50 of America's Most Scenic Hikes

Catch the best views in the country.

By: Clif Bar
September 2, 2016

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You’ve just spent the last few hours hiking through the wilderness and you finally arrive at your destination. The view is absolutely stunning, your body is tired, and you’re hungry and thirsty. You sit down to rest, refuel, and take it all in.

Is there any better feeling than this? If there is, we can’t think of it.

From the rolling hills of Appalachia to the towering Rocky Mountains and the rugged coast of California, the best way to explore America is by hitting the trail. Since there are so many amazing hiking options across the country, we did you a favor and picked 50 of the most scenic hikes in America. Take a look at the list and start making your adventure plans today!

1. Hike to Glacier Point via Four Mile Trail

Location: California | Distance: 9.4 miles

Photo: Joel Bear

Glacier Point is one of the highlights of Yosemite and provides perhaps the best view of the valley in the whole park. The hike up Four Mile Trail takes you away from the crowds and exposes more of the natural beauty of Yosemite. Learn more.

2. Hike the Olomana Trail

Location: Hawaii | Distance: 6 miles | Learn more.

3. Hike to the Lighthouse in Palo Duro Canyon

Location: Texas | Distance: 5.4 miles | Learn more.

4. Climb Divide Mountain

Location: Alaska | Distance: 6 miles 

Photo: Jacob W. Frank

Denali National Park definitely belongs on your hiking bucket list and Divide Mountain is right in the heart of the park. You'll reach epic views and have a good chance at spotting some wildlife - keep an eye out for bears, caribou, and wolves. Learn more.

5. Hike to the Summit of Mt. Whitney

Location: California | Distance: 22 miles | Learn more.

6. Climb to the Mt. Hood Summit

Location: Oregon | Distance: 7 miles | Learn more.

7. Hike the Sugarloaf Mountain and Breakneck Ridge Loop

Location: New York | Distance: 4 miles

Photo: Lucas Gashi

This loop in the Hudson Highlands leads you to amazing views of some of New York’s most iconic landscapes and featured. Bring a hammock and set up for one epic sunset. Learn more.

8. Hike Mount Rogers

Location: Virginia | Distance: 8 miles | Learn more.

9. Hike to Crescent Beach

Location: Oregon | Distance: 3 miles | Learn more.

10. Hike to Winchester Mountain Fire Lookout

Location: Washington | Distance: 3.5 miles

Photo: Beau Ramsey

If you’re big on bang-for-your-buck hikes, this one is for you. Just a few miles of hiking will result in stunning views of Washington’s North Cascade Mountains. Learn more.

11. Hike to Tall Trees Grove, Redwood NP

Location: California | Distance: 3.9 miles | Learn more.

12. Hike the Wapiti Lake Trail to Grand Canyon of Yellowstone Loop

Location: Wyoming | Distance: 5 miles | Learn more.

13. Summit the Pfeifferhorn

Location: Utah | Distance: 9 miles

Photo: Conor Barry

The views from the top of the Pfeifferhorn don’t come without a long day of hiking, but when you reach the summit and the view of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, you’ll be glad you made the trek. Learn more.

14. Hike to Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Location: Michigan | Distance: 3.6 miles | Learn more.

15. Hike along the Gros Ventre River

Location: Wyoming | Distance: 1+ miles | Learn more.

16. Hike to Hidden Lake Lookout

Location: Washington | Distance: 8 miles 

Photo: Christin Healey

There are worse places to enjoy your morning cup of coffee. This hike will require a bit of scrambling at the top but it's well worth it. Learn more.

17. Hike to Pine Island Vista

Location: Pennsylvania | Distance: 5.1 miles | Learn more.

18. Hike Angels Landing

Location: Utah | Distance: 5 miles | Learn more.

19. Hike to Grassy Ridge Bald in the Roan Highlands

Location: North Carolina | Distance: 5.3 miles

Photo: Steve Yocom

Not all of us have time to tackle the whole Appalachian Trail, but here’s your chance to hike a portion of the famous trail and post up for an amazing view of these beautiful mountains. Learn more.

20. Hike Gothic Basin

Location: Washington | Distance: 9 miles | Learn more.

21. Hike the Cirque of the Towers

Location: Wyoming | Distance: 16 miles | Learn more.

22. Hike to Photographer’s Point

Location: Wyoming | Distance: 9 miles

Photo: Andrew Slaton

The Wind River Range in Wyoming is a must-do for anyone who loves photography or hiking. On this incredible hike, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to do both. Learn more.

23. Hike to Swiftcurrent Lookout

Location: Montana | Distance: 14.2 miles | Learn more.

24. Hike to the Wave

Location: Utah | Distance: 5.5 miles | Learn more.

