Skip to content
 

8 Top-Notch Mountain Hikes in National Parks

Favorite trails for summit seekers in Yellowstone, Acadia and more

a rushing mountain stream with peaks in the distance towering over the valley

RooM the Agency / Alamy Stock Photo

En español | What is it about our desire to get to mountain summits? George Mallory, before his fatal attempt to climb Mount Everest in 1924, answered most memorably with “because it’s there.” Other reasons: gorgeous views at the top and a nice feeling of accomplishment. Many mountains in the national parks have well-marked and maintained trails that lead hikers to their peaks and can be walked in the space of a day. (Some are very challenging, but we’ve noted where going partway offers a satisfying trek as well.) Here are some of our favorites.


Save 25% when you join AARP and enroll in Automatic Renewal for the first year. Get instant access to discounts, programs, services, and the information you need to benefit every area of your life.


Robert and Martha Manning are authors of Walks of a Lifetime in America’s National Parks. He is professor emeritus in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, and was director of the university’s Park Studies Laboratory.

More on the Great Outdoors

Join the Discussion

0 %{widget}% | Add Yours

You must be logged in to leave a comment.

AARP Travel Center

Call: 1.800.675.4318

Search Flights

Enter a valid date

Enter a valid date

Child under 2 must either sit in laps or in seats:

Enter a valid date

Child under 2 must either sit in laps or in seats:

Enter a valid date

Child under 2 must either sit in laps or in seats:


Flight 2

Enter a valid date


Flight 3

Enter a valid date


Flight 4

Enter a valid date


Flight 5

Enter a valid date


Add Another Flight

Search Hotels

Enter a valid date

Enter a valid date


Room 1


Room 2


Room 3


Room 4


Room 5


Room 6


Room 7


Room 8

Search Packages

Enter a valid date

Enter a valid date

Child under 2 must either sit in laps or in seats:


Room 1


Room 2


Room 3


Room 4


Room 5

Search Cars

Enter a valid date

Enter a valid date

Search Cruises

Select a valid location

Select a month

Search Things to Do

Enter a valid date

Enter a valid date