack, and get ready to explore the mind-boggling places all across the USA for a soul-satisfying experience. The United States of America is home to arguably the best places to hike in the whole world. There’s something or the other for every hiker –
This list will help you experience the thrill of hiking from the glaciers of Alaska to panoramic views of the Grand Canyon. Each of these locations offers a unique experience that you cannot find anywhere else. We’ve tried to cover the best places to hike (suitable for all), but if you have anything to add, please share in the comments below.
Harding Icefield Trail
This 8.2-mile trip reminds us of the power of nature. When you progress, expect some breathtaking views of the Exit Glacier and you’ll feel like you have time-traveled to the ice-age. The trail will start through the forest and meadows but will gradually climb to snow-covered areas and eventually end up at a point where everything is white, quite, and relaxing.
This is a tough hike as the upper portion of the trail is usually covered with snow, so review the conditions before starting. But once you get to the top, the effort will be worth it. There can be a risk of avalanches, snowstorms, sudden pressure, and temperature changes, and always expect the unexpected during the Harding Icefield Trail.
Duration: 6-8 hours
For those who love the sea and do not want to spend an entire day in hiking, the Mount Battie Trail should be on top of your bucket list. This trail is small but is perfect for you if you like to observe nature at its best. The view consists of blue and clear waters of Penobscot Bay and Camden’s harbor and a glance of the Cadillac mountain.
Duration: 6-8 hours
The Yosemite National Park is home to an iconic American natural formation – the Half Dome. Half Dome, is a giant slab of granite and lies at over 4800 feet.
If you love adventure, this is the place to go. You’ll have to tackle the Half Dome, trail for almost 8-miles (one-way), and will then be greeted with incomparable views. There’s no hike similar to the Half Dome and it has been on top of most hikers’ list. You should start early as this is a very popular hike destination and you don’t want to be stuck in a long queue.
Where: Yosemite National Park, California
Duration: 10-12 hours
The word ‘Grand’ completely describes this mesmerizing trail which is almost 700-miles total (doesn’t mean that you have to complete the 700-mile stretch). It is every hiker’s dream but not many can keep up with the demanding situations that arise. The Grand Canyon is often very crowded, with over 6 million people visiting every year.
If you still wish to experience the ‘real’ Grand Canyon, go for the Tonto trail, lets you experience the Grand Canyon from within. The Tonto trail is almost 70-miles and the experience will be different each time you complete the trail. This is because the trail changes with the seasons.
You should break this trail in an organized way for your own safety. Cover the distance only what your body allows. Also, make sure that you treat the water before drinking as it contains heavy metals and bacteria.
Duration: 4-6 days
Pacific Coast Trail
The Pacific Coast Trail is the best hike you can ever experience if you wish to witness the beauty of western America all at once. This is one is for pro hikers as you’ll make your way through three states (2,650 miles) – passing by over a thousand lakes, major national parks, mountains, deserts, lakes, and the like. You can easily say that you’ll move from one border to another i.e. Mexico to Canada. The PCT has become a favorite for people living in urban areas who wish to see the western coast of America.
There are many strong souls that hop onto this journey that is filled with adventure and thrill. The trail is easily accessible from places like San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle – making it perfect for small weekend adventures as well (because not all can complete the full trail).
Where: Western America
Duration: More than 30 days
The USA is indeed a hiker’s dream. With its vast mainland, one can surely say that America offers the most diverse hiking experience in the world – from the Grand Canyon to the peaceful Mount Battie.
These were some of the suggestions that can be really helpful if you’re planning a ‘grand’ hike or a simple trail. All you need is a good company, a suitable backpack like the 5.11 Backpack, and start planning your next adventure.