Warm sunshine, a cool breeze and budding fragrant blossoms – these are just some of the things that spring has to offer. So, set aside some time and watch nature as it wakes up from its slumber by going on an adventure. Before you know it, spring is here. So dust off those hiking boots and take them to some spectacular trails the season has to offer. To help you, here’s a list of 7 breathtaking and spectacular spring hike destinations that we’ve put together to inspire you.
Upper Yosemite Falls
First up, we have Upper Yosemite Falls located right in the heart of Yosemite National Park, California. Though the lower falls offer the easiest walk, the 2,425 feet that you’ll be hiking to reach the top of the waterfalls will reward you with magnificent views of the Half Dome, Yosemite Valley and the Merced River.
It’s a great choice for this season’s hike since Yosemite Falls can reach its maximum flow during spring. You’ll be able to listen to its impressive thunder while feeling the spray of the water on your skin.
Just make sure to clear your schedule for the day when you hike to the top of Yosemite Falls as it can take you from 6 up to 10 hours. You can also check the Yosemite Falls webcam to see if the falls has good water flow before you fix your schedule.
Next stop is the iconic Angel’s Landing, the pride and joy of Zion National Park in Utah. It has marvelous scenic outlooks. But, beware. This trail is not for the faint of heart. You’ll first need to pass the West Rim Trail which is a tough hike to begin with. Though Angel’s Landing is not a long walk, there are several steep drop offs and a narrow rock fin that you should be wary of. The good news is that there are carved steps, rails and chains to help you as you ascend to the top.
Visit this trail during spring so you can enjoy the cooler temperature while hiking. There’s also the Refrigerator Canyon’s hanging garden, a place where you can catch your breath and cool off. Then, after the strenuous hike, you’ll be able to feast your eyes on the grandeur of the Zion Canyon.
Smoky Mountains National Park
Another popular spring destination is The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the most visited national park in the US, is a must-have on your list for spring hiking destinations. Bordering North Carolina and Tennessee, it offers a wide variety of animal and plant ecosystems. You’ll even be able to check out the remnants of the Southern Appalachian culture.
It’s best to come in the months of March, April and May so you can see the budding wildflowers. There’s even an annual event where you can check out fungi, ferns, wildflowers, trees and shrubs, medicinal plants, insects (terrestrial and aquatic), salamanders and snakes, birds, mammals (bats to bears) and birds. You can also go journaling, create art, take photos and learn more about the park’s history. You can check out the date for this year’s Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage here.
South Kaibab Trail
Heading to the Southwest USA, the South Kaibab Trail of the Grand Canyon National Park is another excellent choice for spring time hike. For most of the trail, you’ll be going up the ridge where there is almost no shade. It is open throughout the year but the mild temperatures of spring can help you with your hike.
Aside from the lack of shade and the steepness of the trail, there aren’t any water stations along the South Kaibab Trail. To make sure that you stay hydrated, bring at least 3L of water per person.
During your hike, you’ll be provided with jaw-dropping views of the Grand Canyon in both directions. You also have the chance to watch one of the best sunrises that you’ll see in your life. Not to mention that it’s blooming season during spring so you’ll be able to see the wildflowers at their best.
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail
If you’re looking for an easy but Instagram-worthy spring destination, look no further than Colorado’s Maroon Lake Scenic Trail. It’s less than a mile long so it’s not a knee-jarring hike.
Maroon Bells is also picturesque no matter the season, but spring can give you a chance to see Maroon Lake when the water is high, and the plants are turning green. If you want to take a picture of Maroon Bells during the sunrise, make sure to come at least two hours before sunrise since it can get quite crowded with all of the people wanting to capture its beauty.
Another great thing about this trail is that it’s pet-friendly. You can bring your little friend with you as long as you keep him on a leash at all times.
Devil’s Garden Trail
Journey your way through sandstone spires, knobs, and fins, and see the 7 magnificent arches in Arches National Park’s Devil’s Garden Trail. One of these arches is the Landscape Arch, North America’s longest arch and the fifth in the world.
Due to erosion, Landscape Arch is now only 11 feet wide in its narrowest point. In fact, it was just in 1991 when a large portion of the arch fell. Inevitably, there will come a time when the arch will fall. Before it happens, I highly suggest visiting the Landscape Arch and the other arches to see for yourself the art that Mother Nature has made.
The Devil’s Garden Trail is National Park’s longest trail. Though it is only rated as moderately strenuous, it is not recommended to people who have a fear of heights. Aside from being vertigo-inducing, it can also be very hot which is why it’s highly recommended that you go during spring when the temperatures are relatively cooler. Not to mention that during spring, there are less bugs to bother you while you hike.
Finally, we have the Shenandoah National Park which can be found in Virginia. It offers many trails of varying difficulty. Challenge yourself by reaching the viewpoint of Old Rag Mountain. Or you can keep it nice and easy in trails like the Fort Windham Rocks and Blackrock Summit. There are some trails as well that are suitable for kids. For more info, you can check out this list of hiking opportunities in Shenandoah National Park.
Shenandoah National Park
The Hike White Oak Canyon’s multiple waterfalls are in their best flow during spring. You’ll also love the crisp air, the little wildflowers and the breathtaking views that the Shenandoah National Park has to offer. You can even go fly fishing for some native brook trout in the Rapidan River if you hike to Bear Church via the Graves Mill Trail.
Wherever your feet takes you, you will never go wrong with any of these amazing destinations for your spring hiking adventure.