Our Favorite Hiking Spots in the United States

Happy Fall, friends! Who knows if it’s here to stay, but the temperatures are finally moving from stifling to bearable, so we’re spending more time outdoors again. As much as I love Summer, I’m pretty excited to pull out my fave Patagonia pullovers and get outside in the crisp air!

Mr. SP and I love finding trails all over the area, and taking long hikes together. Some of our best talks have been while wandering together! There’s something about having a common goal and a focal point that makes it so much easier to open up.

We’ve learned over the years how important the right gear is…specifically hiking shoes and socks! Backcountry is always my first stop in all things outdoor activities, and where we find the best, most-reliable gear for hiking and skiing, to biking and camping.

Pullover Anorak | Shorts | Hiking Shoes | Water Bottle Sling | Hydro Flask Water Bottle | Sunglasses

Quick-Dry Cooling Tee | Shorts | Backpack

This backpack has been all over the world with us, and now the kids have the same one for school. It’s lightweight and sturdy, with tons of pockets and compartments, including a padded spot for laptops, and room for a water bottle.

We’ve had one for close to ten years, and it’s still in perfect condition!


And speaking of workhorses…my hiking shoes have carried me from the Grand Canyon to the cliffs of Ireland! They are hands-down the best hiking shoes I’ve ever owned. They have incredible traction, are water-resistant, clean easily, and aren’t bulky or heavy. In fact, they’re actually comfortable (which isn’t always the case with hiking shoes this sturdy!)

They’re made by Adidas, so you know they have great support, too (like my beloved UltraBoost, the only running shoe I wear!).

Backpack | Hiking Shoes | Hydro Flask Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is essential, and this water bottle sling is a great alternative to a backpack for short hikes. It holds your water bottle, while allowing you to have both hands free. Pretty genius, don’t you think?! Would be great for kids and teens, specifically at sporting events.

Pullover Anorak | ShortsWater Bottle Sling | Hydro Flask Water Bottle | Sunglasses

These lightweight shorts have a built-in liner, which is always my preference for hiking, and a comfy waistband. They run small, so definitely size up. The tee is a performance knit, and dries quickly.

Oh, and spring for Polarized next time you get sunglasses…they make a world of difference when you’re outside!

Quick-Dry Cooling Tee | Shorts | Backpack

Once the temps drop a little more, I’ll add a pullover to my shorts (leggings don’t come until it’s cold!)…this is a brushed material, that’s super soft and really lightweight. Easy to tie around your waist without weighing you down, too.

Fit Tip: I always size up in outerwear, this is a small.

Pullover Anorak | Shorts | Water Bottle Sling | Hydro Flask Water Bottle | Sunglasses


If you love getting outside and hiking, too, I rounded up some of our favorite places to hike in the United States. Each make a perfect long weekend if you have a trip in your future. We’re currently scheming our next spots, since Fall is the perfect time for outdoor trips like these!

Click the city name for our Trip Report on each, with tips for where we stayed, ate and more.

Favorite Hiking Spots

Sedona, Arizona //

Sedona has a great mix of culture, incredible food, quaint town, and incredible scenery nearby, making it great for a couple’s getaway. There are tons of hikes for all experience levels, and the views can’t be beat!

Backpack | His Hiking Shoes | My Hiking Shoes

Backpack | Nike Hoodie | His Hiking Shoes | My Hiking Shoes


Waimea Canyon, Kauai //

There’s talk of Hawaii opening to visitors again soon, and if you’re a nature buff, Kauai is the perfect island! Our family loved the moderate hike up Waimea Canyon, and we were treated to stunning views of the Napoli Coast at the top. Pack some snacks, as it could take you awhile!

My Performance Tank | Similar Straw Hat with chin strap


Bryce Canyon, Utah //

One of our favorite places ever, our entire family loved Bryce Canyon and the spectacular topography. It’s almost carved out of the earth, so you start at the top and hike down. The ground was pretty wet when we went, and my shoes were coated in clay…but washed right off!

Lightweight Rain Jacket | Warm Leggings | Hiking Shoes


Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, New Mexico //

Just outside of Albuquerque, this little gem is like being on a different planet! Similar hoodoos to Bryce Canyon, but with sweeping views at the top. The ground is more of a sandy dirt than clay, too. Pair it with a stay at one of our fave hotels, Los Poblanos, and you’ve got the perfect couples weekend!

