The 10 Most Beautiful Hiking Trails in America

By Todd Neikirk
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The 10 Most Beautiful Hiking Trails in America

Todd Neikirk
 
Photo Credit: Jaime Reimer / Pexels
Photo Credit: Jaime Reimer / Pexels
 
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The are countless hiking trails along the United States, and almost all of them offer breathtaking scenery. However, not all trails are created equal, and some are more striking than others. The following are what we consider to be the 10 most beautiful in America.

Billy Goat Trail – Maryland

Silhouette of a man standing near the Potomac River
Maryland’s Billy Goat Trail features stunning views of the Potomac River. (Photo Credit: Michael S. Williamson /The Washington Post / Getty Images)

Billy Goat Trail in Maryland is popular with hikers, due to its proximity to the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The park features almost five miles of rocky trail, and people of all skill levels can partake in the hike, as the trail is broken off into sections based on their difficulty.

While that in and off itself is a treat, the most spectacular feature of Billy Goat Trail is its views of the Potomac River. Before you head out, you better double check that you have your camera packed, as you’ll want to take lots of pictures.

Caprock Coulee Trail – North Dakota

View of the badlands at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Caprock Coulee Trail in North Dakota provides wonderful views of wild life. (Photo Credit: Mark Hoffman / NPS / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

Theodore Roosevelt was a renowned lover of nature, and during his downtime away from the White House, he enjoyed spending time in North Dakota. The area he visited in Watford City is now a national park. One of the most popular trails in the park is the Caprock Coulee Trail. The 4.4-mile loop is located in the wild country, meaning visitors may come into contact with snakes, horses and even bison!

Cascade Canyon Trail – Wyoming

Hikers walking the Cascade Canyon Trail
Hikers make their way up the Cascade Canyon Trail in Wyoming. (Photo Credit: G. Edward Johnson / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 3.0)

The Cascade Canyon Trail runs through Grand Teton National Park. The area is famed for its incredible views of the gigantic mountain range. Those interested in hiking the trail must hop on a boat and travel across Jenny Lake before starting their excursion, which will include a climb up Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls.

Smith Rock State Park – Oregon

View of the Crooked River in Smith Rock State Park
Smith Rock State Park in Oregon offers amazing views of the Crooked River. (Photo Credit: VWPics / Universal Images Group / Getty Images)

There is plenty to love about Smith Rock State Park‘s 650 acres of land. A particular favorite of hikers is the 3.4-mile Canyon to Rim Loop. Along the trail, adventurers will enjoy the Rope-de-Dope, a 40-foot high rock, as well as amazing views of the Crooked River.

Animal lovers will also be treated along the trail, as numerous species of wildlife, including bald eagles, are frequently seen along the river.

Harding Icefield Trail – Alaska

View of snow-covered mountains along the Harding Icefield Trail
Harding Icefield Trail offers hikers a unique experience. (Photo Credit: Justin Morgan / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0)

Harding Icefield Trail may not be the easiest hiking trail to get to, but it offers an incredibly unusual experience for those willing to make the trek. Hikers who visit the trail have a once in a lifetime chance to see glaciers and miles upon miles of ice sheets.

Those visiting should make sure they pack their warmest gear – it is Alaska, after all!

South Kaibab Trail – Arizona

Hikers walking along South Kaibab Trail
The South Kaibab Trail is one of the most stunning trails around the Grand Canyon. (Photo Credit: Outdoor Craziness / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Grand Canyon is massive and offers visitors plenty to opportunities to go on a hike. Perhaps the most stunning of them all is the South Kaibab Trail. It features some spots that should only be tackled by experts, but there are options for less experienced hikers. The vistas there are hard to believe.

Half Dome Trail – California

Hikers lining up to climb Half Dome Trail
The climb up California’s Half Dome is strenuous and should only be attempted by experts. (Photo Credit: Daniel Schwen / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

Half Dome Trail, located in Yosemite National Park, is one of the most well-known hiking spots in the country. The path allows visitors to get a magnificent glimpse at the legendary rock formation. The issue, however, is that the trail isn’t for everyone.

The paths, which range in length from 14-16 miles, go up an incredibly steep terrain and reach an elevation of 4,800 feet. As such, only experts should tackle this adventure.

Kalalau Trail – Hawaii

View of the Pacific Ocean from the Kalalau Trail
Kalalau Trail in Hawaii is equal parts stunning and dangerous. (Photo Credit: Robert Linsdell / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

Hawaii has a good argument to be the most beautiful state in America, so it’s no surprise it features one of the most stunning trails in the country. The Kalalau Trail, like many others on this list, should not be attempted by novices, as it’s quite dangerous. Those who do take on the challenge, however, are rewarded with ocean views and lush vegetation.

Great Head Trail – Maine

Lighthouse shrouded in fog
Great Head Trail allows hikers to see some of the best scenery in Maine. (Photo Credit: Pouya Dianat / Portland Press Herald / Getty Images)

The easternmost state in the US, Maine offers some of the best hiking opportunities in the country. The nicest (and best) thing about Great Head Trail is that it’s very accessible. Located in Acadia National Park, it’s only 1.3 miles long and can be completed in around an hour and a half. Along the way, visitors are treated to great views of the ocean and outer islands.

Angels Landing – Utah

Aerial view of Angels Landing
Angels Landing Trail in Utah is difficult to hike, but incredibly stunning. (Photo Credit: Ronnie Macdonald / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

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Angels Landing is a landmark located in Zion National Park in Utah. The state is known for its parks, and this is one of the very best. Angels Landing trail is only five miles long, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy feat. The climb is quite strenuous, with particularly steep and narrow parts.

 
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