There is nothing better than a day hike to explore mighty nature. It can be with friends and family, or even by yourself. There are numerous places to go for a day hike, the United States has the most diverse landscape in the world. So, it’s not a big surprise that it has some of the most spectacular hiking trails in the world! Many states and national parks offer a vast network of trails.
Here are the 9 best day hikes in the US you would love to go. If your time is limited these are the best options for you.
So, pack your bags and get ready for a look at the 9 amazing and thrilling day hiking places in the USA!
Nine Best Day Hikes in the U.S
1.Grand Canyon National park:
It is located in Arizona which is over 277 miles (446 km) long and 18 miles wide. People explore the majestic scenery of the Grand Canyon in several ways, some do helicopter rides, some people prefer rafting and cycling also. There are many options you will find, choose what seem best for you and with your limited time.
- Bright Angel trail: It is considered one of the premier hiking trails of Grand Canyon National park. And it is for a reason. It’s dangerous and challenging but it does not stop a hiker to go there and witness the beauty and gather some amazing memories.
NOTE: You don’t need any permit for the day hike but if you want to camp in the bright angel campground then you need to have a permit. You can go there any time of the year but summer is the worst time to go for a hike there! In winter there will be ice in the trail.
- South Kaibab Trail: The South Kaibab Trail follows a ridge out to Skeleton Point which allows you to see a 360-degree view of the canyon. It is a stunning hiking trail which is one of the best paths to hike and allows you to see some breathtaking views. You will gain a tremendous appreciation of the vastness of the Grand Canyon. Some hikers struggle in warmer months but it is totally worth it!
2. Glacier National Park:
It is located in northwestern Montana, on the Canada-US border. In addition, it has in total 762 lakes and only 131 have been named! It is also known as the crown of the continent.
- Highlight Loop: This is an almost 11.8 miles hike which will take around 7-9 hours to complete. Which is perfect for any day hikers. Although the name refers to the word “loop” but actually it’s a one-way hike. The name “LOOP” refers to the bend on the road where the hike ends! It will be windy there so you better bring warm clothes.
- Grinnell Glacier Trail: it is one of the most beautiful hikes of Glacier National Park. In this hike you will see wildlife on its best. There are waterfalls, wildflowers, green lakes, a glacier and what not? The best time to go there is when the trails are free of snow in mid-June-September.
3. Arches National park:
located in Utah. One can guess how the name of the park came? Well it is derived from 2000 plus naturally formed stone arches. Don’t fool by the name that it only offers stone arches, it also offers a variety of other geological formations. So definitely it is a place where you would love to go even for a day!
- Devil’s Garden Trail: This wonderful hike allows one to see six beautiful natural arches. The main trail is wide and well maintained. The trail will lead you to the landscape arch which is one of the largest natural spans in the world.
- You will get to see other arches like Double O Arch, Landscape Arch, Partition Arch, Pine Trail Arch, Navajo Arch, Tunnel Arch, and the Dark Angel. Don’t forget to take some pictures and make some great memories there!
- Delicate Arch trail: It’s not a long hike, shouldn’t take more than 2-3 hours! You will get to see beautiful rock formations and definitely will be amazed by the picturesque scenario!
4. Acadia national park:
The best time to go there and enjoy the pleasant weather is between late spring and fall. You will get to see the breathtaking view of the ocean, waterfalls, lakes, mountains and harbors. It has over 120 miles of hiking trails so there are plenty of places you can go.
- Ocean Path: If you have shortage of time but you want the taste of hikes worry no more! This ocean path hike is an easy four-mile hike you can do with your own or with your family. It won’t take more than a day and you will have the best time of your life.
- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail: If you are an ocean lover like me you are going to love this Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail. The reason behind this is it offers you spectacular ocean views you never want to miss! You can go any time of the year there.
5. Zion National Park:
located in the state of Utah. A paradise for the climbers. Best time to climb there is from March to May and September to early November. It is also famous for hiking and the main attraction here is the Angels landing which is only a short five miles hike. No doubt it is a difficult one as people rate this as the most dangerous in the world. However, you won’t regret the effort when you will see the view across the canyon.
- The subway: This is a 9.5 miles hike, which is likely to take nearly 7 hours even for a pro hiker! It is recommended that you go with a guide and take some hiking gear for your safety.
6. Isle Royale National Park:
Imagine a tourist place car-free. Yes, you heard me right! Isle Royale National park in Michigan state is completely wheeled vehicle prohibited. You can only go there by boat or seaplane as it is a remote area. So, now you can imagine how thrilling it is to just get to this park. It’s an amazing adventure for people who love water activities. There are tons of activities to do.
Rock Harbor Tailor: In midsummer, Rock harbor is probably the busiest trail in the Isle Royale National park. Hikers love to take a walk to witness the scenic beauty along the bluffs to Daisy firm. There is a 7.2 miles short hike which is perfect for a day hike.
7. Grandfather Mountain State park:
This iconic park is located in western North Carolina. You must be wondering why it is named Grandfather! Well the area is called Grandfather Mountain for a peculiar reason, which is early pioneers who recognized “the face” of an old man on one of the cliffs. It is basically a place where experienced hikers go.
There are 11 trails that you can hike on. But note that it is considered as one of the most technical hikes in the southeast! It is a place of experienced hikers for a reason!
Appalachian Trail: The Appalachian Trail is about 2180 miles, passing through 14 states! All the way from Maine to Georgia. In seasons thousands of hikers try to hike the entire length but very few make it all the way. If you are a Mountain Lover this is for you.
Although hikers go there for a seasonal hike but luckily, the continuously marked trail offers hundreds of access points, making it convenient and free for day hikers.
8.Yosemite National park:
Yosemite National park is famous for its landmarks, awesome hikes, and for breathtaking views. You will get to see Half Dome, the most rock in Yosemite National park! The best part is you can see it from everywhere, Hike to the top or even rock climb up the face of half dome.
In this park, Rocks are everywhere. For a day hike, it’s very convenient. You will see how nature creates so much awe!
9.Denali National Park:
It holds the record of being the highest peak of North America. It is larger than the states of New Jersey! Going there is witnessing such wildness as most of the places still untouched by human hands! To understand how wild this place is you need to go there and witness the wildlife. My recommendation is to stay alert as you can encounter bears, wolves, and caribou.
Horseshoe Lake Trail: For a short-Day hike this is perfect. It’s only a three miles round trip and will not take more than 2-3 hours to complete the journey. You will get to see some beautiful lakes during the hike.
Mount Healy Overlook: This is one of the most gorgeous hikes of Denali National Park. 5.4 miles round trip and will not take more than 4 hours to complete the hike. On this Day hike once you reach the highest point then you will get to see the view of the tundra and rock outcroppings that make the park famous.
That’s about it! These are the 9 most amazing places you can go visit and hike for a day.
We have reached a point where we do not have any time to go outside or we have become too lazy to do so! We have no idea what we are missing out. so, we should build the habit to go outside more and see what is out there. So, what’s better than a day hike to start this habit?
Andy Allan, a well-known fishing enthusiast and hiking professional, runs the blog. Andy is a Georgia-based outdoor enthusiast. He has hiked throughout the United States and parts of Australia.
He is also well-known for his passion for fishing, particularly for bass, steelhead, and salmon. Andy discusses his adventurous life, fishing and hiking equipment reviews, and blog posts on hiking and fishing tips and tricks in Outdoors Activity.