- Benefits of Hiking
- Hardest Day Hikes In The Hardest Day Hikes In The US — Our Top 5!
- Hiking Tips Planning and Preparation
- Final Thoughts
Feeling experienced and up for a challenge to attempt one of the hardest day hikes in the US? If so, it’s really admiring the voracity of your capabilities. There are actually plenty of hikes to consider if you are going to conquer or the trails across the US. Although it’s great to step out of your comfort zone once in a while and embrace the uncertainty.
This article will reveal some of the hardest day hikes in the US. Be advised that these trails are not for the faint of heart. However, if you have a stout heart and really determined to conquer all if not some of these, it’s likely you will accomplish one of these listed trail hikes, especially if you are experienced enough.
That said, let’s find out what and where are these hardest day hikes in the US.
Benefits of Hiking
Did you know? There are many benefits that you can get for taking a hike. These can benefit your mind and your body. And it’s something you need to include in your bucket list during your lifetime because it’s really life-changing and there are more than words that can describe when you are taking a hike, most especially if you conquer one of your hikes.
On that note, whether you are a beginner hiker or a seasoned hiker, you need to see of the benefits of hiking. And these are:
It’s Good For The Heart
Hiking deals with an amount of physical energy. This is because you are going to need your muscle to do some strenuous activities like climbing, walking for long hours, and even carrying your bag. All these things are the reason why you are consuming too much physical energy.
However, even though you are burning too much energy, there’s also a beneficial gain from it. One of them is it’s actually good for cardiovascular health. These can improve your blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Even if it’s light hiking, it definitely awakens your physique and can raise your heart rate which helps to improve your endurance and your flexibility.
That’s why if you are going to observe, almost all of the hikers are fit and healthy. They don’t struggle with their breath and in any other health conditions. It’s time to hike and go for a healthy heart!
It Will Greatly Improve Your Balance
As a beginner, obviously, you won’t feel that your balance has improved drastically. Over time, as you take a trail hike on a regular basis and always doing stretching and other routine warm-ups, you will be amazed by the result. Experienced hikers have developed their balance because of hiking.
This is because as you trail along, your core and leg muscles are constantly contracting and engaging which adjust
Furthermore, it’s not just the muscles that improve the balance. Trail hiking improves proprioception, which keeps the mind alert and aware of the movement and position of the body and even its surroundings.
A well-balanced body is so useful even when you are not hiking. This prevents you from falls or anything in your surrounding that makes you off balance. Most of all, always have fun hiking and don’t mind the physical pain because it will pay off over time.
You don’t need to go into the gym just to buff up when you are a hiker. Although hiking and going come hand in hand (depending on the hiker), so if you are doing both, chances are your muscle will greatly develop. That said, hiking will improve most of your muscles both in the upper and lower body. Hiking is not just an escape or a breather but it’s also a form of exercise.
Also, hiking involves a series of terrain. There are uphills and downhills, with this type of terrain, you will surely develop some muscles particularly in the calves, glutes, hamstrings, core, and hips.
Sometimes hiking is much better than going to the gym. There’s beautiful surroundings, fresh air, and lots of terrains to walk on, while in a gym it’s only the air condition and the gym equipment. Although there is nothing wrong with that, after all, it’s a matter of preference.
Boosts Mental Health
Hiking is for people who want to find some connection to nature. Because hiking is can greatly improve the mental health and the well-being of a person. There’s a different experience in going back to nature than the urban city jungle. Hiking offers a lot of spectacular views which makes us feel so awestruck by the beauty of nature.
It’s no surprise that the number of hikers is rising especially in the era of Covid where your enemy is both the physical and mental aspects. We live in modern times where virtual reality is rampant and the case of anxiety and depression are becoming part of people’s daily life. This experience can badly affect us and it can take away our positive energy.
That said, spending some time hiking even once in a while can really change the outlook of your life. So, despite your hectic schedule, find the time to go on a trail and practice mindfulness. By the time you are done, you will feel refreshed and detoxified.
It Can Detach Us From Technology
Going back to my previous statement, we live now in the modern world where technology is abundant to the point that it’s already our extension of the body.
This can be harmful because we are in fact withdrawn from reality and from nature. Spending your life through phones and social media can drain your energy because there are full of negativity and other distressful things.
