Get your mountaineering boots out of hibernation, find your trusty backpack and get excited: spring is just around the corner. From breathtaking locations in America accessible by road trip or short plane ride, to localized intercontinental environments farther afield, here are some great hikes – perfect for a wide range of abilities – to get you motivated for hiking season. Soil diggers, rock kickers, petrichor hunters, tree lovers, and outdoor explorers looking for shades of green would do well to bookmark the following destinations for spectacular spring adventures.
Arizona: Grand Canyon National Park
The Colorado River carved out the Grand Canyon millions of years ago and if you dive below the rim and hike to the bottom, you’ll be rewarded with views of colorful ravines and weather-scarred geological creations . It’s like a history lesson as you hike further into the canyon past all the multicolored layers of sandstone, shale and limestone. Hike in Grand Canyon National Park is an experience you will cherish forever, whether you are day hike or backpack in the countryside.
Helpful resources for your hike—Training: Challenge yourself with these three muddy obstacle courses.
California: The John Muir Trail
Experienced hikers who have trained and prepared for a challenging 211-mile hiking experience will love exploring the magical land of towering peaks, glacial lakes, massive granite faces and verdant deer-filled valleys on the John Muir Trail. From Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States at 14,505 feet, it’s not an easy or quick hiking experience, but as you trek through the Sierra Nevada you’ll no doubt be grateful for all the time spent in Yosemite National Park, John Muir Desert, Ansel Adams Desert, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.
Useful resources for your hike – Motivation: A beginner’s guide to hiking with teenagers
Saint Kitts and Nevis: Mount Liamuiga
If you’ve ever wanted to hike a dormant stratovolcano, now is your chance. Mount Liamuiga, formerly known as Mount Misery, offers intrepid explorers the chance to put some mud under their boots as they climb the 3,792-foot volcano, located in the western part of Island of St. Kitts. Look into the crater once you reach the top which will help you understand the meaning of the word Carib Island liamuiga, which means “fertile land”. Be prepared for a root strewn and often steep trail and plan to bring plenty of water, snacks and good sturdy boots. It will probably rain – it is the rainforest after all, but the forest canopy prevents too deep soaking.
Helpful Resources for Your Hike—Planning: 3 Sunny Spring Break Destinations Families Will Love
Colorado: Crested Butte to Aspen
Clocking in at less than 11 miles long from trail to trail, the hike from Crested Butte in Aspen is one that is fun for the whole family. Start early; prepare a lunch, snacks and plenty of water; and be sure to bring an extra layer of clothing in case it rains or the wind picks up. Sunscreen, a good hat and a first aid kit are also recommended. In late spring and early summer you will see fields of wildflowers, set between the aspens, that will knock your socks off. Give yourself six to ten hours to complete the hike, depending on your fitness level and group size.
Helpful resources for your hike—Navigation: This is the Paramount outdoor navigation app for hikers and backpackers
Mexico: Chichen Itza
Sun, history, and a good sweat session all rolled into one adventure awaits you on the Yucatan Peninsula. Chichen Itza Archeological site. Recognized as one of The New 7 Wonders of the World (Petra, Christ the Redeemer, Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, the Great Wall of China, and the Colosseum are also on the list), visitors can see six Mayan ruins at Old Chichen and 20 Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. Photograph the pyramid, or El Castillo, and see the Temple of the Warriors and the Mayan ball game as you hike around the property.
Useful resources for your hike — Sleeping: For top-notch dining experiences, water sports, luxurious pools, and accommodations with full kitchens and hammock decks, book a stay at Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Cancun, located three hours from Chichen Itza. The newest addition to Tafer Hotels & ResortsGarza Blanca Cancun is well located on Playa Mujeres.
Florida: Grayton Beach State Park
For a beach vacation with soft, white sand, located in a destination with easy state park access nature walkslook no further than South Walton, Florida. AT Grayton Beach State Park, bring the whole family, even the little ones, and stroll through a beautiful coastal forest, full of vocal birds, magnolias and scrub oaks on The Flatwoods Trail or Western Lake Loop. And, if you want to spend the night, rustic cabins are available for rent at the campsite. Other great state parks, with hiking trails, include Topsail Hill Reserve, deer lakeand Gardens of Eden.
Useful resources for your hike—Organization: Best Tailored Adventures Along Florida’s Emerald Coast