You can plan a hike from anywhere, but where are the best spots to go? Here’s a list of the best cities to take a hike whether you’re looking for a short, easy hike or a more difficult weekend trip.
Just east of the Rocky Mountains, Denver brings in a lot of people over the winter months for the great winter sports opportunities that are available. However, when the snow’s all melted there are some beautiful hiking trails in those very same mountains.
Mt. Evans – While the Summit Trail hike itself isn’t very challenging, the views and scenery on your way up are well worth the trip. You’ll pass by Echo Lake, Goliath Peak which includes the Walter Pesman Trail, and Summit Lake before you reach the peak all of which are great spots to check out as well.
Mt. Falcon – If you’re looking for an easier hike, Mt. Falcon is a good option while staying relatively close to Denver. This hike will take you about two hours to complete and has picnic tables, great lookouts and historic ruins that you can enjoy, so make sure you pack a lunch!
Rocky Mountain National Park – Over 400 miles of protected land with many good hiking trails, whether you’re looking for something short and easy or long and difficult, you’ll find the trail you’re looking for here.
Portland is one of the most unique cities in America, is known for its beautiful parks and
eco-friendliness. It is surrounded by green, rolling hills in which you’ll find many different kinds of hiking experiences.
Eagle Creek Trail – In the Columbia River Gorge, east of Portland, you’ll find this trail that takes you by some beautiful waterfalls to get to High Bridge, a man-made bridge that offers a nice overlook of the area.
Forest Park – On the west side of the Willamette River, Forest Park showcases Portland’s natural beauty with more than 80 miles of trails and is still within the city limits.
Tryon State Park – A great park to hike with the kids, the park offers 8 miles of hiking trails as well as many different educational opportunities such as displays and guided hikes.
It doesn’t get much better than hiking in a city where the weather never really gets bone-chillingly cold. If you’re up for hiking year-round, Phoenix is the city for you.
Grand Canyon – About 3 hours north of Phoenix is the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. You can take in the views by walking along the top of the rim, or you can trek down into the canyon on several different types of tours. If you’re willing to make the trip, you can hike down through the canyon from one side of the rim to the other.
Camelback – Camelback mountain has two trails, both of which are somewhat difficult but very satisfying to complete. Located in the middle of the Phoenix valley, you can look out across the entire valley once you get to the top and take in some of Arizona’s natural beauty.
On the east coast, Atlanta has trails for those looking to hike close to home, or for those looking for a challenge away from the city for a while.
Appalachian Trail – The southernmost part of the Appalachian Trail that extends all the way north to Maine, is Springer Mountain. This mountain, a little over two hours north of Atlanta, is a part of the Chattahoochee National Forest. If you don’t think you’re up for the 2000+ mile, 5-7 month cross country journey to Maine, you can get on the trail at Three Forks and make the hike to Springer Mountain in a 8.6 mile trip instead.
Morningside Nature Preserve – Looking for something closer to the city? Morningside Nature Preserve has several dog-friendly trails that cover 30-acres of land and is a nice way to get away from the city noise.
This city is located just east of the Canadian Rockies – home to canyons, turquoise lakes, glaciers, and many different types of wildlife – Calgary is a city where you can really explore nature’s beauty.
Banff – West of the Calgary is the beautiful Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park, which is abundant in both wildlife and hiking trails. When you are looking to visit the park, make sure you look for any trail restrictions and be aware of the wildlife (elk, deer, bears) that might be around.
Kananaskis Lakes – About an hour and a half or so west of the city, you will find the Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes. Besides breathtaking views, around the lakes, you’ll find spectacular trails and hiking with camping sites and picnic areas at various points.
While this is only 5 different cities in the U.S. and Canada and only a few great hiking trails for each, there are definitely other cities and hikes across North America and the world that you should look into if you are a serious hiking enthusiast or just want to go for a nice hike.
Do you have any suggestions for other great hiking spots? Let us know in the comments below!