15 Bucket List Hiking Destination in the United States

I have been working on my “Unlimited” bucket list this passed week, and one of the things I wanted to include is, top hikes in the United States; but I couldn’t find any already generated lists that I was truly interested in, or that I wanted to commit to %100.

So, I decided to make my own! Here are my top 15 Bucket List Hiking Destination in the United States.

1) Tolmie Peak Trail, Mount Rainier Park, Washington

Tolmie Peak Trail is a 6.4 mile (out and back) hiking destination located in Washington State. The trail itself in known to be heavily trafficked, and only moderate in difficulty. I have read recommendations for hikers to begin their trek early in the morning from Mowich Lake Campground.

2) Hoh River Trail, Olympic National Park, Washington

The HOH Rainforest (pronounced “Hoe”) has numerous trails that range in length. The HOH River Trail is 32.8 miles (out and back). Permit is required for camping, and can be obtained in person from Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles or at the HOH Visitors Center.

I have visited HOH Olympic National Park only once, and we did not have enough time to hike the River Trail. We did do the very easy and stunning Hall of Mosses trail. Learn more about my experience at the Olympic National Park.

3) Franklin Falls Trail + Melakwa Lake, Washington

8.5 miles in length, the Franklin Falls Trail and Melakwa Lake in Washington State is known to be an easy step away from the city. I have heard this trail can be heavily trafficked, so arrive early. The trail also varies in length depending on road conditions.

More information on this trail, including how to get there from Seattle can be found from the Washington Trails Associated – Here.

4) Highline Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana

Highline Trail is a 14.9 miles hiking destination in Glacier National Park. This hike parallels the Garden Wall, and while it does ascend mountain-side, the trail itself is well maintained, and shouldn’t be a problem for those afraid of heights (like myself).

5) Wildwood Trail, Forest Park, Oregon

Wildwood Trail is tucked in the northwest corner of Portland, Oregon. The (point-to-point) trail is 29.6 miles in total length, making it the longest forested urban trail in America. The trail is broken into sections, so if 29.6 miles isn’t for you, have no fear! You can break this guy up, and pick the section(s) that most interests to you.

6) Congress Trail, Sequoia National Park, California

A few years ago my husband and I did an epic road trip all over California. We had the chance to experience the Redwoods, and they are a must see in your lifetime.

Congress Trail is a short (and paved) loop trail located near Three Rivers, California. The trail is 3 miles long, and one of many really great hiking trails in Sequoia National Park.

7) John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park, California (This is in conjunction with the PCT)

This is a big one!

The John Muir Trail, located in Yosemite National Park, is a long distance trail (211 miles). You do need a permit for this trail, and you should of course prepare accordingly.

8) Templeton Trail, Coconino National Forest, Arizona

Templeton Trail is a 7.1 mile, dog-friendly, hike located in Coconino National Forest. The trail is best known for its great views, and Arizona wild flowers.

9) Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

When I went to Zion National Park it was for a half marathon run. After completing the race I was way too tired to do any hiking. We did drive around the park (it is absolutely breathtaking). I regret not planning the trip as to arrive a few days before the race, to get a hike (or two) in; but more of a reason to go back.

Angels Landing is one of many hikes in Zion National Park. It’s nothing to be overlooked. The trail is known to be one of the most beautiful hikes in the world. The Hike is 5 miles in length, but it is a difficult trail due to its steep inclines. I am on the fence about this hike because of its intense height, and sheer drops, but deep down I can’t shake the urge to give it a go.

10) Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail is an 8.5 mile hike known to be “difficult” do to elevation. I have been dying to do this hike since I moved to Colorado. I plan to conquer this baby summer 2021.

11) Emerald Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Emerald Lake is an easy 3.3 mile hike. We had the chance to experience this hike a few months ago. The hike itself is perfect, even in the winter it is known for its gorgeous views and crisp-clean air.

12) Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Louisiana

The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve consist of six separate sites in Louisiana. The preserve protects the natural resources of Louisiana’s Mississippi River.

I am interested in exploring the Palmetto, Bayou Coquille and Marsh Overlook (total length 4.2 miles). With a combination of wildlife, culture, and natural elements, I feel like this would be a great all day exploration.

13) Cornish Estate Trail Loop, New York

Cornish Estate Trail Loop located in New York is an easy 1.8 mile (out and back) trail with gothic castle-esc estate ruins in the midst of the forest.

14) Asticou and Jordan Pond Path + Loop, Maine

This is a trail combo.

The Asticou and Jordan Pond Path + Loop is located near Seal Harbor, Maine. Asticou and Jordan Pond Path is 2 miles long, and the Jordan Pond Loop is 3.4 miles long. Both trails are known to be moderate to easy hikes; and relatively secluded.

15) Makapu’u Lighthouse, Oahu

Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail, located on Oahu Hawai’i, is a relatively easy (but you will break a sweat) paved 2 mile hike. I have done this hike numerous times. It is a great running path, with striking views of clear blue waters from the top.

Let me know if any of you have trekked these wonderful locations, and what you will be adding to your hiking bucket list.

4 responses to “15 Bucket List Hiking Destination in the United States”

  1. amazing! Ali! Just beautiful <3

    On Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 5:45 AM chickpeameatball wrote:

    > chickeapeameatball posted: ” I have been working on my “Unlimited” bucket > list this passed week, and one of the things I wanted to include is, top > hikes in the United States; but I couldn’t find any already generated lists > that I was truly interested in, or that I wanted to” >

  2. I hiked Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail two weeks ago and loved it. January is a good time of year to see whales from the light house.

    I loved this blog and hope I can do some of these hikes with you.

  3. What’s your favorite hike that you’ve ever done? Or what is your dream hiking destination?

    1. Likeke Falls on Oahu. I have done this hike with so many friends. It is a short one hour round trip that is easy enough that I have done it with my mother when she was 70 and my youngest daughter when she was 11. It is a small, but beautiful waterfall and it is in the jungle away from civilization. I look forward to the next time I get to hike there.

    2. Dream hike,, Mount Kataden and the first 100 miles of the PCT with Ali.

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