The United States has been a popular tourist destination and attracts more than 75 million international visitors annually. This number includes business, leisure, and adventure tourists, and these numbers are increasing daily. You can explore wildlife and scenic places throughout the country with various landscapes, beautiful oceans, and stunning national parks. I was not a hiker when I moved here, but my love for hiking and camping eventually built up after I started exploring this country. That is why I decided to list Hiking destinations in the United States. If you are planning your trip to the US for the first time, don’t forget to check out my list of 50 places to add to your US bucket list. In this list, I have added the best place to visit in each state.
Among all 50 states, California is my favorite one, and its popularity is because of Hollywood. I have created a separate California bucket list on my reader’s demand. Also, don’t forget to pack for your hiking adventure; here is my list of hiking essentials.
Best hikes to do in US
Charlie's bunion in Smokey Mountains
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally rich land of the Appalachian Mountains. Charlie's Bunion is an 8-mile round trip located on Appalachian Trail.
Cathedral Rock in Sedona
Cathedral Rock is one of the best hiking trails in the United States. It has everything we love about hiking. You get the adventure of climbing over rocks and eventful terrain with just the right amount of difficulty.
After you have reached the top of Cathedral Rock, you arrive at one of the most breathtaking and beautiful views you will find.
The best time of day for the hike is just before sunset. This gives you the best views and fabulous picture opportunities. This hike is a must for anyone who enjoys the outdoors.
Autism Nature Trail in Letchworth State Park
The Autism Nature Trail (ANT) at Letchworth State Park in New York makes this list because it is the first of its kind in the USA. If you’re traveling with someone with a disability or a young child, this trail will help their love of hiking flourish.
At only one mile long, this accessible trail has numerous features to engage its visitors; a sensory station, tranquil musical instruments, a playful path, and a maker’s space using all naturally found materials. The trees soar to the sky, and the woods fluttered with butterflies, making it feel magical for all ages and abilities.
Pacific Crest Trail
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a National Scenic trail and one of the most famous long-distance trails in the world. It runs from Campo on the Mexican border in Southern California, to Manning Park on the Canadian border in Washington. The trail has a total length of 2650 miles and it takes hikers four to six months to finish it.
Enchanted Valley in Olympic National Park
Along the Enchanted Valley trail, you’ll hike 29 miles (out-and-back) through the lush Quinault Rainforest, full of primeval ferns and towering trees, dripping with moss. At the trail’s end, you’ll reach the Enchanted Valley itself, a jaw-dropping meadow, bordered on one side by a thick forest and on the other, a seemingly vertical wall of mountains, with countless waterfalls streaming down their slopes.
Cloudland Canyon Waterfalls in Georgia
The Cloudland Canyon Waterfalls Trail at Cloudland Canyon State Park is a 2-mile, strenuous hike that leads to two separate waterfalls deep in the heart of a canyon in Rising Fawn, Georgia. Cherokee Falls is the smaller of the two but is the most famous because of the unique sky blue pool that forms at the base of the waterfall! Hemlock Falls is known for the giant boulder that rests in front of it. To reach both of these waterfalls, hikers must descend 400 feet down Lookout Mountain on the Waterfalls Trail. There's more than 600 stairs on this trek, and you must climb back up every one once you've reached the canyon floor.
Hanging lake in Colorado
Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon, Colorado is a National Natural Landmark and will have you marveling at the stunning blue of the water and scenic beauty of the waterfalls. Each person in your group will need to show proof of a valid reservation ($12 per person) before beginning the rigorous 1.2 mile (1.9 km) hike. Be prepared for 1,200 feet (366 m) of elevation gain up rocky sections and numerous steps.
Manoa Falls in Hawaii
One of the best hiking trails in Hawaii (and definitely one of the most trafficked) is the Manoa Falls Trail right outside of Honolulu. The trail is easy and can be reached by car or even by the local bus. The 0.8-mile out-and-back has an elevation gain of 800 feet and ends at a beautiful waterfall. It is best to hike this trail when there has been recent rain as the waterfall will be a lot easier to see in its flow!
Narrows in Zion National Park
The Narrows is possibly THE best hiking trail in Zion National Park. The beginning of the hike is on a paved path along the river. Pretty quickly, however, the path ends, and you transition to hiking in the river. The canyon walls narrow, bounding the river tightly, and the red walls tower over you.
The God’s Thumb in Oregon
Located in Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast, God’s Thumb is one of the best hikes in the USA. The hike is easy to get to, with a trailhead that begins in a residential neighborhood. It’s a 4.7-mile-long loop, with an elevation gain of 1,102 feet - so it’s pretty steep! The trail is also muddy most of the year, so be ready with good hiking boots. The “thumb” is a stunning grassy cliff that overlooks the ocean, giving you sweeping views of the sea stacks below and the crashing waves. It’s truly a breathtaking spot!
Avalanche Lake Trail in Glacier National Park
Avalanche Lake Trail is one of the most scenic spots in Glacier National Park. Its incredible scenery is unparalleled. This 5.9-mile hike is rated moderate, with about 750 feet in elevation gain. Walk through a wooded trail to open up to the most incredible alpine lake! It’s a serene setting within the park that you won’t soon forget!
Hike to Delicate Arch, Utah
Arches National Park is one of the 5 National Parks in Utah. The best hike in Arches National Park is Delicate Arch Trail. It's also the most strenuous, but the payoff is worth the struggle! Coming face to face with the 52-foot-tall Delicate Arch is a magnificent site! The hike is 3 miles round trip with 480 feet of elevation gain. The Delicate Arch hike is rated as moderately difficult. There is no shade on the trail, and it can get very hot. Always bring sun protection and extra water.
White Pocket Trail, Arizona
Drive around two hours from Page, Arizona, and you’ll find White Pocket, one of the best hikes in the USA that makes for a great alternative to The Wave. However, you will need a 4WD vehicle to get here since this hike is 60 miles away from any major highway.
Also, keep an eye out for hoofprints in the stone where cows “discovered” this place while searching for water.
Rough Ridge Trail
You’ll also love that this trail is perfect for hikers of all abilities since you can opt to do either the entire Tanawha Trail or just the Rough Ridge Trail, which is a 0.8-mile section of this hike.
Throughout this section, you can enjoy sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at one of three overlooks - many of which can be accessed by doing a quick five-minute walk from the trailhead.
The Pfeiffer Falls Trail
One of the best places for a diverse hiking experience in Big Sur is the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The park is home to various trails that range in difficulty and distance from .5 miles to 23 miles one-way. The Pfeiffer Falls Trail recently reopened in 2021 and is just over a mile but is most famous for its view of the Pfeiffer Falls, a 60-foot waterfall. You can connect both trails for a longer hike.
Indian Staircase to Cloud Splitter
Indian Staircase to Cloud Splitter is a hike with exposure and views in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge National Geological Area. This 5.2-mile loop trail takes you in the forest and then up a rock face using “stairs” carved into it. At the top, take in breathtaking views; fall is especially beautiful.
Skyline Trail Mt Rainier
It’s the most popular trail in Mount Rainier National Park, and for a good reason! The Skyline Trail in Mt Rainier is a 5.5-mile hike that takes you right up close to the mountain, with incredible views! At over 1700 feet in elevation and an average hiking time of 4.5 hours, it’s a moderately strenuous trail, but the views more than makeup for it!
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