Hiking is perhaps the greatest way to see North America’s inherent majesty, and this is especially evident in the continent’s expansive national park system. Regardless of skill level, there are countless hiking opportunities within this sprawling tapestry of breathtaking landscapes and natural formations.   

Continuing from part one, here are four more hikes representing the best of North America’s national parks.

The Narrows – Zion National Park, Utah

A household name in the national park community, The Narrows at Zion National Park, Utah, is one of the most popular hikes in the western United States. The hike comprises a unique trip down a thin gorge between rock walls standing over a thousand feet tall. This trek is a fairly unique experience in its entirety, as it requires hikers to wade through the Virgin River rather than traverse a conventional trail. Fortunately, for those interested in a less intense hike, it is possible to view up to one mile of The Narrows from a paved, wheelchair-accessible path from the Temple of Sinawava. 

Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point – Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Hiking to Plateau Point via Bright Angel Trail is a challenging but rewarding task, giving hikers a chance to experience one of North America’s most noteworthy natural wonders: the Grand Canyon. This hike is one of the canyon’s most popular, featuring a comfortable balance of intense terrain and an array of safety resources, including regular water stations, park rangers, and periodic rest shelters. While the historic trail will require much prior planning, the gorgeous views from Plateau Point are well worth the effort. 

Precipice Trail – Acadia National Park, Maine

The Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park, Maine, is a considerable hike featuring an elevation increase of over 1,000 feet in just 0.9 miles; this entails periods traversing open cliff faces with iron rungs. Therefore, park officials do not recommend this hike for the inexperienced (or those with a fear of heights), but like Plateau Point, the harrowing climb culminates in a stunning vista serving as a worthy reward. Successful climbers will get to enjoy views of Frenchman Bay and Champlain Mountain. 

Grinnell Glacier Trail – Glacier National Park, Montana

If the Precipice Loop proves too challenging, the Grinnell Glacier Trail at Glacier National Park, Montana, could be a more malleable undertaking. This hike, a 7.5-mile round trip, is formidable both in length and terrain, but hikers can shave roughly 3.4 miles off the trek by using the park’s shuttleboat system (for a small fee). For those taking on the full trail, expected sights include Grinnell Lake, Angel Wing, Mount Gould, and Grinnell Falls – as well as “The Salamander,” the area’s dominant glacier. 


North America’s national parks house hiking opportunities catering to a wide spectrum of abilities, goals, and interests, and the above treks are just a few ways to enjoy this invaluable part of the natural world.