6 trails in the U.S. you have to see to believe

Spending time on the trail is a magical thing. And with some of the most beautiful hikes in the world in our own backyard, there’s no excuse not to lace up and get out there.

Here are six trails you’ll just have to see to believe. Trust us: You won’t regret a minute of it.

Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii. Photo by Ordnujen/Twenty20
Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii. Photo: Courtesy of Ordnujen/Twenty20
The drama of the lush and colorful Na Pali Coastline is the stuff they write legends (and travel agent pamphlets) about, but this crumbly trail isn’t for faint-of-heart honeymooners.

The steep drop-offs, slippery stretches of mud and falling rock are real dangers on this jaw-dropping 11-mile trek through paradise.

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Just don’t forget your hiking poles.

Hoh-High Divide Traverse, Washington

A deer grazes in Olympic National Park. Photo: Plainjaneglory/Twenty20
A deer grazes in Olympic National Park. Photo: Courtesy of Plainjaneglory/Twenty20
If walking from a rainforest to a glacier sounds like something out of “Lord of the Rings,” it basically is. Nowhere feels more like fantasy than Olympic National Park.

This tough traverse has it all, from colorful meadows to craggy summits. Pick a short piece of the 45-mile trek and spend a day getting lost (metaphorically speaking, of course) in this Pacific Northwest wonderland.

Precipice Trail, Maine

A rung and ladder section of Acadia's Precipice Trail. Photo: Dan Palowski Photography
A rung-and-ladder section of Acadia’s Precipice Trail. Photo: Courtesy of Dan Palowski Photography
Want to really get your heart racing? Then this is the hike for you.

Ladders, iron rungs and slippery boulders are the only way to get up this 1,000-foot climb. At the top, try and calm your nerves with sweeping views of the ocean and Acadia National Park.

Redwood Creek Trail, California

Get lost (figuratively) in the redwoods of California. Photo: Charityvictoria/Twenty20
With massive 300-foot trees, when you visit Redwood National Park, you’d better be prepared for things to feel a bit larger than life.

This 8-mile one-way trail winds you through some of the largest trees in the world and you can stay the night at the nearby dispersed campsites if you need more time to marvel.

Rhododendron Trail, Virginia

Ponies graze in the shadow of Rhododendron Trail in Virginia. Photo: Michael Speed
Ponies graze in the shadow of Rhododendron Trail in Virginia. Photo: Courtesy of Michael Speed
Climbing up to the highest point in Virginia, Mt. Rogers (5,729 feet), this round-trip trail winds through emerald forests, an exposed mountain bald and, if you’re lucky, a herd of wild ponies.

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Bonus points if you can make it back here in June, when the trail’s namesake flower is in full bloom.

The Jewels Route, Arizona

Grand Canyon
A view of the Grand Canyon. Photo: Courtesy of Eds_Photos/Twenty20
The Grand Canyon is just one of those places you have to see for yourself, and this less heavily traveled Jewels Route is the way to do it if you want to explore the canyon without the crowds.

Located at the western end of the National Park, it’s a 48-mile trek, but just a few miles in and you’ll be treated to deep-orange rocks, turquoise Colorado River views and a little peace and quiet.

More epic trails from around the U.S. from All Trails

Cirque of the Towers Trail, Wyoming

Angels Landing Trail, Utah

John Muir Trail, California

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