Choose Your Hiking Adventure
Are you looking for the perfect hike? With hikes on six continents ranging from a few miles to multi-day adventures, explore some of the best hikes from around the world. To get you started, learn about our favorite hikes in our post 20 Best Day Hikes in the World, or continue down the page to read about hikes organized by region.
With 63 national parks and thousands of miles of hiking trails, your options are endless for exploring the American national parks. We narrowed down the list to 20 of the best day hikes in the national parks, 20 amazing ways to explore this beautiful country. Which ones do you want to do?
LEARN MORE: 20 Epic Day Hikes in the National Parks
One of the best ways to experience the national parks is from a hiking trail. Hike to amazing viewpoints, deep into the forests, through scenic canyons, and to hidden lakes and waterfalls. Along the way, you have a better chance of spotting wildlife and potentially leaving the crowds behind. Here are 20 fun, short hikes in the national parks.
LEARN MORE: 20 Short, Fun Hikes in the National Parks
LEARN MORE: How to Hike the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim
Half Dome is one of Yosemite's most challenging and most memorable hikes. The best part is the final climb on the Half Dome cables. In order to do this hike, you must have a permit to climb the cables. Permits are awarded in the preseason by lottery.LEARN MORE: Hiking Half Dome in Yosemite, a Step-by-Step Guide
Glacier National Park is home to some of the most exciting hiking trails in the United States. The scenery in this national park is jaw-dropping and there is no better way to experience it than on your own two feet. Take your pick from easy strolls to spectacular alpine trails.
LEARN MORE: 10 Great Hikes in Glacier National Park
Angels Landing is the most popular hike in Zion National Park. The final climb of the hike involves scaling a narrow ridge high above the valley floor. With chain-assisted rock scrambling sections, stunning views, and vertigo-inducing heights, this really is a thrilling hike.LEARN MORE: Angels Landing Survival Guide: Things to Know Before You Go
Zion National Park is one of the best spots in the United States to go hiking. From the awe-inspiring hike up Angels Landing to the family friendly Riverside Walk to multi-day backpacking adventures, there is something here for everyone.
There are numerous hiking trails in Bryce Canyon. The most popular trails are the Queens Garden Trail and the Navajo Loop Trail. On these two trails, get up close with the hoodoos, see Thor’s Hammer, and walk through canyons, arches, and forests of pine trees. This hike combines Queens Garden with the Navajo Loop Trail and a portion of the Rim Trail, for the overall best hiking experience in Bryce Canyon.LEARN MORE: Hiking Bryce Canyon: Queen's Garden and Navajo Loop Trails
If you are looking for a great hike to do in Capitol Reef, the list is surprisingly long. In Capitol Reef, you can hike to arches that are tucked away in the colorful sandstone mountains, through easy slot canyons, and up to overlooks with jaw-dropping views.
LEARN MORE: 16 Epic Day Hikes in Capitol Reef National Park
Arches National Park is a wonderland of desert vistas, short hiking trails, strange rock formations, and you guessed it, arches. There are several great hikes to do in Arches. The most popular is the trip to Delicate Arch. For the details on how to do this hike, plus more ideas for your visit to Arches National Park, click the link below.
LEARN MORE: 16 Best Things to do in Arches National Park
Canyonlands National Park is enormous in size. Of the five districts in Canyonlands, most people visit Island in the Sky, an easily accessible section of the park filled with overlooks and numerous hiking trails. To get the details on the best hikes in Island in the Sky, click the link below.
The Needles is an often overlooked section of Canyonlands National Park. But those who take the time to visit the Needles are rewarded with thrilling, unique hiking trails, low crowds, and jaw-dropping views of Canyonlands National Park.
Little Wild Horse Canyon is one of the most thrilling slot canyons in Utah. With tight passageways, curving, scalloped walls, and short sections of easy rock scrambling, this hike is fun for both kids and adults. You can hike the narrowest (and most fun) section of Little Wild Horse as a fast out-and-back hike, or do this as a loop, adding on Bell Canyon.
