A Guide’s Guide to the Best U.S. Hikes

Our modern world is a blur. We lust for speedy convenience. DoorDash for our meals. Amazon for our stuff. Download speed for our entertainment. Life is done in a rush.  When we get to the end of a day we think, “I did a lot today, but what did I do?”

Jesus was never in a hurry. He adopted a pace that allowed him to see those around him and touch those in need. Perhaps that is why a hike is often the best way to reconnect with him.

On a hike, we spend time in nature and absorb the healing power of a peaceful pace. As we take our teams hiking, we become still in our hearts, absorbing friendships while ignoring the tyranny of technology and the demanding pace we face daily. We slow down enough to hear from Jesus.

We asked some of our Guides to share their favorite stateside hikes. You don’t need to walk 70-miles on the Camino de Santiago to experience the gift of hiking. The magical hike may be closer than you think.

Brent – Ten Falls Trail- Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

“Who doesn’t love to hike to a waterfall? How about ten waterfalls? The Trail of Ten Falls at Silver Falls State Park is the crown jewel hike in Oregon, one of the most beautiful states in the US. Venture out onto any of the thirty-five miles of trails and get your feet wet at the base of one of these amazing wonders. My favorite is the Trail of Ten Falls Trail loop.”

Length: 8.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 1194 feet

Level of Hike: moderate

Time: 3.5 hours

Ten Falls Trail

Mary Ann- Diamond Head Crater- Oahu, Hawaii

“Diamond Head Crater is an exceptional hike because it gives you a birds-eye view of Honolulu, both the city and the coastline which is a point that you won’t find anywhere else.  Though the hike is not very long, but it is a strenuous climb up many stairs and switchbacks.  It is one of the few hikes with a military and historical background.  You will even see bunkers built into the mountain along with a lighthouse.”

Length: 1.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 560 feet

Level of Hike: moderate

Time: 2 hours

Diamond Head Crater

Brett- Mt. Robert’s Trail- Juneau, Alaska

“There is nothing like the Mt. Robert’s hike in Juneau, Alaska. One of my all-time favorites. It’s just about the right length to test your grit. Your voyage through the breathtaking old-growth forests to Father Brown’s Cross near the top is spectacular. Once on top, enjoy the eagle’s view of Juneau Bay below and the famous Inside Passage. Taking the tramway down is an added bonus.”

Length: 3.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 3733 feet

Level of Hike: difficult

Time: 2.5 hours

Mt. Robert’s Trail

Brittany- Maryland Heights Loop- Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

“The Maryland Heights Loop in the Harpers Ferry National Park is one of my favorite hikes because I think it’s a great blend of geology, history, challenge, and reward. The rocky and steep climb, which passes several historical markers from the Civil War Era, requires a bit of a push, but leads to an overlook of the town of Harpers Ferry and the convergence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers – a truly breathtaking sight.”

Length: 6.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 1541 feet

Level of Hike: difficult

Time: 3 hours

Maryland Heights Loop

Jordan – Phelps Lake Loop, Grand Tetons

“Hiking around Phelps Lake in the Grand Tetons will always be special for me because it was my first hike in new mountains. I love exploring new places and seeing the beauty of creation. I will never forget watching the students I was guiding launch off the ‘the jumping rock,’ seeing their sense of wonder as they released their fears and inhibitions. The water, as smooth as glass that day, rippled and splashed;  a simple example of how we can change the environment around us if we are willing to take the leap.”

Length: 7 miles

Elevation Gain: 725 feet

Level of Hike: moderate

Time: 3 hours

Phelps Lake Loop