North America

The Best Solo Hikes in the U.S.

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.

Pro tip: don’t forget your camera: you’ll want memories to treasure and share.

Guest article by: Jason Gordon

Trail #1: 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.

Trail #2: 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.

Trail #3: 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.

Trail #4: 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

Trail #5: 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.

Trail #6: 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.

Trail #7: 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!

Check out one of our 180 free destination guides (organized by country)!