As quoted by hiker John Muir, “wildest, leafiest, and the least trodden way I could find”, hiking is an interesting way to explore the United States varied terrain. According to the American Hiking Organization, since 2013 there has been an increase in the number of Americans who get out on trails. Before you hit the wilderness, it is important to understand the accessibility of the hiking trails, weather, social experience and wild animals. Read on to discover a compiled list of the best hikes in America.
21 of the Best Hikes in America
USA is gifted with some of the most beautiful natural attractions in the world. There is no doubt. From glaciers in Alaska to the rugged coast of Maine, these trails compel you to get into the touch with the nature. We have compiled a list of the best hiking trails in America, so that you can find places to hike near you.
In no particular order, below are the best hikes in America to explore the stunning wilderness with the land beneath your feet.
Distance: 9 miles
Don’t Miss: Waimanu Bay
This trail is a strenuous 9-mile switchback that climbs 1,200 feet to the top of a ridge and then descends into the Waimanu Valley at Big Island, Hawaii. An alternative trail to see the Waimanu Valley is the Waipio trail to hike across Waipio Beach.
But to get to the vantage point of the valley, you will have to wade across the Waipio river. Only attempt going across the river at low tide, otherwise the river can get deep and wide. Muliwai trail, often called the Z trail, has nine campsites available if you want to take rest or enjoy camping. However, you will require a camping permit beforehand.
Once you reach the Waimanu Valley, you can experience its beauty uninterrupted by any tourists or civilians. Although once inhabited, this valley no longer has any residents due to a tsunami that hit in 1946. Explore the remaining ruins, the waterfalls Wai’ilikahi and Hi’ilawe, the spectacular Waimanu Bay, and the natural ecosystem of Waimanu.
Also, as you may encounter many rocky stream beds, do not attempt to climb them. If you do, you stand the chance of slipping and harming yourself.
Devils Garden Trail
Distance: 7.8 miles
Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced
Don’t Miss: The Landscape Arch
This trail is regarded as one of the best hikes in America and the longest maintained trails in the Arches National Park, Utah. The total distance for this hiking trail is 7.8 miles and is a relatively difficult hike. There are no prominent peak seasons, you can visit all the year round. The trail is set at an elevation of 1178 feet, and the temperature can rise up to 45 degrees. There are a total of 51 campsites available with picnic tables and fire rings.
The trail is explored by many for its beautiful backcountry trek, numerous large arches, and high sandstone fins which will form new arches in the years to come. Visit the Landscape Arch which is the longest natural arch on the planet with 290.1 feet in length, and is definitely something you would not like to miss.
At the rest of the park, you can enjoy mountain biking, rafting, and scenic driving routes. Don’t hike the primitive trail when the routes are covered in snow.
Root Glacier Trail
Distance: 4 miles
Don’t Miss: The Ice Ravines
Located in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska, this hiking trail in America offers you a chance to experience glacier viewing, scenery and mining history. Total distance is 4 miles and best time to visit is from June to August. As you venture on this trail, although the route is moderate, come prepared with hiking gear as there are steep sections.
When you reach the glacier, the surface is full of wonders and exploring the various formations is incredible. Water flows over the surface, and in some areas fast flowing water creates deep ravines. When these canyon-like ravines fill with water, they reflect a light aqua blue, mesmerizing to behold.
You can enjoy staying in the outhouses. Also a mountain bike trip is available with views of Donaho Peak, Mt. Blackburn and Regal Mountain. You should avoid walking along the edge of Root Glacier and beware of bears.