If you are looking for a unique slot canyon, Zebra Slot should be high on your list. Zebra Slot Canyon is a very short slot canyon, named for its striped canyon walls. It's a fun hike but it can be deceptively challenging in some sections.LEARN MORE: How to Hike Zebra Slot Canyon in Grand Staircase-Escalante
If you are looking for a hike that is pure fun, put Peek-A-Boo Gulch and Spooky Gulch on your list. Peek-A-Boo Gulch has several sections of challenging rock scrambling, including a 12 foot climb just to enter the canyon. Spooky Gulch is one of the narrowest slot canyons around, only 10 inches wide in some spots!LEARN MORE: A Photojourney through Peek-A-Boo Gulch and Spooky Gulch
If you are looking for an epic hiking destination, it’s tough to beat Sedona, Arizona. With its red rock scenery, arches, hidden caves, and network of hiking trails, this is a great place to explore on foot. Add in the abundance of top-notch hotels and restaurants in Sedona and you have an awesome getaway destination, whether it is just for a few days or an entire week. In this guide, we share 12 of the best hikes in Sedona.
LEARN MORE: 12 Amazing Hikes in Sedona, Arizona
LEARN MORE: Two Fun, Short Hikes to do at Red Rock Canyon
The Valley of Fire is a brilliant, colorful spot located in Nevada, just one hour from Las Vegas. Filled with panoramic vistas, hiking trails, petroglyphs, and stunning red and pink rock formations, the Valley of Fire makes an excellent day trip from Vegas.
LEARN MORE: 12 Best Things to do in the Valley of Fire
Take your pick from short, easy strolls to all day efforts. Have a blast exploring Mosaic Canyon, watch the sunset as you hike through the Badlands, or test your rock scrambling skills at Grotto Canyon. You can even hike to the top of Telescope Peak for an amazing view of Badwater Basin and Mt. Whitney. Get all of the details on our Death Valley itinerary post.
LEARN MORE: 2 Amazing Days in Death Valley National Park
One thing that makes Olympic National Park so unique is its wide variety of landscapes and ecosystems. In this one park, you can hike to mountain peaks, stroll through lush, temperate rainforests, and explore the rugged, rocky coastline. In this guide, we list 17 of the best hikes in Olympic National Park…17 great ways to explore this wonderful national park.
LEARN MORE: 17 Great Hikes in Olympic National Park
One of the best ways to experience Mount Rainier National Park is from a hiking trail, of which there are many. Some of the best hikes in Mount Rainier National Park are short and sweet, offering jaw-dropping views with very little effort. But for those who crave more adventure or want to journey deep into the park, there are plenty of options.
LEARN MORE: 15 Epic Hikes in Mount Rainier National Park
The Enchantments is a slice of hiking paradise. Located in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness of Washington state, this is a wonderland of alpine lakes, jagged mountains, and waterfalls. On this hike, the landmarks make it sound like you are in a fairytale. It definitely looks like something from another world. You’ll climb over Aasgard Pass, gaze up at Dragontail Peak, and hike past Leprechaun Lake and Sprite Lake.
You don’t truly get to see the beauty and the majesty of North Cascades National Park unless you go hiking, and honestly, you are going to have to hike high. I’m talking challenging climbs up into the mountains. But it’s absolutely worth it because the views that await you are breathtaking. Layers and layers of glacier-capped mountains stretch off in all directions. It is awe-inspiring, and the only way to get these views is on your own two feet.
LEARN MORE: 12 Great Hikes in North Cascades National Park
One of the great things about Badlands National Park is that most of the hikes are short and sweet, perfect for all ages and ability levels. These hikes range from boardwalk trails, to flat, easy walks through the mixed prairie grass, to backcountry experiences where you are allowed to wander “off trail.”
LEARN MORE: 10 Great Hikes in Badlands National Park
Acadia National Park is filled with an amazing variety of hiking trails. From easy strolls along coastal paths to summit climbs to thrilling cliff walks, there is something here for everyone. One of the things that makes Acadia so unique is the large number of trails with ladders and metal rungs. Similar to a via ferrata, you can hike along narrow ledges and climb up sheer rock faces with the aid of these metal rungs.
LEARN MORE: 10 Great Hikes in Acadia National Park
Grand Teton National Park truly is a hiker’s paradise. Hike through picturesque canyons, around glacier-fed lakes, and up to the highest peaks. Wildlife sightings from the hiking trails are frequent, with elk, moose, and bear making regular appearances. If you want to add some adventure to your visit to Grand Teton, strap on your hiking shoes and take your pick from this list of unforgettable trails.
