There’s nothing like shaking the cobwebs off your hiking boots and getting out into nature. When the siren call of the wilderness sounds, use our guide to incredible hiking spots across the country to set your course. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a bit of adventure, these places will bring out the explorer in you.
1. Mooney Falls Hike, Arizona
This trail comes with a gorgeous payoff – a glimpse of the turquoise waters of Mooney Falls cascading onto the red rock of the Grand Canyon. The Falls are located 2.25 miles from Supai, just past the campgrounds. The trail leads to the top of the falls, where there is a lookout and photograph area that overlooks the 210-foot canyon wall that the waterfall cascades over. This is a hike for experienced climbers only: In order to gain access to the bottom of the falls and the pool, a very rugged and dangerous descent must be attempted. Make sure weather conditions are good and that you have a experienced hikers with you to help out.
2. Glacier Trail, Wyoming
Glacier Trail is a 56-mile round trip hike that is not for the faint of heart...or boot. This rugged trail is located in the northeastern section of the Wind River Range, near Dubois. It will likely take you between five and eight days to conquer the entire length of the trail, but you'll be rewarded by epic views from the tallest peak in Wyoming.
3. Red Rock Canyon, Nevada
Red Rock Canyon is located approximately 15 miles west of Las Vegas and can be seen from the Las Vegas Strip. The area has an extensive trail system that draws hikers from all over the world. Some of the most popular trails include the Ice Box Canyon trail, Dale’s trail and the Pine Creek Canyon trail.
4. Cascade Canyon Trail, Wyoming
Located in the majestic Grand Tetons National Park, this trail offers up a feast of rugged natural beauty and challenging ascents. Cascade Canyon Trail is a strenuous 20-mile out-and-back trek through some of the prettiest landscapes in the park. Pack sturdy shoes, a change of socks, and a spirit of adventure.
5. Fern Valley Trail, California
The name is pretty dead-on: this trail is a magical trek through vast canyons of redwoods that are blanketed with dripping ferns. A misty, mysterious, and peaceful hike through some of the nations most magnificent woodland is a treat that no one should pass up. This trail is perfect for casual hikers.
6. Sliding Sands Trail, Maui, Hawaii
Located near the Haleakala Crater, the scenery you'll encounter on this hike stands in stunning contrast to tropical lushness of a typical Hawaiian landscape. Check out the Sliding Sands trail for a taste of martian beauty right here on earth.
7. Lassen Peak Trail, Northern California
Nothing beats a sunrise hike through lush meadows, babbling brooks, and fragrant wild grasses. With a view of snow-capped mountains and the bracing freshness of the crisp morning air, this hike is medicine for the spirit.
8. Stairway to Heaven, Oahu, Hawaii
This hike is difficult, dangerous, and completely illegal. We don't recommend you try it out. However, the views afforded by this trail are some of the most stunning on earth. Which makes us even sadder about the whole ILLEGAL thing.
9. Silver Creek Falls, Oregon
This park offers a variety of trails for all experience and ability levels. Here you'll find 10 -- count 'em, 10 -- distinct waterfalls and hikers of both the humane and canine variety on the 9-mile loop.
10. Kelso Dunes, Southern California
You know that burning feeling you get in your calves after walking on the beach for a while? Imagine walking on shifting sand for four miles in the Mojave National Preserve. If that sounds like fun to you, you'll go wild for the Kelso Dune trail.
11. Butte Creek Falls, Oregon
Check out upper and lower Butte Creek Falls on this spectacular hike through the splendid wilderness of Oregon. This is an easy 2-mile hike that even the least experienced hikers can manage.
12. Bol Tower Gardens, Florida
More of a tropical escape than a typical hiking locale, this impressive garden and bird sanctuary is located north of Lake Wales, Florida. It's sitting pretty on the National Historic Landmark register and a perfect spot to meander through paradise.
13. Ocean Path in Acadia Natial Park, Maine
This hike lets you experience all the raw and wild drama of the Maine coast. This hike is about 4 miles one-way, but you won't mind the return trip one bit.
14. Lost Lake, Alaska
With an enigmatic name and pure, aquamarine waters, Lost Lake is excellent motivation to tackle a challenging but rewarding 7-mile hike. You'll begin your trek deep in a rainforest and end it high atop alpine meadows surrounded by wildflowers and mountain vistas. Perfect.
15. Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina
With its peak grazing the clouds, Mt. Mitchell stands at 6,684 feet and is the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi. In the late spring to early summer, fresh blooms blanket the mountainside in vivid colors and fill the air with a sweet scent. The trails surrounding this mountain vary in difficulty and length, but they all have one thing in common: incredibly beauty.
16. Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia
This national seashore encompasses most of Cumberland Island and is only accessible by boat. This seashore is not only great for hiking, but features many spectacular dunes, marshes, and freshwater lakes to explore. During your rambling, you’ll likely catch site of historic sites and crumbling structures that add a haunting, picturesque quality to the trails. If you're lucky, you might spot a herd of wild horses.
Have you tackles any of these trails? What do you think is the most spectacular place to hike in the country?