A few months ago in my book group we read Wild by Cheryl Strayed. It’s about a woman, (played by Reese Witherspoon in the film, who is my ultimate girl crush), who goes on a full on trek along the Pacific Crest Trail as a reaction to a series of stressful events in her life. She’s completely unprepared and it’s an incredible journey for her, both physically and emotionally. Along the way though she learns all sorts of lessons about forgiveness, peace and herself. The idea is that the challenge and the enforced relationship with nature make her connect back with herself.
Now I have to say that I wasn’t a massive fan of the book, BUT it did get me hankering for the outdoors. I can totally see that a hike like that would give you the space and time to reflect on your life, what you’ve done, where you’ve been and what you want your life to look like in the future. If, like Cheryl Strayed, you find yourself yearning for that kind of experience, then a hiking holiday could be just what you need.
If you’re looking for fresh air and adventure for your next holiday then hiking in the USA is a top choice. There is so much diversity of landscape in the USA, with so many different holiday hiking destinations to choose from. From national parks to rivers, mountains to deserts, it really does have something to suit all tastes.
To inspire your next USA hiking holiday, I’ve picked out a few of the best holiday destinations for hikers in the US. If you have any others you’d like to add, please do leave a comment and let me know. If you like the idea of hiking but also enjoy a little bit of luxury, you could always splash out on something like airport transfers by booking travel with Limo Find.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is one of America’s best known national parks and offers nearly 1,200 square miles of amazing scenery – ancient forests, cascading waterfalls and stunning cliff faces. Its popularity does mean that there are normally a fair few people there enjoying their own hikes, but it could be a good choice if you’re not looking to abandon yourself completely to the wilderness. Hiking in Yosemite also has the benefit of plenty of guided tours and climbing instructors on hand, so for first timers there is plenty of support.
Olympic National Park
Although perhaps less well known than Yosemite, Olympic National Park is still one of the top hiking destinations in the US, boasting over 600 miles of trails through stunning scenery and diverse flora and fauna. Olympic National Park has everything from old-growth rainforests to glaciar-topped mountains and is a great choice for animal lovers as it’s home to all kinds of unusual and endangered species including northern spotted owls and blue whales.
The Grand Canyon
America’s Grand Canyon is possibly one of its most iconic natural features and it draws thousands of holiday makers and hikers every year, all keen to explore its unique climate and vistas. The canyon’s rims offer trails of varying degrees of difficulty, so there should be something to suit seasoned hikers as well as less confident explorers.
Just like Yosemite, the Grand Canyon can get busy, but given that it’s 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide in places, some careful research should highlight trails that are normally less crowded.
If you feel more drawn to water than to the arid climate of Arizona then Lake Tahoe could be an excellent option for your next US hiking holiday. Lake Tahoe is circumnavigated by the Tahoe Rim Trail – a 165 mile long hiking trail that can be broken up into shorter routes for day visitors. As you would expect, spectacular scenery abounds, with panoramic views aplenty. Make sure to visit Lake Tahoe when the weather is warm as in winter it’s not suitable for hiking.
If mountain hiking is more your thing, head to Telluride in Colorado. Here you can scale a peak reaching more than 14,000 feet above sea level, if you’re up for the challenge, although the town also acts as a base of several other trails of varying difficulty.
I hope that this has given you a little taste of some of the amazing hiking options in the US – time to start planning your next adventure now!