If you love to hike and want to unleash the adventurer within, you should really try out some of the trails listed here. I know they’re on my bucket list for sure!
North America has some of the best trails in the world, so you don’t have to save up for a long flight or an expensive journey. This is all in your own backyard, or even just over the border into Canada.
Firstly, think of what takes your fancy. Do you like being amongst majestic mountains or rolling hills, amidst the green forests or near water bodies – there’s something for everyone.
Well, here’s a list that should get the hiker in you happy! Take your pick because these hikes are at some of the best national parks in the world.
1 – Glacier National Park
There’s so much to do and so much to see in this place. You have the chance to see bears on your hike, whilst you take in the amazing vista. This National Park offers abundant trails, but if you’re looking for a tried and tested trail, one that offers a spectacular view – try the trail at Two Medicine.
You can walk as much or as little as you wish – while feeling you’re on the way to the top of the world. The hike up to the top may take a while, but it is worth it.
2 – Yellowstone
Even if you’re not an avid hiker, you would’ve heard of this place. If you’re staying at Canyon Campgrounds, you can hike on the Lower and Upper Falls Trail. Depending upon what time of the year you go, you may be lucky enough to have the trail all to yourself.
The view of the falls is spectacular and it’s easy enough to tackle for even a beginner. Just make sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes. Mostly pure wilderness, there’s a lot of area to cover for the explorer within you. All you need is time.
3 – Banff & Jasper
Canada’s pride and joy, this national park draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to the rugged mountain vista.
The Rockies that extend far into Canada, Banff offers spectacular views with various levels of difficulty for the hiking enthusiast. If it’s your first time, but you want to really view Banff in all its glory – we recommend trying out the easy 8 km loop Sunshine Meadows trail. This is one of the best hiking trails in Canada where you can view sky blue glacial lakes amidst towering snow capped mountains.
The Skyline Trail is also a highly recommended trail due to its soul stirring landscape – but one for which you would have to budget a few days. Be sure to carry your camera with you!
4 – Grand Canyon
No trip to the Grand Canyon is complete without at least a day hike. If you have the time, we would suggest doing a longer hike which would involve camping.
The South Kaibab trail is well maintained and great for families with younger ones as it can get done in a day, but if you want to test your endurance, we would recommend the Rim to Rim trail.
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This is not for the faint hearted, being a 44 mile round trip. You have to be fit, train well in advance but the experience is well worth the effort – trust us!
5 – Yosemite
Unless you’re Alex Honnold, we would suggest going a simpler route. Famous for El Capitan, Yosemite has a lot of trails – but there’s one that really stands out.
However, you need to be on top of your game and have to plan way in advance before your trip. The Half Dome via the Mist Trail will offer you a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but be warned – it is also named as one of the ten most dangerous hikes in North America. Still feel like tackling it?
6 – Zion National Park
The Narrows is one of Zion’s most popular hikes and this will take you hiking between thousand foot walls and wading upstream the Virgin River. You can choose to do a day hike, or camp overnight at one of the designated campsites after getting a required permit.
Keep in mind which time of the year you are planning to do this hike as it is susceptible to flash floods. You have the option to do the bottom-top Hikes or the Top-Bottom hikes and both vary in difficulty.
7 – Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Get your dose of adrenaline rush with the Franey Mountain trail. Located in Nova Scotia, it is challenging, but with a view of the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Clyburn River canyon, you will not regret it even if this is the only hike you do here.
As it comes complete with stairs to climb, many hikers try other trails like the Skyline Trail and the Acadian Trail which are equally as impressive.
8 – Arches National Park
Surrounded with iconic red rock, the precariously balanced sandstone arches lie in wait for both beginners and hard core hikers. If you’re looking for a short hike, try the hike to Delicate Arch. If you’re looking for something that gives you a bit of a challenge, you could try the Devil’s Garden Trail.
9 – Great Smoky Mountain
The Baxter Creek trail will transport you to a different world, especially if you live in a city. The fragrant spruce trees that stand tall and the lush rainforest will bring you back to nature. This 12 mile round trip should definitely feature on your hiking bucket list.
10 – Appalachian Trail
This is different from the rest on the list – because this is not a day hike. This 2,200 mile trail runs through mostly wilderness, so you’ll have to pack smart.
But the best thing is, you can start from wherever you wish and end whenever you want. Running through a number of states, you’ll see the beauty of America close up.
Hiking is such a great way of connecting with nature and if you’re a first time hiker or a pro – all the hiking trails on this list have something that will suit your fitness level. Each of these trails offers unparalleled views that will make the hike worth it. So, what are you waiting for?
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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
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