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A group of friends hiking | Source: Freepik
A group of friends hiking | Source: Freepik

Best U.S. Cities for Hiking — From Scenic Trails to Mountain Adventures

Milla Sigaba
Mar 30, 2024
06:30 A.M.
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Embark on a journey through the great American outdoors as we unveil the best U.S. cities for hiking — from the serene foothills of Boise, Idaho, to the bustling trails of Los Angeles, California.

Embracing the great outdoors has never been more rewarding, especially when it involves hiking. It's an activity that offers a gateway into nature's heart, serving as a vital source of mental, physical, and social well-being.

If you're seeking to lace up your hiking boots and explore, you're in for a treat. This guide will navigate you through the best U.S. cities for hiking, where scenic trails and mountain adventures await at your doorstep.

A woman hiking in the mountains | Source: Getty Images

A woman hiking in the mountains | Source: Getty Images

Trailblazers' Paradise: A Guide to the Best U.S. Cities for Hiking

1. Boise, Idaho: A Hiker's Dream

Nestled amid natural beauty, Boise stands out for its diverse terrain and an impressive network of trails. The Ridge to Rivers trail system in the Boise Foothills alone offers over 190 miles of trails catering to various abilities and fitness levels.

Venture into the Boise National Forest, where trails like the Kepros Mountain Trail unveil breathtaking vistas of the Trinity Mountains.

Engage in the Boise Trails Challenge to discover new paths and cap off your adventure at local breweries such as 10 Barrel Brewing Co.

Boise National Forest, Idaho | Source: Getty Images

Boise National Forest, Idaho | Source: Getty Images

2. Salt Lake City, Utah: Mountain Majesties and Urban Trails

Salt Lake City's proximity to the Wasatch Mountains spells paradise for hikers. With trails winding through alpine lakes, dense forests, and rugged canyons, the city’s landscape is a tapestry of natural wonders.

Donut Falls, a kid-friendly hike, and the panoramic views from Grandeur Peak are highlights. Refuel at Avenues Proper, where the menu caters to all post-hike cravings.

Donut Falls, Utah | Source: Getty Images

Donut Falls, Utah | Source: Getty Images

3. Asheville, North Carolina: Blue Ridge Beauty

Asheville's setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains offers an exquisite backdrop for hiking enthusiasts. The diverse trails range from gentle slopes to challenging peaks, ensuring something for every hiker.

Pisgah National Forest and its iconic trails, such as Looking Glass Rock, promise memorable adventures. For a leisurely day out, the North Carolina Arboretum offers over 10 miles of trails amidst beautiful gardens.

Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina | Source: Getty Images

Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina | Source: Getty Images

4. San Francisco, California: Urban Hiking at Its Finest

San Francisco's iconic landmarks pair with over 250 hiking trails in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to offer unique urban hiking experiences.

The Coastal Trail, for instance, offers stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean. With its mild climate and accessibility via public transport, San Francisco is a year-round hiking destination.

A couple hiking along the California coast | Source: Getty Images

A couple hiking along the California coast | Source: Getty Images

5. Los Angeles, California: Hiking Under the Hollywood Sign

Los Angeles combines its star-studded allure with a landscape rich in hiking opportunities. The San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains, with their diverse trails, offer everything from waterfalls to 360-degree vistas atop Mount Baldy. LA's year-round mild climate makes it a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts.

The San Gabriel Mountains | Source: Getty Images

The San Gabriel Mountains | Source: Getty Images

Exploring the best U.S. cities for hiking not only offers a chance to immerse yourself in breathtaking landscapes but also to engage with vibrant communities and diverse ecosystems.

As you plan your next outdoor escapade, consider these cities your gateway to the unparalleled beauty and exhilarating challenges of the great outdoors.

Don't miss our guide on the best knee brace for hiking to ensure your hiking experiences are as comfortable as they are memorable by choosing the right gear for your journey.

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