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14 Hiking Trails You Need to Add to Your Hiking Bucket List

It’s more important than ever to get out, stretch your legs, and breathe in some fresh air. All over the country, there are endless opportunities to connect with nature, including hiking trails where you don’t need any fancy equipment. We rounded up a bucket-list-worthy, best-of-the-best hiking trail guide to get you inspired to head out on your own adventure (safely!).

Lost Coast Trail, California

Length: 24.6 miles

The coastline of the Lost Coast Trail is rugged and remote. It is so rugged, in-fact, that the state of California was unable to continue Highway 1 along the stretch of the California coastline. The only true way to experience the magic of this area if by exploring on foot. Because it is so remote, it is perfect for one to backpack this trail and the beauty of nature. Be prepared to backpack along miles of isolated, but gorgeous California coastline. This is not a trail for those seeking an easy backpacking experience.

 

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Mount Katahdin, Maine

Length: 2.4-9 miles

Mount Katahdin is the legendary peak where Appalachian Trail thru-hikers either begin or end their bucket list. The hike up Katahdin may not be far in distance, but it’s a tough one to hike. Along the hike you’ll see breathtaking views in all directions from Maine’s tallest mountain. The trail is steep, so you must take it slow. If you are looking for a challenge, this is the trail for you.

 

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The Long Trail, Vermont

Length: 272 miles

If you ever find yourself in the northeast, and you are looking for a challenge, The Long Trail is the place to hike. The name says it all; The Long Trail runs the length of Vermont. Throughout your hike you will get to know the state of Vermont well! You will see the gorgeous Green Mountains and all the beauty Vermont has to offer.

 

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Long’s Peak, Colorado

Length: 15 miles

Out of all the trails in Colorado, Long’s Peak is one of the states most impressive. You’ll be able to challenge yourself on climbing 14,000-foot peaks. The hike is difficult, but just as rewarding. If you plan a hike, it is recommending leaving early in the morning so you can see the breathtaking views of the sunrise above the tree line.

 

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Cracker Lake, Montana

Length: 12.6 miles

This 12-mile trail is one of the most beautiful hikes in Glacier National Park. Although it’s a long hike, the scenery is of the blue lake is breathtaking. You will truly experience it all, from crossing creeks on log bridges, walking through the woods, and the beautiful Cracker Lake.

 

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Half Dome, California

Length: 17 miles

Half Dome is known as one of America’s most iconic natural formations. Standing at over 2,500 feet, Half Dome is an enormous slab of granite towering over Yosemite Valleys. This is one of the more challenging hikes, so make sure you are ready if you choose to tackle this hike.

 

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Kesugi Ridge Trail, Alaska

Length: 36.2 miles

Denali National Park is filled with adventure opportunities, such as the Kesugi Ridge Trail. This trail offers up beautiful views and gives you a look at what Denali is all about. This is one of the most challenging hikes in Alaska, so be prepared if you go.

Grayson Highlands, Virginia

Length: 8.5 miles

Grayson Highlands is filled with wildlife, tunnels, rolling hillsides and the tallest mountains in Virginia. The scenery along the way is breathtaking. A day spending hiking through the Grayson Highlands is an opportunity you don’t want to miss. Along the way you’ll see wild ponies wandering through the trails.

 

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Tomales Point Trail, California

Length: 9.4 miles

North of San Francisco, you will find the beautiful Tomales Point Trail. As you hike through Tomales Point, you’ll get the full experience of the beautiful coastline, wild animals, and green hills that will take your breath away. This is a perfect hike for a first-time hiker and can be completed in one day.

 

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Petrified Forest Loop, North Dakota

Length: 10.6 miles

If you ever find yourself in North Dakota, the Petrified Forest Loop is a place you need to visit. It is unlike any other place you have ever seen. The land is filled with beautiful stone and one of the country’s largest collections of petrified wood (you can find this is the north trail). You’ll also get your wildlife fill as you’ll pass by American buffalo, elk, and antelope. The Petrified Forest Loop is mainly grassland and can be hiked and enjoyed in one day. Just be sure to pack lots of water because there isn’t a reliable water source to be found.

Smokey Mountain National Park, Tennessee

Length: 71 miles

There is no better way to experience the Smokey Mountains than on foot. You can spend days hiking and find huts along the way. It is recommenced to travel with a tent. The view is stunning along the way, especially if you see the sunset and sunrise among the Smokey Mountains.

John Muir Trail, California

Length: 211 Miles

As you hike, you will pass through three of the best national parks in California: Yosemite, King’s Canyons, and Seqouia. You will finish your hike at the highest mountain in the continental United States, Mt. Whitney. Be sure that you travel with enough supplies – resupply points are few and far between.

 

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Washington Summit via Tuckerman’s Ravine, New Hampshire

Length: 8.4 miles

If you are looking for a challenge, this is the trail to hit. This will make athletes feel the burn as they travel up the northeast summits and the White Mountains. The distance may not seem incredibly long, but the hike is intense. It is recommended that you avoid this trail during winter, as it is known for erratic weather.

 

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Mitchell Summit, North Carolina

Length: 11.4 miles

As you hike up Mt. Mitchell, you’ll reach the highest point in the US east of the Mississippi River. As long as you get an early start, the hike can be completed in one day. Throughout the hike, you’ll see quite a difference in elevation. You can enjoy the views all throughout the year.