While traveling can be quite the adventure, there are just some things you can’t see from the window of a moving car or roadside observatory points. Why not try hitting the trails to see all of the beautiful scenery our national parks have to offer? If you’ll be vacationing this summer, consider adding a few of the following day-trip hiking destinations to your itinerary. They are worth the effort!
Zion National Park, UT | 8 miles | Intermediate
This out-and-back trail is a popular one, and for good reason. Observation Point offers up some of the best views in Zion Canyon. While you won’t need technical experience to tackle this trail, be prepared to work for those views!
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ | 1.5 Miles | Beginner
There are many long and treacherous trails to take in the Grand Canyon, but the hike to Sunset Nook is a great option for beginners. As an added bonus, the panoramic views you’ll get are some of the most beautiful in the area.
Grand Teton National Park, WY | 2.2 Miles | Beginner
Jenny Lake’s Inspiration Point is a photographer’s dream and a must-see when visiting Grand Teton. Watch for wildlife, stop for photos, or just enjoy the view along the way.
Rainier National Park, WA | 5.4 miles | Intermediate
While hiking to Panorama Point is always amazing, head out in August to hike through colorful wildflower fields. At the highest point, you’ll be able to take in Mt. Rainer in all its glory.
Rocky Mountain Trail
Shenandoah National Park, VA | 9.8 miles | Intermediate
This 10-mile loop can be completed in a day or you can choose to camp out under the stars. Either way, you’ll get to take in some pretty wonderful Virginia views while you’re out there.
Yosemite National Park, CA | 15.5 miles | Intermediate
Hit the trails early if you’re hiking Clouds Rest, because it’s worth sticking around to enjoy the view from the top. Your panoramic view will include Half Dome, El Capitan, and Tuolumne Meadows.
Acadia National Park, ME | 1 – 3.5 miles | Beginner
This is the perfect trail for a relaxing hike just off of the coastline, so take your time and enjoy it. While you’re out there, stop to check out iconic places such as Otter Cliffs, Thunder Hole, and Monument Cove.
Tall Trees Grove
Redwood National Park, CA | 6 miles | Beginner
If you want to explore Redwood National Park, this is the way to do it. The hike to Tall Trees Grove is as beautiful as it is fun. Make sure to stop and stare in awe at the famous Howard Libbey Tree.
Kilauea Iki Trail
Volcanoes National Park, HI | 4 miles | Intermediate
From lush rain forest to a lava-paved crater, the Kilauea Iki Trail will definitely be a hike to remember. The 4-mile loop is best enjoyed counterclockwise, but remember to watch for escaping steam when you hit the crater floor!
Congaree National Park, SC | 10 miles | Intermediate
The River Trail is long enough to be challenging but flat enough to be enjoyed by almost everyone. The gorgeous views of the hardwood forest and Congaree River make the long hike worth every step.
In addition to offering up spectacular views, hiking trips are a great way to get moving while on vacation. While these shorter hikes are great when you only have a day to spare, they may tempt you to tackle longer trails in the future.
No matter the length of the trails you hike, make sure you are prepared. Pack plenty of water, fuel, and first-aid supplies. We recommend seasoned tuna pouches as a great hiking snack that you can eat on-the-go. They are packed with protein and incredibly convenient. With flavors like Jalapeno, Chipotle, Lemon & Pepper, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil, and Spicy Thai Chili, there is something for everyone. Happy hiking!