Hiking continues to be an enormously popular American pastime, perhaps because this hobby is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. One of the greatest benefits of hiking is that it can be accomplished by people of any skill set or physical fitness level: Simply choose a trail according to its distance and level of difficulty, and be on your way. There are thousands of options for hikes throughout the United States, but several of these options remain unparalleled with regards to pristine natural beauty.
Check out any of these seven hiking destinations to experience the outside world in new and life-changing ways.
1. Pacific Crest Trail – California, Oregon, and Washington
The Pacific Crest Trail stretches 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada by way of California, Oregon, and Washington – but you don’t have to hike the whole thing to appreciate what makes it so amazing. Each leg of this trail offers unrivaled vistas of the West Coast landscape: deep wilderness, volcanic peaks, and expansive deserts are just a few of the sights a hiker will behold along it. Thousands of hikers and equestrians enjoy this trail annually, whether they travel just a mile or trek the whole thing.
The trail’s website offers valuable resources for planning your trip; if you’re looking to hike just a section of the trail, read up on it to see which areas might be of the most interest.
Yosemite National Park is another option for lovers of the California landscape. Check out the National Park Service’s website for details on this sprawling, glacially carved landscape and the hikes surrounding it.