Best Hikes in North America
While no hike is boring, there are some hikes that are extra fun. The following list includes some of the best hikes in North America. Let’s take a look at the different aspects of each trail and consider some of the more rugged terrains that require some planning and endurance.
Pacific Crest Trail in Pasayten Wilderness, Washington
Known as the P.C.T., this trail is a long-distance hiking and equestrian trail closely aligned with the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. The trail is 100 to 150 miles east of the U.S. Pacific coast and runs from Mexico to Canada. Hiking the entire trail can take up to five months. But, if you just want to try it for a day or two, we suggest the northernmost stretch through the Pasayten. This section is where you can take in views of North Cascades National Park.
Half Dome Trail, Yosemite National Park, California
Looking to feel invincible? The Half Dome Trail in Yosemite National Park is home to California’s granite monolith. Once thought to be unclimbable, the 8,842-foot iconic site has become one of America’s most formidable day hikes. Open from May to September, this 16-mile journey shows off waterfalls, slippery staircases, and rocky switchbacks up the sub dome.
Enchanted Valley Trail. Photo courtesy of Exotic Hikes.
Dosewallips to Lake Quinault in Olympic National Park, Washington
Dosewallips State Park is a public recreation area located where the Dosewallips River empties into Hood Canal in Jefferson County, Washington. The state park’s 1,064 acres includes both freshwater and saltwater shorelines. This 30-mile journey winds through gorgeous temperate rain forests and wildflower-strewn alpine meadows in the wildlife-rich southern part of the park.
West Branch Trail, Rawah Wilderness, Colorado
The Rawah Wilderness is administered by the USDA Forest Service. It is located in the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado, near the Wyoming border. It also has part of the Routt National Forest to its south. Located two-and-a-half hours from Denver, this trail is considered one of America’s top digital detox destinations. It’s more under-the-radar than other spots in Colorado and located in the beautiful Roosevelt National Forest. The 14-mile out-and-back West Branch Trail is a popular route with a peak elevation of 11,130 feet. It also offers a diverse landscape of natural wonders and is a favorite pick amidst the 85 miles of available trails throughout the park.
Arches National Park. Photo courtesy of Flickr. Curtis Brown.
Devils Garden Trail in Arches National Park, Utah
Devils Garden is an area of Arches National Park, located near Moab, Utah, that features a series of rock fins and arches formed by erosion. The Devils Garden Trail, including more primitive sections and spurs, meanders through the area for 7.2 miles. Arches National Park has more natural sandstone arches than any place in the world.
Let us know what your favorite hiking spots are so we can add them to our list of best hikes in North America!
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