Expansive views, towering trees, and dramatic geology are just some of the astounding features of America’s most beautiful hiking trails. From routes beside glaciers in Alaska, to pathways balancing on rocky ledges overlooking the rugged coast of Maine, these trails practically demand that hikers carry a camera. And while there will never be universal agreement on the 10 most beautiful hikes in the U.S., our list makes for a good conversation starter, and an even better vacation primer.
1 West Maroon Creek Trail
10 miles, point-to-point
In a state packed with beautiful hikes throughout the Rocky Mountains, one rises above the rest. This 10-mile jaunt follows a lush glacial valley before heading up and over the breathtaking 12,480-foot Maroon Pass, linking the dreamscapes known as Aspen and Crested Butte. Hike West Maroon Creek Trail in July, the height of Colorado’s wildflower season, when waist-high blooms in hues of red, purple, white, and yellow line the trail.
Insider Tip: West Maroon Creek Trail is challenging due to both terrain and altitude. Aspen’s Limelight Hotel makes it decidedly cushier by providing guests with a lift to the trailhead, post-hike accommodations at a partner property in Crested Butte, and a ride back to Aspen the next morning (by shuttle or helicopter, depending on your budget).
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Aspen Guide