North America is filled with an abundance of natural beauty just waiting to be experienced. From protected national parks that cover thousands of acres to wonderful trails, there are so many geographical locations for you to go out and have one of the most incredible, picturesque hikes of your life. In a variety of climates with a huge spectrum of wildlife and native plants and trees, North America truly has some of the best hiking in the world. Whether you go to Yellowstone in the hot summer or hike in the cool weather of the Appalachian Trail in the fall, North America is full of challenging trails, varying weather, and changing landscapes. Check out this list of the five best places to hike in North America 2015!
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park offers some incredible hiking for trail junkies. Thats because it has an incredible nine hundred miles of hiking trails that span its two million acres of land. That means theres something for every hiker, from beginner to expert, and a lot of land to choose from. Best of all, Yellowstone is home to many different animal species, so you may just see a buffalo, moose, or grizzly bear when traversing one of North Americas top wilderness sites! Visitors may want to stop at the ranger station or the visitor center to get information as well as see which trails may be potentially closed.
Day hikers do not require a permit. Many visitors to Yellowstone that are going primarily for the hiking choose to come in autumn, for the optimal hiking conditions. You can also choose to stay overnight at Yellowstone, which does require a permit and can be obtained at an office. Bring your own sleeping bags and pads for the campgrounds and reserve early! Whether hiking just for a few hours or a few days at Yellowstone, visitors get access to one of the largest untouched pieces of wilderness that America has to offer. Spring is a particularly beautiful time of year to hike Yellowstone, and offers once in a lifetime views of Yellowstones alpine lakes, forests, and waterfalls. Check out the popular Continental Divide trail, and dont forget to see Old Faithful while youre there.
Banff is known world wide for its great trails. To get there, youre going to have to go all the way to the Canadian Rockies! Located near the south-eastern border of the Banff National Park, there are over 80 trails to take advantage of. Sure, youre going to have to travel a little ways north, but its worth it for the vast array of breathtaking beauty that the Banff area offers. Hikers can see beautiful pristine glacial lakes, sub-alpine forests, peaks, and rocky trails filled with trees and roots to their hearts desire.
Hikers looking to take advantage of the great weather should visit Banff during the months of June to August for optimum conditions. The rugged terrain Banff has to offer makes for quite a few challenging hikes. If youre into challenging terrain and always wanted to visit Canada, Banff is for you. Check out the Johnston Canyon Trail, an hour and a half hike that takes you through the Lower and Upper Falls cascading waterfalls and around the Johnston Canyon edge. Try the Tunnel Mountain Trail too, a one to two hour hike up a peak that gives you stunning views of Banff the town, Bow River, and western mountains. Or hike Sunshine Meadows, a #1 Lonely Planet rated Canadian hike that has alpine wildflowers in the meadows in summer and has great views of the surrounding peaks.
Kauai is the optimal hiking site for the trekker who loves challenging trails in an absolutely beautiful place. Visit September-November or April to June to avoid the rain. Kauai is a gorgeous natural place that has a huge variety of trails available for hiking. Check out the relatively easy Mahaulepu Trail, which offers millions of years old undeveloped coastline and geological wonder with its rocky trail and cliffside sections with beaches. If you ever wanted to hike besides the roaring surf and have the ocean as your companion on your hikes, these trails are for you. Or check out the Hanakapiai Trail, which will take you to Hanakapiai Beach and gets very challenging after that with a chance to hike two more miles up to see some the natural waterfall that empties into a deep pool. Hike cliffs by the ocean but bring your own water as you hike through these valleys! These are just two of the incredible trails that Kauai has to offer, but the nature and the sights will be stunning no matter which trail you choose, making Kauai a gorgeous number three choice.
Sedona is known for its new age and spiritual getaways, as well as mysticism, but this North American hiking hot spot is just as well known for the great variety of trails that offer hikers colorful landscapes and towering red rocks along with beautiful buttes and other rock formations. Hike through red rock canyons under a permanently bright blue sky. Sedona has over one hundred trails for you to check out, including the notable and popular Cathedral Rock Trail. This trail offers great views of red rock formations and miles of sufficiently challenging hiking. Or check out the Hike House, where you can check out different trails and pick the best one for you. You can also view ancient Native American ruins on Boynton Canyon Trail, the Devils Bridge Trail, and the Bell Rock Pathway. All in all, a unique place that offers unique surroundings and a real sense of North American history.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is not just a tourist destination! The canyon in northern Arizona offers popular trails like the Rim Trail and the Bright Angel Trail, and offers some truly beautiful sights that you cant get anywhere else in the United States. Try out some day hiking with the South or North Rim trails, both of which offer great views of the Grand Canyon. Try a steep trail with the South Rim Hermit Trail. Hikers can go to the Santa Maria Spring (five miles round trip), or the Dripping Springs(seven miles round trip). Experienced desert hikers will love this trail. Or take it a little easy with the Bridle Trail, which connects the North Kaibab Trailhead to the Grand Canyon Lodge and is only 1.2 miles. It permits bikes and pets as well. Hikers who want to challenge themselves can also go to the back country and really see the land in its natural state. Either way, The Grand Canyon offers an incredible variety of trails for avid hikers and a landscape that will have you vowing to return.
There you have it, the 5 Best Places to Hike in North America 2015! No matter where you go, youre sure to experience some incredible views and challenging trails. North America has so much rugged wilderness and is full of beauty. Lace up your hiking boots and experience it first hand!