There’s 58 National Parks throughout the United States, and it’s not only their natural beauty that draws in huge crowds. The Parks have become a haven for outdoor lovers, especially hikers. With hundreds of famous and not-so-famous trails, the opportunity for hikers are vast. However, when you’re just starting out, walking with a group, or going with the family, you’ll want to focus on trails that are suitable for all skill levels.
To help you find a suitable hike, below, we’ve detailed some of the lesser known trails along with some of the better-known ones. Each of the hikes are suitable for all capabilities, though that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few challenges along the way. If you’re looking for a hike that covers all abilities, consider one of the following:
Canyon Overlook Trail, Zion National Park
The Canyon Overlook trail is short, which makes it good for hikers building their fitness levels, or young children. However, it’s not without its obstacles, such as the steeper areas, which makes it good for the more advanced hiker. When you’ve finished the hike, Canyon Overlook is great for photo opportunities, with Pine Creek Slot Canyon, Mount Carmel, West and East Temple being among the main landmarks.
Hoodoo Trail, Banff National Park
The intriguing Hoodoo Trail is situated at Banff National Park in Canada. It has a moderate length of 6 miles, so it’s not too stressful for the beginner hiker. And while it won’t be considered as a challenge by some, the outstanding scenery makes it worthwhile for the more advanced. As for highlights, there are the magnificent river and mountain views, Bow Valley and the fascinating Hoodoo sculptures to look out for.
Broken Arch Loop, Arches National Park
The main advantage of the Broken Arch Loop is that it’s relatively quiet; this makes if perfect for hikers just starting out, young families, and walkers who just want to stay away from the crowds. It has amazing views along the way, and it’s great for photo opportunities. Of particular interest is the view of the La Sal Mountains, which by many accounts, makes the trail worthwhile on its own.
Cherry Canyon Trail, Channel Islands National Park
The stunning views, wildflowers and rivers are reason enough to make the Cherry Canyon a must-visit trail. The trail is moderate enough for the less experienced hiker, but with plenty to interest the more advanced, Cherry Canyon is suitable for all levels. Among the highlights along the way are Belcher’s Bay and Santa Rosa Bay. You’ll also be spoilt by the amount of wildlife that inhabits the area, and the endless blue skies and sandy beaches that await you.
Trail of Cedars, Glacier National Park
This popular trail is less than one mile, it’s easy going for the beginner, and it has wheelchair accessibility. The trail is rich in forest scenery, and it has a wealth of wildlife, which provide ample photo opportunities. Other points of interest are the waterfalls, and the views of the Avalanche Gorge. Advanced hikers won’t necessarily find it a challenge, but there’s several other hiking trails close by, such as Avalanche Lake, for those that want to push themselves a bit further.
When hiking as a group or with family, it can be difficult to find a hike that is suited to everyone. However, you can find many trails that are easy enough going for the novice hiker and younger family members, while offering plenty to do and see for the more advanced. Whichever trail you choose, plan it well, be prepared, dress right, and then enjoy your time testing out these picturesque trails.
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