There are thousands of miles of hiking trails throughout the United States, spanning diverse and unique landscapes. With so many trails to explore, it is hard to make a definitive list of the best places to hike. However, there are a number of great hikes that you should definitely make a point of taking on. Here are 6 hikes in the United States that you should add to your bucket list:
1) Indian Peaks Wilderness Area – Boulder, CO
With 133 miles of trails throughout 75,000 acres of wilderness, Indian Peaks is the perfect location for any avid hiker. Elevations range from 8,300 to over 13,500 feet, offering spectacular views of the area, which includes over 50 lakes. While exploring you you may spot moose, elk, black bears, bobcats, beavers, mountain lions, and pica. As this is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the country, it is recommended to explore during the week in order to avoid some of the larger crowds.
2) Big Basin Redwoods State Park – San Francisco, CA
California’s oldest state park offers amazing trails surrounded by some of the most beautiful trees, including redwoods, oaks, and pines. Many of these trees have lived for thousands of years and the scale of these trees is truly an overwhelming sight to see. Buzzard Roost is one of the great hikes that the park has to offer. At its peak, you have a great view looking out over the remarkable diversity that Big Basin has to offer.
3) Oneonta Gorge – Portland, OR
Oneonta Gorge is definitely a challenging hike, considering that it is not accessible by trail. Instead, you must walk up the creek bed over slippery and wobbly logs. But this is truly one of the most beautiful gorges in the country and is worth the difficult trip up. At the end of the tunnel you will find a great swimming hole and waterfall in the canyon with green mossy walls.
4) Paint Mines – Colorado Springs, CO
The park offers four miles of trails throughout 750 acres of breathtaking geological formations such as spires and hoodoos sculpted through millions of years of erosive action. The colors of the clay and sandstone labyrinth are spectacular, making this a very unique hike with a very rich history.
5 – Enchanted Rock – Austin, TX
The massive pink granite dome has attracted visitors for thousands of years. Rising up to approximately 425 feet, this is the largest pink granite monadnock in the United States, and it offers great views of the surrounding area. Enchanted Rock has an impressive archaeological history and several Indian legends, making it a fun place to explore and learn in the process.
6 – Roan Mountain Highlands – Asheville, NC
Roan Mountain, located along the Appalachian Trail on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, contains five mountain peaks and is divided into two sections by Carvers Gap. This is one of the highest ranges in the Southern APpalachians, with peaks reaching heights of over 6,200 feet. There are a number of amazing hikes in this area, so depending on how much time you have, there is plenty to do to keep you busy for multiple days.