Top 5: U.S. Hiking Guide
Top 5: U.S. Hiking Guide
We count down our favorite places to get our hike on across the United States.
Instagram catnip, the area gets its name from the undulating psychedelic formations in the sandstone — not unlike, as many have noted, the colorful, swirling landscape in Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You'll Go! Pro tip: Because the land is extremely fragile, only 20 people are allowed in per day so you’ll have to nab a permit.
When you think of hiking in the arid and rocky Colorado terrain, vibrant pinks and painterly ombré colors are the last things to come to mind — that is, unless you’re trekking through the Calhan Paint Mines in El Paso County. Fun fact: The vividly hued clay was once used by American Indians to make paint.
If you love surf as much as turf, then head to Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai. You’ll come across waterfalls, beaches, incredible ocean and cliffside views and lush only-in-Hawaii tropical vegetation. But hikers beware: As much as this 22-mile trail is lauded for its scenic beauty, certain points can be quite dangerous if you’re a novice.
The Southwest doesn’t have a monopoly on great hiking trails — some of our favorite trails are in this coastal region by the Atlantic. And it’s a variety pack of offerings here, from easy, level walks that offer panoramic bay views to more challenging, steep hikes for the outdoor adventurer. Pro tip: Stop by Thunder Hole, where the waves crash with an awe-inspiring boom — just bring a poncho because the water can go as high as 40 feet.
As the name alludes, this grove is home to some of the tallest trees in the world. You’ll feel absolutely Lilliputian the second you step foot on the trail — and the experience is wondrous and humbling all in one. Fun fact: The grove record-breaker comes in at 379.3 feet — taller than a 35-story building — but its exact location here is a secret.
Honorable Mentions
Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, offers a breathtaking horizon of snow and ice — during the winter, the upper reaches are covered in snow and the hiking trail becomes a “mountaineering route.” Deserts more your thing? We recommend Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado — where you’re actually hiking on sand. And for a truly unconventional experience, go to Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park — the trails include underground portions, where you can explore majestic caverns and caves, bats included.