The United States has some of the best hiking trails in the world, with each state having their own favorites. Here are six of the most destinations for hikers in America: Angels Landing, The Appalachian Trail, Half Dome, Cadillac Mountain North Ridge, Hoh River Trail, and Medicine Point Lookout.
As Utah’s first national park, there are over 30 moderate trails in Zion. The most popular trail is Angels Landing. This 5-mile hike takes up to five hours for the entire round-trip. This hike is for anyone in good condition until you reach Scout Lookout. The views are magnificent, but the last 1/2 mile can be a little dangerous as you can see the trail going south along the ridge. Zion is a must-visit if a St. George vacation is on your bucket list.
The Appalachian Trail
This trail spans across 14 states and is nearly 2,190 miles long. It stretches from Springer Mountain in Georgia all the way up to Mount Katahdin in Maine. The largest segment of The Appalachian Trail is in Virginia. Portions of the trail wind through towns, except for Maine when you’ll have 100 miles of wilderness to trek through. You’ll need enough water and food for at least eight days. Even though there are shelters along the trail, bring your own tent just in case it’s crowded.
Yosemite, one of the most beloved National Parks, is home to the infamous Half Dome hike. This strenuous hike is almost 16 miles round-trip and will take you to the top of the granite dome. From there, you’ll have unparalleled views of Nevada Falls, Vernal, and the Yosemite Valley. The last 400 feet of the hike, you’ll climb using two metal cables. You’ll also need a permit because of its popularity.
Cadillac Mountain North Ridge Trail
Acadia National Park is where you’ll find Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain in the eastern seaboard and the main attraction of Acadia. It’s only a 4-mile round-trip trail, but once you reach the top of the mountain at 1,528 ft., you’ll be rewarded with stunning views in every direction. You’ll be able to see the islands off the coast of Maine, Bar Harbor village, Eagle Lake, and Don Mountain. It’s a very good walk with a steady climb.
Hoh River Trail
This trail is found in Olympic National Park and winds through the beautiful rainforest for 17.4 miles up to Glacier Meadows. There are opportunities to see wildlife, such as elk, mountain goats, and possibly bears. You’ll experience several stream crossings and be able to view Mount Olympus and Blue Glacier. The trail is very well maintained with Tom Creek and Happy Four Shelter, two points of interest on the trail.
Medicine Point Lookout Trail
Located near Sula, Montana, Medicine Point Lookout is a 4-mile trail is very steep and not recommended for beginners. It will take you up to a small historic forest fire lookout station that has been restored as if you were in the 1940s. You can actually spend the night as it sleeps two and has a wood stove for heat, along with a lantern and a propane camp stove. There’s a 30 –inch catwalk surrounding the tower with spectacular views of Montana’s wilderness.
All of these trails offer a variety of scenic beauty, difficulty, and length in different areas of America. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced, hiker, these six trails should all be on your bucket list. Always remember to prepare for each one of these hikes accordingly. Pack enough food, wear the right clothes and more importantly wear the right footwear. There’s something magical about seeing these beautiful sites first-hand instead of just passing through. Do everything in your power to get the full enjoyment out of each one of these hikes.