When it comes to planning a vacation, most people think about destinations in terms of sightseeing, beach locations, and popularity of the location. Areas like New York, Florida, and California often make the cut, as they have exciting attractions like Coney Island, Disney World, and Hollywood. The truth is, while those destinations do provide entertainment, they are also tourist attractions. You will end up dropping a lot of money for a crowded and chaotic trip.
Instead, consider looking into an outdoor adventure vacation. For those who thrive in the natural world, communing with nature through hiking will be one of the best vacations you will ever take. There is nothing like the beauty of the outdoors, thus here are the best hiking locations in North America:
Wyoming is one of the most beautiful states, and with Yellowstone’s 3,000 square miles of forests, meadows, canyons, waterfalls, and hot springs, there is an endless amount of activities to do and see while visiting. While there are plenty of lodges and hotels in the area you can stay at, for the full experience, many trail guides suggest backpacking through Yellowstone. There is nothing like seeing the fog roll through the canyons at dawn or sleeping under the stars in a meadow.
Glacier National Park
Located in northwestern Montana, Glacier National Park is one of the United State’s hidden gems. The park has over 700 miles of trails waiting to be explored full of wildlife like elk, bears, and mountain goats. When you aren’t watching the wildlife in their natural habitats, you can enjoy endless trees and streams surrounded by gorgeous mountain peaks.
California has quite a few mountainous regions outdoor adventures will love, including Yosemite National Park, which is about 1,200 miles of waterfalls, Sequoia trees, and cliffs. Most who adventure out in Yosemite hike one California’s most famous landmarks, Half Dome. While some of the trails are better suited for experienced hikers, there are plenty of trails and activities people of any age or level can enjoy.
For those who love both the ocean and outdoor hikes, Kauai is one of the most beautiful destinations. As the oldest Hawaiian island, Kauai does not offer the luxurious resorts the other islands do; however, it does offer some of the most natural beauty you can see. Hiking trails and cliffs line the coast, giving you some of the best views of the Pacific.
For those looking for an East Coast destination, the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York are some of the prettiest hiking trails and wildlife you can find. From campgrounds to lodges to cabin rentals, there are plenty of places to relax in after a day of adventuring. While there are beautiful sites all around you, there are plenty of fun activities available, including an airplane tour, the Old Forge canoe trail, and plenty of 1980 Winter Olympic history throughout!
The Ozark Mountains are one of America’s hidden gems. Stretching across parts of Arkansas and into the southern half of Missouri, this mountain range is truly one of the country’s most beautiful. Filled with many pristine lakes and streams, the Ozark’s trails are best enjoyed during the summer, but year round hiking is definitely available. The Ozark highland area stretches a massive 47,000 square miles, making it the largest mountainous region between the Rockies and the Appalachian mountains. The Ozark Trail will take you over 350 miles, and with another 150 miles of planned trail in development, will leave you with someone for your next trip.
Pacific Crest Trail
If none of the above locations are adventurous enough for you, you might want to consider the Pacific Crest Trail. Spanning from the United States-Mexico border all the way up to Washington’s border with Canada, this 2,663 mile trail covers some absolutely breathtaking scenery. Throughout the three states the trail encompasses, you’ll go through a variety of terrain including desert, valleys, mountains, and more. The PCT is not for beginners, however; the trail can be dangerous for those who don’t train for it.
For your next great outdoor adventure, any of these places would offer you memories of the natural beauty surrounding North America.