To get out into the great outdoors and experience Mother Nature at her best has to be one of the main reasons why we hike. Immersing your senses in all thesoundsor indeed silence of the natural world is food for the soul and a great way to keep fit. America has some amazing and mind blowing outdoor spaces just waiting to be discovered. So ditch that mobile phone, grab your walking boots and camera and get out and explore these American gems.
The Pacific Crest Trail
Image: Ritter Range, Ansel Adams Wilderness. Author: Steve Dunleavy via Wikipedia.
The Pacific Crest Trail was first explored by YMCA hiking groups in the 1930s and today it is a popular choice for long distance thru-hikers and urban weekend adventurers. The PCT trail is a massive thru-hike covering 2,650 miles. Anyone tackling the whole trail can expect to pass through 3 states, 7 national parks, 24 forests and past more than 1,000 lakes. You will make your way over 60 major mountain passes and descend 19 major canyons in this epic and unforgettable journey. If all that sounds a bit beyond your fitness level, then no worries, with easy accessibility from San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, the PCT is a great choice for a weekend adventure too.
Click here for more information on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Glacier National ParkImage: Cruise ship approaches Margerie Glacier. Source: www.nps.gov.
Montana’s Glacier National Park is any hiker’s dream. Offering more than 730 miles of way marked trails it is understandably popular with hikers of all levels who come here to seek wildlife and solitude. Take off on foot to explore isolated pine lakes, impressive mountain peaks, pristine forests, alpine meadows and no shortage of wildlife. If you want to fully immerse yourself in this wild wonderland for a few days, then you’ll need a back country permit for overnight hiking. Visit in mid June and you can hike the lower elevations without fear of snow and late July for the higher elevations. Relive the days of old and stay in one of the historic lodges or chalets for an unforgettable experience.
Image: Lake Josephine Lakeshore. Author: Gabriel Morrow via GlacierNPS on Flickr.
Click here for more information on the Glacier National Park.
Denali National ParkImage by Abhijit Kamerkar via Flickr
Denali National Park offers some of the most rugged and untamed country in the United States. Leave the mainland and venture into wild Alaska to reach Denali and its six million acres bisected by just one road. The National Park is different from other parks in the way that many of its hikes are trail-less. This is true backcountry hiking at its finest and you will be forging your own path. This means you may encounter dangerous wildlife, streams which you cannot cross and dangerous, hostile terrain. This is a true wilderness experience for those seeking solitude, tranquility and untamed nature, however, it is not recommended for the novice hiker or weekend enthusiast.
Image: Northern Lights, as seen in Denali. Source: www.nps.gov.
Click here for more information on the Denali National Park.
Yosemite National Park
Image by A Walker in LA via Flickr
California’s Yosemite National Park is arguably the most spectacular in America. Occupying 747,956 acres the park has over 800 miles of hiking trails and attracts more than 3.5 million visitors a year. Whichever trail you choose, you are sure to have a fantastic experience exploring milesof dense forest, lakes, rivers, glacier formed mountains, grand meadows and a stunning range of wildlife. The majestic peaks of El Capitan and the giant sequoia trees are a must see for any hiker who wants to see the natural beauty of California.
Click here for more information on hiking in Yosemite National Park.
Are you a hiker? Have you any great trails you would like to share? If so, drop us a line in the comment box below.
This post was written by David Wilson, a travel writer for AreaVibes finding great places to live throughout America.