Kelsey is a freelance writer based in Southern Virginia. She enjoys traveling with her family to destinations from national parks to amusement parks and loves sharing tips and stories from along the way.
Looking for a breathtaking hiking experience? The United States has some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the world, making it a prime destination for hikers of all levels. From the stunning waterfalls of Yosemite National Park to the red rock canyons of Zion National Park, there is no shortage of incredible hikes to explore.
In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through the most beautiful hikes in the US. We’ve scoured the internet and combined our own knowledge to bring you a list of the top hikes that showcase the natural beauty of America. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, there’s a trail on this list that will leave you awe-inspired. So grab your hiking boots and let’s get started on our adventure!
One of the most beautiful places to hike in the US is the Enchantments in Washington. This alpine wonderland features pristine lakes, soaring peaks, blazing larches, and ambling mountain goats. Widely regarded as the crown jewel of hiking in Washington, this trail exceeds even the wildest of superlatives.
We love hiking in the Enchantments because of the breathtakingly beautiful scenery. Snow Creek twists and roars between stands of granite rocks, and vistas of sharp peaks stretch as far as the eye can see. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is a true natural wonder, and the Enchantments are its crown jewel.
This is one of the best places to hike in the US because of its challenging terrain and stunning views. The Enchantments hike covers 20.5 miles and has an elevation gain of 4,954 feet. It’s a full-day hike, or you can break it up into two days. Permits are required for overnight camping between May and October.
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, Colorado
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is a must-visit destination for hiking enthusiasts. This area is one of the most beautiful places to hike in the US because of its breathtaking mountain views, crystal-clear lakes, and stunning wildflower meadows. The wilderness area is located in the Elk Mountains and spans the White River and Gunnison National Forests, which provide a diverse range of hiking trails for all levels of hikers.
We believe that Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is one of the best places to hike in the US because of the variety of hiking trails available. The wilderness area features the famous Four Pass Loop, which is a challenging backpacking trip through the wilderness. The loop gets its name from the four 12,000 ft. passes it traverses: Buckskin, Trail Rider, Frigid Air, and West Maroon. Many hikers take 3-4 days to complete this loop, with optional side trips to Geneva Lake and Willow Pass.
The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area offers several other hikes, including the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail, which is a relatively easy hike that offers stunning views of the Maroon Bells. The Conundrum Hot Springs Trail is another popular hike in the area, which features a natural hot spring at the end of the trail.
Havasu Falls, Arizona
One of the most beautiful places to hike in the US is Havasu Falls, located in the Havasupai Indian Reservation in Arizona. The hike itself can be strenuous, but the reward is worth it. The crystal-clear blue-green water of the falls against the red rock canyon walls creates a stunning contrast that is truly breathtaking.
Havasu Falls is not only beautiful but also unique. It is one of the few places in the world where you can witness the power of water carving through rock and creating natural pools and waterfalls. The falls are surrounded by lush greenery and towering canyon walls, making it a true oasis in the desert.
What makes Havasu Falls one of the best places to hike in the US is the experience it offers. The hike down to the falls is challenging, but it is also an adventure. You will pass through a beautiful desert landscape, cross streams, and navigate switchbacks. Once you arrive at the falls, you can swim in the cool water, relax on the sandy beach, or even camp overnight and stargaze.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
When it comes to hiking in the US, Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is a must-visit destination. Our breathtaking views of the canyon and the surrounding landscape make it one of the most beautiful places to hike in the country. The park covers an area of 1,904 square miles and offers a range of trails for hikers of all skill levels.
We highly recommend hiking the Bright Angel Trail, which is one of the most popular trails in the park. This trail offers stunning views of the canyon, and it’s a great option for those who want to experience the beauty of the Grand Canyon without venturing too far from the park’s main areas. The South Kaibab Trail is another popular option, offering panoramic views of the canyon and a steep descent into the gorge.
Olympic National Park, Washington
If you’re looking for breathtaking views, diverse landscapes, and challenging hikes, Olympic National Park in Washington is a must-visit destination. With over 600 miles of hiking trails, there’s something for everyone, from easy nature walks to multi-day backpacking trips.
