Summer is a time for family vacations, outdoor exploration, and simply having fun in the longer, warmer days. If your plans for the summer ahead include a visit to some of America’s National Parks, than you’re going to want to check out this article from National Geographic. It lists the 20 best day hikes in the parks, proving that you don’t have to hike for days to find some epic trails.
Narrowing down a list of great day hikes in the national parks isn’t easy, but some of the best trails in some of the best parks definitely made the cut. For instance, Nat Geo recommends the 9 mile (14.4 km) Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords for its physical workout (1000 feet/mile vertical gain) and stunning views of the glaciers. Meanwhile, the Hot River Trail (also 9 miles) in Olympic National Park gets a nod because it wanders through one of the most spectacular rainforests in all of North America, while the Yosemite Falls Trail in Yosemite (7 miles/11.2 km) is one of the best ways to check out the parks picturesque waterfalls.
This is, of course, just a small taste of what the list has to offer. There are 17 other trails that also make the cut, some of which are amongst the most scenic and iconic hiking routes in all of the national parks. Best of all, each of them is short enough that they can be hiked in a day, and still have you back to town for a wonderful dinner.
To see which other trails made the short list, read the entire article here. Then, start planning your national park getaway this summer.