Holidaying in the USA usually has a set pattern where most people prefer to visit the popular cities of New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, etc. The cities of the USA are truly captivating and offer a lot to see and do. However, if you want to escape the modernity of the city and immerse yourself amidst nature, the USA offers lot of hiking trails that go through national parks and reserves. The USA has more than 200,000 miles of hiking trails and the American Hiking Society takes the effort to create new hiking routes every year during National Trails Day. The most fascinating thing about hiking in the USA is that some of the trails cut across states and even the neighbouring countries. If you are planning on a US adventure trip, hiking on at least one of the below trails is a must to see and appreciate the American wilderness.
Bright Angel Trail
This one is located in the Grand Canyon in the state of Arizona. The Bright Angel Trail stretches up to 12 miles and can be an exhausting one not only due to the steepness but also due to the warm weather. However, the view of the popular landscape that you see during your hike is breathtaking, making all the efforts worthwhile. Make sure that you keep yourself hydrated during the entire trip.
John Muir Trail
The John Muir trail is in California and runs from Yosemite National Park to the summit of Mount Whitney. Covering 210 miles, it takes almost three weeks for a hiker to complete the entire expedition. While you have to plan a lot in terms of food, water and shelter (tents are essential) for your hike, it is worthwhile if being in the wild is something that entices you as gorgeous landscapes, sparkling streams and quietude are what await you in this trail.
[Also Read : Best National Parks in US]
Upper Yosemite Falls
If you want to admire the Yosemite Falls, which is the tallest waterfall in North America, this trail is something you would want to hike on. Covering 3.5 miles, this trail requires you climb 2700 feet. The hike is strenuous and challenging but the view of the waterfall and the surrounding areas is totally worth it.
Greenstone Ridge Trail
This is a unique trail, as it exists in an isolated island in the centre of Lake Superior, Michigan. Located inside the Isle Royal National Park, the Greenstone Ridge Trail stretches for 40 miles and is a scenic one, for sure. Before you start your trek, you have to take a ferry from the mainland and that in itself makes this hiking trail interesting. But more than that, hiking on the trail gives you the chance to spot some wildlife of the national park including wolves, moose, deer, etc.
The Acadia National Park in Maine offers a short hiking trail of 1.6 miles (round trip). However, this does not mean that it would be easy. On the other hand, the steep trail takes you 1000 feet up on the Champlain Mountains and you have to get ready for some strenuous hiking and climbing. However, once you reach the top, you would find the view of the ocean to be a deserving one.
Located in the Kauai island of Hawaii, the Kalalau Trail runs along 11 miles and a beautiful one at that. During your hike, you would come across tropical forests, cliffs, secluded beaches, etc. However, the highlight of the entire trek is the secret beach at the end of the trail, which is perfect for camping. The Kalalau Beach is gorgeous and as not many know about it, you can enjoy the beauty of the sand and the surf without any kind of interruption. Wouldn’t that be a perfect way to enjoy a romantic date with your partner?
The Ice Age Trail
The Ice Age Trail is found in Wisconsin, which is believed to have been under thousands of feet of ice before all of it retreated. Today, hiking on the trail would give you the chance to see several of the post-glacial features including lakes, kettles, potholes, boulders, etc. The best thing is that you are probably hiking on the same path that was used by the mammoths. The trail stretches for 1200 miles and covers state parks, wilderness, country roads, etc. The trail has several walk-in campsites and overnight shelters if you feel like camping.
Grinnell Glacier Trail
The Glacier National Park in Montana is home to some of the most spectacular sceneries and the best way to enjoy them is by hiking on the Grinnell Glacier Trail. The trail is 11-km round trip and hiking here is like a taking a stroll. The best time to go on a hike on this trail is during the summer months (between July to September) when the weather is pleasant and the landscape the most beautiful.
Pacific Crest Trail
One of the ultimate places to hike that you would find in the USA is the Pacific Crest Trail. This trail covers 2663 miles and runs along California, Oregon and Washington. While this trail is on the bucket list of every serious hiker, it became quite popular because of the film Wild, starring Reece Witherspoon, which shares the experiences of the writer Cheryl Strayed. It can take anywhere between 4-6 months to cover the ensure length and people take almost 6-8 months to prepare for the journey. However, only less than 200 people complete the journey every year. But if you are a hiker enthusiast, this is a trail that you must try.
Continental Divide Trail
If you are looking forward to a long hiatus in the wilderness, the Continental Drive Trail is one of the best hiking spots in the USA. Covering five states of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, the trail is 3100 miles long and takes almost 6 months to complete. The trail gives you the chance to admire mountain scenery and lots of wilderness. Be prepared to meet some wild animals, especially bears, on your way.
While these are some of the popular hiking trails in the USA, the list does not do any justice, as the number of hiking trails in America is endless. If you are not a US citizen but still want to go o a hiking trip in the country, you need to fulfil all the US tourist visa requirements. With a US visa, you can plan several adventure and road trips in America, crossing state borders.