Most Scenic Day Hikes to Do This Summer

Make the most of a day in the wilderness and soak up awe-inspiring views

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Hiking is a popular pastime in the U.S. With thousands of spectacular trails in every state, picking where to spend a day trekking can be a challenging task. 

The routes on the following list range from length and difficulty, to geology and surrounding scenery. Some people prefer rugged unpaved terrain while others opt for a marked route to avoid surprises.

Summer is a time to reconnect with nature as you look to escape high temperatures and crowded beaches, to find an adventurous retreat spot for the weekend. After all, people who spend time in parks cope better with stress, feel happier and have more self-esteem, as studies have shown.

Hiking is a lot of fun but, if you’re not careful, it can turn into a dangerous outdoor activity. Traveling in the backcountry, even for a day, is physically demanding – walking for hours with a heavy backpack is a challenge even for the fittest people. Know how to stay safe.

Some trails are hidden gems and hard to find. Others are just more than a mile long – but feel like 10 because the views are so stunning, people can’t go a few steps without stopping to capture a moment. You’ll witness the unspoiled beauty of some of America’s parks and wildernesses –glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, wildflowers, wildlife, and even mine ruins.

Click here for the 13 Most Scenic Day Hikes to Do This Summer

More readings: 

15 Survival Skills Everyone Needs to Know

Best Hiking Gear on a Budget

Most Incredible Active Volcanos You Can Actually Hike Around the World

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