Five Incredibly Beautiful Hikes in the USA

If you’re anything like me, you love hiking! One of my favorite parts about being outside is pitting myself against nature and climbing a good mountain or enduring an all day hike. If you live in the USA, or plan to travel there, these are five of the best hikes with beautiful views. Although your trip may not take you near these places, for avid lovers of the outdoors, they’re worth the trip! Main

Mount Whitney Trail, California  

The main Mount Whitney Trail starts at Whitney Portal. It’s a 22 mile round trip with an elevation gain of 6,100+ feet. It’s a very popular hike and has quota restrictions in place from May until October. This hike is recommended for those in good shape. The hike generally takes 10 – 20 hours so an early 4 am start is necessary to complete the hike without camping along the route.

 

Bright Angel Trail, Arizona

Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon Not for the faint of heart the Bright Angel Trail is one of the more dangerous hikes in the USA. With a 4,380 decent to the Colorado River with an average grade of 10% the trail can be grueling in the hotter months. The National Park Service doesn’t recommend completing a roundtrip hike in one day. Instead you have the option to camp at the Bright Angel campground or the famous Phantom Ranch. Check with rangers before you plan to stay overnight. Trails to Half Dome, California  Half Dome is one of the most well-known features in the country. The trails to Half Dome provide breathtaking 360-degree views of the Yosemite Valley and the Sierra Nevada mountains. This trail is 14-16 miles roundtrip depending on the route you take. It’s a full days hike so start out early. If you intend to climb the last 400 feet to the top of Half Dome you’ll need to secure a permit in order to climb the cables.

Conundrum Creek Trail, Colorado

Conundrum Hot Springs In case it wasn’t obvious by the name, the Conundrum Creek Trail parallels Conundrum Creek and weaves its way through woods and meadows. The trail crosses the creek three times with the first two log bridges being the easiest. The third crossing (a fallen log, or jam) is a little sketchy, and downright hazardous during spring runoff. You’re required to self-register and have the permit with you at all times, although no fee or limits are in place.

 

Kalalau Trail, Kauai Hawaii

 

Na Pali Coast The 11-mile Kalalau Trail heads from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. For those in good shape this hike will take a full day. Although the trail is often uneven you’ll be rewarded along the way with excellent views, nice beaches, and the opportunity to see a part of Hawaii that is only accessible on foot, by air, or sea. If you decide to camp overnight or swim at one of the many beaches I’d recommend talking to local authorities first as sneak waves and rip currents pose a threat during certain seasons.

David Bryce is an online publisher for Golf in Branson, MO at Thousand Hills He blogs on the topics of golf, travel, and vacations.