We believe that Olympic National Park is one of the most beautiful places to hike in the US because of its unique combination of rugged coastline, temperate rainforests, alpine meadows, and glacial peaks. The park is home to several iconic hikes, including the Hoh River Trail, Hurricane Hill, and Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail.
What makes Olympic National Park one of the best places to hike in the US is its accessibility and variety of trails. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, you can find a hike that suits your skill level and interests. The park has several visitor centers, ranger stations, and campgrounds, making it easy to plan your trip and get the information you need.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park is one of the most beautiful places to hike in the US. With over 150 miles of hiking trails, Acadia offers a variety of landscapes to explore, including forests, rocky coastlines, and exposed mountain tops. The park’s highest peak, Cadillac Mountain, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area and is a must-see for any hiker.
One of the reasons why Acadia is one of the best places to hike in the US is its accessibility. Many of the park’s trails are easily accessible from the main roads, making it easy to get out and explore. Additionally, the park offers a variety of trails for hikers of all skill levels, from easy walks along the ocean to challenging climbs up steep mountain trails.
Another reason why Acadia is such a great place to hike is its unique combination of landscapes. Hikers can explore the park’s forests, rocky coastlines, and mountain peaks all in one hike, making for a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, Acadia National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the beauty of the US on foot.
The Wave, Arizona/Utah
Located on the border of Arizona and Utah, The Wave is a stunning sandstone formation that attracts hikers from all over the world. The unique, undulating patterns on the rock face are truly mesmerizing and make for incredible photo opportunities.
The hike to The Wave is not particularly long, but it can be challenging due to the lack of shade and water in the desert environment. It’s important to come prepared with plenty of water and sun protection.
One of the reasons why The Wave is considered one of the most beautiful places to hike in the US is because of the way the light hits the rocks, creating a range of colors and textures. The reflections on the sandstone can change throughout the day, making for a unique experience every time you visit.
The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah
The Narrows is a breathtaking hike through a narrow slot canyon in Zion National Park, Utah. With walls towering up to a thousand feet tall and the river sometimes just twenty to thirty feet wide, this hike is a true natural wonder. It is one of the most popular areas in Zion National Park, and for good reason.
As we hiked along the paved, wheelchair-accessible Riverside Walk for one mile from the Temple of Sinawava, we were awestruck by the beauty of the canyon. The water was crystal clear and reflected the surrounding cliffs, making for a truly magical experience.
The Narrows is not just beautiful; it is also one of the best hikes in the US. The 15-mile stretch where the North Fork of the Virgin River carved its way through rock, creating one long slot canyon, is a unique and challenging hike. It is a great choice for experienced hikers who want to push themselves and explore new terrain.
Big Sur, California
If you’re looking for some of the most beautiful hikes in the US, Big Sur, California should definitely be on your list. With its rugged coastline, towering redwoods, and stunning ocean views, Big Sur offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country.
We love hiking in Big Sur because there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll along the beach or a challenging hike through the mountains, you’ll find it here. Some of our favorite hikes include the McWay Falls Trail, the Ewoldsen Trail, and the Pfeiffer Falls Trail.
One of the reasons why Big Sur is one of the best places to hike in the US is because of its incredible biodiversity. The region is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, including redwood trees, California condors, and sea otters. Plus, the climate is mild year-round, so you can hike here any time of year.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is one of the most beautiful places to hike in the US. The park offers a diverse range of trails that cater to hikers of all skill levels. From easy half-mile paved trails to challenging 8.4-mile hikes, the park has something for everyone.
What makes Guadalupe Mountains National Park so special is its unique landscape. The park is home to the highest peak in Texas, Guadalupe Peak, which stands at 8,749 feet. The scenic McKittrick Canyon is full of Bigtooth Maples, and the park is part of the Chihuahuan Desert. The park also has a fossilized reef from the Permian era.
The park’s accessibility is another reason why it’s one of the best places to hike in the US. The park is located along US Highway 62/180, which provides easy access to many of the top sights in the park.
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