100+ Hikes: The Best Of The Best

Hiking (the physical act) is at times imperfect, complete with blisters and coffee withdrawals, as opposed to a  hike (the physical place, the new terrain) which is nearly always perfect and that is, very simply, because the availability of locations is stunningly endless. For this post we’re sharing a link to the 100 best hiking trails here in the US, however,  the word “best” is subjective so we want you to be the judge.

Now if you are a fan of getting high – we know of two people you might want to connect with. The good news is this kind of “high” won’t have you doing time anywhere other than on top of mountain and that is exactly where you’ll find these two elevation experts.

The high-flying, trekking adventurers we lucked into this past week are joyfully sharing their journey and we are loving it! Jimmy Michaels and Rene Woodhead (aka Jimmy Rivers and IAmRWood) are two travelers that decided that their  future trips should all be high points, literally. These endorsers of heading off the grid have set their sites on hiking the highest point in each of the contiguous 48 states with Hawaii and Alaska also on their list. They’ve blogged about, and beautifully photographed, the places across the US that they’ve visited. Following their undertaking is wonderful for anyone with a desire to slip away from civilization and move on down a dirt trail. Jimmy and Rene show that it is doable and it is mighty fulfilling, whether you choose to bite off a big piece of Mother Nature, as they are, or simply hanker to take a weekend stroll along a butterfly-filled path.


The best places in each state to hike can be pretty subjective so we’ve compiled a few lists and links in order to get you started. Your experience will be yours and yours alone and we’d love to hear if you discover some magical place that the world has been missing.

Top 100 Hiking Trails at Triple Blaze is a list that ranks hikes by hikers reported favorites along with the trails people would most like to visit. All trails listed are in the US. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC has a US Park top ten list for kid-friendly hiking destinations that proves helpful for those with wee ones but keep in mind that the popular sites usually require advance planning especially in peak months. If you are looking for hikes near your home, ask your local outdoor adventure store for recommendations.

Hike 10
Day hike 6 miles round trip

In our home state (California), tons of hikes exist and here’s our humble but absolutely irrefutable 😉 opinion on a few of the best.

*Mount Whitney for sheer accomplishment and stunning beauty and yes, Jimmy and Rene have marked it off their list. We too have been up Whitney and found it a soul-rocking climb. Horseshoe Meadows, 10,000 feet and about 1/2 hour from Whitney with stunning forest hiking and camping. For anyone considering a back-side approach to Whitney, Cali Trails will knock your socks off.

*Rock Creek Canyon with its casual (under 5 mile) hike that ponied up multiple lakes and resembled an alpine wonderland. Very kid and dog friendly.

*Mono Lake at sunrise or sunset will take your breath away. Easy path a short distance from the car.

S. California beach hikes – Point Dume, Leo Carrillo, and El Matador are nirvana. All offer fee or free parking depending on distance you are willing to walk.

California offers something for everyone and you call your own shots.

1/4 mile from the car

Another example of subjective beauty is the great state of Oklahoma. Jimmy and Rene hit the high point at Black Mesa (4,972.97 feet) and the USA TODAY list includes Robbers Cave and a number of other hiking areas but misses On A Dime’s favorite, Wichita Wildlife Refuge.

We’ve hiked truly amazing places, some obvious as in the Grand Canyon and Half Dome but others that were off the radar like Horseshoe Meadows and Onion Valley. What we know for sure is that the hunt for unexplored dirt trail will take us a lifetime and we are so very lucky for that. One of the best perks about On A Dime Adventure is when readers turn us onto little known gems that are waiting to be enjoyed. Please leave your favorites in the comments below or connect with us via email and/or Facebook and share your secret trails.

*On a final note we are leaving you with a link to TRAILS.COM’s top 100 hikes. This list is one that caught our attention as it was compiled based on 10 million reader/hiker votes. Rock on and hope we see you on the trail!

We’d be grateful if you have a favorite hike in your area, if you would include it along with a link if available in the comments sections below!

2 thoughts on “100+ Hikes: The Best Of The Best”

  1. Reader Jimmy Rivers included some fantastic information on our Facebook site that I am copying and pasting here. THANKS Jimmy!!!
    Jimmy here, from Jimmy and Rene mentioned above……and it’s been a wild ride the last 3 summers. I can give a top 5 hiking list of what we’ve done so far, and a top 5 of what’s on the agenda…..
    5-Cascade Pass/Sahale Arm trails, North Cascades NP, Washington
    4-Climbing to MT’s summit, Granite Peak, through the Absoraka/Beartooth wilderness
    3-More Wind River trekking, to the summit of Gannett Peak, WY, the state Highpoint
    2-Muana Kea, Hawaii, state HP
    1-The big one, expedition to the summit of Alaska, Denali aka Mt McKinley, via the west buttress route.
    Top 5 Hikes in lower 48 (to this point in my life)
    5-Grand Canyon, from south rim down to the Colorado River
    4-Mt Leconte, via Alum Cave trail, GSM Natl Park, Tennessee
    3-trekking through Wind River Range, Wyoming, entering from Dubois Area
    2-To the summit of Mt. Whitney, CA, Sierra Range
    1-To the summit of Mt Rainier, WA via the disappointment clever route!

  2. More from Jimmy!!
    I did forget a major honorable mention for that article, an amazing dayhike……Cathedral Ridge up to Katahdin’s summit, and the knife edge ridge on the way back down!! Wow, that’s an awesome day, and recommended for all! Not really technical, just a lot of fun!!

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