The 21 Best Mountain Hikes in the USA 2023 for Breathtaking Panoramic Views
There are certain mountain hikes that stay in your memory forever. There’s just something about mountain hiking, with the adrenaline rush required for the climb – and sometimes serious elevation gain as well. But whether you want to explore the underrated peaks of the East Coast, the tip of Texas, or a hidden paradise in Hawaii, the best mountain hikes will reward your efforts with unforgettable views.
Below we share the best mountain hiking trails in the US. Some of these hikes are kid-friendly, while others will send you home with noodles for your legs; Most are day hikes, while some offer the option of an overnight stay. But when nature is Earth’s love language, you will rarely feel more alive or connected to the planet than when you hike these mountains.
Before getting started, there are a few things to consider. If you’re hiking in the mountains, plan accordingly, which means packing essentials, checking the weather forecast, and speaking to local park rangers about trail changes and wildlife activity. As always, keep the Leave No Trace principles in mind, stay on the trail and be respectful of other hikers.
Here are the 21 best mountain hiking trails to consider for your next adventure.
All entries in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, if you book something through our retail links, we may receive an affiliate commission.
The Maroon Bells in Aspen, Colorado
Featuring the state’s most photographed peaks, the Maroon Bells, this 11-mile hike is nothing short of spectacular. If you time it right to experience the best wildflower season in mid-June to late July, you’ll hike past towering stalks of green gentians amidst blue columbines, magenta elephantella and yellow sunflowers that follow the switchback trails and over the hills for miles. As you gain 3,000 feet of elevation and finish at 12,500 feet, there are marmots, alpine lakes, waterfalls, snowfields, river crossings, and plenty of mountain vistas. Once in Aspen, take the shuttle back to your starting point or stay the night and hike again the next day.