From the Nine Mile Canyon in Utah to Black Canyon in Colorado, these are perfect spots for your next hiking trip.

America’s natural wonders includes some fascinating canyons and gorges perfect for walking or a hiking trip. At these stunning spots, you can explore scenic hiking trails, camp or go rock climbing and mountain biking – your next memorable adventure begins here:

Nine Mile Canyon, Utah

Of the many canyons to be seen in the state of Utah, Nine Mile should be on top of your travel list. Don’t let the name misguide you, this canyon really stretches over 46 miles! Known for its historic ruins and pictographs (some of the finest in the US), the canyon can be seen as a large outdoor display of the culture of the people who once lived on the land.

Nine Mile also offers scenic trails for hikers and mountain bikers along with incredible views for nature enthusiasts. Whether you visit Nine Mile for a day excursion or a weekend getaway, travel spot is a must see.

Where: Approximately 3 hours from Salt Lake City. Most travellers reach enter from Wellington, south of Price, Utah. You could do a loop trip by taking the road though Gate Canyon to Myton, west of Vernal.

nine mile canyon utah USA adventure

Some of the finest rock art panels can be seen along the Nine Mile Canyon, left by the Fremont People. Photo: Bureau of Land Management

Pine Creek Gorge, Pennsylvania

Also known as ‘Pensylvania’s Grand Canyon’, Pine Creek Gorge is almost 50 miles long and the maximum depth is 1450 feet (at Waterville). Ideal for nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts alike, think steep canyon walls, waterfalls and scenic hiking, surrounded by 165,000 acres of Tioga State Forest. Whether you choose to walk or bike one of the dozen trails, go on a hiking trip or enjoy kayaking in the lake, your experience at this gorge will definitely be action packed!

One must-see highlight at this location is the Pine Creek Rail Trail that stretches for more than 25 miles and includes converted parts of an old railway. If you find yourself looking for more adventure at the end of your trip, visit the Leonard Harrison (east rim) and Colton Point State Parks that are both in close proximity to Pine Creek.

Where: The Canyon begins south of Ansonia along US Route 6. The Pine Creek Trail starts at the Wellsboro Junction and ends in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania.

Pine Creek Gorge Pennsylvania adventure

Photo: Nicholas A. Tonelli via Flickr

Black Canyon, Colorado

Located on the Gunnison River, the Black Canyon has become a wonderland for rock climbers and a go-to place to watch the sunrise and the sunset. But how did it get its name? The walls are often covered in shadows – hence Black Canyon.

When driving through the Gunnison State Park, enjoy the scenic route as you travel along the historic shadowy black rock formations. Many of the formations that you pass and see while exploring the canyon date back to almost two billion years ago!

For your hiking trip, try mile-long Rim Rock Nature Trail as it is relatively flat path along the rim. The 2-mile Oak Flat Loop Trail is narrow and can be steep but offers stunning sights.

In the park you will also find picnic areas to stop during your adventures as well as campsites to rest for the night and continue your exploration of this beautiful Colorado location.

Where: South rim: 14 miles from Montrose. North rim: 11 m SW of Crawford.


Photo: Bridget Sutter via Flickr

Palo Duro Canyon, Texas

Palo Duro is found within the Palo Duro State Park. With over 50 miles of trails and terrain, hikers and nature and birdwatchers alike can spend a day or a weekend exploring the second largest canyon in the United States. And for those who are not interested in activities, relax at one of the many picnic areas and keep an eye out for the wildlife that resides within the park.

Where: State Park lies 12 miles east of Canyon on State Highway 217.


Photo: Maciej Kraus via Flickr

Buckskin Gulch, Utah

Categorized as a ‘slot canyon’, Buckskin is recorded to be one of the longest of its kind in the world. In close proximity to Paria Canyon, this location is perfect for a weekend camping getaway as well as an action-packed day trip.

Stretching for over 10 miles, Buckskin will lead you through windy rock formations that have been carved from numerous floods that have occurred over the past decades. When visiting this location make sure to plan according to the weather, flash floods are an occurrence here and can fill parts of the strip with water.

Where: Wire Pass Trailhead offers the most direct access for a day hike.


Photo: Staale Veipe via Flickr

Watkins Glen Gorge, New York

Found within the Watkins Glen State Park (the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks), the gorge itself is a breathtaking experience for everyone. It is a magical sight as you follow the cement and stone path paved along the Glen Creek.

Sets of stairs and sturdy bridges are also included in the trail, leading you over and under the waterfalls that flow into the creek below. Although swimming is not an activity at the gorge the park does have a swimming pool for you to cool off in. Other amenities are offered in the park including bathrooms, gift shops, places to eat, and camping grounds to elongate your stay.

Watkins Glen, New York

Photo: John Menard via Flickr

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Since the land has been named a National Scenic Area, it has been highly preserved and maintained for its visitors to enjoy its raw nature. See the mighty basalt cliffs and wildflowers at Rowena Crest – this is an area of astonishing beauty.

Along with hiking the trails, the gorge also offers wine tasting opportunities and a chance to stay at one of the few historic hotels on the land. And for those who have a love for history, guided tours are available for you to learn about what makes this location stand out from the rest!


Photo: Jeff Gunn via Flickr

Make the most of nature’s wonders on your next hiking trip!

Also Read:

6 Unique State Parks To Hike This Spring 

5 Trails That Will Inspire Your Next American Hiking Adventure