Instead of planning yet another beach getaway, heed your adventurous side. North America’s snowcapped peaks, jagged cliffs, towering volcanoes and verdant forests are calling your name, and there’s no better time than the present to grab your boots and hit the trails. Based on the opinions of travelers and experts, here are the best hiking destinations across the continent. U.S. News wants your feedback, too, so vote for your favorite hiking spots below.
Why go: Yellowstone National Park offers more than 1,000 miles of hiking trails across 2 million acres of land. Popular routes include those in the Canyon and Norris areas and the Continental Divide Trail. Come during the fall months for optimal hiking conditions. Read More
Why go: Most travelers flock to Yosemite National Park’s valley area, where some of the most popular trails can be found (including the daunting Half Dome). But you’ll find more space and tranquility in the backcountry. Just make sure to bring a map. Read More
Why go: Banff is renowned for its many hiking areas. To top off striking vistas of the Rocky Mountains, there are more than 80 trails — including the Johnston Canyon and the Tunnel Mountain trail — where you can see the hoodoo rock formations. Read More
Why go: Outdoor enthusiasts will love hiking along Kauai’s scenic cliffsides and testing their stamina on the 11-mile Kalalau Trail. And nature-lovers should head straight to Waimea Canyon’s verdant paths. Just be sure to pack a sturdy pair of boots: The trails can be challenging. Read More
Why go: Hiking in Sedona is kind of like walking on Mars. Numerous trails lead through the area’s red rock canyons and past mystical “vortexes.” In addition to Red Rock State Park, visit the Palatki Heritage Site to see ancient Hopi dwellings. Read More
Why go: Plummeting waterfalls, fuming volcanoes, verdant forest — the Big Island has it all. Strap on your boots and set out for Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, or venture to the Hakalau Forest for a meet and greet with some of Hawaii’s feathered friends. Read More
Why go: This park in Maine offers a variety of expeditions. Hikers will enjoy stretching their legs along the the verdant forest trails or along the craggy coastal paths. If you stick close to the water, keep your eyes peeled for harbor seals sunning themselves on cliffside rocks. Read More
Why go: With the Grand Tetons serving as a backdrop, Jackson Hole’s hiking trails are sure to impress. This laid-back Wyoming destination has routes for a variety of skill levels and scenery that you won’t get tired of photographing. Read More
Why go: A hiking trip to the Grand Canyon is one you’ll never forget. You’ll find more popular routes — like the Bright Angel Trail and the Rim Trail — tracing the canyon’s South Rim. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, try the paths along the North Rim. Read More
Why go: Most people associate Aspen with skiing, but this Colorado town isn’t only popular during the winter. Hikers are particularly fond of the Maroon Bells — and for good reason. The mountains meet at a sparkling lake and the vistas from the summit are spectacular. Read More
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