Plan a fun and safe hiking trip with a little help from this REI infographic. Our illustrated map gives you a bird’s-eye view of the United States’ 11 national scenic trails, which measure more than 18,753 miles combined. You’ll also find tips on what to bring and trail trivia.
Hiking the Beautiful USA – 11 National Scenic Trails, 18,753 miles
Experience the joys of nature while hiking the United States’ 11 National Scenic Trails. Administered by the National Park Service, there trails form part of the National Trails System (NTS), a network of trails created by the National Trails System Act of 1968.
National Scenic Trails by the Numbers
Did you know? National Scenic Trails must: Exceed 100 miles, link superb resources in a continuous corridor for non-motorized recreation and be created via an act of congress. At 14,270 feet, Grays Peak, Colorado, is the highest point of all the National Scenic Trails. That’s more than 13 Eiffel Towers or 23 Space Needles stacked end to end!
What to Bring: The 10 Essentials
Carry this hiking gear on every trip to help ensure your safety and comfort.
1. Navigation: Map and Compass
Topographic maps provide details that are important for route finding.
2. Sun Protection
Wear sunglasses that block 100% of ultraviolet rays. 30 SPF sunscreen is recommended.
Conditions can turn wet, windy or chilly in a hurry.
Consider a pre-assembled first-aid kit. Choose one that suits trip length and group size.
5. Illumination: Headlamp or Flashlight
Headlamps offer hands-free operation, low weight, compact size and long battery life.
6. Repair Kit and Tools
Knives and multitools are handy for gear repair, food preparation, first-aid and more.
7. Fire: Waterproof Matches, Lighter or Candles
Bring reliable waterproof matches made for hiking.
8. Hydration: Extra Water
Carry at least one water bottle and a collapsible water reservoir.
Bring a day’s worth of extra food.
10. Emergency Shelter
A tarp, bivy sack or space blanket can provide quick shelter in an emergency.
Find more information about how to pack a backpack or check out our complete camping checklist.