The 7 Best U.S. National Parks for Hiking

The National Park System in the United States alone includes over 420 park sites across all states. Some are historical sites, while others are memorials and water-centered lakeshores, in addition to reserves, parkways and preserves. This means that hikers have the possibilities of exploring trails all year round, indulging in the unforgettable views and practicing energizing sports. With endless trails to pinpoint on the map, the following list spotlights the 7 best U.S national parks for hiking.

Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park, Mountains and Valley view
Mountains and Valley View in Yosemite National Park

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, the Yosemite includes 278 trails with massive granite summits, and steep cliffs formed by glaciers over time. The park owes its spectacular vistas to the long waterfalls running down the edges of the high cliffs. On the lower grounds, the hiking paths snake around vibrant wildflower meadows and sequoia groves by vast lakes.

Mount Rainer National Park, Washington

The Beautiful Mount Rainer of a Clear Day in Mount Rainer National Park

The Skyline Trail of Mount Rainer encompasses a sight of a lifetime, situated in the glacier and active volcano park. The mountain is the tallest in the state of Washington, offering incredible hiking experiences and spots along the way for unique photographs by the Myrtle Falls or the Reflection Lake. In addition to hiking, visitors can hop on a gondola for a trip to Crystal Mountain and have lunch at a restaurant with a mesmerizing view.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Deep green blue geyser pool in yellowstone national park
Deep Green Blue Geyser Pool in Yellowstone National Park

With 267 trails, the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming stars as one of the most popular parks in the world, and the biggest in acres, with 2.2 million stretching mostly in the state. The splendor of hiking in the Yellowstone centers around the phenomenal experience of the hydrothermal and geologic sights such as the erupting hot springs. It houses the largest high elevation lake in North America and a wide range of wildlife species to witness.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Rocky Mountains in Autumn in Colorado
Rocky Mountains in Autumn in Colorado

If there is a state eminent for its hiking trails, it certainly is Colorado and the infamous Rocky Mountain National Park with 235 trails of pine forests, high alpine lakes and massive rocky landscapes. The turquoise lakes and challenging peaks attract hikers, photographers, rock climbers and wildlife watchers alike. Visitors can also choose to stay the night in the camping grounds to benefit from the magnificent sunrise views.

Arches National Park, Utah

Beautiful Sunset Image taken at Arches National Park in Utah
Beautiful Sunset Image taken at Arches National Park in Utah

Bordering the Colorado River, the Arches National Park in Utah is known as a red-rock wonderland with tremendous geological architecture including massive balanced rocks and soaring pinnacles. The park counts as the world’s largest concentration of stone arches of different textures and colors. The viewpoints on the peaks and the hiking trails are thrilling ways to enjoy the natural peculiarities of this park and its delightful formations.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Autumn in Acadia National Park, Maine, USA
Autumn in Acadia National Park, Maine

The gorgeous coastline of Maine is best captured from the rocky trails of Acadia National Park that overlooks the Sand Beach. The spectacular hike is feasible for all ages, and so, makes a great destination for families seeking a moderate trail with little equipment. In the winter, travelers can enjoy the sports in the snowy and cold season while catching sights of the outlying islands. The warmer months of spring and summer are perfect for tide pooling or walking by the serene Jordan Pond.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Breathtaking view of Mauna Loa volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Breathtaking view of Mauna Loa volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii

Comprising two of the most active volcanoes in the world, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site with particularly unique geological features. The hiking trails move through volcano craters, rainforest areas and desert portions. Adventurers opt for backcountry hiking to explore the wilderness, tour the Chain of Craters road, go for a safari trip or a stargazing excursion by night.

A popular and rewarding activity, hiking is all the more enjoyable in these parks, natural gems spread over the United States. Whether it’s a leisurely trip or a fast-paced hike, the hundreds of trails in each gigantic park secure a wonderful experience for all wanderers. From California to Maine, the mountains wrap crystal lakes and waterwalls and the trees siege the pathways, making for a splendid experience.

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