Hiking trails don't have to meander for miles over hill and dale to be worthwhile, and the Limberlost Trail in Shenandoah National is proof of that.
Trails I've Hiked
Browse our collection of trail overviews to help decide which path to choose in the parks.
There are two ways to get to Lone Star Geyser from Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park: Drive down to the parking area for Kepler Cascades and walk 2.4 miles down the paved trail, or take your time and enjoy the scenery while hiking down the Howard Eaton Trail from the inn.
Fall is one of the best seasons to take a hike in Yellowstone National Park, even if a little snow does fall.
In a park known for its majestic peaks and brilliant lakes, perhaps the most enchanting trail in Banff National Park clings to a canyon above a curving, crystal-clear river with a handful of picturesque plunges just 15 miles west of Banff townsite. Johnston Canyon, one of the area’s most popular hikes, features a pair of large waterfalls along with a handful of smaller cascades as Johnston Creek carves its way through the limestone walls.
Most avid hikers know Half Dome. In fact, as the signature landmark for Yosemite National Park, its image is recognized worldwide. It’s even on the 2005 U.S. quarter. From late-May to early-October, visitors can attempt this extremely strenuous 16-mile round-trip day hike. The main challenge is the nearly one mile vertical climb from the valley. Then there’s the final 425 feet, aided by a 45-degree inclined cable banister.
Though you'll need a raft, canoe, or kayak to reach this trail, the hike up Water Canyon to the Doll House in Canyonlands National Park and back down to Spanish Bottom and the Green River is time well spent.
Fall just might be the best time to hike around Phelps Lake in Grand Teton National Park. The weather is cooling, the aspen are turning yellows and oranges, and the smell of autumn is in the air.
You can hike this Yellowstone National Park trail for a day, with a turnaround at Lone Star Geyser, or you can continue on down to Shoshone Lake for a wonderful three-four day retreat into the park’s backcountry.
A great before-breakfast or pre-sundown hike at Grand Canyon National Park's North Rim is the short walk to Bright Angel Point.
Despite its odd name, Cape Final on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park should not be ignored during your visit to the rim.
While the glaciers interspersed along the peaks of Glacier National Park weren’t responsible for the enormous U-shaped valleys, their gradual disappearance brings a sort of urgency to see these classic icons.
Though not a long long-distance trail (only about 40 miles), this route through the high country of Grand Teton National Park draws top ratings for its natural beauty.
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is arguably the world’s most iconic long-distance trail. It falls and rises, swaggers and turns, following meanders for 2,185 miles from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia.
The trail climbed steeply uphill, helped by a wooden staircase, and into the trees. The crowds, though, mostly went straight, making our choice easy. Up we went!
We splash downstream in The Narrows of the North Fork of the Virgin River, deep in the backcountry of Utah’s Zion National Park, mostly craning our necks up like turkeys hypnotized by falling rain. But our fascination is not with rain, but red walls on both sides that rise hundreds of feet overhead. The sun does not find us in this deep canyon, where the air temperature approximates the inside of a refrigerator, and the ankle- to calf-deep water feels about the same.
For many, the focal point of a visit to Lassen Volcanic National Park in California is a hike to the summit of Lassen Peak. But to really appreciate the volcanic forces that tore the peak open back in May 1915, take a short hike around the Devastated Trail.
Late September and early October, they say, are the best times to while your day away hoping to hook into one of the brown trout that call Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone National Park home. And one of the best ways to reach the lake for some fishing is via the Lewis RIver Channel Trail.
Thinking about tackling Lassen Volcanic National Park’s iconic trail, the Lassen Peak Trail? Test your stamina with the much shorter Ridge Lakes Trail not far from the Kohn Ya-mah-nee Visitor Center just inside the park’s Southwest Entrance.
Though short, at not quite a half-mile, the Castle Crest Wildflower Trail offers a refreshing walk through a cool, colorful corner of Crater Lake National Park.
If there's no other hike you do at Lassen Volcanic National Park -- and hiking to the park's roof atop 10,475-foot Lassen Peak is not for everyone -- the nice walk to Bumpass Hell is the one to do.