1. FOR THE HARDCORE HIKER

If you're brave enough for possible face-offs with rattlesnakes, bears and mountain lions, you might be able to handle the Colorado Trail. Despite the dangers, this rugged trail will reward you with majestic scenery, epic views and plenty of bragging rights. Covering eight spectacular mountain ranges and 782km, this one is only for the well-initiated.

If you're planning to hike it from end to end, you'll need a bit of spare time — it takes most hikers four to six weeks to complete the trail.

The Colorado Trail covers eight spectacular mountain ranges. Photo / Getty Images
The Colorado Trail covers eight spectacular mountain ranges. Photo / Getty Images

2. NEAR THE CITY

If you're visiting New York and tire of the fast pace, get a taste of nature at Bear Mountain State Park. It's just a 45-minute train ride from the city, followed by a 15-minute cab drive.

Rugged peaks rise from the west bank of the Hudson River and the park boasts trails ranging from 600m to 10km. Walk the original section of the Appalachian Trail, opened in 1923, to the Perkins Memorial Tower and be rewarded with amazing views of the Hudson River Valley. Or for a more challenging option that borders on rock climbing, try taking on the Major Welch Trail.

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The view from the summit of Bear Mountain In New York State. Photo / Getty Images
The view from the summit of Bear Mountain In New York State. Photo / Getty Images

3. FOR A DAY HIKE

Named after the 4392m active volcano that dominates the landscape, Washington's Mount Rainier National Park has several great options for a day hike. Though the park's main hiking route, the Wonderland Trail, runs for 149km around the mountain, it can be broken down into smaller sections, such as the Sunrise Rim Trail and the Burroughs Mountain Trail. The diversely beautiful scenery encompasses glaciers, meadows, waterfalls, valleys, forests and snowfields.

The Wonderland Trail at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. Photo / Getty Images
The Wonderland Trail at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. Photo / Getty Images

4. FOR FAMILIES

While many of the hikes in California's Yosemite National Park can be quite strenuous, the Lower Yosemite Fall Trail is an easy, kid-friendly option for families. Despite its gentle elevation, the 1.6km track still offers stunning views, ending at the base of the Lower Yosemite Falls.

At 97m, this section of waterfall is part of the Yosemite Falls, North America's highest waterfall — which clocks in at an impressive 739m.

The Lower Yosemite Falls. Photo / Getty Images
The Lower Yosemite Falls. Photo / Getty Images