One of the best ways to detach yourself from the world of technology is to go on a hike. Ditch your cellphone and just connect with nature and its beautiful surroundings.
You will be amazed by the result of it. On the note, just turning your cellphone off for just a few hours and disconnect yourself from stress can make be revitalizing and self-fulfilling.
Hardest Day Hikes In The Hardest Day Hikes In The US — Our Top 5!
1. Great Smoky Mountains End-to-End
Location: Tennessee–North Carolina Border
If you want to hike around the border of Tennessee–North Carolina, there’s an interesting day hike for you. The hike is in the Great Smoky Mountains. Towering 12,300 feet and it’s a fairly long-spanning 32 miles.
It’s the perfect walk for a day, especially for seasoned or experienced hikers. Although beginner hikers are welcomed but make sure they should have an experienced hiker company.
The Appalachian Trail can be daunting because of the steep trails which can make cause you a mental breakdown. Also, even if the peak is high, when you reach the top, all of your struggle and physical pain will be left behind.
That’s because the Great Smoky Mountains offer a spectacular view of the ridgelines along the Appalachian Trail’s stretches.
The only struggle you will ever experience is the rocks, roots, and slick mud. But if you have the determination to climb and conquer this trail on a day hike, then nothing is impossible with this hard trail.
There are also mini trails that are good for your kids and great for family bonding.
What’s great about this is you can bring your family and it’s kid-friendly. Perfect for weekend warrior family of hikers. Also, there are numerous additional trails you can choose from. Keep in mind, bring your hiking essential kit, and don’t bring any unnecessary things.
For more details and information, you can check their official website: National Service Park
2. Cactus to Clouds Trail
Location: Mt., San Jacinto from Palm Springs, CA
There’s no doubt that when it comes to the West Coast hike, California is one of the reigning kings for hikers. If you want to hike just for a day, but it’s more difficult and advanced to the point that you want to flex your capabilities, then go for the Cactus to Clouds trail.
I’m very sure that you are likely to go there and spend a day hiking. It has an elevation of 13,400 feet and the trail can go up to 23 miles. Definitely, this is an adventure for you!
If you want to conquer this, your long trail will start on a desert floor all the way to 10,700 feet. Furthermore, you may want to start before dawn, because your greatest enemy is not the terrain but the blazing heat.
Probably this is not for the faint of heart, the trail is too steep. Your worst scenario is to fall off for about 8,500 feet on the waterless ground. Not to scare you, but this is the reality.
Once you get to the top, you will see the vastness of Southern California. You can even see every major peak from Southern California all the way to the coast.
The trail is long, difficult, and painful but when you get to see the top, it’s rewarding snd you feel like you have conquered the West Coast of the United States.
If you want to get the latest updates and information about the trail, check their website: www.parks.ca.gov
3. Longs Peak
Location: Boulder County, Colorado
The sheer beauty of the Longs Speak in the distant view makes you want to try to trail hike on it. But, when you see its actual size and ranging 14, 259 foot and the trail is roughly 15 miles long round trip journey.
If you love to climb on rocks and hike, definitely this is one of the trails you must try. The Longs Peak is a personal favorite for many experienced and seasoned hikers because it’s among the best adventures.
Despite its beauty, it’s one of the hardest day hikes in the US. That said, more than 50 percent if hikers never reach the summit. One of the foremost reasons behind this is hikers often start late at hiking, the weather, and also being too complacent about completing the trail.
This is why some of the hikers fail to complete the trail or even reach the summit because they are too confident with the Longs Peak trail.
Although there’s nothing wrong with that, sometimes you need to look the reality first and do some research and physical conditioning.
That way, you know that you are able to conquer this behemoth. Also, this is a great lesson for inexperienced hikers, whether you fail or succeed in this trial, you will have a great experience traversing this. This is also the reason why it’s one of the best summit hikes in the Colorado area.
More additional information and the latest update on their website: National Park Service
2. Pemi Loop
Location: New Hampshire, USA
This is among the most extreme and hardcore trails for all hikers. The trail’s distance spans 31 miles and the elevation gain is about 9,000 feet. This is New Hampshire’s best hiking trail. Its perfect location is completely surrounded by forest and there are plenty of hiking trails you can choose from.
