Fall is here and it’s begging you to go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.
How can you resist the urge to go outside during this time of the year? After all, the fall season is beautiful, vibrant and perfect for hiking. Fall hiking in the US is a great way to enjoy the outdoors before winter. From Tennessee to California, there are numerous amazing fall hiking destinations in the US. But with all these choices available, deciding where to hike and go sightseeing can feel a bit overwhelming. So, to help you choose the perfect hiking trail, we’ve narrowed down these choices for you and put together a list of America’s 7 best fall hikes.
Use this helpful list of the 7 best fall hiking destinations in the US to get a head start on your journey.
1) Zion National Park
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.
2) Rocky Mountain National Park
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.
3) 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.
4) Maroon Lake Scenic Trail
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.
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
6) Upper Yosemite Falls
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.
7) Smoky Mountains Nature Trail
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.
It’s worth mentioning that all hiking destinations mentioned above offer trails that are very well marked and maintained. These hiking trails will lead you right to some of the most popular fall hiking destinations in the US. But make sure to prepare well before going on these hikes. See you on the trail!
Before you go why don’t you read our blog post about “How to plan the perfect fall hike?“. I’m sure you’ll love it.