The first Saturday of June is designated as National Trails Day. Our National Parks and public lands offer many trails and natural spaces for people to enjoy, whether it’s a family-friendly short trek through the woods, or a longer backpacking expedition. Enjoy these snapshots of our favorite park trails, and if you want to get more involved, consider joining one of the many advocacy groups that work to preserve and maintain trails across the United States.
Crater Lake National Park – Watchman Peak
Hiking this trail is a must when visiting Crater Lake National Park. Once you arrive at the fire lookout above Crater Lake’s Wizard Island, you’ll enjoy spectacular 360° views. This is a great spot to hike in the late afternoon so that you can enjoy the sunset.
Denali National Park & Preserve – Triple Lakes Trail
Clocking in at 9.5 miles, the Triple Lakes Trail is the longest trail in Denali National Park. That said, you can easily access either end to enjoy a shorter hike. Hikers will enjoy beautiful views of the three alpine lakes that the trail is named after. The southern access point is at Mile 231 on Highway 3, near Denali Park Village. Pro tip: if you’re not an experienced hiker, or you just want to enjoy the full experience with an expert, consider booking a guided hike.
Olympic National Park – Sol Duc Falls Trail
This quick and flat hike will take you into the otherworldly old-growth forest to beautiful Sol Duc Falls, an iconic place within Olympic National Park. This trail is best accessed during the summer months and is just steps from the Sol Duc Campground.
Mesa Verde National Park – Knife Edge Trail
This trail dates back to 1914 and was originally built as the access road into the park. You’ll access this 2-mile trail from the northwest corner of Morefield Campground.
Yosemite National Park – Mist Trail
Pack a poncho, or prepare to get wet, because the Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park lives up to its name. The hike is short, just 3 miles round trip to Vernal Fall, but it is quite steep. Your efforts will be rewarded with amazing views, and your odds for spotting a rainbow in the waterfall are quite good in the spring and summer as the falls peak from snowmelt.
There are over 21,000 miles of trails within the National Park system. From easy to challenging, urban to remote, you are sure to find the perfect trail to explore!