Breathe in that fresh air. Hiking through the great outdoors lets you get away from it all, take a break from your day to day life, and explore a beautiful area. The West of the USA has such a varied landscape which provides great hikes; you will find yourself strolling amongst the tallest trees in the world, swimming under majestic waterfalls, and skipping through a landscape carved out by the power of water. Hiking often provides great rewards such as spectacular views, waterfalls at the end of the hike, as well as a great workout for body and mind. All these hikes listed can be achieved in less than a day. I was cheeky though, I included a couple that need an overnight stay and can be completed in a weekend, forgive me…
Mount Constitution Loop, Moran State Park, Washington – 6.7 miles
Situated in the heavily wooded San Juan Islands, Mount Constitution on Orca Island is the highest point in the area. At the peak is a beautiful stone tower with 360° views across the whole lake region. This is a pretty hard trail but getting easier towards the summit.
James Irvine & Miners Ridge Trails, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California – 10.7 Miles
This trail encompasses 3 unique environments; a redwood filled ridgetop, a vast unspoiled beach, and finally a beautifully green valley. Regarded by many as the best hike in the park, you will find yourself hiking through a landscape you could find in a Star Wars or Lord of the Rings movie.
Ewoldsen Trail, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, California – 4.5 Miles
This is a Great Redwood forest hike located near Big Sur. The trail follows a lovely river through one of the many valleys and the second part of the trail offers Ocean views of the California coast. McWay Falls trail is nearby and starts in the same parking lot so check that out to!
Weaver’s Needle, Peralta Trail #120, Arizona – 4.9miles
This hike leads to some surreal views across the Arizona landscape. With a steady incline, great views, and a couple of stream crossings on the way up the hike itself is fun. However, at the summit you have views of the famous Weaver’s Needle – the volcanic remnants of an ancient super volcano, how epic!
Dry Creek Falls, Portland, Oregon – 4.4 miles
This family friendly hike culminates with a series of 5 cascading waterfalls with a combined height of 230ft! The waterfall is surrounded by a rock amphitheatre that is covered in lush green vegetation resembling something out of Jurassic Park!
Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California – 4 miles
This hike has so many awesome views packed into such a short distance; Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and the imposing peaks that surround it. The hike on the way up is pretty strenuous but being surrounded by the amazing wooded environment and the views that follow are sure to be worth it!
Triangulation Peak and Boca Cave, Oregon – 4 miles
The views of Mt Jefferson at the summit of this hike are simply spectacular. Boca Cave is a must to explore if you take the slightly harder side trail. This side trail is definitely worth it though as the cave provides you with a completely different viewpoint of the massive mountain.
Bear Canyon to Seven Falls, Arizona – 8 Mile.
This hike leads to a series of 7 cascading waterfalls. The hike starts relatively flat but rises up through a valley with a stream running down its middle. You will find several stream crossings and varied vegetation throughout. At the top there is a chance for you to swim in the pools created by the falls; you will also be joined by lots of fish!
*Ok the next two aren’t day hikes, you need at least two days for both of them but they’re so amazing that I had to put them on here!*
Havasupai Trail – Havasu Falls, Arizona – 20 miles.
Situated in the Grand Canyon, Havassu Falls is known as the Garden of Eden of the desert. The 10 Mile hike on the way in is pretty unforgiving so take litres of water and plenty of sun protection. Reaching the falls will help you forget all about the trials of the hike as you explore the turquoise waters of the amazing area. Permits required.
The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah – 16 miles
It’s pretty obvious due to its name; The Narrows is the narrowest section of the Narrows Canyon. That’s a lot of narrows. This hike takes you through a sandstone landscape carved out by the Virgin River. On the hike you will wade through part of this river and be surrounded by canyon walls up to 1000ft in height.