To really get to the heart of a country it’s always best to pull on the walking boots and explore by foot. America and Canada have some incredible walking trails in some of the most beautiful parts of the world. Walk through wild wonderlands, across ancient icy glaciers and reach peaks that overlook these vast and varied lands. The team at Grand American Adventures have chosen their favourite hikes around the U.S and Canada, let us know what you think below.
10. Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Anchorage, Alaska – You can walk, cycle, or if you’re looking for something a little different why not try rollerblading along the trail. This coastal trail, which is very popular with locals and tourists alike, leaves behind the hustle and bustle of city life and allows you to explore the natural treasures that line the Anchorage coast. With Mt McKinley as a backdrop, keep an eye out for moose and beluga whales, which have previously been spotted in the area.
9. Gorham Mountain Trail, Acadia National Park, Maine – This is by far one of the most popular trails in Acadia National Park. It is not one of the highest trails though, at a modest 525 feet, but it definitely won’t disappoint. The Gorham Trail boasts spectacular coastal views and is easily accessible from the Park Loop Road car park.
8. Iceberg Lake Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana – One of the most scenic hikes in the park, the Iceberg Lake Trail at 4.8 miles long, is also one of the easiest. It’s not only the scenery that will impress you, the trail passes through some superb wildlife spotting areas, before you reach the fishless lake. Expect to see grizzly bears aplenty, along with other wildlife, such as mountain goats, bighorn sheep and the very adorable ground squirrels.
7. The Fundy Trail, Fundy National Park, Canada – A coastal wonderland awaits; hop on a bike or simply take this beautiful area in by foot, the choice is yours. With pristine coastline and cascading waterfalls around every twist and turn, The Fundy Trail will definitely leave you feeling inspired. Hikers can choose from multi-day hikes to just two hour hikes, whatever your fitness level there is lots to explore and see in this superb national park.
6. Root Glacier Hike, Wrangell-St Elias National Park, Alaska – It’s not often you get the chance to experience the thrill of hiking across a glacier and you can’t get more quintessentially Alaskan than a 3 - 4 mile round trip to Root Glacier. Root Glacier is one of the most accessible within the park and presents no end of frozen features to admire, from crevasses, canyons, waterfalls and if you’re feeling particularly daring, why not try walking under a ceiling of ice?
5. Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona – The Bright Angel Trail is one of the few fully maintained trails in the area and is easily accessible from the main visitor centre. The trail descends 4,500 feet down to the Colorado River and covers 9.5 miles, not many visitors make it past the second rest station, but if you’re fit and start early enough the trail can be done in a day. For stunning views of the Colorado River and less hiking, head to Plateau Point, which can be accessed from the Bright Angel Trail, from Indian Gardens.
4. The Appalachian Trail, Maine – America’s oldest footpath, the Appalachian Trail allows you to walk in the footsteps of history. An incredible 2,200 miles long, the pristine wilderness is most enjoyable in Autumn, when New England’s foliage is at its most stunning. The finishing point of the trail is in Baxter Park, home to Mt Katahdin, if you’re feeling fit and ready, a walk to the summit could be an option for the more avid of hikers.
3. The Panorama Trail, Yosemite National Park, California – This aptly named trail offers some incredible panoramic views of Yosemite Valley. The Panorama Trails starts and ends with two other fantastic hikes in the park; Glacier Point hike, which has often been regarding has having the best view in California and The Mist Trail hike, which takes in some of the parks most unforgettable features, including Nevada Falls, Liberty Cap and the back of the Half Dome.
2. Harding Icefield Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska – One of the more difficult trails that we have selected, but boy is it worth it. Starting on the valley floor, you will pass through fields full of lush green vegetation, the perfect environment for bears, so keep your eyes peeled. Gaining 1,000 feet of elevation for every mile you walk, the scenery is constantly changing, which makes this trail so special. The 8.2 mile round trip to Harding Icefield is an extremely rewarding day hike and the view of the icefield at the end is simply breath-taking.
1. Create your own trail, Denali National Park, Alaska – Denali is predominately a trail-less park and hikers are encouraged to find their own trails and explore the land like the explorers that came before them did. If you’re not confident in heading into the back country with just the clothes on your back and whatever you can squeeze into your backpack, then there are some ready-made trails for you to enjoy. The Mount Healy Overlook Trail is a three to four hour round trip, which starts from the visitor centre and once you have passed the steep first mile, you are pleasantly rewarded with sweeping views of Denali National Park and near alpine ridges.
The walks and hikes that are available on our Grand American Adventures are easily the most popular of our activities with both our tour leaders and our passengers.