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Searching for the best hiking destinations in the US? We got you covered with this list of some of the best hiking trails in the US! These wonderful hiking trips in the USA, also happen to be perfect for the Fall!
Fall can be the best time to go hiking in the USA. It is a good time of year weather-wise for taking to the hills, of course, the views in Fall can be stunning, and there’s nothing like breathing in the beautiful clean, crisp air! If you are interested, here are some of the most recommended hiking trails in the US for this coming Fall.
Table of Contents (skip directly to the info you're looking for)
- 1 Best Hiking Spots in the USA that are perfect in Autumn
- 1.1 Denali National Park, Alaska
- 1.2 May Lake, Yosemite National Park, California
- 1.3 Eastern Sierras in California
- 1.4 Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
- 1.5 Little lakes Valley Trail in Bishop, Colorado
- 1.6 Miami Woods in Morton Grove, Illinois
- 1.7 Jordan Pond Full Loop: Acadia National Park, Maine
- 1.8 Blodgett Canyon to Waterfall hike, Hamilton, Montana
- 1.9 Mount Rose Trail, Sierra Nevadas
- 1.10 Cold Spring Hike, Cornish Estate Trail Loop, New York
- 1.11 Silver Falls State Park in Oregon
- 1.12 Wildwood Trail, Forest Park, Oregon
- 1.13 Healdville Trail, Okemo State Forest, Vermont
- 1.14 White Oak Canyon Trail, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
- 1.15 Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Wisconsin
- 1.16 We’ve only just begun….
Best Hiking Spots in the USA that are perfect in Autumn
Denali National Park, Alaska
Denali National Park may not be close to your home but it is so full of exquisite hiking opportunities that it’s worth traveling. Not sure if you know that Denali is the highest mountain peak in North America. Hikers can enjoy low-elevation taiga forest, high alpine tundra, and snowy mountains. Wild animals live here, as they have for ages, so be mindful. Hikers walk here through solitude, tranquility and wilderness.
Imagine adding to the breathtaking fall colors to this experience? Fall arrives in the area sometime between late August and early October. From a luxuriant green, much of the vegetation turns into a mix of dark amber, red, and orange hues.
Hikers can choose between Trail hiking and Off-trail hiking. The park offers many trails, just want to mention a few: The Horseshoe Lake Trail, the Jonesville Trail, the Meadow View Trail, the Morino Trail, the Forest Trail, the Taiga Trail, the Savage Alpine Tundra Loop, the Roadside Trail, among many others.
Note: Always be prepared and properly attired before you try any hike, but one of the most important things is choosing a quality hiking boot.
May Lake, Yosemite National Park, California
The two-and-a-half-mile Yosemite hike, a round trip to May Lake, takes 1.5 – 4 hours depending on experience and conditions. This is one of Yosemite’s most scenic lake hikes that’s especially gorgeous in the fall. May Lake is pretty and Mount Hofmann makes hiking even more attractive with the views of the wilderness.
Although short, the hike starts at a high elevation. The trail up the mountain is steep, sometimes covered with a decomposed granite which is very slippery, so you have to walk slowly and very carefully.
It is not an overcrowded hike, but you won’t usually be alone. Yosemite is a great place for backpackers and adventure lovers.
Eastern Sierras in California
The wilderness that covers northern Inyo County and Mono County provides some of the best hikes and sights in the fall. They include several must-go-to places including Bishop Creek, Convict Lake, and the Mammoth Lakes Trails. With the Mammoth Lake trails, you will also find some that are particularly noted for the colors and views. These include the June Lake Loop, Rock Creek Lake Trail, and Heart Lake Trail.
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Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
The best time to enjoy the beautiful, famous Rocky Mountain Park views is to visit in early to mid-September. As well as the differences at various elevations, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the elk herds who live near Estes Park. The park covers a vast area and is a popular tourist destination. With five visitor centers, you’ll find plenty of opportunities, especially helpful for those new to hiking or anyone who likes a group hike, to be part of organized treks.
Little lakes Valley Trail in Bishop, Colorado
Compared to some hiking trails, this one is fairly flat. It is an alpine valley that is dotted with several lakes and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. It is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, and the drive to it is just as stunning.
Miami Woods in Morton Grove, Illinois
Situated about an hour outside of Chicago, you will find this a perfect place for a hike. Although Chicago is known as a busy city, associated with tons of traffic, this gem is away from all of that hustle and bustle. As you walk in, the canopy of trees sparkle with brilliant Fall colors, and it is well worth putting your best boots for this occasion.
Some of the best trails can be found in Miami Woods, including the Trails of Terror, the River Trail Nature Center, Green Bay Trail, and The Grove.
Recommended: The perfect 3 days in Chicago written by a local
Jordan Pond Full Loop: Acadia National Park, Maine
The Jordan Pond loop is a great choice for an easier, more manageable hike, so It is suitable for different skill levels. It is 3.4 miles long and is a heavily trafficked loop trail. The path is best used from April until October, but is loveliest in the fall with wildflowers, and the trees turning orange and gold. The trail also offers a number of activity options.
Jordan Pond is Acadia’s deepest and cleanest lake. It is a public water supply, so swimming is not allowed, but beavers are often spotted there. It is a kid-friendly and pet friendly path; your dog is allowed to accompany you, but must be on a leash.
Blodgett Canyon to Waterfall hike, Hamilton, Montana
Blodgett Canyon to Waterfall trail near Hamilton, Montana is a moderately trafficked trail with a waterfall and views of outstanding cliffs and spires. It is 8.5 miles long, used for hiking and trail running, but also for nature trips. The trail is well-maintained, with a mild elevation gain. Although open from May until October, its beauty in the fall is unspeakable. You can take your dog with you, but it must be kept on a leash.