25. Hike to the Brasstown Bald Peak

Location: Georgia | Distance: 1.2 miles 

Photo: Jason Clemmons

Just 2 hours away from the hectic day to day of Atlanta is the highest point in Georgia, Brasstown Bald Mountain. It's an easy hike and makes for an amazing place to catch the sunset or sunrise. Learn more.

26. Hike Storm King Mountain

Location: New York | Distance: 2.7 miles | Learn more.

27. Hike to Turquoise Lake

Location: Montana | Distance: 12.2 miles | Learn more.

28. Hike the Bell Rock Trail

Location: Arizona | Distance: 1.5 miles

Photo: Kathleen Buenviaje

There are few places that capture the beauty of the Southwest like Sedona, Arizona. This hike may be short but it packs in majestic views of the red rock desert landscape. Learn more.

29. Hike to Nymph, Dream, Emerald, and Haiyaha Lakes

Location: Colorado | Distance: 5.5 miles | Learn more.

30. Hike to Upper Two Medicine Lake

Location: Montana | Distance: 10 miles | Learn more.

31. Hike the Beehive Trail in Acadia National Park

Location: Maine | Distance: 1.6 miles 

Photo: Austin Hodges

Enjoy panoramic views of Maine's beautiful coastline on this Acadia NP favorite. Most of the hike is nice and easy but you will get to do a little bit of climbing on the final approach to the top. Learn more.

32. Hike through Wildflowers on Shrine Ridge

Location: Colorado | Distance: 4.2 miles | Learn more.

33. Hike Mount Tallac

Location: California | Distance: 9.5 miles | Learn more.

34. Hike to Devil’s Bedstead West

Location: Idaho | Distance: 13 miles

Photo: Dusty Klein

Sun Valley, Idaho is primarily known for its ski slopes, but in the warmer months it’s home to trails with spectacular panoramic mountain views like this. Learn more.

35. Hike Bryce Canyon’s Riggs Spring Loop

Location: Utah | Distance: 9 miles | Learn more.

36. Hike to the Chimney Tops

Location: Tennessee | Distance: 3.8 miles | Learn more.

37. Hike to Sperry Glacier Basin, Glacier NP

Location: Montana | Distance: 19 miles

Photo: Noah Couser

Be ready for a challenge if you plan to take on this hike. You’ll hike through some of Glacier’s most diverse and stunning landscapes before reaching the basin full of turquoise glacier water - take a dip if you dare, it might help with your sore legs! Learn more.

38. Hike Mount Sneffels (14,150’)

Location: Colorado | Distance: 2 miles | Learn more.

39. Hike to Sawtooth Lake

Location: Idaho | Distance: 10 miles | Learn more.

40. Hike McAfee Knob

Location: Virginia | Distance: 8.8 miles 

Photo: Christin Healey

Head to the summit of McAfee's Knob for stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is also a great intro to hiking on the AT. Learn more.

41. Hike to the Crow Pass Cabin

Location: Alaska | Distance: 6 miles | Learn more.

42. Hike Plateau Point via Bright Angel Trail

Location: Arizona | Distance: 12 miles | Learn more.

43. Hike to Hanging Lake

Location: Colorado | Distance: 3.2 miles

Photo: Nicola Easterby

This is a quintessential Colorado hike that takes you through dense pine forest to one of the most unique waterfalls in the country. The falls are surrounded by massive rocky cliffs, hanging plants, and a pool of gorgeous blue water (no swimming!). Learn more.

44. Hike to Panorama Point

Location: Washington | Distance: 5.4 miles | Learn more.

45. Hike to the Opal Creek Pools

Location: Oregon | Distance: 7 miles | Learn more.

46. Hike to Coffin Mountain Fire Lookout

Location: Oregon | Distance: 3 miles Photo: Jeffrey Green

This has to be one of the best views in all of Oregon. On a clear day, you can see upwards of 10 volcanoes from the lookout including Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Jefferson. Learn more.

47. Hike to the Superior Hiking Trail’s Section 13

Location: Minnesota | Distance: 2 miles | Learn more.

48. Hike the Moanalua Middle Ridge Trail to the Haiku Stairs Peak

Location: Hawaii | Distance: 10.4 miles | Learn more.

49. Hike Coal Mine Canyon

Location: Arizona | Distance: 1+ miles | Learn more.

50. Hike to the Camel’s Hump Summit

Location: Vermont | Distance: 6.8 miles

Photo: Shannon Kalahan

Hike the third highest peak in Vermont and take in gorgeous 360 views of the surrounding valleys and peaks. Bonus: explore the remains of a World War II bomber crash near the summit. Learn more.

Cover photo: Conor Barry

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.