Hiking is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced athlete or someone who lacks in the fitness department. Everyone can enjoy a scenic hike because it is a flexible, adventurous and healthy way to get your muscles pumped and your brain stimulated.
The flexibility that the activity offers is staggering - from a diverse set of landscapes, you can freely choose to the flexible time dedicated to the activity. If you want to embark on a spectacular hiking escapade according to your comfort, you should check out these 5 most scenic trails in America you have o cross off your bucket list.
Still, no matter where you decide to venture for your hiking jaunt, it’d be prudent to take all of the necessary precautions and arm yourself with proper equipment. You’ll need a reliable pair of mountaineering boots, a durable backpack that can hold enough water and snacks to get you through anything, as well as certain minutiae that makes all the difference in the world.
For example, whether it rains or shines, a hat goes a long way, as well as a small bottle of sunscreen for your face. The outfit needs to be light and as elastic as possible and a Swiss knife with a compass should be within your hand’s reach.
Also, since we have mentioned precautions, check in with your friends as often as you can and leave the necessary information with someone you trust. Be as specific as possible about the geographical features of the location you are visiting, and you should be good - especially if it is a particularly popular stretch of hiking trail among the tourists that frequent the region.
The most scenic routes
1. The Pacific Crest Trail
If you are looking for an Alpine idyll among the American mountains, look no further than the enchanting Pacific Crest Trail. It is a long route that covers a lot of terrains - too much for a beginner, and it represents a challenge for even the most experienced hikers. However, as it has been mentioned in the introduction, the beauty of hiking lies in its flexibility, so if you want to relish in the sites of ponds among the fir trees, set against the snow-covered granite tops, you can choose a particular part of the trail that offers such sites. The view of Yosemite’s Mount Whitney is a particular delight.
2. Harding Icefield Trail
You can liberally claim that Alaska represents one of the final frontiers when it comes to wilderness. It is a harsh but staggeringly beautiful set of ice-covered landscapes, and while most of the Alaskan trails do require some skill and solid preparation, they are well worth the hassle. Harding Icefield Trail is a real treat that will put you on an 8-mile long trail that cut through Kenai Fjords National Park and lead you across a colossal glacier. It’s an unforgettable experience.
3. Grand Canyon National Park
However, if you are not a big fan of harshly cold environments, you can always embark on a trail along one of the most iconic topographical features of the United States and, indeed, the world. IT easily compares to the most popular globe-trotting hikes when it comes to spectacle. Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is well worth the hype and a strenuous hike along the rugged paths are as satisfying as it is challenging - leading you to some of the most impossibly spectacular overlooks you can imagine. It is a true ‘bucket list’ experience.
4. Continental Divide Trail - the Colorado section
Colorado is quite a special state. It combines an unbelievably diverse set of landscapes, so it can be a real treat to hike through the region. Additionally, Colorado is an integral part of a famous Continental Divide Trail that goes all the way from Glacier National Park, Montana in the north to El Paso, Texas in the south. Naturally, since the length of this natural trails is circa 3,100 miles, you’d have to choose a specific section, and Colorado hiking and camping stretch from Never Summer Wilderness to South San Juan Wilderness is a gift that keeps on giving.
5. Niagara Gorge
We’ve all seen the photos of Niagara Falls from the famous vantage point, and it holds that this is a perfect example of a tourist trap. Fortunately, this dazzling geographical feature on the northern cusp of the US soil can be approached from numerous sides, and a trek through the Whirlpool State Park or the Devil’s Hole State Park will get you quite close and personal with the rapids. Witnessing the roaring waters up close and feeling the overwhelming power of nature can be a profound and even meditative experience.
The US is vast and enormously satisfying as a backdrop for hiking. From the east coast to the west, you have such an eclectic patchwork of biomes and landscapes at your disposal that you’d be forgiven for having a hard time picking and choosing the ones for your trip. On the other hand, this also means that you are practically guaranteed to have a resplendent experience, and you are bound to fall in love with the American landscape all over again!