LEARN MORE: 15 Great Day Hikes in Grand Teton National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is best seen from a hiking trail. Fortunately, there are hikes for all ages and ability levels. From short, easy strolls around lakes, to ridgeline trails with panoramic views, to challenging but epic climbs to the tallest mountain peaks, there truly is something here for everyone.
LEARN MORE: 15 Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park
Big Bend National Park is a hiker’s paradise. Hiking trails crisscross their way through the Chihuahuan Desert, along hot springs and the Rio Grande, and up and over the Chisos Mountains. Take your pick from short, easy strolls to off-the-beaten-path adventures to challenging mountain summits.
LEARN MORE: 15 Great Hikes in Big Bend National Park
The Gunnison Route takes hikers from the South Rim of the Black Canyon to the Gunnison River. It’s the most popular inner canyon experience on the South Rim, but don’t let that fool you. This is a hard, strenuous hike where you will descend (and later hike back up) a massive amount of elevation in a short period of time. To stand next to the Gunnison River and gaze up at the immense granite walls is an unforgettable experience.
Summiting Mt. LeConte is one of the Smoky Mountains great hikes. It is a long way to the top but it’s an interesting experience, hiking through caves and along trails that, at times, cling to the side of the mountain. On a clear day, the view from the top of Mt. LeConte can be magnificent.LEARN MORE: Hiking Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains
The one day hike allows you to walk the last section of the famous Inca trail, ending at the Sun Gate in the afternoon, for your first views of Machu Picchu. This is an awesome alternative to the four day trek for those with limited time or for those with no desire to do a multi-day trek.LEARN MORE: Hiking to Machu Picchu along the Inca Trail
Mount Aconcagua is the tallest mountain in the world outside of Asia. Confluencia is the first base camp on the way to the Aconcagua summit. The hike out and back to Confluencia is gorgeous, with views of Aconcagua and the amazing Andes Mountains.LEARN MORE: Hiking to Aconcagua Base Camp in Argentina
The Natural Pool, also known as “Conchi” in Papaimiento, is a small, naturally occurring pool on the rugged, rocky, volcanic coastline of Aruba. One of the most scenic and adventurous ways to get here is by hiking along the coastline from Daimari Beach to the Pool.LEARN MORE: Adventure in Aruba: How to Visit Natural Pool
The Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland is a hiker’s paradise. Alpine trails crisscross their way through the towns, valleys, and the mountain peaks of this gorgeous place. Hike the thrilling Mürren Via Ferrata, walk the family-friendly trail from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, walk on the snow at Jungfraujoch, or hike the epic Hardergrat trail.
The Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a group of five towns perched on the dramatic coastline of Italy. Adventurous travelers can hike from town to town, one of the best ways to explore these five technicolor towns.LEARN MORE: Hiking the Cinque Terre in Italy
The Cliffs of Moher is one of Ireland's most recognizable spots. These cliffs stretch 14 km (9 miles) from north to south, starting at Doolin in the north and ending at Hags Head in the south. It is possible to hike the entire distance or just a piece of it, the choice is yours.LEARN MORE: Walking the Cliffs of Moher: Doolin to Hags Head
Hiking to Kjeragbolten, this giant boulder wedged between two cliffs, is our favorite hike of all time. Why? It’s not just because you get the chance to do something absolutely crazy, stepping out onto the boulder, it’s also because this hike is just downright fun. Do you dare?LEARN MORE: The Kjeragbolten Hike: A Complete Guide
Many of the hikes in the Lofoten Islands involve climbing to the top of a mountain, so be prepared to work hard. But it’s worth it…seeing the Lofoten Islands from the road is wonderful, but there’s nothing like standing on top of one (or more!) of these mountain peaks.
LEARN MORE: Top Ten Things to do in the Lofoten Islands
This gorgeous hike is located on the Vesteralen islands of northern Norway. It's a relatively easy hike and the views you get of the coastline are breathtaking. You can hike directly out to Måtind, the highest point on the hike and a spot that offers panoramic views, or you can hike the entire distance of the coastline.
