One of the most attractive benefits of travel nursing for those with a sense of adventure is the opportunity for travel, which is built right into the job title. For those Travel Nurses who like to take their taste for excitement into the great outdoors, we’ve compiled a list of the best hiking destinations in the U.S.! Toss your scrubs and take a hike next time you’re off-shift in the vast and varied landscapes of America.
- Halema’uma’u Trail, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
First on the list is the Halema’uma’u Trail in the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, where – you guessed it – you can get up close to the Big Island’s infamous volcanoes. There are several easy-to-hike trails open to visitors to the park, including the awe-inspiring Earthquake Trail (a 1-mile hike which rewards visitors with panoramic views of the Kilauea Caldera) and the eponymous Halema’uma’u Trail, another 1-mile trail which descends into the lush rainforests which carpet the southern edge of the caldera.
- Charlies Bunyon Hike, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Our next destination takes us inland to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina, renowned the world over for its diverse flora and fauna in the sprawling Smoky Mountains range. The park boasts a “Hit the Smokies” challenge, which bestows avid hikers who have explored over 100 miles of the park with exclusive mileage pins. Charlies Bunyon Hike might have an off-putting name, but the views are nothing short of enticing. The area is endowed with miles of official and backcountry trails for you to enjoy,
- Petroglyph Wall Trail, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Nevada offers shorter distance hikes, but don’t be fooled – many of these trails are labelled as difficult and can take upwards of five hours to walk as many miles. Along any one of the trails, hikers can enjoy the diverse desert wildlife that the Silver State is home to: lizards, toads, and hawks can be spotted here in their natural habitat. However, the true treasures of the Red Rock Canyon can be found on the Petroglyph Wall Trail, where hikers can glimpse ancient, 800-year-old rock art.
- Grinnell Glacier Trail, Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park in Montana is internationally recognized for its awesome beauty and sought-after hiking trails. There are several options available to trail seekers. The Grinnell Glacier Trail, which borders the Many Glacier, is more challenging, but the views are simply spectacular. The park also boasts creatures great and small, from the minute pygmy shrew to the majestic elk. There’s a reason that Glacier National Park is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the world!
- Bryce Canyon National Park
Last, but certainly not least on the list, is the Bryce Canyon Rim Trail in Utah. The Rim Trail offers trail-goers one of the most delightfully unusual sights of any hiking adventure: hoodoos. Hoodoos are oddly-shaped stone pillars which result from aeons of exposure to natural erosion. Bryce Canyon boasts the largest collection of hoodoos in the world, and they can be seen from the Rim Trail. Bryce Canyon also offers moonlight tours for the intrepid night-owl adventurer.
That’s a wrap on the top hiking destinations from us here at PHP. Happy hiking, travellers! Keep safe out there, and never forget your sense of adventure.