6 Best Hiking Trips in the U.S. and How to Find Trails Near You

Zion National Park, Utah

For travelers looking for an active vacation that takes you beyond the beach cabana, a hiking trip can be an excellent option. Best of all, you don’t need to look much further than your backyard to find some of the world’s best hiking trails. Here we provide you with some options for amazing hikes across the country and tips for finding hiking trips near you.

Renowned Trails for Hiking Trips

Across the United States you can find hiking trails for every experience and interest level spanning forest, desert, coastal, and high alpine environments. To help you get started planning your hiking vacation, here is a sample of renowned hikes from short day hikes to longer backpacking trips across a wide range of terrain.

Angel’s Landing, Zion National Park, Utah
Type: Day hike
Hike Level: Challenging
Terrain: Desert canyon

At five miles round trip, this is a perfect day hike. Because it is in a desert climate, if you go in summer make sure to set out early since the afternoons can be unbearably hot. Angel’s Landing trail offers amazing views of Zion Canyon with steep inclines, switchbacks, and drop offs. While this trail is not for the faint of heart, the views are worth it.

 

Ocean Point, Acadia National Park, Maine

Type: Day hike
Hike Level: Easy
Terrain: Coastal

This family-friendly hike follows the Main coastline for 3.9 miles with a mere 324-foot elevation gain. The trail offers spectacular views of the coastline and wildflowers in season. It can be crowded, so if you want a more secluded experience, go during the week or closer to the off season.

Highline Loop, Glacier National Park, Montana
Type: Day hike
Hike Level: Challenging
Terrain: High alpine

One of Glacier National Park’s most renowned hikes, the Highline Loop is nearly 12 miles along the Continental Divide, offering breathtaking scenery, wildlife, and wildflowers. While the hike is certainly worth it, a word of warning: A quarter mile in the trail is situated on a six- to eight-foot-wide ledge with a 100-foot drop to the road below. While this lasts for only three-tenths of a mile, it can be a challenge if you don’t like heights.

 

Four Pass Loop, White River National Forest, Colorado
Type: Backpacking trip
Hike Level: Challenging
Terrain: High alpine

The Four Pass Loop in the White River National Forest near Aspen, Colorado is a 25-mile dog-friendly backpacking trip that takes about four days to complete. With views of the famous Maroon Bells, clear mountain lakes, and wildflowers, many hikers recommend taking the trail counter clockwise.

Tall Trees Grove Loop Trail, Redwood National Park, California
Type: Day hike
Hike Level: Easy
Terrain: Forest

See some of the world’s tallest trees on this beginner-level hike in California’s famous Redwood National Park. Boasting the 360-foot famous Howard Libbey tree, many of the trees in the grove are 100 feet or more taller than those in Muir Woods. Note that no dogs are allowed on this trail.

Hanakapi`ai Trail, Napali Coast State Park, Kauai
Type: Day hike
Hike level: Moderate
Terrain: Coastal

This hike is eight miles roundtrip on the beautiful Na Pali coast of Hawaii offering panoramic ocean views and a waterfall. Relax on the beautiful beach, but do not go swimming, since the ocean here is rough and can pull swimmers out to sea. Beware of muddy and slippery trail conditions if it has rained recently.

Also read:
• Hawaii Vacation Tips
• 10 Beach Safety Tips for Your Summer Vacation
• Top 5 Reasons to Get Travel Insurance

 

Finding Hikes Near Me

If you’re looking for a quick long weekend backpacking trip or even a day hike near you, there are many resources available to find the right hike for your level and timeframe. Websites that serve as hiking trail locators like Alltrails.com and Trails.com can help you narrow down hikes based on location, level of difficulty, and length. In addition, you can find information on permits and camping and read hiker reviews.

On the U.S. National Park Service website, you can narrow down parks by state and find hiking trails and details on other activities.

For group hikes or to meet like-minded people, join a hiking Meetup group in your area or book a hiking trip through an organization like REI, which plans group hiking trips for a fee. For adventurous women, Bold Betties has chapters in nearly 20 states and plans hikes and other activities all over the U.S.

Travel Insurance for Hiking Trips

When you plan your hiking vacation, you likely think of gear, such as your backpack, rain jacket, and camping stove, and logistics, such as how you get to the trailhead. You may also want to consider adding travel insurance to your trip planning checklist.

Often in the wilderness you are nowhere near a road and the only way out may be by helicopter. This is where travel insurance can be invaluable to you on your hiking trip. Travel insurance plans from Generali Global Assistance include Emergency Assistance and Transportation coverage that can help arrange and cover expenses for emergency evacuation if you become seriously ill or injured and can’t hike back out.

Suppose your baggage is lost or damaged on your hiking trip. You may have lost thousands of dollars in equipment, such as your tent, sleeping bag, water filter, or GPS. Our Preferred and Premium plans include coverage for Sporting Equipment that can cover those losses and can even cover equipment rentals if your equipment is delayed and you need to start your hike.

These are only some of the ways that a trip insurance plan can help during your trip. Learn more.

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