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25 Best Hiking Cities in the United States

Get back into nature in these cities with hiking trails that reward with tumbling waterfalls, scenic vistas, rock formations and cityscape views.

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Photo: Heather Goodman for Hawaii Tourism Authority

25 Best US Cities for Hiking

We all know that nature and hiking are good for mental and physical health. There’s just something about breathing in fresh air, scrambling to summit views and basking in the warm sunshine. When you’re ready for a good hike, or maybe a new travel destination that’s chock-full of beautiful trails and natural beauty, we’ve got you covered.

We researched and put together a list of 25 US cities that are absolutely tops for these who love hiking, or at least, love to get outside from time to time. These cities are close to green spaces, hiking trails, waterfalls and mountains. They also have urban trails and public parks. We used resources like LawnStarter, then went further to include cities across the country with great appeal to outdoor lovers. Here are the cities that are perfect for hikers, from novice to experienced and all hikers in between.

10 essentials to take on a day hike

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Photo: Boise CVB

Boise, Idaho

Boise is a fantastic city for hikers thanks to its close proximity to natural beauty, diverse terrain and an extensive network of trails, like the Ridge to Rivers trail system in the Boise Foothills, which boasts more than 190 miles of trails for all abilities and fitness levels. The Boise National Forest is also a go-to for hiking trails with serious vistas, like the Kepros Mountain Trail, which affords views across the Trinity Mountains. The annual month-long Boise Trails Challenge encourages locals to hike new trails. Celebrate a hike well-done at more than a dozen breweries, like 10 Barrel Brewing Co. and Payette Brewing Co.

epic hiking tours

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Photo: Sam Dean Photography for Visit VBR

Roanoke, Virginia

A stone’s throw from the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway, Roanoke has so much to offer hikers of all levels, including the Appalachian Trail and the Roanoke Valley Greenways. Roanoke is also home to the Virginia Triple Crown, a trifecta of bucket list hikes, which includes Dragon’s Tooth, Tinker Cliffs and McAfee Knob. The latter is considered the most photographed spot on the entire Appalachian Trail. Roaring Run Day Use Area is another top spot, especially for families, thanks to well-shaded trails and tumbling Roaring Run Falls. While in Roanoke, take in the views from the Roanoke Star and get in a round of disc golf at Explore Park.

must-have gear for hiking with kids

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Photo: Visit Salt Lake

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City is a boon for hikers thanks to its location near the Wasatch Mountains, which offer numerous hiking trails and breathtaking scenery. Hikers can expect to revel in alpine lakes, dense forests, cityscapes and rocky canyons, like Big Cottonwood Canyon. A favorite kid-friendly hike is minutes from downtown and leads to Donut Falls, a picturesque waterfall. For more of a challenge, hike to the summit of Grandeur Peak for sensational panoramas across the Salt Lake Valley. Post-hike, settle in at Avenues Proper, a gastropub with a rotating tap of house-brewed beers. Open for lunch and dinner, the menu has salads, sandwiches and even a children’s menu.

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