Beautiful Hiking Trails to Add to Your Bucket List
The fresh crisp air of the great outdoors. Is there anything better? We have the luxury of living in a country with 58 national parks and more than 6,000 state parks. That’s a whole lot of trails to choose from and places to visit. To ease your bucket list planning, we’re sharing our top 5 favorite spots that are sure to take your breath away.
Yosemite National Park- Mist Trail
Yosemite National Park features nearly 1,200 square miles of pure nature bliss: from the towering waterfalls to the famous Sequoia trees. The park’s signature hiking experience is the Mist Trail, which is a short, yet challenging journey that offers amazing up-close views of two waterfalls- Vernal and Nevada.
The trail begins at 4,000 feet in elevation, and you’ll be climbing 1,000 feet to the top of Vernal Fall, and then 1,900 feet to the top of Nevada Fall, if you decide to continue on. Make sure to prepare for slippery footing and a tremendous amount of waterfall spray in spring and early summer months.
Grand Canyon National Park- Bright Angel Trail
This is Grand Canyon's most popular rim-to-river route, offering spectacular views, rest houses, water (seasonal), and shade at Indian Garden. Day hikers have several options: turn around at the Mile-and-a-Half or Three-Mile rest houses, Indian Garden, or Plateau Point. Backpackers can camp at Indian Garden or Bright Angel campgrounds.
The 12-mile roundtrip walk along Bright Angel Trail provides stunning views of the canyon and the surrounding landscape, which is among the most iconic and well-known in all of the world. The walk can be a strenuous one at times, but it is also a very rewarding one. It’s also vital to carry plenty of water with you, especially during the summer months.
Acadia National Park- Sargent Mountain Loop
Acadia National Park in Maine is a wonderful escape for many hikers. One of the top trekking routes found there is the Sargent Mountain Loop, a 5.5-mile round-trip walk that takes visitors to the top of 1,373-foot peak from which it derives its name. Sargent Mountain is one of the main landmarks found inside the park and at the summit you'll be treated to outstanding views of the Acadia coastline, as well as the lush forests of spruce and fir below.
The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
South Lake Tahoe- Rubicon Trail
The Rubicon Trail in South Lake Tahoe connects two of the most beautiful state parks in all of California, D.L. Bliss, and Emerald Bay. The trail goes south from Rubicon Point, around Emerald Point to Vikingsholm Castle. This is a moderate hike well suited for active kids who might want to swim and cool off in the lake. If you make it to Vikingsholm Castle take a tour of this historic home or just enjoy Emerald Bay Beach as the boats cruise into the bay. Approximately 6.6 miles one way, 13.2 miles round trip.
Mount Tom Traverse- Metacomet-Monadnock Trail
The Mount Tom Traverse portion of the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail was certified as a National Recreation Trail in 2001 and offers hikers a unique opportunity to experience the varying landscapes that the Massachusetts wilderness has to offer. Beginning at the entrance to the Mount Tom Reservation on Route 141, after a quick 200-foot elevation gain, this route will take you through about six miles of ridgewalking where you'll catch awe-inspiring views of the Connecticut River Valley and pass by the ruins of century-old hotels before reaching Goat Peak. Birdwatchers will especially love this trail in the spring and fall when it's common to spot hawks gliding overhead.