Hiking is one of the best fitness activities you can practice while enjoying nature, and feeling healthy, and free. It’s one of those things that we should do more often in the new year ( put it in your new years’ resolution ).
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Our connection with the mother Earth is one of the most astonishing things that we have hardwired in our nature since birth. It’s not a surprise that just a simple walk in the park can give us a huge boost of endorphins, and lower the stress. Just imagine now a full day hiking in the gorgeous mountains, and national parks.
Fortunately, our country is full of beautiful, natural wonders which are perfect for hiking. Not to mention how accessible they’ve become in the last 20 years or so. That’s the reason I decided to share my favorite hiking spots in the United States.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is one of my favorite spots in the entire World because it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s one of those places which can take your breath away. It occupies 747,956 acres which makes it one of the biggest parks in California. The park is full of waterfalls, glaciers, mountains, and general wilderness. It’s an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The park has more than 800 miles of hiking trails which makes it a great choice for your next trip. Visit the Yosemite National Park website for hiking trails planning, and more.
In my opinion, you should not miss El Capitan- huge 3000 feet vertical rock formation which is a must see. The best place to view this astonishing rock is either from Tunnel View, off State Highway 41 or much better from El Capitan Meadow.
Denali National Park
First of all, I have to warn you that Denali is not the typical national park. Most of it is trail-less, and you will have to find your own way which makes it a little bit more on the professional site. After all, this is Alaska. Denali National Park can be really tricky especially in the winter. Most probably you should be well prepared even with some crampons if needed.
Denali National Park is really awesome place full of wonders, and great views all around. You will encounter dangerous, uneven terrains, and most probably some wildlife as well. But if you are not a novice hiker, and you are adventurous enough I promise you that you will have some great time exploring the park while you’ll be forging your own path.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most recognizable places in the Earth. It’s the diamond of the ring of the national parks. Visited by more than 5 million people each year, this national park is an absolute beast. As we know by the movie 127 Hours, the Grand Canyon can be dangerous if you are not prepared. Note that you should be very well prepared with a lot of water, especially in the summer months. More than 250 people are rescued from the Canyon each year.
But if you are interested in hiking in this national park you will be more than happy to find 15 astonishing trails which are absolutely awesome. You can trail only by day unless you have a special permit to stay in the Grand Canyon during the nights.
Mount Whitney is another great hiking spot in California only a 3 hours drive from Los Angeles. One of the most legendary hiking trails in the country is located there – 22 miles long round trip which is 100 years old. Keep in mind that the trail is quite difficult, and is not recommended for novice hikers. The authorities say that only half of the 16000 people who attempt it each year reach the summit.
In the middle of the trail you will reach the summit which is awesome. You will get a 360-degree view over the mountain, and you will have the chance to make some great memories. After that you will have to go down until you starting/finishing point. Going up and down the summit you will have to traverse river crossings, navigate 97 switchbacks and slick boulders.