Even experienced hikers are having difficulties while trailing on this specific course. Your success in conquering the Pemi Loop will depend on how much you are carrying, the trail conditions, and your hiking pace.
Most hikers will start as early as possible and will warm up their physical condition before they venture into the trail.
One of the worst enemies here is fatigue because it will slow you down which hinders you from completing the trail within a day. The fact that it’s 31 miles long, this is a helluva walk. But if you are experienced in the so-called “death march” it will be fairly easy for you.
The best months to go here are from April until September. When it’s pick season, expect a crowded trail particularly on Franconia Ridge.
So, if you are ready for this, you need to brace yourself. Make sure to bring some company with you if you are attempting to conquer the Pemi Loop.
If you have some questions and added information kindly check their website: www.fs.usda.gov
1. Timberline Trail
Location: Mount Hood, Oregon, United States
If you really are a hardcore hiker and feel the need to conquer the king of the trail, then it’s better for you to traverse the Timberline trail. Its elevation is 12,000 feet and spanning about 95 miles. Timberline trail is evidently the legendary path. Pushing yourself on this challenging hike will really put you to the test.
That said, expect that nature won’t go easy on you. Because as you trail hike, there are many obstacles that will hamper you as you ascent the course. But with enough preparation and
Some of the hard obstacles are located in Cloud Cap Saddle where you will lurch 1,500 feet. Also, there are glaciers in the rivers you will be crossing. The weather condition is extremely unpredictable. Rain, winds, and blizzard may appear anytime. In addition, your experience will also greatly determine the success of your trail.
There are numerous highlights regarding the Timberline Trail. These are Wildflower Meadows, Cascade Range Vistas, Majestic Mt. Hood Views. Once you are on the top of the summit, there are no better words to describe the beauty and feeling when you are actually there.
Additional information and the latest update can be seen from: www.fs.fed.us
Hiking Tips Planning and Preparation
Before you take the hardest day hikes in the US, you need to know all of these tips. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran hiker, you still need to be aware and gain some insights with these hiking tips.
Check the Weather
No one wants to spoil their big hiking event, right? Well, before you go into your hiking spot, you need to check the weather first. Always check it, because you never know what will happen even if it’s summer.
There can be a storm brewing waiting to ruin your big event. Also, most national parks have guidelines to prevent any bad weather event. There is some designated shelter in specific areas, so check those.
Prepare for Poor Signal Strength
This is expected in most trail courses. Although there are some recent developments when it comes to expanding the cell coverage, there are some places that still have poor signal strength.
That said, it’s better if you are knowledgeable about the old-fashioned navigation tools such as compass and maps. If you lack the knowledge to use these tools, then you really are in serious trouble.
Plan Your Route
The most simple and highly effective preparation before you even goes to the actual spot of trail hike. It’s recommended to plan your route. Also, if you are going on a hike, tell someone you know, a friend, or a family member that you are going to a specific location.
In addition, it’s an excellent idea if you have a friend or someone that can be brought along. Being alone on trail hikes may not be a good idea for both day and night.
Don’t forget to look in the website and download their guide books and maps for your safe and secure day hike.
Condition Yourself First
You cannot fight with a gun without any ammunition in the battle. This is also applicable when you are about to take a hike. All experienced hikers know the drill already. You need to maintain fit and able to at least warm up yourself in preparation for your hike. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short or long trail.
The bottom line is you need to condition yourself first and see to it that you have a well-built upper and lower body for different trail types. Above all, don’t overdo it which is a common mistake for beginners. So, conditioning your body is your priority especially for beginner hikers.
What do you think about the hardest day hikes in the US? Are you up for the challenge to conquer them all? All you need to have is some experience, dedication, physical fit, and knowledge in the wilderness. I know there are many factors in order to increase the chances of completing these hard trail hikes. Bear in mind that there will be times where you will fail in one of these hiking trails. But don’t look down on the failures because you can learn from that experience.
Take note that the greatest teacher in life is experience. That said, gird your loins and prepare yourself in conquering these behemoths. Lastly, always look for the national park’s guidelines and always abide by their rules.
Don’t forget to read our The Best Beach Hikes In Southern California! — 8 Picks For You!