The Top 10 U.S. Hiking Destinations

Even though the snow and winter chill has set into your bones, don’t let the thought of spring weather and our diverse national climate lose grasp of your thoughts. Here are the 10 best places to hike in the U.S. – Tony

1. Tongass National Forest

Being that it’s the United States’ largest forest, Tongass National Forest is statistically guaranteed to have plenty of breathtaking sights to take in. Located in southeastern Alaska, its 17 million acres holds numerous trails where you can spot an eagle, perhaps some spawning salmon and more.

2. Uncompahgre National Forest

Not only is this 100,000-acre forest covering part of the western slope of the Colorado Rockies rich in deep green foliage, it is also rich in history. Deserted mine shafts from the Gold Rush era are tucked along parts of the vast forest. And if for some reason, you get all hiked out during your stay, Uncompahgre offers excellent drives along the Million Dollar Highway.

3. Sierra National Forest

Home to Bull Buck, the second-largest tree on the planet, Sierra National Forest has enough sequoias to make even Michael Jordan feel small. The 2,700-year-old Bull Buck itself towers over 247 feet and will leave you feeling like you’re in some magical Alice in Wonderland dream. Located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, this California woodland’s hiking highlights includes John Muir Wilderness, Ansel Adams Wilderness and several others.

4. Black Hills National Forest

While the Black Hills National Forest sounds like something so bereft of color, many who know the area located in southwestern South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming well will tell you it’s anything but. Despite the fact that the hills do appear a shadowy shade of black at a distance, close up you’ll find a cornucopia of colors within its looming Ponderosa Pines, colorful grassland prairies and so much more.

5. Grand Canyon National Park

Climbing down a world famous gorge with a depth of about 6,000 feet (or 1 mile) can be a bit much for some. But for those with the endurance and will, this hike is bound to be one of the greatest adventures of a lifetime. The government site about Grand Canyon National Park gives lifesaving pointers such as avoid huffing and puffing to ensure your body is getting enough oxygen during that arduous journey.

6. Yellowstone National Park

Home to one of the world’s supervolcanoes (that’s been dormant for 640,000 years), this Wyoming wilderness safe haven also holds the famous Old Faithful Geyser and another active volcano. While the park’s geological attributes provide no eminent threat, perhaps it does add a hint of danger to your trek as you weave through trails overflowing with 1,350 plant species and the highest concentration of mammals in the lower 48.

7. Ocala National Forest

Be sure to bring a poncho along on this hike since an afternoon rainstorm is almost guaranteed in this tropical central Florida climate. Its 67-mile trail snakes north and south through numerous ecosystems including swaps where wooden boardwalks will keep your feet from getting soggy. And with camp grounds located every 10 to 12 miles, you’ll be able to rest easy throughout your journey.

8. Will Rogers Historic State Park

For those of us who enjoy a quick hike, but not a multi-day expedition, Will Rogers Historic State Park in Los Angeles presents itself as a fabulous city-meets-nature escape. And when smog isn’t trapping the city’s skyline like a sprawling Snuggie, you can spot the Pacific’s glittering ripples at Inspiration Point atop the Santa Monica Mountains.

9. Great Sand Dunes National Preserve

Containing the tallest sand dunes in North America, Great Sand Dunes National Preserve features several trails that give you great access to the dunes or allows you to hide from the heat beneath tree-lined pathways. Other trails within the park will invite you through pine forests covering Mount Herard and along Medano Lake, which borders the east side of the dunes.

10. Saguaro National Park

Located near Tucson, Ariz., Saguaro National Park is named after slow-growing, tree-sized cacti called saguaro, a symbol most often used to characterize the American west. And you won’t miss the saguaros while exploring the 165 miles of trails — including shorter trails for nature walks as well as longer routes for desert and mountain hikes.

Source: Hiking

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