Mount Rose Trail, Sierra Nevadas
Mount Rose Trail is a 10.7-mile loop trail located near Incline Village-Crystal Bay, Nevada. It is heavily trafficked and rated as difficult. Mt. Rose may be the second tallest peak in the Tahoe basin and one of the Lake Tahoe skyline marks. In spite of 2,300ft elevation gain, the hiking is a pleasant experience, although a challenging one. The trail offers a number of activity options. It is best used from March until October. It features a waterfall and is especially pleasant in the fall. From the top summit of Mt. Rose, you will have great views of waterfalls, alpine lakes, and the great Lake Tahoe.
Pets, including dogs and horses, are allowed on the trail.
Cold Spring Hike, Cornish Estate Trail Loop, New York
Cornish Estate Trail Loop is 5.1 miles long. Seventy years ago, at the time when the mountain was inhabited, it used to be a road used by local residents. Hikers pass the several old stone ruins that give the trail a sense of mystery. Marked by blue disc blazes, the elevation is 1437 feet but it’s definitely worth it. When you reach the top, the panoramic view of Hudson River, a gurgling brook, the sky, and the distant New York skyline are magnificent.
You should visit it in the fall and enjoy the stunning beauty of the foliage turning into the fall colors.
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Silver Falls State Park in Oregon
A hike through the Silver Falls State Park in Oregon is an unforgettable experience. A trek of about 8 miles, you will see 10 waterfalls along the way, 4 of which you can walk behind. The fall foliage is amazing on the very old trees located there and for a truly magical experience, this is where to head.
Wildwood Trail, Forest Park, Oregon
Willwood Trail in Forest Park, Oregon is 30.2 miles long, which makes it America’s longest forested urban trail. It is open all year round, but fall may be an ideal time for hiking there because of the exuberant seasonal colors of foliage and wildflowers. This is a heavily trafficked trail which offers a number of activities.
From the south, it begins at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington Park and ends at Newberry Road northwest.
For your convenience, every quarter-mile there are blue, diamond-shaped blazes drawn onto trees about six feet from the ground to mark the trail, and mile markers about two feet above the blue diamond ones, to show the distance from the Vietnam Memorial trailhead.
The trail is divided into five parts. Part 1 leaves at Vietnam Memorial and stretches to Lower Macleay Park. Hikers need about 3 hours to walk the 6-mile distance and you should definitely take a map. The trail is well maintained and the invasive English ivy is kept under control. The moderate climate makes hiking through the gorgeous trees pleasant in the fall.
Hikers need another two and a half hours for the 6-mile long part 2 from Lower Macleay to Firelane 1. It is one of the most highly trafficked parts in Forest Park but worth it to walk among big leaf maple trees while birds serenade you.
For about 8 miles of part 3, Trillium Trail to Springville Road, you’d need about 3 hours. This section is lovelier and less populated, hidden from the city buzz, lightly traveled, filled with tranquility and solitude.
Part 4 from Springville Road to Germantown is about 6 miles long but will generally take only about 2 hours. This quick hike is very family-friendly.
For the very isolated part 5 of the trail, Germantown To Newberry, a five-and-a-half-mile section, plan on about 2 hours. This part is fairly popular with families with small children and older people who just want to take a leisurely stroll.
Hikers should always stay on the trail, observe posted rules for allowed trail uses, and be careful not to litter. Wildlife and watershed health in Forest Park should be carefully protected.
If you want your pet to keep you company, dogs are allowed to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.
Healdville Trail, Okemo State Forest, Vermont
Healdville Trail in Okemo State Forest will give you the archetypal experience of a fall foliage hike. It is a 5.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail, rated as moderate. It features lovely wildflowers and, while heading to the top you’ll see beautiful evergreens, and along a 3-mile trail there’s a charming, relaxing stream and hardwood glades. At the top, there is a watchtower with 360-degree breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Take your dog with you but keep it on a leash.
White Oak Canyon Trail, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Shenandoah National Park on the east coast holds some of the best views in the fall. It offers everything a hiker could want, from short trails to longer ones, where you will need your backpack and camping gear. Definitely consider taking the White Oak Canyon Trail. This day-long trek is a nine-and-a-half-mile and though challenging, it’s also peaceful and leads you passed some amazing waterfalls. It is a moderately trafficked out back trail, rated as difficult, but well worth the effort.
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Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Wisconsin
The Trail stretches completely within Wisconsin. It is one of only eleven National Scenic Trails. There, you will stroll through intact wilderness, farmlands, and public parks. The path is more than just a hike – it is a place to relax both physically and mentally, in historic natural surroundings. It is a hundreds-of-miles long hike but, for the fall weather, the best section for a comfortable day trip is the La Budde Creek Section near Elkhart Lake.
The hike is used by more than one million people each year for hiking, snowshoeing and backpacking.
We’ve only just begun….
There really is no limit to the number of wonderful hiking opportunities in the States. Those mentioned here are just a few of the recommended places for hiking in the Fall, but there are many more, including The Gothics in Adirondacks, New York, the High Pass Loop in North Cascades, Washington, Stanley Park in Vancouver, and the La Sal Mountains in Utah, just to name a few. And all are places that should be visited since they provide memorable hiking experiences.
When you want to be surrounded by an abundance of colors, amazing views and peaceful solitude, then there’s nothing like a good hike in the US!
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