Due to the sheer size of the United States, it arguably possesses some of the best hiking spots on earth. While there are tons of well-known hiking spots all across the country, there are also many hidden places that few hikers frequent. 

There are a lot of benefits to selecting hiking trails and locations that are, quite literally, off the beaten path. These spots are typically less crowded, cleaner, and can offer hikers a much more unique and enriching experience. Traversing the unknown is also far more exciting than going somewhere where everyone else has already been; a trait hardwired into the human spirit.

  1. Byodo-In Temple, Hawaii – This enchanting and breathtakingly beautiful hiking area is established at the site of a Japanese Buddhist temple. The hiking trails found here possess meditation sites, small waterfalls, wild peacock nesting spots, and more. Hikers might even stumble across a couple of ponds filled with Koi carp.


  1. Pismo Beach, California – This less-frequented hiking spot is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, just off of the world-renowned 101 and Pacific Coast roadways. Hikers that visit this spot can traverse through a Monarch butterfly sanctuary, tranquil beaches, and sprawling vineyards.


  1. Garden of the Gods, ColoradoThis hiking spot is odd in the sense that it is well known, but not heavily trafficked by hikers due to its somewhat remote location. Here, hikers can journey through beautiful Rocky Mountain terrain along well-maintained trails. However, hiking here during the winter isn’t advised, as it becomes extremely difficult in slippery conditions.


  1. Hamilton Pool Preserve, Texas – Located just an hours drive outside of Austin, Texas, hikers can make their way towards one of the most unique and beautiful waterfalls in the entire state. The short trails are fairly rocky and steep. However, they are not particularly difficult, even for less-experienced hikers.


  1. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan – Possessing over 100 miles of total hiking trails, a hiker can truly immerse him or herself in some of the best landscapes that Michigan has to offer. The trails wind through woodlands, beaches, and over the tops of majestic cliffs. Given its vastness, a hiker could spend years exploring this scenic and beautiful area.