10 Most Adventurous Hiking Trails in America

Yosemite Valley 4 Mile Hike

Mountaineer Company

Here is a list of the 10 most adventurous hiking trails in America. These 10 were selected for the wide array of options which include of course hiking, camping and even some fishing. Finding adventurous trails to explore on the weekends is always a delightful discovery.

 


Top 10 most adventurous hiking trails in America

  1. Half Dome: Yosemite National Park – CA
  2. Canyon Overlook: Zion National Park – Ut
  3. Lost Coast Trail: Coast of Northern CA
  4. Tonto Trail: Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
  5. Angels Landing: Zions National Park, UT
  6. The Mist Trails: Yosemite National Park, CA
  7. Trans Catalina Trail: Catalina Island, CA
  8. Crow Pass Trail: Chugach State Park, AK
  9. Kalalau Trails: Napali Coast, HA
  10. Sunrise Rim Trail: Mt. Rainier National Park, WA

Half Dome

Half Dome
In Yosemite National Park, California
Difficulty: Difficult


For many hikers, ascending Half Dome to the peak is the ultimate hike. The towering dome rises to about 5,000 feet above the valley that makes Yosemite National Park. Even the most experienced hikers in America have had trouble completing the 14 – 16-mile trail to the summit. The last 400 feet can be completed by a metal cable system. This doesn’t mean the last part of the journey is easy, the cable system is a bit complicated and hikers often find themselves coping with sudden storms in the afternoons.

A successful trek to the summit of Half Dome requires between 10 and 12 hours.

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Canyon Overlook

Canyon Overlook
In Zion National Park, Utah
Difficulty: Moderate


Don’t be fooled with its 1.6-kilometer trail that takes 1 hour to complete. The trail is incredibly rocky. The escarpments of the canyon gives you a dizzying view of the crawling below your feet – so far below you won’t want to gaze there twice. Be aware that this hike is completely devoid of shades and the summer sun can be super-hot. However, if you are looking for an adventurous trail that offers breathtaking views of rock overgrowths, valleys and petroglyphs that characterize any canyon, this can be the best choice for you.

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Lost Coast Trail

Lost Coast Trail
Northern California
Difficulty: Difficult


This trail is about 24.6 miles (or 39.6km) long and will take you between 3 and 4 days to complete. It is called Lost Coast Trail for a reason; it has almost been forgotten over the years, and that’s what makes it adventurous. If you would like to hike even longer on this trail, just be aware that its southern section runs towards Usal Beach, a section that adds about 6 miles to it. The whole trail is dotted with misty stretches, barren lands, forests, and rocky terrains. Most hikers never go beyond the Northern section.

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Tonto Trail

Tonto Trail
Grand Canyon National, AZ
Difficulty: Difficult


Tonto Trail stretches an incredible 70 miles (or 113 km) which takes between 4 to 6 days to complete. It is a great place to hike for anyone who wants to experience the marvels of the Grand Canyon from inside the Grand Canyon. Official records classify this trail as a Southern Rim Hike. It extends from Garnet all the way to Red Canyon.

Several backcountry campsites dot the route and must be reserved through wilderness permit given by Background Rangers Office.

The best time to come hiking here is during the winter, fall, and spring. August and July are very hot.

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Angel’s Landing

Angel’s landing
Zions National Park, UT
Difficulty: Moderate


This 5-mile hike will take you from the valleys of Zion Canyon up to the tunnel view suspended at about 1,400 feet on top of Angel’s Landing. The first part of the hike consists of a 2-mile stroll along Virgin River before gradually ascending into 21 consecutive switchbacks. The final one mile of the hike is characterized by very narrow rocky paths that could require you to come with chains to navigate safely.

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The Mist Trails

The Mist Trails
Yosemite National Park, CA
Difficulty: Moderate


The Mist Trail joins the 200-mile John Muir trail, providing day hikers a full taste of what explorers and backpacking aficionados experience on daily basis on its hanging rocky steps. The lower portions of this trail also serve as staging areas for the aforementioned and equally grueling Half Dome trail.

If you want to have a great experience when hiking here, you should come in the Spring when the snow has melted and increased the roar in Vernal falls – witness the falls dangerously rush their way off the granite cliffs of the park and settle in the small lake below.

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Trans Catalina Trail

Trans Catalina Trail
Southern California
Difficulty: Moderate


Trans Catalina is about 38.7 miles (or 62 km) long and can take between 3 and 5 days to complete. Most parts of this trail consist of rugged terrain and dramatic desert landscapes. You don’t need to hurry, most hikers who come here take their time exploring the terrain – spotting buffalo, soaking in Catalina Island, and camping in some secret beaches. If you take your time, or if you are just a slow hiker, it will take you a maximum of 5 days to complete the trail.

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Crow Pass Trail

Crow Pass Trail
Chugach State Park, AK
Difficulty: Difficult


Crow Pass Trail is about 38 km long, one way. It offers everything an adventurous hiker would want to see: crossing snowfields, distinct wildlife, sweeping landscapes, fording streams and rivers, jaw-dropping views…it is more than a hiking destination. Hiking the whole length of this trail takes between 2 and 3 days. Designated campsites can be found on the entire length of the trail and it is quite easy to see why this trail is one of the most preferred hikes in Alaska and the USA.

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Kalalau Trails

Kalalau Trails
Napali Coast, HI
Difficulty: Moderate


Kalalau Trail is about 22 miles (or 3km) long and takes 2 to 3 days to complete. Hawaii Island itself is among the most breathtaking destinations any hiker would want to visit they can’t hike anymore. The Napali Coast where Kalalau Trail is situated is located on the island of Kauai which is one of the most scenic places in the United States. The landscapes resemble those we saw in Avatar and Jurassic Park (these movies were actually filmed there!).

This trail is remote, rugged and will require you to make some advanced planning.

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Sunrise Rim Trail

Sunrise Rim Trail
Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
Difficulty: Moderate

Sunrise Rim Trail forms an 8.0km loop that can be completed in about 3 hours. Don’t let the short length of the trail fool you, it becomes harder as you get past the treeline and soon reaches Burroughs Mountains that are made of rocky terrain with tundra-like features. If you are the explorative type, you can climb your way to the jaw-dropping Glacier Overlook for an opportunity to the snow crest of Emmons Glacier.

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So there you have it my friends. The 10 Most Adventurous Hiking Trails in the USA! I will write more about these trails and others in the near future! Happy Trails!

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