If you want to experience a different kind of vacation and if you are in shape for it, you might want to consider going hiking in some of the most beautiful places in the United States. Since I love to hike, I thought I would put together a list of the best places to hike in the United States. If you love beautiful scenery and challenges then you might find these places ideal, I know that I do. So here’s my list of some of the best places to go hiking in the United States.
I’d have to say that Yosemite gets my vote as the #1 spot to go hiking in the United States. Yosemite is one of California’s most beautiful places to visit. It has incredible natural landscapes and the park is nearly 1,200 square miles that offers nothing but jaw dropping awe with its towering waterfalls, Sequoia trees that are thousands of years old, incredible cliff faces and some of the most unusual rock formations you can find in the entire United States. Some of the key places to visit and hike to while you are in Yosemite would be Glacier Point which is one of the most incredible lookouts to be found in this National Park and it has wonderful views of Half Dome and the floor of the Yosemite Valley itself. You can either hike there or if you don’t want to do the difficult climb you can take a car to get to it. Half Dome is great for hikers and some say it’s the most unforgettable hike they’ve ever experienced, but be warned, this is not a hike for the beginner, it’s challenging from the very beginning starting at the beginning when you have to hike the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls. But if you are in shape you should be able to handle it.
While hiking in Yosemite, you won’t want to miss out on visiting Tuolumne Meadows. This is famous for the flat grassland, a winding river and some really good rock climbing opportunities for those who love rock climbing. It’s also one of the biggest higher elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada mountains being at 8,600 feet. This is, even with all the tourists an incredible peaceful place and to some it seems to be paradise.
If you want a break from hiking you can always visit the Ansel Adams Gallery, which is free and free is always good. This gallery is located in the Yosemite Village and it offers many pieces from the work of the famous photographer who spent a lot of his life as well as his career taking incredible photos of Yosemite in black and white which are just breathtaking.
The Grand Canyon is one of the most incredible natural wonders of the world and if you have never been there then you have truly missed out. This canyon is about 277 miles long and can reach up to 18 miles wide and is a mile deep. Understand that if you are looking for a secluded place to hike, this is not the place, it can get extremely crowded because it gets about 4.5 million people visiting every year, but it’s well worth it. Where most people go to visit and hike is usually the South Rim. This is where you will find the Grand Canyon Village and the Bright Angel Trail. But, if you want an escapist experience for hiking you’ll want to visit the North Rim, here is where you can find some backwoods camping and some true hardcore hiking.
The North Rim is famous for its extremely rugged and even isolated trails and there are very little facilities available so be prepared for that. Some of the key spots you’ll find on this hike would be Bright Angel Point where you can view the Roaring Springs which is the only water supply for the North Rim. You’ll also enjoy the 8,803 foot Point Imperial. This is the highest point you’ll find at the North Rim.
The most famous trail on the South Rim would be the Bright Angel Trail and this is a six mile one way trip so don’t expect to make the round trip in one day. If you plan to do the whole trip you should make sure that you pack camping gear and plenty of water because some of the rest stops only have water during certain times of the year.
If you are truly big on hiking, Yellowstone is an ideal destination because it offers over 1,000 miles of different hiking trails that go across two million acres of breathtaking scenery! Some of the most popular trails would be those that are found in both the Canyon and Norris areas of the park. The best time to visit for hiking would be during the fall months because the fall offers the best hiking conditions. If you are an outdoor enthusiast then Yellowstone will be paradise for you.
This National Park is just filled with incredible natural wonders and offers visitors over 3,000 square miles of gorgeous mountains, canyons, waterfalls and geysers to see you also will be sharing these wonders on trails you hike with the local residents: buffalo, elk and even grizzly bears. So it can be an exciting adventure. Even though this incredible park receives over 3 million tourists a year the place is so huge that you won’t see much of them, unless of course you just spend your time hanging around Old Faithful. Some of the lesser known and lesser traveled trails you might want to check out are the hot springs found at the West Thumb Geyser Basin, the Lewis River Channel along with Dogshead Loop. Here you will feel like the only one in the world.
We can’t leave out the East Coast on this list. Making the list is New York’s beautiful Adirondacks region. It’s about 290 miles north of the “Big Apple”, 250 miles northwest of Boston and only 110 miles south of Montreal. This is a wonderful place to get away from all the hustle and bustle of big city living. It’s a wonderful place to hike where you can visit Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake all of which offer the visitor over six million acres to explore.
During the winter you can ski, go snowshoeing, bobsled and dogsled. For the summer you can go biking, fishing, canoeing, whitewater rafting and of course hiking.
There’s also a lot of historical things to see while visiting as well. You’ll find a lot related to the Olympics where you can check out the Olympic Jumping Complex, the Olympic Museum along with the Olympic Sports Complex. But if sports history is not to your liking you’ll also discover the John Brown Farm State Historic Site. This is where the former abolitionist John Brown lived and is buried at.