We love trading in the everyday demands of life for a backpack and some of nature’s magnificent vistas, and we know you do to. That’s why we’ve compiled a handful of America’s best day hikes to add-to and cross-off your bucket list this summer. Lace up those hiking boots, grab your Polar Bottle and set out to experience America’s best.
Best Volcano : Monitor Ridge
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington
Summit Mount St. Helens, an active volcano, and climb right to the crater rim to enjoy spectacular views of Mount Adams, Mount Hood and Mount Rainier. It is a difficult 10-mile hike through forests, across meadows and over boulder fields. This day hike is best between mid-June and mid-September. For more information visit the Washington Trails Association website.
Best Coastal : Kalalau Trail
Na Pali Coast State Park, Hawaii
Follow the Kalalau trail along high ocean-side cliffs with breathtaking views of the dramatic and colorful Na Pali coast. The Kalalau trail, from the trailhead at Ke’e Beach to Hanakai’ai Beach, is four miles roundtrip and rated easy to intermediate with fairly steep inclines and declines. It can be hiked all year round, although heavy rains may result in muddy and slippery conditions. To find out more visit the Hawaii State Park website.
Best Canyon : Zion Narrows
Zion National Park, Utah
Navigate the shallow Virgin River through the Zion Narrows and enjoy towering canyon walls, small caves and waterfalls. This 16-mile hike requires a permit and is recommended only for strong, experienced hikers due to the difficulty of river hiking. The Narrows is best to hike in June, September or early October, but persistent or heavy rain can raise the level of the river resulting in unsafe hiking conditions. To find out more, visit the Zion National Park website.
Best Hot Springs : Goldbug Hot Springs
Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho
Hike through a craggy desert valley and into a beautiful oasis where a geothermal stream flows through natural pools with a view of the scenic desert canyon backed by rippling mountains. The 4-mile roundtrip hike is rated moderate and can be done year round, although winter weather may significantly increase the difficulty. For more information visit Trails.com.
Best View : Half Dome
Yosemite National Park, California
Climb 5,000 feet above Yosemite Valley and gawk at the expansive valley and mountains that sprawl out from below you. Enjoy raging waterfalls, quiet forests and open valleys along the route. Half Dome is a difficult 14-mile round trip hike for intermediate and advanced hikers. It includes strenuous elevation gains and a vertical cable section to reach the summit. This day hike requires a permit and is generally open from June through mid-September. To learn more visit the National Park Service website.
For hikes this long, you are going to want a full hydration system reservoir: