Hiking in Denali is next level shit. Photo: Paxson Woelbe. Ah, Alaska. Denali National Park is packed full of adventure opportunities, and the Kesugi Ridge Trail offers up an excellent taste of what Denali is all about.
Among the popular hikes in Denali, the Kesugi Ridge trail is well-known, though not as popular as some of the others. As with most semi-serious hikes in Alaska, the Kesugi Ridge trail can be tough going. There are several steep climbs and boulder fields to cross. I tackled this trek in April and found myself trekking in cold sleet and relatively deep snow on the 3rd day, somewhere around Pilot mountain. Likewise, one can experience fine weather in April; it just depends on the year and your luck.
The diversity of the Art Loeb really plays a big role in stoking my love of this trail. Over the course of 30 miles, the trail passes through or over Appalachian balds, forest, meadows, and typical Blue Ridge Mountain splendor. Tule Elk doing their thing on the Tomales Point trail. The hike out to Tomales Point is a full-on sensory experience complete with a jaw-dropping coastline, wild elk, and hills so green that you will wonder if you are actually hiking in Ireland , not California.
Due to its location north of San Fransico, the hike to Tomales Point makes for an excellent city escape. That said, it is a hell of a long day if you plan to make it to Tomales via San Francisco and then return back to SF for the night, but by no means impossible.
Bring a picnic and watch the elk graze with the Pacific Ocean stretching out behind them. Mauna Loa is one of the most impressive mountains to be found on any Pacific Island in the world. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, the Mauna Loa summit trail is a tough day-hike through lava-scree Martian landscapes. Once you summit, all of that tough work is rewarded by truly epic views.
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Start early and pace yourself so that you can have the maximum amount of time to enjoy the summit. Note: As of this moment November , a majority of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remains closed due to volcanic activity. Check with the National Park service for updates regarding trail closures and general safety information. I believe it is better to wait until the air clears, which hopefully will be soon. Photo: Jarek Tuszyski. Some of the big name national parks in the US get so much attention that equally impressive places are often overlooked.
Among excellent short hiking opportunities on offer here, the Red River Gorge loop is the best chance to take in a variety of scenery. In addition to great hiking, the Red River Gorge is famous for having some of the best rock climbing venues in the eastern USA. There are many side trails along this loop that give you a choice between easy day trips or extended backcountry adventures. There is certainly a trail for every type of hiker in the Red River Gorge, which makes it extremely accessible for both families and weekend warriors.
Whether you live nearby or just want to get a taste of ATlife for a couple of days, the Appalachian Trail section running through the Smokies is a must-do hike. Access is relatively easy considering you can drive right to the trailhead. A brilliant thing about hiking on the AT is the abundance of hiker huts found along the way. You can stagger your hiking days according to your own pace and time frame, stopping at the huts along the way which are free. There is no better way to experience the Smokey Mountain National Park than on foot.
Take a few days to enjoy the hell out of the AT. For hikers who find themselves in the northeast with a decent chunk of time on their hands, the Long Trail is a worthy challenge. The Long Trail runs the length of Vermont! You shall get to know this awesome state intimately!
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Fun fact: the Long Trail is the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the USA excluding, of course, pre-colonial Native American footpaths. The Long Trail follows the main spine of the gorgeous Green Mountains and shares roughly miles of trail with the AT. It is also possible to hike sections of the Long Trail if you only want to tackle a portion of it over a weekend. Fall colors on display en route to Mt. A hike up Mt. Mitchell gives you the chance to walk up the highest point in the US east of the Mississippi River. With an early start, the hike up Mt.
Mitchell can be done in a day. There is quite a bit of elevation gain to contend with from the starting point at the Black Mountain Campground on the Toe River. One downside to the Mt.
Mitchell hike is that the summit is connected by a road. All throughout the year, people flock to the summit to enjoy the epic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Like most of the eastern US, the fall colors on and around Mt. Mitchell are nothing short of stunning. Bring along plenty of food and water to fuel your summit hike! The Petrified Forest in North Dakota is unlike any other place you have ever been. This is a land of surreal landscapes, American buffalo, elk, antelope, and petrified wood specimens that have seemingly turned to stone. The good news? A majority of the hike is through rolling grassland.
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Note that the north trail has a larger concentration of petrified wood. Prepare to have your mind blown. Washington on an exceptionally brisk spring morning. The challenging north-east summits just keep on coming. The distance of the Mt. This hike is intense and needs to be taken seriously. That said, it is absolutely one of the best hikes in the USA, and easily in the top 5 regarding all of the eastern US. The mountain is notorious for its erratic weather. Bloody hell! Above all else, Mt. Washington needs to be approached with respect. Last but certainly not least, we have come to the Appalachian Trail.
The Appalachian Trail casts its siren song over many backpackers; though in reality, the AT is fully completed by few myself included.
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The AT is without a doubt one of the best hikes in America for long-distance hikers. This hike is unlike any other on my list; an AT thru-hike takes months to complete and requires steadfast motivation day after day. Be careful though, long-distance hiking is addicting. Furthermore, the community of hikers you meet along the trail bond in a way similar to that of a military band of brothers and sisters.
Be sure that an Appalachian Trail thru-hike is very challenging. That is certain.
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A very important book told from a fantastic perspective. I really love John Muir, ok. A must-read for anyone who loves rock climbing and adventure sports. Appalachian Trail Guidebook North Bound — Everything you need to know for preparing and hiking the AT, including section-by-section breakdowns. America is truly a hiking playground. There are so many amazing places to explore. I hope this guide to the best hikes in the USA was helpful, and most importantly, I hope it has inspired you to take a few if not all of these hikes on. For use at home, or as gifts to loved ones.
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