13 Best Hiking Trails in North America

With summer officially ending, there has never been a better time to go for a hike. The days are bright and long, but the air isn’t as hot anymore, and we can be outside for hours without succumbing to heatstroke.

If you’ve been outside hiking all summer, chances are you’ve exhausted your usual options and are looking for a new place to go. These trails, which are some of the best in North America, range from a quick afternoon’s hike to a month-long trip if you want to do the whole thing. Check these out, along with some personal accounts of people who undertook the trails themselves.

13. West Coast Trail

This trail is located along the west coast of British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. Island life has always meant being close to nature, whether you live in downtown Victoria, or a smaller town like Courtenay, Ucluelet, or Sooke.

The West Coast Trail is known as one of the best hikes on the island – it runs for 46.6 miles, and generally takes between three and six days to hike. There are plenty of exciting adventures along the trail – if you see a whale you’re one of the lucky ones! There are plenty of gorgeous campsites along the way, too.

Burtonpe

12. Sunshine Coast Trail

There are plenty of trails that require hikers to pay a fee before they enter, but the Sunshine Coast Trail, which is maintained by volunteers, is one of the only ones in North America that boasts free entry.

The whole trail stretches over 110 miles of beautiful British Columbia coastline, and hiking it generally takes around 10-12 days if you do the whole route at once. There are 20 campsites along the route, plus 12 cozy huts which have been built and are maintained by the volunteers. If you’re brave, do it in the winter like these four crazy Dutchmen.

Sergey Pergat / Shutterstock

11. Angel’s Landing

Angel’s Landing, which is located in Zion National Park in Utah, is not for the faint of heart. It might be one of the shortest hikes we have on this list, but it’s known around the world for its absolutely heart-stopping finale.

The first five miles are pretty tiring – lots of switchbacks – but the final half-mile is what makes people shake in their hiking boots. To get up to the top, you have to climb up a ridge clinging to a chain, looking out over a sheer drop that’s almost 1,000 feet. Once you’ve arrived though, you’ll enjoy a view like no other.

Calin Tatu / Shutterstock