Hiking is powerful. It invigorates both body and mind. A good hike can boost your heart rate-ultimately improving your cardio health and leading to a longer life. Hiking can also help your mind. It helps you soul search and find inner peace. The right trail can open your mind to new experiences. There are thousands of hiking trails across the US. They all have something different to offer, but it can be overwhelming to choose the best one. Here are eleven of the best places to go hiking in the US, to make your choice easier.
1. Highline Trail, Montana
Highline Trail is one of America's most ambitious hikes. It spans 38 miles. But it's full of scenic features. You can find the trail in Montana's Glacier National Park. It will bring you along the Garden Wall, which is part of the Continental Divide. The trail also features the Grinnell Glacier Overlook and Swiftcurrent lookout. There's also plenty of wildlife along the way.
2. Mist Trail, California
Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular national parks. Especially, the Mist Trail is one of its most popular hiking trails. It's named for the two waterfalls along the hike. Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall spray visitors with mist as they make the 5.4-mile round -trip hike. It's refreshing-especially during those hot summer months. However, spring and summer require some extra caution. Water flow peaks around those times, which makes the trail slick.
3. Avalanche Peak Trail, Wyoming
As America's first national park, Yellowstone National park is a must-see. It's packed with trails to choose from, This hike brings you through rocky streams, meadows, and colorful flower patches. Once you reach the summit, you'll overlook all the wonders of Yellowstone national park's backcountry. in particular, you'll see the Grand Tetons and mount Sherdian, along with Yellowstone lake.
4. South Kaibab Trail, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is one of the most well known natural wonders of America. Each year, millions of people line the canyon for photos. But, the South Kaibab Trail brings you deeper. The National Park Service says this hike "dramatically holds true to a ridge line descent." This 6-mile journey takes you right into the heart of the canyon. This is a very challenging hike, though. It's entirely in the hot sun. There is no shade. The National Park Service recommends hiking during the cooler months.
5. Harding Icefield Trail, Alaska
Harding Icefield Trail is a vigorous 8-mile hike through Alaska's famous glaciers. This trail climbs 1000 feet every mile-so your heart will be racing. It winds through forests and meadows, ultimately ending at a panoramic view of the majestic Harding Icefield. It's one of only four major ice caps in the world, making it a rare sight to see.
6. Cadillac mountain north Ridge Trail, Maine
If you're looking for something more family-friendly, Cadillac Mountain's North Ridge Trail is a prime spot. This 4-mile trail brings you to the top of Cadillac mountain in main's Acadia National Park. It's a steady climb, and much of the path is paved-making it easy for strollers. One of the best times to go is in the fall as the leaves change color. Once you reach the top, the view is even better. You'll be overlooking Bar Harbor, along with all the fall foliage.
7. Awa'awapuhi Trail, Hawaii
If you're looking for something a bit more tropical-look no further than Koke's State Park. The Awa'awapuhi Trail brings you downhill through Kauai, Hawaii's forest for about 3 miles. Once you reach the lookout point-you'll be surrounded by views of Hawaa's rugged cliffs and the Pacific Ocean. You'll just have to hike uphill the entire way back. Read more here.
8. Cascade Canyon Trail, Wyoming
The Cascade Canyon Trail is a full daylong hike through Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. It's known for its picturesque scenery and wildlife. The nearly 14-mile long trail starts Jenny lake-and leads you through forestry, rivers, and rocky steps. Along the way, you'll see ponds nestled within the mountaintops. This trail is known for its grizzly bears, so make sure to be noisy and bring bear spray.
9. Rubicon Trail, California
The Rubicon Trail is ideal for adventure seekers. This flat, 8-mile long trail hugs the massive Lake Tahoe. it offers glistening views of Lake Tahoe while connecting two of California's most popular state parks. Along the trail, you'll find plenty of spots to explore. There's a campground, a 38-room castle, and beaches. it will take your mind off of the workout - and bring it to a relaxing space. Make sure you plan properly, though. The trail is only open from March to September, because of the weather conditions.
10. Cataract Lake Trail, Colorado
The Continental Divide Trail is hailed as one of the most difficult - but most scenic - trails in North America. It stretches from Canada to Mexico, but Colorado's section takes the gold. Specifically, Cataract Lake Trail is known for its breathtaking views. It's a 13-miles round-trip. The trail brings you over creeks, through the Cataract basin, and up to a 14,000-foot peak. The final view overlooks the Rio Grande and the San Juan Mountains.
11. Angel's Rest Trail, Oregon
The Northwest's rainfall can be a nuisance-but when it clears up, this trail in Oregon is worth it. Angel's Rest is within the Columbia River Gorge. It stretches about five miles round-trip. It follows the Columbia River Gorge - through part of the Boring Lava Field. The hike brings you through history dating back a million years. Then, the summit brings you a striking 270-degree view of the Cascade volcanoes and the Columbia River below. The water looks as if you can dive into it.
Each of these trails has something distinct to offer. They all bring different challenges, views, and landscapes. It's up to you to choose what will bring you the most happiness: a harder hike, more adventures, or a majestic view from the top. If you can't decide, visit them all!