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7 Best Fall Hiking Destinations In The U.S.

September 30, 2021

Fall Hiking Destinations In The US

Photo by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash

No matter where you live in the United States, there are plenty of places to go hiking this fall.

Fall is here and with it come cooler temperatures, shorter days, and the changing of the leaves. In order to celebrate our favorite season we've compiled a list of America's top 7 hiking destinations perfect for fall. If you're looking for a place to get in some fall hiking, these 7 destinations are sure to provide the perfect adventure.

Whether you're an experienced hiker or just getting started on your outdoor journey, this list of 7 of America's top fall hiking destinations will inspire you to get out there this season.

Related: 5 Reasons To Go Hiking This Fall

Here are 7 best fall hiking destinations in the US:

1) Zion National Park

fall hiking destinations in the US

Photo by Trevor Gerzen on Unsplash

Zion National Park is a world-class hiking destination every hiker should experience at least once in their lifetime. It is one of America’s most popular national parks with jaw-dropping views and a unique landscape. Very few parks come close to Zion in terms of sheer natural beauty. That’s why hiking here is every adventure traveler’s dream. Soaring red-and-white cliffs, hidden arches, sweeping cliffs, winding narrows, vast expanses of slick rock, and abundance of wildlife make hiking here a fun experience for all. So make sure to plan a hike to Zion National Park this fall.

Related: The Essential Zion National Park Travel Guide

2) Rocky Mountain National Park

fall hiking destinations in the US

Photo by Kelsey Wiedel on Unsplash

With the advent of fall, Colorado’s famous aspen trees start changing colors from green to golden. And the best way to see them in action is with a hike inside the famous Rocky Mountain National Park. You will get to indulge in the sight of prolific aspen trees in a landscape surrounded by some of the most breathtaking snowcapped peaks. Rocky Mountain National Park offers plenty of hiking trails for all ages. So you can even bring your family here for a wholehearted outdoor adventure this fall. We highly recommend doing the 10-mile round-trip hike to the top of Mt. Ida. Although this hike is a bit on the challenging side, the end reward certainly makes it well worth the effort.

Related: Rocky Mountain National Park Travel Guide

3) Upper Yosemite Falls

fall hiking destinations in the US

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

This list wouldn’t have been completed without me mentioning the Upper Yosemite Falls. Both experienced and novice hikers consider a hike to Upper Yosemite Falls as one of the best fall hikes in the US. There are a lot of great reasons to visit Upper Yosemite Falls inside the Yosemite National Park. But most come here because of its otherworldly landscape and scenery. Only a few places in the world can compare with the beauty of this region. The hike itself is a steep 7.2-mile trip that rewards you with constant views of the misty waterfall. One of the best things about hiking to the top of the Yosemite Falls is that you get to see the entire Yosemite Valley.

Related: Upper Yosemite Falls Trail Guide

4) Maroon Lake Scenic Trail

Fall hiking destinations in the US

Photo by David Rupert on Unsplash

The name of this trail itself is enough to make you wanna gear up and go hiking. But name aside, the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail is one of the most photogenic places to go hiking this fall. This outdoor hiking trail takes you on an amazing journey through Aspen, Colorado. Maroon Lake Scenic Trail will get you up close to the Rocky Mountains. Expect to encounter tons of wild animals running around. Mountain goats call this place their home and often graze on the mountainside. There are picturesque lakes and streams dotted along the hiking trail. So, make sure to bring your camera with you.

Related: Maroon Lake Scenic Trail Travel Guide

5) The Franconia Ridge Trail

For hikers living in New Hampshire, the Franconia Ridge Trail is a place worth exploring this fall. Its serenity and remoteness make it one of the best fall hikes in the US. The trail offers some of the most beloved natural wonders and attractions found nowhere else. All in all, the trail is about 9 miles long and lets you explore beautiful mountainsides. Hiking here will bring you to two mountain peaks: Mount Lafayette and Mount Lincoln. The start is quite easy and does not need much of an effort. But as you get higher, the terrain becomes more challenging.

6) Smoky Mountains Nature Trail

fall hiking destinations in the US

Photo by Jonny James on Unsplash

Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the US. And it’s also the place where our last fall hiking trail lies. The Smoky Mountains Nature Trail follows a route along the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. This place has been the go-to fall hiking destination in the U.S. for several years. Most of the trail is full of mountainous forests filled with incredible flora and fauna. A small section of this trail even features blossoming rhododendron and flame azaleas. So it can feel like you’re on a photographic tour while hiking inside Smoky Mountains National Park.

Related: The Ultimate Great Smoky Mountains Travel Guide 

7) Cascade Mountain

The Cascade Mountain hiking trail is the place to be for one of the best day hikes in the US. The vibrant landscape and cool temperatures of fall serve as the best time to hike here. This place is jam-packed with hikers during peak summer and spring season. But that all changes with the coming of the fall season. You will find very few people on the trails while hiking here in fall. It can take you almost 2 hours to complete this hike. And you can stop at an open ledge overlooking the Marcy Mountains once you reach the 1.8-mile mark. The seemingly endless mountain views are the highlight of this hiking trail.


These are the 7 best fall hiking destinations in the US that are sure to impress this year. With all these fantastic destinations on our doorstep, it would be hard not take advantage of them now that they are here! These trails will lead you right to some of the most popular fall hikes across America, so what are you waiting for? Get out there! Don't miss out on your chance at enjoying nature during one of its best seasons- check these trails out today!

What are your favorite destinations for a fall hike? We would love to hear about them below or on our social media pages!

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