One of the best ways to experience Iceland is from a hiking trail. Visit stunning waterfalls, hike through the steaming, colorful landscapes of Landmannalaugar and Kerlingarfjöll, and visit beautiful, remote destinations that you can get to only your own two feet.
LEARN MORE: 10 Great Day Hikes in Iceland
Montserrat is a rocky mountain range in Catalonia, Spain. Sitting atop the mountain range is Santa Maria de Montserrat, a Benedictine monastery. The best way to get there, in our opinion, is hiking (although you can take the cable car).LEARN MORE: Hiking Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain
LEARN MORE: The Complete Isle of Skye Travel Guide
The Ladder of Kotor is a historic hiking trail that climbs the mountains behind Kotor, Montenegro. It's over 70 switchbacks to the top and your reward is stunning views over the Bay of Kotor. This hike can be combined with walking the fortress walls for an even more memorable experience.LEARN MORE: Hiking the Ladder of Kotor in Montenegro
Not only is Mount Zas the highest point in the Cyclades, but according to Greek mythology this was the place where Zeus was raised. Visit the cave where Zeus lived and enjoy 360° views over Naxos and the Greek Islands from the summit.
LEARN MORE: Hiking Mount Zas on the Island of Naxos, Greece
This hike is challenging, dangerous, and breathtaking in its beauty. Climbing up the rocky mountains and looking out over the almost martian landscape of Wadi Rum is awesome, but so is standing on this narrow bridge of rock. What an experience!LEARN MORE: Hiking to Jebel Burdah Rock Bridge, Wadi Rum
LEARN MORE: The Best Hikes in Cappadocia with Kids
For a hike with constantly changing terrain and views, this one is perfect. Hike along a rocky peninsula, watch (and smell) the seals playing by the water’s edge, and go whale watching. Throw in an almost secluded beach and you have a fabulous hike.LEARN MORE: Hiking Robberg Peninsula in South Africa
The Everest Base Camp Trek takes those willing to do it through some of the most gorgeous terrain in the world. Hike among the Himalayas, spin the prayer wheels, and visit Buddhist monasteries on the way. This is the trip of a lifetime.LEARN MORE: Trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal
This hike has all of our favorite elements: stunning scenery, rock scrambles, steep ascents that required basic rock climbing skills, and an almost deserted trail. The views from the highest point over this lush, tropical island are amazing.LEARN MORE: Hiking Teapot Mountain in Taiwan
Did you know that you can go hiking on the Great Wall of China? Walking on the unrestored sections of the Great Wall is a true adventure. Climb a rickety, wooden ladder to get on the wall, dodge huge potholes and sections crumbling down the mountainside, and look out over China from the watchtowers. It is an awesome experience.LEARN MORE: Hiking Jiankou to Mutianyu on the Great Wall of China
The Tiger’s Nest is a Buddhist monastery perched on the side of a cliff, 900 meters off of the ground. It is a long climb to get here, but oh, what a view. Prayer flags are waving in the air and you can smell the incense and hear the Buddhist monks in prayer. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity.LEARN MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Hiking the Tiger's Nest, Bhutan
Australia & New Zealand
For an awesome hike in the Australian Outback, look no further than King's Canyon. It is short, incredibly scenic, and just challenging enough to keep things fun. Walking along the red dirt path and getting a bird’s eye view of the canyon walls are incredible.LEARN MORE: Is King's Canyon Worth It?
A great way to really get to see Uluru is to do the 11 km perimeter walk. It is an easy walk, entirely flat, but allows those willing to go the distance a unique perspective of Uluru, viewing all of its nooks and crannies, undulations, caves, and watering holes.LEARN MORE: Journey to the Red Center of Australia
Wineglass Bay is rated as one of the top beaches in Australia. The Wineglass Bay Hazards Beach Circuit is the perfect way to explore this very scenic part of Tasmania. If you are lucky, you'll also get to see wild wallabies.LEARN MORE: Now We Can Call Ourselves Bushwalkers
Labeled as the best single day hike in New Zealand, some people even consider this hike to be best single day hike in the world. Here is your chance to hike in the shadow of Mt. Doom, walk through an almost lunar landscape, and watch as semi-dormant volcanoes smoke just a short distance from the trail.LEARN MORE: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand's Best Single Day Hike