Hikers who appreciate solitude as they travel do not have to visit far-off places. Some of the best spots for a solo hike are right here in the USA. Check out these less-traveled trails for a memorable experience. Don’t forget your camera: you’ll want memories to treasure and share.
- Lost Lake Trail, Alaska
This trail is 7.3 miles (15 miles if you count the Primrose Trail) of unparalleled beauty. The diverse scenery—rain forest, meadows, lakes—is enhanced by a backdrop of snow-covered mountains. All these visual delights and easy-to-traverse terrain combine to this a serene setting for solo hikers. Spending the night here provides an additional bonus: brilliant stars and the spectacular Northern Lights.
- Fall Canyon, Death Valley, California
This secluded ravine is tailor-made for a lone hiker. On a windless day, there is total quiet. The 4.5-mile-long path meanders between many-hued walls and is dotted by exquisite cave-like passages. It is not a difficult hike—even with its covering of loose gravel. Be sure to bring water and wear a head covering and do not plan a summer visit: temperatures soar past the century mark.
- Teton Crest Trail, Wyoming
Hiking from south to north along this 39-mile trail, which measures 8,000 feet at its lowest point, affords magnificent views of the mountains. The trail is a bit strenuous but well worth the effort. Glaciers, spiky peaks, and beautiful waterways like Lake Solitude combine to make this a must-see. Plan on spending several days here to make the most of what the trail has to offer.
- Lake Katherine, New Mexico
The Windsor Trail is a little-used, moderately difficult 13.2-mile long trail. The scenery to and around Lake Katherine is stunning, which makes it one of the most beautiful places to visit in America. The trail is ideal for either a day trip or a longer stay. As the lake attracts a number of visitors, camping elsewhere affords a more serene environment for the hiker who treasures solitude
- Great Range Traverse, Adirondacks, New York
Covering twelve mountains along its 25 miles, this trail is among the most difficult in the country. Hikers can take in the incredible scenery all at once or in segments. Steep climbs along the Cable Route (so called because of a cable in place to assist hikers in the area) provide for some awesome mountain views.
- Long Trail, Vermont
This 272-mile-long path in the Green Mountains is ideal for a day, weekend, or longer trek. The trail, dubbed Vermont’s “footpath in the wilderness” scales mountains and takes the hiker along forests, alpine flora, and peaceful ponds. Both the neophyte and experienced solo traveler will delight in the diverse landscape.
- Davidson-Arabia Nature Preserve, Georgia
The short, easy-to-traverse Mountain View Trail is a new, less-well-known path. The trail winds through a forest and past a lake. At its end, visitors can hike to the summit and take in its impressive view of treetops. The pathway is home to the rare diamorpha, a plant beautiful in any season. Solo hikers will find it hard to believe they are in the metro Atlanta area.
Wherever you are, there is a memorable hiking experience just around the corner. Enjoy the journey!
Written by: Jason Gordon