If you’re a hiker in the USA, you know that there’s no shortage of awe-inspiring trails to explore right here in the United States. From heights of the Rockies to shores of the Pacific, the USA boasts an abundance of bucket list hikes that promise unforgettable experiences and jaw-dropping views. Wondering which are the best hikes in the USA? We’re here to help. These 10 bucket list hikes in the USA are worthy of your next adventure. Lace up those hiking boots and get ready to explore.
1. Appalachian Trail
Stretching more than 2,190 miles and 14 states from Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trail offers a thru-hike like no other. Traverse through diverse ecosystems, challenging terrain and a unique community of fellow hikers. This iconic trail stands as a testament to the resilience of nature and the human spirit.
2. Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim
Descend into the belly of one of the world’s most famous natural wonders. The Grand Canyon rim-to-rim hike offers a thrilling 21-mile journey that spans the Colorado River and showcases the canyon’s multi-hued rock layers. This challenging hike rewards explorers with vistas that are both humbling and inspiring.
3. Pacific Crest Trail
From Mexico to Canada, the Pacific Crest Trail winds its way through three states and boasts a staggering 2,650 miles of pristine wilderness. Explore the volcanic peaks of the Cascade Range, the arid beauty of the Mojave Desert, and the alpine grandeur of the Sierra Nevada.
4. Half Dome via Mist Trail
Iconic and exhilarating, the hike to Half Dome in Yosemite National Park tests hikers’ stamina and courage. The Half Dome via Mist Trail hike takes you up sheer granite cliffs, a breathtaking ascent that culminates with a daring climb up a cable route. The reward? A panoramic view of the park’s awe-inspiring peaks, waterfalls, and valleys.
5. Angel’s Landing in Zion
In Zion National Park, the Angel’s Landing trail combines jaw-dropping panoramas with a heart-pounding ascent along a narrow sandstone spine. Ascend by gripping chains bolted into the rock, and you’ll reach a summit that offers sweeping vistas of the red rock amphitheater below. This hike is a true test of nerve, but it offers an unparalleled sense of accomplishments and some of the country’s most magnificent views.
6. Wonderland Trail
For those captivated by Mount Rainier, the Wonderland Trail encircles the colossal volcano, leading hikes through alpine meadows, dense forests, and glacial landscapes. Over the course of 93 miles, hikers are treated to changing landscapes that capture the essence of the Pacific Northwest.
7. The Narrows
Wade through the Virgin River as it snakes through Zion National Park’s towering slot candyons. The Narrows hike combines adventure with nature’s artistry, with walls of sculpted red rockthat create a surreal corridor of hidden alcoves and unexpected beauty.
8. The Highline Trail
In Montana’s Glacier National Park, the Highline Trail offers a high-altitude escape into the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Wind through pristine alpine meadows and explore the “Garden Wall,” where bighorn sheep and mountain goats may be your only companions. This hike immerses you in untouched wilderness.
9. Kalalau Trail
Journey to the Hawaiian island of Kauai and discover the Kalalau Trail, a coastal masterpiece that navigates the Na Pali Coast. This challenging hike rewards explorers with views of towering cliffs, secluded tropical beaches, and lush forests.
10. The Wave
Venture to the Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness in Arizona and unearth a natural masterpiece known as The Wave. Accessible to a limited number of hikers through a lottery system, this surreal sandstone formation transports you to an alien landscape where swirls of rock blend with a desert oasis.