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4 Best Hiking Trails in the United States

4 Best Hiking Trails in the United States

Posted by Ryan Skidmore on

Going on a scenic hike is one of the best ways to get out of the house and in touch with the Great Outdoors. 

The trick to a great hike is knowing which trails to take and how to properly prepare for them. You need to match the trail to the experience of the people going with you. 

Some people enjoy a challenge. Others will prefer a less strenuous outing. 

Whatever your group’s preferences are, you’ll find some beautiful hikes on this top 4 list. 

Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is probably the most famous hiking trail in the United States. The trail runs from Springer Mountain, Georgia all the way up north to Katahdin, Maine. 

In total, there are more than 2,180 miles of trail to cover. Hiking the full length can take several months. Fortunately, you don’t have to hike the full length to enjoy this trail. 

The trail is broken up into smaller sections by entry and exit points that make for excellent day hikes. The trail is very popular and well-maintained, so it can be a great activity for young and old alike.

Rim Trail, Bryce Canyon National Park

Located in southern Utah, the Rim Trail of Bryce Canyon National Park takes you on an adventure exploring the park’s hoodoos. Hoodoos are intricately shaped stone-pillars.

In Bryce Canyon, the hoodoos are colored white and red and are breathtaking to behold. Southern Utah can be very hot, and there isn’t a lot of shade in the park, so make sure to bring hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and plenty of water. 

If you’d like to skip the heat altogether, the park does offer night hiking excursions.

Half Dome Hike, Yosemite National Park

Of all the Yosemite hiking trails, the Half Dome Hike is one of the most grueling. 

The hike can take up to 12 hours to complete and is only for those in excellent physical condition. The end of the hike is so steep that hikers are required to climb the Half Dome with the assistance of cables bolted into the rock.

Because of this, the trail has only a limited capacity and permits are required for those who want to climb to the top of the Dome. Since it is so popular, getting a permit can be a challenge. You’ll need to apply for one on the park website during the application period, usually the month of March, and hope that your application is selected in the permit lottery. 

While the permit process may seem as daunting as the hike itself, the views from the top of the dome are well worth the effort. If you’re looking for something a little bit easier, there are hundreds of other Yosemite hiking trails to choose from.

Kalalau Trail

The Kalalau trail in Hawaii is truly a hike through paradise!

The 10+ mile hike takes you along cliff edges that plunge into the blue ocean below, and through lush mountains to the beautiful Kalalau beach. This beautiful beach is great for camping if you have a permit. 

The beach doesn’t tend to get overly crowded as it can only be accessed by the long hike or occasionally by boat if the conditions are right. If you don’t have time to go the full length, the first two miles of the hike can make for a great day hike and still offer you some stunning views of Hawaii.

If you have the time and money to travel to one of these locations, these hikes are well worth the effort. However, if you don’t, that shouldn’t stop you from getting outside and enjoying the wonders of nature in your own hometown. 

Jump online and do a quick search for nearby trails. You’ll be surprised at the beautiful locations you can visit within just a short drive of your home!

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