America is home to some of the most scenic and diverse hiking trails. Whether you are in pursuit of a difficult, challenging physical activity or just looking to enjoy the great outdoors with a group of friends, there is no better destination than some of the trails found in North and Central America.
1.) Yosemite National Park
Boasting over 800 miles of hiking trails, there are dozens of different ways to explore California's renowned Yosemite National Park. Offering waterfalls, lakes, forestry, granite cliffs and dense wildlife and habitation, Yosemite is a hiker's paradise. The difficulty of the trails vary, but there is something for all hikers. The Lower Yosemite Falls trail is a short, concrete paved thoroughfare that takes hikers around the base of one of the tallest waterfalls in America. A much more challenging trail is the Half Dome hike. Taking between 10 and 14 hours, the trail takes hikers to an elevation of 8,842 feet and involves a cable ascent. Many bears roam the park, so hikers need to know about wildlife safety while travelling.
2.) Appalachian Trail
Arguably one of the most popular hiking trails in the world, the Appalachian Trail is a 2,200 mile stretch between Georgia and Maine. Of course, few hikers undertake a complete thru-hike visiting 12 different states in one season, and it is much easier to sample some of the best hikes that the full Appalachian Trail offers. The Pinnacle located in Hamburg, Pennsylvania is a particularly popular trail, and it gives hikers the opportunity to experience some of the best views of the state's mountains and valleys, including Hawk Mountain and Lehigh Valley. The 8 mile trail can be completed in a day and, save for a few rock-strewn and muddy patches, it isn't a particularly challenging hike.
3.) Grand Canyon National Park
One of the most popular tourist attractions in America, the Grand Canyon is one of the most spectacular sights in the world. The huge gorge, located in Arizona, represents nearly 6 million years worth of geological history and erosion. Its cavernous, plunging landscapes are truly awe-inspiring and thousands of hikers flock to the site every year. Hiking trails vary in difficulty, and the likes of the Hermit Trail and Grandview Trail have very steep, unmaintained trail paths. However, even easy trails can be difficult as the canyon is subject to very extreme weather conditions, with cold, high winds and temperatures. All hikers are encouraged to pack their supplies responsibly and keep safety a high priority.
4.)Santa María Volcano, Guatemala
Guatemala is a beautiful location for hiking. There are many mountainous, sprawling landscapes to explore, as well as historical sites like the Tikal Mayan Ruins. However, the most impressive trail takes hikers near one of the countries largest active volcanoes. The Santa María Volcano last erupted in 1902, but the Santiaguito crater on the volcano erupts ash almost every hour. Local trekking agencies offer a hike to the top of the Santa Maria to give a safe view of the Santiaguito eruptions. The half-day trail is steep and extremely difficult, but the sight of the Santiaguito erupting is truly unforgettable.
5.) Teton Crest Trail
A notoriously difficult and challenging hike, Teton Crest in Wyoming is a 40 mile trial with a high altitude route (most of the hike is above 8,000 feet). Taking between 3-5 days with several high alpine passes and the chance of afternoon thunderstorms, the Teton Crest Trail is for experienced hikers only. The hike is home to dangerous wildlife like grizzly and black bears, coyotes and mountain lions. However, those who persevere will be treated to some of the most breathtaking views of the Teton mountain range and the jagged beauty of the Death Canyon Shelf.
Grand Canyon Information
Teton Crest Information
Yosemite National Park Information
Grand Canyon Information