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Hiking Season: Top Spots in the US + Travel Tips

Hiking Season: Top Spots in the US + Travel Tips
Jamie Haleva
Community User10 months ago
View Jamie Haleva's profile

It's officially hiking season and that means many will once again be heading outdoors for their exercise. Once the weather warms up in the US, hiking becomes a super popular activity that both fitness enthusiasts and average Americans greatly enjoy. We're breaking down some of the top spots for hiking in the US that you can take advantage of this summer and fall.

West Coast Hiking

You may have guessed it, but many of America's top hiking spots sit on the West Coast. This is due to the plethora of beautiful mountain ranges and forests that can be found in this area of the country. Let's see some of our top West Coast spots.

1. Yosemite National Parkin California has been protected since 1864 and is famous for its waterfalls. But the park has loads of epic scenery to take in including valleys, meadows, and unique plant life like the famous California redwood trees. The park boasts 800 miles of different hiking trails, and you don't have to be an expert to take part. At Yosemite, you'll find guided tours and climbing lessons for beginners. According to the park's official site, the best times of year to visit are May and September, when it isn't too crowded. But if you don't mind the busy season, summer weather makes for great hiking opportunities. Many hiking trails are closed in Yosemite throughout the year due to snowfall, which can begin as early as October and last through March. Typically, closed trails will not re-open until May or June. Thus, anywhere from late spring to early fall is a good time to visit Yosemite and experience hiking in one of the most beautiful locales in the country.

It's always an exciting time, coming out of winter and getting to enjoy the outdoors. I'll be taking a trip with my family to the mountains for some lovely views and hiking.- Myprotein user

2. Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho became the world's first national park in 1872, and it does not disappoint. Yellowstone is known for its hydrothermal and geologic sites. Here you will find hot springs, geysers, fumaroles (steam vents), and more. The park offers over 900 miles of hiking trails and beautiful sites such as colorful hot springs and wildlife like bears and moose.

Many of Yellowstone's hiking trails are over 7,000 feet above sea level, and similar to Yosemite, most areas experience snowfall until May or June. Many trails in Yellowstone also involve passing through considerably deep rivers (3 to 6 feet deep) that run swiftly. Thus, Yellowstone may not be for beginners looking to try hiking for the first time. But for an experienced hiker comfortable in an extreme environment, the park can provide an unforgettable experience in nature. You can find more information on hiking in Yellowstone here. 

Yellowstone National Park; hiking

East Coast Hiking

Although the West Coast offers tons of amazing hiking spots, we shouldn't underestimate the beautiful trails you can find on the East Coast of the US.

3. Acadia National Parkin Maine sits along the Atlantic coastline of the US and offers 158 miles of hiking trails. This park is one of the most visited parks in the country where you'll find forests, rocky coastlines, and mountains. If you like seeing the ocean, you'll enjoy hiking in Acadia. The park offers many different types of hiking trails to suit both beginners and experts. If you're just starting out, you can walk along the coast or around a lake. And if you're an experienced hiker looking for a challenge, you can try climbing from sea level to the summit of a mountain. You can visit Acadia any time of year, but hiking is best in late spring, summer, and fall. If you want to avoid the busy season, September and October will be your best bet.

Spring and summer will be filled with hiking, exploring, and yoga!- Myprotein user

4. Great Smoky Mountains on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee is one of the most visited national parks in the US. This park is famous for its diverse wildlife and mountains, and unlike many other parks, trails are fully open in the winter. In fact, the lack of deciduous leaves in the winter reveals more to see when hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. This park offers lovely scenery year-round and beginner and kid-friendly hikes for families. If you are interested in animal and plant life, the Great Smoky Mountains provide an ideal hiking destination.

National parks provide excellent destinations for hiking. But you don't need to travel across the country to find a good hiking spot. No matter where you live, you can always find an enjoyable trail to get a hike in using the AllTrails database. Simply search for your city and state and you'll get tons of trail recommendations near you.

If you are looking to check out some national parks, you can use the NPS App, where you can learn about over 400 national parks in the US. With the app, you can find maps, tours, accessibility information, and more.

Take Home Message

The US is home to tons of national parks and beautiful hiking destinations on either coast. Summer weather provides a great opportunity to explore nature and have an enjoyable hiking experience. Whether you want to travel far or find a local trail, get out and hike this summer and enjoy the great outdoors.

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Jamie Haleva
Community User
View Jamie Haleva's profile

A Rutgers University Honors graduate, Jamie grew up on the Jersey shore and double majored in Comparative Literature and Anthropology in college. Jamie is an experienced writer in the health and wellness, biotech, and eCommerce fields. She loves writing with a purpose and has even written for the Department of Justice.

Jamie became drawn to exercise during her time in university and began to notice the physical and mental benefits of moving your body daily. Today, Jamie enjoys Pilates, light weight training, and going on long walks in nature daily.

Jamie is also passionate about eating right and prioritizing gut health and immunity. She is always trying the next innovation in health and wellness. When she’s not writing articles, Jamie enjoys reading, playing guitar, and finding dogs to play with.