Trail Running Shoe

Backpack | Hiking Shoes | Pants


Big Bend National Park, Texas //

Where Texas meets Mexico, lies Big Bend National Park…also known as the Mini Grand Canyon. They restrict the number of visitors each day (even prior to Covid!), so arriving early is essential. Looking across the Rio Grande to another country is really cool, and the landscape is beautiful. Stay in nearby Terilinqua for a fun family trip.

Backpack | My Hiking Shoes


Mendocino Coast, California //

Mendocino is known for it’s vineyards and quaint towns, but there’s also beautiful trails that hug the coastline. The views are jaw-dropping, especially in late Fall when it gets stormy.

Lightweight Rain Jacket | Hiking Shoes


The Grand Canyon, Arizona //

Obviously I had to include the Grand Canyon! You could hike every day of the year and still not cover all the trails and loops! There’s something for everyone, too…from paved sidewalks around the perimeter, to steep and rocky trails to the base! It’s definitely something everyone needs to see in person once in their lifetime!

Light Trekking PolesBackpackMy Hiking Shoes


Zion National Park, Utah //

Another family favorite, Zion was a fun challenge (I can still remember the brutal switchback!). The lodge sits at the base, with most of the trails leading up. We went early March, so the water was too high to hike The Narrows, but it’s still on all our bucket lists!

Hooded Jacket | Hiking Pants | Gloves | Neck Gaiter


Antelope Canyon, Arizona //

Not necessarily a hike, but more of a wandering trail of sand…Antelope Canyon is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!!

These photos are giving me all the feels…I miss adventures with my people! I definitely see some road trips and long weekends in our future…what about you? And did you notice the same pieces on repeat? My hiking shoes and this backpack in particular, we never adventure without them!

If you’re hitting the trails or the mountains this Fall and Winter, start first with calling a Backcountry Gearhead. They are incredibly knowledgeable in all the necessary gear for every outdoor activity, and their expertise and time is free!! And if you’re a first time Backcountry shopper, be sure to use code SUGARPLUM15 to save 15% off full-price items!

Where are your favorite hiking spots in the US? I’m looking to add some new ones to our list! Will you be heading out anywhere this Fall?


*This post is created in collaboration with Backcountry and ShopStyle, but all product selections, opinions and wanderlust are my own. Thank you for supporting Hi Sugarplum sponsors!*


Leave a Comment


  1. Sandy wrote:

    W h a t a great post, Mz. Cassie! Been to all of those places and you have made them even more special to (re)think about, and remember. Thank you, SPs!!!!! : )

    Posted 9.23.20 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thanks so much, friend!!

      Posted 9.23.20 Reply
  2. MelanieL wrote:

    Such a great round-up of beautiful scenery and hiking! I too am missing long vacations with my family but short trips closer to home aren’t so bad. I hope to go to Indiana Dunes National Park over fall break. That picture of you in New Mexico is gorgeous! 🙂

    Posted 9.23.20 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Thank you, Melanie! I’m looking into Indiana Dunes now, too…thanks!

      Posted 9.23.20 Reply
  3. Carissa wrote:

    Looks like fun! We just got an Airstream and I hope we can go to some of the National Parks. The link for the cozy leggings did not work. Can you send me the link? Thanks!

    Posted 9.23.20 Reply
  4. Addison wrote:

    You NEED to visit Acadia National Park in Maine! Beautiful hikes up to views of the ocean. It also gets the earliest sunrise in the U.S. every day. I am headed to Vermont in October for some pretty hiking and fall foliage!

    Posted 9.23.20 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      That is TOTALLY on my list!!! Have a great trip! xo. C

      Posted 9.24.20 Reply
  5. Sam wrote:

    Thanks you for all these great trip ideas! I live on the east coast (Pennsylvania) and have traveled west a few times but many of the places you mentioned are on my bucket list. You should check out the east coast sometime. Totally different scenery but also beautiful, especially in fall! My parents live right near the Appalachian Trail and it has some amazing views!

    Posted 9.24.20 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      I’d love to explore that area…where are some good places to start?!

      Posted 9.24.20 Reply
  6. Kelly wrote:

    Amazing photos! Zion is on my bucket list. Drove through it mid March’20 but was unable to hike it – just on our way from Vegas to Park City to ski. I drove the switchbacks… super intense! I’m looking at your hiking shoes… need a pair for my upcoming Florida adventure!! Take care and stay safe~

    Posted 9.24.20 Reply
  7. Anouk wrote:

    I still have so many places to discover in the US. Thanks for sharing these amazing photos!

    Posted 9.26.20 Reply
    • Cassie wrote:

      Love sharing the amazing places we’ve explored!

      Posted 9.28.20 Reply