As we enter 2024, it's time to lace up our hiking boots and set our sights on new adventures.
This year promises an array of trails that beckon with their unique beauty and challenges. From serene forest walks to exhilarating mountain climbs, each path offers a chance to reconnect with nature and ourselves.
Join us as we explore the top trails of 2024, handpicked for their breathtaking vistas, diverse landscapes, and the unforgettable experiences they offer to every adventurer at heart.
1. Mount Rosa, Colorado Springs
A Challenging Loop with Stunning Views
Image Source: coloradohikesandhops.com
Another favorite Colorado Springs hike, the loop hike for Mount Rosa is a challenging favorite featuring waterfalls and stunning views of Pikes Peak.
There are actually three ways to hike up to Mount Rosa, which peaks at 11,533 feet.
Nearly 15 miles long, you will gain nearly 4,000 feet in elevation on this arduous hike beginning in North Cheyenne Canyon.
Your rewards include 360 views of Mount Kineo, Pikes Peak, Rosemount Reservoir, hiking along creeks and enjoying two different sets of gorgeous waterfalls.
You can even turn this into a backpacking trip. Or stay in this brand new creekside cabin directly on Cheyenne Creek. Since this Cheyenne Canyon hike is a loop trail, you could also hike it counter clockwise.
2. Cascade Trail to Mirror and Crater Lakes, Granby
A Waterfall Wonderland
Image Source: Guy Schmickle - 2012
The 16 mile out and back trek along Cascade Trail to Mirror and Crater Lakes is more than worth it.
This hike has not one, not two but over eleven waterfalls along the way, while climbing over 2,300 feet in elevation.
This hike is one of the prettiest hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Magnificent waterfalls, teeming wildflowers, and running water will lure you to come back to Rocky Mountain National Park for more.
A remote trail with very accessible trailhead parking, this trail is a win/win as one of the best hiking trails in Colorado.
3. Hoh River Trail, Forks, Washington
A Rainforest Retreat
Image Source: adventurespnw.com
The Hoh River Trail in Washington’s Olympic National Park is truly special. Walking through the Hoh Rainforest, you’ll be surrounded by ancient trees, delicate ferns, and soft moss.
Wildlife might cross your path as you journey past the river, catching glimpses of glaciers and waterfalls against a mountain backdrop. Whether you’re up for a short stroll or a longer trek, it’s your choice.
And if you fancy an overnight stay, there are spots to camp with the right permit.
4. Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon National Park
History and Vistas in the Canyon
Image Source: nps.gov
The Bright Angel Trail in Arizona’s Grand Canyon is a journey from the top edge straight to the river below. As you walk, you’ll be stepping past layers of ancient rock and spots soaked in history, all while soaking in breathtaking vistas.
Whether you want a short walk or a deeper exploration is up to you. If the canyon calls you to stay a night, there’s camping at Indian Garden or Bright Angel — just make sure you have a permit.
5. Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
A Climber's Dream
Image Source: feelgoodandtravel.com
Half Dome in California’s Yosemite Park is a sight to behold. Imagine climbing up a massive granite structure, standing 4,800 feet tall from the valley.
The final stretch has steep cables – you’ll need a permit for this bit. But trust me, the breathtaking views make every step worth it once you reach the top.