These Beginner Hikes Around The Country Are Easy, But Far From Boring

best hikes for beginners


There’s no need to feel intimidated by hiking. If you really break down our favorite outdoor activity, it’s just walking. It’s walking through beautiful natural scenery. All you have to do to succeed at hiking is continue walking. (Just keep walking, walking, walking.)

But if you’re a beginner not feeling up for the deep backcountry, you might think you’re limited to some pretty dull walks. False. There are plenty of trails in some of the best trekking areas in the country that even the most unsteady rookie hiker can tackle. We’re very into these five experiences.

1. North Vista Trail, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park — Colorado

Length: 3.5 miles

Why it’s worth it: The north rim of the canyon is quieter than the south, making it an approachable hike. And the views of the canyon are just as good, if not better from the north.

Be ready for: A bit of a climb to reach the summit (the highest in the park).

2. Broken Arch Loop, Arches National Park — Utah

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Length: 2 miles

Why it’s worth it: You get to hike straight under one of the park’s famed arches without competing with a million tourists for the photo op.

Be ready for: The inability to climb on top of the arch. It’s against the rules, even though you’ll totally want to try it.

3. Tall Trees Grove, Redwood National Park — California

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Length: 4 miles

Why it’s worth it: You’ll feel like a tiny creature next to these botanical giants. Tall Trees Grove is home to one of the tallest trees in the entire world.

Be ready for: Securing a Tall Trees permit. You don’t need it to hike, but you do need the permit to drive the narrow, winding road to the trailhead.

4. Ouzel Falls Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park — Colorado

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Length: 5.4 miles

Why it’s worth it: The number of waterfalls on this hike is amazing. You’ll start with small cascades, work your way up to the lower and upper Copeland Falls and finally reach Ouzel Falls. It’s a 40-footer.

Be ready for: The temptation to veer off onto side trails or to add an additional 7.2 miles to your hike to see the pristine Bluebird Lake.

5. Cascade Mountain, Adirondacks — New York

Length: 4.8 miles

Why it’s worth it: From the top of Cascade Mountain, it feels like you can see the entire Adirondack range.

Be ready for: A short rock scramble near the summit. But don’t freak out, the uphill journey over rocks and boulders is a fun entry into the wilder side of hiking.


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