Our Favorite Great American Hikes
Photo: Flickr/Scott McCracken
Long Trail, Jay Peak Long Trail North - Jay, Vt. (pictured above)
"The oldest long-distance trail in the United States, it's rugged enough to keep any hiker interested, but the Jay Peak section is accommodating of beginners."
Franconia Ridge Traverse - White Mountain National Forest, N.H.
Connecting 4 peaks "along a knife-edge, above-treeline trail" you'll see magnificent views in all directions including the entire Pemigewasset Wilderness and views of Vermont and even New York State on a clear day.
"Just because this trail is one of the more popular hiking destinations in the U.S. doesn't mean it's an easy ascent. Aptly named for its rugged terrain strewn with boulder fields and bare rocks, the trail is 8 miles round-trip."
"Advanced dessert hikers capable of tackling this treacherous trek will be rewarded for their hard work with sights of some of the most magnificent red rock views of the American Southwest."
"Named for it's tendency to be lost beneath California's tide, the trail is more than 20 miles, one way, with camping spots throughout, making it the perfect week-long challenge for the extreme hiker."
"This spectacular view is said to be Colorado's most photographed mountain landscape, but the hikes are not to be overshadowed. Standing at more than 14,000 feet each, the six peaks draw scores of experienced hikers."
"Begin by scaling cliffs with the help of chains bolted into rock and reach the best views. Red rock fans and dare devil hikers won't be able to pass on this journey."