I have a long family history of hikers. My grandfather and cousins go on a two-week hike through the Appalachian Mountains each year, my mom hikes local mountains five days a week before work and my husband and I look forward to taking our kids on weekend hikes once they’re a bit older. Hiking allows me to clear my mind and focus on the beauty that surrounds me. My favorite hikes provide both a good workout and an exciting adventure. Take a look at these top eight hikes for thrill-seekers!
Bright Angel Trail – Grand Canyon, Arizona
Length: 9.5 miles
Challenges: Temperatures can reach as high as 110 degrees in the Grand Canyon, so make sure to go early and pack plenty of water. The hike is also incredibly steep, so it's not for the faint of heart!
Why it’s worth it: The views are truly magnificent.
Ramsey Cascades – Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Length: 7.5 miles
Challenges: The hike is all uphill, with the last mile being exceptionally steep. The hike is also very narrow in some spots, sometimes barely wide enough for one person.
Why it’s worth it: At the end is a gorgeous 90-foot waterfall. You’ll also come across some of the nation’s largest trees, including a tulip tree that is 7 feet in diameter.
The Enchantments – Leavenworth, Washington
Length: 18 miles
Challenges: It’s a long and difficult hike. We recommend hiking it over the course of a few days and camping along the way. Keep in mind you need a permit to camp there.
Why it’s worth it: You’ll see mountain goats, rivers, lakes, wildflowers, meadows and more! The hike is one of the best that Washington has to offer.
Great Range Traverse – New York
Length: 11 miles
Challenges: Voted the third-hardest day hike in America by Backpacker Magazine, there are cliffs and rock ledges that require agility and strength throughout the hike.
Why it’s worth it: The hike has nine different peaks, giving you a different view almost every hour. All of the views are breathtaking, making the hike one of the best in the northeastern US.
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