Warmer weather means hiking season is upon us, and USA TODAY 10Best went on a quest to find the best national park hikes from coast to coast. For four weeks, readers voted for their favorite hikes, and now the votes have been counted and we have a winner.
It was a close race between the top two nominees, but in the end, Endless Wall Trail inside New River Gorge National River, managed by the National Park Service, came out on top. Runner-up Cadillac Mountain has long been one of the most popular spots in Maine's Acadia National Park.
The top 10 winners in the category Best National Park Hike are as follows:
- Endless Wall Trail- New River Gorge National River
- Cadillac Mountain - Acadia National Park
- Kilauea Iki Trail - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
- Hoh River Trail - Olympic National Park
- Ramsey Cascades- Great Smoky Mountains Nat. Park
- The Narrows - Zion National Park
- Bright Angel Trail - Grand Canyon National Park
- Angels Landing - Zion National Park
- Upper Geyser Basin - Yellowstone National Park
- Highline Trail - Glacier National Park
A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Greg Miller (American Hiking Society), Michael Lanza (The Big Outside), Lisa Maloney (Hiking Expert at About.com), Diana Gerstacker (The Active Times) and Karen Catchpole and Eric Mohl (Trans-Americas Journey) were chosen based on their extensive knowledge of hiking and outdoor recreation in the U.S.
Additional nominees included Grinnell Glacier Trail in Glacier National Park, Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park, Nevada Falls Loop in Yosemite National Park, Cascade Canyon Trail in Grand Teton National Park, Queens Garden & Navajo in Bryce Canyon National Park, Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Fern Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, Upper Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park and Civil War Defenses of Washington in Rock Creek Park, operated by the National Park Service.
10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners. The contest was promoted on 10Best and USA TODAY.License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo