USA Bucket List Hiking Trails to Explore This Summer

Summer is just around the corner! Break in your hiking boots and hit the trails solo or with friends and family this upcoming season. Whether you’re planning to take a gentle stroll through the woods or embark on an exciting new challenge, hiking is one of the best ways to get outdoors and experience the beauty of nature. Hiking in the summer not only brings physical benefits but mental benefits as well. Giving yourself a chance to get out, explore new areas, and surround yourself with nature allows you to be present, think more clearly, and connect with people around you differently.

The USA is one of the world's most diverse and vast countries, so it’s no surprise that some of the world’s best national parks lie in this country. From the rugged eastern shoreline to the rolling hills, various unique landscapes and climates make for the best hiking experiences for outdoor enthusiasts like yourself! 

So what are you waiting for? We’ve compiled a list of the best trails to hike this summer in the US. Keep reading to find out what they are and some tips to be aware of.

The Rim Trail - Grand Canyon National Park

If this gorgeous national park is your first visit, be prepared to witness jaw-dropping views all around you. The Rim Trail is a must-have hike for anyone visiting Grand Canyon National Park! This trail is a beautiful option for those who desire a full-day hike with minimal elevation change, excellent walking opportunities, and scenic views down to the Grand Canyon. The trail is accessible to people of all ages and puppies, and you can take the shuttle bus or bike the trail at any point. We highly recommend visiting the trail at sunset so you don’t miss Golden Hour - the chance to see the walls light up an incredible yellow/orange at night. 

US National Park Service - Grand Canyon National Park Trail Map

DaveNally - Grand Canyon National Park Trail Map

Angel’s Landing Trail - Zion National Park

Along this 5.4-mile hike, expect to gain 1,488 feet in elevation as you travel along the trail and soak up the sun. Be aware that this is a challenging hike. Unlike the Rim trail hike in the Grand Canyon, Angel’s Landing is a very strenuous, challenging hike that is rewarding once completed! Hiking along a gusty trail with high exposure is what makes Angel’s Landing such a remarkable experience. This hike is highly challenging and involves holding onto chains for protection as you go through it - it will take you an estimated time between 3-6 hours! Are you ready to step up to the challenge? 

DaveNally - Zion National Park Trail Map

AMG Maps - Zion National Park Trail Map

Half-Day Dome Hike - Yosemite National Park

This steep hike is one of the most challenging in Yosemite National Park! If you’re ready for a summer full of new challenges, expect to add the half-day dome hike to your list! As you can guess from the name, you can expect to hike this trail for 9-16 hours. It includes 300 metres of spectacular waterfalls. If you take the Mist Trail, you will see the incredible panoramic vistas at the top. The cables will help guide you and test your courage, strength, and tread on your shoes. 

Garmin - California Atlas & Gazetteer Yosemite Trail Map

Apogee Mapping Inc - Half Dome California Trail Map

Highline Trail - Glacier National Park

This beautiful trail is very popular in Glacier National Park and for good reason. At every step and every turn, hikers experience spectacular scenery as they traverse the Continental Divide. With exceptional views and stunning landscapes, the Highline trail is perfect for your next-day backpacking trip. The best time to hike this trail is in June-September. The trails will be clear of snow, and the weather will be warm - with enough daylight to cover your long days out adventuring! Remember, this point-to-point trail is approximately 11.2 miles long and has an elevation gain of 1,450 feet.

US National Park Service - Glacier National Park Trail Map

Backroad Mapbooks - Glacier National Park Trail Map

Precipice Trail - Acadia National Park

Are you seeking another thrilling hike? The Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park is just that! This short, gripping hike features a steep climb and numerous walks along short ledges. We recommend visiting this trail anywhere from late summer into early fall. Not only will you test your fear of heights along this hike, but you will also see some fascinating views of the Atlantic Ocean and Mount Desert Island. You may even glimpse some wildlife along the way if you’re lucky! 

Map Adventures LLC - Acadia National Park Trail Map 

Eyes Up Adventure Co - Acadia National Park Map 

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Which national park is next on your bucket list? We hope we’ve inspired you to get out there and start exploring more bucket-list parks this summer! Whether you tackle the half-day dome hike in Yosemite, braze through Angel’s Landing Trail, or start your adventure in the Grand Canyon, there’s no going wrong. Dive into Avenza Maps and download our high-quality hiking maps that fit perfectly for your next adventure. We invite you to share your experiences on social media and tag us in your upcoming adventures. See you on the trails! 

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