Hankering for an escape from reality? Maybe work has been relentless or your roommate still hasn’t learned the concept of cleaning up after herself. It’s time to get away from it all. Grab your best friend, jump in the car, hit the road, take in the sites, forget all your worries (that means leaving your cell behind!) and breath in the fresh air. It’s time to go for a hike. And there’s no better time to explore nature than the summer time. So fill up your Camelbak, fix up a couple PB+Js and hit the road less traveled along one of our favorite hikes across America.
1. Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, CA (14-16 miles roundtrip): This hike takes our breath away, literally. Once you make your way up the 400-foot metal cables, step out onto the “diving board,” and look 4,800 feet straight down to the valley floor below. Make sure to sign up early for the permit lottery… then cross your fingers! (via Fine Art America)
2. Manoa Falls, Honolulu, HI (1.8 miles roundtrip): We know, we know… tropical vacations are for lounging by the pool and taking sunset cruises, but there’s more to Hawaii than turquoise beaches and mai tais, namely awesome views and vistas reachable only by foot. (via Hi from HI)
3. South Kaibob and Bright Angel Trails, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ (13.6 miles roundtrip): Remember when you went to the Grand Canyon on your family’s cross-country road trip. Well, this will be nothing like that. Pack your backpack and spend the night at the bottom for a real trip. (via Global Diving)
4. Angle’s Landing, Zion National Park, UT (4.8 miles roundtrip): If just the thought of hiking along a narrow ridge as you look down at the tree tops makes you queasy, this might not be the hike for you. But if you’re up for strenuous, steep switchbacks, you won’t be disappointed with the view from the top. (via Kosher Expeditions)
5. Highline Trail, Glacier National Park, Big Sky, MT (7.6 miles one way): Look out for billy goats, yes goats, scaling the infamous “wall.” And make sure to give them their space. We don’t want this to turn into the latest (wo)man vs goat viral YouTube video. (via Glacier Guides)
6. Gregory Bald Trail, Great Smoky Mountains, TN (8.8 miles roundtrip): I’m pretty sure we can hear Julie Andrews singing, “The hills are alive… with the sound of music,” as we walk through the flame azaleas of Gregory Bald Trail. (via The Great Smokies)
7. Castle Trail, Badlands, SD (10.8 miles roundtrip): Make sure to note the numbered metal posts marking the trail or you’ll be wishing you left a trail of crumbs a la Hansel and Gretel. It’s going to be hot, hot, hot so pack extra water, sunscreen and a hat. (via Roadtrippers)
8. Cutler Coast, ME (10-mile loop): Take the road less traveled up the jagged coast of Maine. You won’t see see another human for miles. If you hear any rustling in the woods, it’s probably a moose. (via Rob Hanson Photography)
9. Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors, MN (14.6 miles to Beaver Bay): Bring your favorite four-legged furry friend and take a dip in one of the pools after you hike along the three falls. (via Travis Novitsky)
10. Bell Mountain, Mark Twain National Forest, MO (12 miles roundtrip): Melissa McCarthy’s character in Tammy may not know who Mark Twain is, but we know you do. Make sure to hike from north to south and steer clear of the wild pigs. (via The Great Silence)
11. Ten Falls Canyon Trail, Salem, OR (10.2 miles roundtrip): If you hadn’t guessed by the name of this trail, you’ll hike by 10 waterfalls over the course of this day-long trek. Bring a swimsuit and a camera because you can walk behind four of them! (via Travel Portland)
Did we miss your favorite hike? Let us know below!