Great Hikes in the USA and Canada

Here’s a list of Great Hikes we recommend from across the USA. As they say in Texas, we’re fixin’ to get ready to do some of them. Which means we haven’t done them all yet. We’re also still fixin’ to get to Canada.

Some of these have already been the subject of Blog Posts, and others are likely to be the subject of future hike reports

For a list of the Best hikes in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, see our page detailing hikes in the Southern Appalachians. We are based in North Carolina so we obviously have a lot of adventures to cover in this area.

TOP hikes and hiking destinations in the USA (that we have done.)


Western USA

Some of the best hiking in the entire world is in the Western USA.

In fact, the best hiking in the USA by FAR is in the West, particularly in the Sierra Nevada, Rocky, and Cascade Mountain Ranges; along the Pacific Coast; and in the Red Rock Country of the Colorado Plateau. We have only begun to explore this vast region.

The Rae Lakes Loop, Kings Canyon NP*

Grand Canyon Traverse via North Kaibab/Bright Angel Trails*

Mount St. Helens via Monitor Ridge*

Mt. Rainier via the Skyline Trail

Mt. Constitution, San Juan Islands

Olympic National Park 

Observation Point, Zion NP

Queens Garden/Navajo Loop, Bryce Canyon NP

Delicate Arch Trail, Arches NP

These in Glacier NP:

  • Highline Trail (“Garden Wall” section)
  • Grinnell Glacier Trail
  • Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail
  • Scenic Point

The Bowl, Guadeloupe Mtns. NP.

Glen Pass on the Rae Lakes Loop


Other Great Western Hikes that we have on our radar:

Angel’s Landing/The Narrows, Zion NP*

Mount Whitney, Kings Canyon NP*

Cirque of The Towers, Wyoming*

The Seven Lakes Basin, Olympic NP

The Enchantments, Washington State

Chain Lakes Loop, Washington State

Yellow Astor Butte, Washington State

Summerland, Mount Rainier NP, WA

Iceberg Lake, Glacier NP

Teton Crest Trail, Grand Teton NP +

Cloud’s Rest, Yosemeti NP +

Three Sisters Loop, Oregon

Antelope Canyon, AZ

Four Passes Loop, Maroon Bells Wilderness, CO

Mount Ida, Rocky Mountains NP, CO

Emerald Lakes, Rocky Mountains NP, CO

Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail, Rocky Mountains NP, CO

Chasm Lake, Rocky Mountains NP, CO

South Rim Trail, Big Bend NP

(Note we intentionally did not include Half Dome; it’s become too crowded)


Northeastern USA

Having hiked both halves of the Appalachians, it is Brian’s opinion that the Northern Appalachians, and particularly the mountains of New Hampshire and Maine, are better than the Southern for hiking. I did a TON of hiking in the White Mountains in my younger days and below are what I consider to be the best of the best…but there are many more worthy of hiking. Please RESEARCH THE TRAILS CAREFULLY before undertaking any of them. Most are severe challenges; some could be dangerous under the wrong conditions. Beware Mount Washington especially.

Top Ten New England Trails:

(AT = Appalachian Trail)

Here’s some other outstanding trails. The first three in particular are near misses from the top ten…

  • Baldface Circle, White Mountains, NH
  • Beaver Brook Trail to Mt. Moosilauke, White Mountains, NH
  • Beehive Trail, Acadia NP, ME
  • Cohos Trail section, Rt. 2 to Long Pond
  • Moat Mountain Traverse, White Mountains, NH
  • Mt. Greylock AT section, MA

There is a very long list of shorter/less challenging hikes. Here are some of my favorites. Note that these are “easier’, NOT ‘easy’:

  • Mt. Chocorua via Champney Falls Trail, White Mountains, NH
  • The Welsh-Dickey Loop,White Mountains, NH
  • Mt. Avalon,White Mountains, NH
  • Mt. Monadnock via While Dot Trail, NH
  • Tumbledown Mountain, ME

And if you want an EXTREME challenge try this one (but don’t say I didn’t warn you):

  • The 100 Mile Wilderness, ME

Alas, I have no experience in Upstate New York, where there is obviously some outstanding hiking. I hope to correct this at some point.


Midwestern USA

The  Midwest is the gap of flatland between the Appalachians and the Rockies. In  general, mid western hiking means many fine views of the horizon. There however is SOME very good hiking to be done here. The Ozark mountains of Arkansas in particular has some very good hiking. Texas is so big that I consider western (Trans-Pecos) Texas to be in the Western Hiking Region, while most of the state is in the East.

(Note that if you enjoy hiking and live in the Midwest, as we did, my advice is…move. 🙂 Like we did.)

Hemmed In Hollow, ARK.

Buffalo River Trail, ARK.


*Denotes a bucket list item

+Being considered for the Bucket List