The Best Hiking Spots for Women in the US
A list of the best hiking spots for women according to travel bloggers
If you are feeling the need to head out on a hiking trip, we’ve got you! Get out your hiking shoes and head out with a fellow female hiker to set out for an outdoor adventure.
Here is a list of recommendations from travel bloggers who have seen everything from the Grand Canyon, the Yosemite Falls, and the Santa Monica Mountains. But here, they talk about their favorite hike and how the incredible views make hiking their favorite activity to do.
1. Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park
Recommended by Meg Atteberry of Fox in the Forest
As one of the most beautiful hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, Emerald Lake is one of the best ways to get an introduction to Colorado’s alpine spectacular views. Even though the trail is pretty easy and short (it takes roughly two hours to complete), it provides an array of stunning landscapes, including three picture-perfect alpine lakes and dreamy mountain vistas you will drool over!
As a Colorado local, I’ve easily done this hike about ten times and it is my go-to for visitors who want to get to experience what hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park is like without putting in too much effort and sweat or going on a full-on backpacking trip.
If you’re not done soaking up the gorgeous views, you can extend the hike and continue onwards to Lake Hayiaha. This will add two miles (round trip) to your itinerary, but it’s well worth the effort!
2. Diamond Head Crater Hike in Diamond Head State Park
Recommended by Jiayo Wang from The Diary of a Nomad
The Diamond Head Crater Hike in Honolulu, Hawaii is definitely one of the most spectacular hikes in the US for the fantastic views it offers. Once you get to the peak, you’ll get a gorgeous panorama of the Waikiki coast and some of the best clearwater beaches in the US.
Some of the other key highlights of the hike include going through two long tunnels, which is quite a cool experience. There are also several lookout points along the way.
This hike is moderately difficult as it involves some steep and rocky terrain. However, it is pretty short and takes only 40-60 minutes (one way).
I wish I could do this hike regularly, but I don’t live in the US anymore. It is definitely a must-do hike for anyone visiting Honolulu, though.
My top tip would be to start this hike at sunrise or early in the morning because it gets very hot during the day.
3. Skyline Trail in Mount Rainier National Park
Recommended by Val Pope of Voyages with Val
Skyline Trail is one of the best hikes in Mount Rainier National Park. On a clear day, this trail has panoramic views of the majority of the trail of the surrounding Cascade Mountains, with Mount Rainier standing above the rest! This trail has some of the best sights Washington has to offer, and in the summer it is filled with wildflowers and the possibility of seeing wildlife in the meadows surrounding the trail.
Skyline is a 5.6-mile loop, with 1788 feet of elevation gain, and moderate difficulty. Plan for about 3-4 hours to complete this hike, depending on how long you stop to take in the views!
In the early Summer and Fall, there may be some snow at higher elevations, which can make the trek longer and more challenging, so check conditions before you go.
My top tip is to arrive early! This trail can be very popular, so arrive at sunrise to beat the crowds and have some spectacular sights to yourself. It is also a good idea to check the National Parks website to view live webcams of the Paradise area to see the weather and mountain visibility.
4. Shuckstack Fire Tower in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Recommended by Gabby Abbott of Journey to the Destination
If you are an experienced hiker looking for a difficult day hike with amazing views, you should consider hiking to Shuckstack Fire Tower in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Shuckstack Fire Tower is an old tower that was used to watch for fires in the National Park. The fire tower offers beautiful, expansive views of Fontana Dam and Fontana Lake!
To get to Shuckstack Fire Tower, start on the Appalachian Trailhead after driving across Fontana Dam. From there, you will hike 3.5 miles to Shuckstack. This is a 7-mile long strenuous hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that takes around 5 or 6 hours.
To make the hike to Shuckstack even more enjoyable, pack a lunch to enjoy at the fire tower.
Because this hike is beautiful, I do it regularly! My main piece of advice for anyone doing this hike is to take it slow. It is difficult, but the views are worth it.
5. Cadillac Mountain Summit in Acadia National Park
Recommended by Melissa Luther of Navigation Junkie
The coast of Maine, and specifically Acadia National Park, is arguably one of the most scenic destinations in the US. The South Ridge Trail to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point in the Eastern US, makes for the perfect hike with a stunning view of the surrounding Acadia National Park and Frenchman Bay. The South Ridge Trail is a 7.1 round trip trail that extends off Route 3 near the Blackwoods Campground.
The trail begins in a forested area with a gradual, steady ascent before transitioning to the characteristic pink granite found on Cadillac Mountain. The trail will take you past a combination of unique scenery, including plant and animal life, a marsh, and a small pond before arriving at the summit.
You will want to reserve a full day for completing this hike. The trail is considered a moderate hike that can take anywhere from two hours to four hours one way. You will also want to spend some time at the top walking the summit loop trail or simply sitting and admiring the views before making the descent down. For new, unique views you can take the North Ridge Trail down and then catch the Island Explorer Bus back towards your car.
6. Oberg Mountain in Tofte, Minnesota
Recommended by Shelly with Almost There Adventures
The North Shore of Minnesota along Lake Superior provides some of the greatest, easy access hiking that return tremendous beauty. The Oberg Mountain loop is considered to be Minnesota’s best Fall color hike but really is great year-round. What makes this trail so spectacular are the frequent overlooks, all with a panoramic view of Lake Superior, the Sawtooth Mountains, and Oberg Lake.
Oberg Mountain is a 2.3-mile loop trail that is rated as moderate and gains 508 feet in elevation. It begins with moderately climbing switchbacks leading to an easy loop at the top. If you’d like to extend this hike you can add on the LeVeaux loop which is approximately 3.2 miles and can be accessed from the same parking lot.
The nice part about hiking on the North Shore of Minnesota is there are so many great hikes, waterfalls, and adventure activities all within a 30-mile radius. This makes it easy to pack a lot into one trip.
7. Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park
Recommended by Victoria Heinz of Guide Your Travel
The Anhinga Trail is an easy and beginner-friendly hiking trail located in the Everglades National Park in southern Florida. The Everglades is actually the southern part of the Florida National Scenic Trail.
The trailhead of the Anhinga Trail is about an hour away from Miami so it is easily accessible. While on the hike you can spot wildlife along the way including different species of bird and even some alligators. The trail mostly consists of a boardwalk so it’s safe and easy to handle.
Make sure to pack mosquito spray and plenty of water as it can get quite hot in this area. This is a great hike to do on the weekends or as a regular rotation since it’s quick and can be completed in less than an hour.
You may be itching to make the trek to the Everest Base Camp but let’s face it, traveling out of the country isn’t going to happen anytime soon! So why not look where you can have an epic hike here in the US?
After all, Asheville, Joshua Tree, Solstice Canyon, the Blue Ridge Mountain, and all the hikes recommended in this post are a car or plane ride away.
So whether you are a trail runner or a newbie hiker, start planning a hiking trip, get a copy of a trail map, and begin dreaming about the waterfall, gorge, natural bridge, or delicate arch you will soon be seeing in person. We are definitely here to support you in that decision!