There are thousands of hiking destinations in the USA. Every state has hiking trails, and there is an endless variety of locations ready and waiting to be discovered.
The USA is a hikers paradise and for great reason. The landscape across America is diverse. There is every type of landscape comprehensible from thousands of miles of coastline to rainforests, deserts and mountain ranges. America's hiking trails take you through every kind of terrain and climate imaginable. It's no wonder that millions of people from all over the world, including the USA travel to hike across the country every year.
Take a look below at a guide to some of the best USA hiking destinations and hiking holidays you can experience when travelling to the USA to hike. This guide focuses on hiking between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
It sounds like a fantastic adventure, but let's take a look at some of the places you could see and visit if you did this hiking tour in the USA. Adventure tours would take you through multiple locations on route to your final destination. Let's take a look at what locations you could stop, see and hike in between Vegas and L.A.:
Start or end your hike in Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world. Full of casinos and bright dazzling lights, it's a great place to enjoy yourself before or after your week of hiking in the USA. There are lots of luxury accommodation choices here and lots of great shows and entertainment on offer.
Leaving behind the neon lights and casinos, and heading to the Zion National Park, which is around 3 hours from Vegas. Warm-up with a leader-led orientation of the national park, and stroll easily to the bottom of the Emerald Pools, walking through the sparkling waterfalls and streams on the route. Continue to the upper section on a more challenging path, checking out another waterfall on the way to the 'beach' of Zion. In the afternoon, spend some free time exploring some of the park's hiking trails. If you feel ambitious, maybe enjoy the most popular hiking challenge in the park - Angels Landing. Hikers will be rewarded with sweeping panoramas of the red desert after a walk along the thin ridge of cliffs.
The Narrows is also a good choice, as it is possibly the park's most popular hike, and one of Earth's best canyon hikes. Trek through a canyon surrounded by a cliff faces 300 metres high, and cool off in a river along the way. There is a trek here that everyone is capable of achieving.
A millennia of wind and water erosion has created the distinctive hoodoos of the Bryce Canyon park - uniquely shaped rock spires that grow from the desert. You'll have plenty of time to explore the variety of hikes that the park provides, from the accessible Rim Trail to the challenging Queen's Garden Trail or the strenuous Peek-a-boo Loop. Wherever you walk, you can find the vibrant landscapes of the Canyon. The community leader will be joining you on a walk and in the Canyon for lunch. If you feel adventurous, book a horse-riding tour and view the park in another way.
On your way here you will have time to explore the cliffs, canyons and dome of the not so well known but no less picturesque Capitol Reef National Park. Take Scenic Byway 12 and stop at Kiva Koffeehouse for lunch and a look over the National Monument to the Escalante Grand Staircase in southern Utah. Until entering Monument Valley, drive-by more scenic lookouts at Goosenecks State Park and Moki Dugway. When you arrive, you can see, as far as the eye can see, the massive sandstone formations spread across the desert. Throughout the evening, a Navajo guide travels by jeep across the valley. Join the local people for an authentic Navajo supper around the campfire, and enjoy traditional songs and storeys night out before settling down for the night.
Spread your hike here over a few days to experience the whole of the national park. Pictures do not do justice when it comes to this vast network of gorges, rivers and cliffs. This is a real highlight of a hiking tour between Vegas and L.A., and you'll need to spend a few days here to take everything in and experience everything. Maybe start with a stroll along the South Rim Trail that offers excellent views over the park. Although you can't hike to and from the Colorado River in a single day, you can take an approximately 4-hour walk to Skeleton Point, which provides fantastic river views.
On your second day take a helicopter ride across the gorges, and get the chance to see the entire park from the sky. If you want to see the bird's eye without leaving the field, at the nearest IMAX cinema, you can opt to watch a documentary on the Canyon. There are, of course, countless walks and treks to keep the healthy happy. Bright Angel has spectacular views all along the trail, and Ooh-Aah Point is a favourite shorter hike on the South Kaibab Trail, offering a different perspective to the park. Throughout the evening, lie back behind the red peaks and watch the sunset.
Take a drive from The Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree National Park, which is around a 7-hour drive away. You can save time by hopping on a private charter jet.
If you do decide to take the drive, you will spend some time driving the popular Route 66. Sitting between the deserts of Mojave and Colorado, Joshua Tree is home to stunning rock formations, several species of cactus and abundant wildlife in the desert such as coyotes, lizards and bighorn sheep. Joshua Tree provides a significant contrast to wildlife and natural scenery and is a great place to stay over and hike.
There could be time to squeeze in a Joshua Tree sunrise walk before heading to Los Angeles, which takes around 3 hours.
Visit the Farmers Market for lunch before spending an afternoon watching people at Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach for a while. You are then free to explore L.A. at your own pace. Stroll down Rodeo Road, enrich the atmosphere with a trip to the Getty Center, or take a walk of the mansions of Beverly Hills. In the evening, you'll have no trouble finding a place for dinner - L.A.'s cultural mishmash offers excellent food wherever you are.
Taking a hiking tour between these two famous locations makes for a great vacation and is a wonderful way to see a lot of the landscapes that the USA has to offer for those who love the outdoors and who love an adventure. Both destinations are great places to start and end your hiking holiday, whichever way around you decide to do them.