How to Reach the Best Views in North America’s Backcountry
Any hike you go on is a chance to see some pretty amazing things. Whether it’s the evergreen trees frosted with snow, an amazing sunset over a cliff, or the wildlife surrounding a peaceful lake, there’s really no limit as to what can “WOW” you in the outdoors.
That being said, some people choose certain hikes because of the unique and special views which that hike offers. And, let’s be real; this part of the world has some glorious views if you know where to go.
So, you’re in search of some memorable, life-changing, tear-jerking sights? Then here is how to reach the best views in North America’s backcountry.
The View from Angel’s Landing via the Angel’s Landing Trail, Zion National Park, Utah
Zion National Park, on the whole, is a great place to capture breathtaking views, as is the state of Utah. But, the Angel’s Landing outlook is downright one of the best in the entire national park system. It’s one that really drives the whole purpose of hiking home. Angel’s Landing can be reached via the Angel’s Landing Trail, a strenuous 4.4-mile out and back trail. Keep in mind that it can get incredibly busy. Make your way up the rock formation, and reward yourself with the amazing views of the red canyons and cliffs below. Also, don’t miss taking in the wildflowers on the way up!
Na Pali Coast via the Kalalau Trail, Hawaii
If you’re ever so lucky as to go to Hawaii, then you’ll find that you’ll be surrounded by great views wherever you walk. There’s no doubt about that. However, if you want a view that stands out from all the rest, then dedicate a day to hike the Kalalau Trail, which runs along the stunning Na Pali Coast. The trail is 11 miles from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Valley. But, you’ll probably forget how long you’ve been hiking once you see what’s in front of you.
Lake Louise via the Fairview Lookout Trail, Banff National Park, Alberta
If you’ve made it to the Lake Louise Area in Banff National Park, Canada, then you know you’re in for a treat. This area is home to a long list of great trails, ranging from easy to difficult. Therefore, there’s really not one trail that is best when it comes to seeing the view of the gorgeous Lake Louise below, surrounded by the evergreen trees, the Rocky Mountains, and even the occasional wildlife. But, if you’re eager to get to the photo-op landscape, then take the Fairview Lookout Trail, rated easy. It’s a pleasant 45-minute hike, that’ll provide you with an incredible, colorful view.
Columbia River Gorge View via the Dog Mountain Trail, Washington
The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is home to some of the best views in North America’s Backcountry. It’s certainly one of the best in the Pacific Northwest. Close to Home Valley, Washington, the Dog Mountain Trail to the top of Dog Mountain is 6.3 miles. It is NOT for beginner hikers, and this trail has often been referred to as a “Leg Burner.” But, with a hard hike comes rewarding views, and the view awaiting you at the top is truly spectacular. Best of all, you can bring your dog to enjoy the view with you, too! (After all, it is named after him!)
The Enchantments via the Colchuck Lake Trail, Washington
The views may be similar here to those in Banff, but if you can’t easily get to Canada, then this one is for you. (But, we of course recommend seeing both!) The Enchantments in Washington is a truly glorious scenic area, it’s hard to know where to begin! But, for starters, go with the Colchuck Lake Trail. It’s an 8-mile out and back trail that will take you right to this incredible view at Colchuck Lake, in Wenatchee National Forest. Your camera will be hungry for this spot!
The Grand Canyon via Hermit Trail, Arizona
Want to escape the busy Bright Angel Trail, but still want memorable views of the Grand Canyon? Then we have a better alternative. To reach what will always be hands down one of the best views in North America’s backcountry, take the Hermit Trail in the Grand Canyon. This trail is 15.9-miles out and back and is best done over a day or two. It is not an easy trail, but rather a hidden gem that you’ll have to work for. Not only is the view at the top great, but there are also many things, like creeks and wildflowers, to be enjoyed along the way.
Being able to see some of the best views in North America’s backcountry is an experience you’ll never forget. So, time to start planning your hikes!