Top Ten Wild Places to Hike (Before You Die)

John Muir Wilderness, California. Photo: Marv Schinnerer

Which of the world's wild places should every hiker try to experience at least once in their lifetime?

Here's our unofficial "bucket list" of not-to-be-missed favorites in Alaska, Hawaii, the Lower 48, and beyond. Click on each destination to search for Sierra Clubs headed there soon.

Hiking the Dolomites, Italy. Photo: Gene Goldberg

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1) Acadia National Park, Maine 

The Northeast's only national park boasts an extensive system of foot trails leading to incredible views of islands, valley lakes, Frenchman Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.

2) Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

This jagged landscape is home some of Alaska's most spectacular and challenging mountains, as well as grizzlies, wolves, dall sheep, musk ox, and caribou.

3) Dolomites, Italy

Don't miss this sunny corner of the Alps packed with dramatic and colorful mountains, jutting peaks, fertile valleys, and a diversity of local cultures.

4) Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

One of the world's most enduring natural wonders and a hiking paradise, this ancient and brilliantly-colored chasm is rich in human, geologic, and natural history.

Grand Canyon National Park. Photo: Barry Morenz

5) Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina

Choose from a multitude of hiking options in the last large piece of the southern Appalachian forest which contains some of the richest biological diversity in the U.S.

6) John Muir Wilderness, California

Visit the wilderness wonderland named after Sierra Club founder, John Muir, dotted with alpine lakes, glaciers, towering granite peaks, and lush green meadows.

7) Kauai, Hawaii

A trip to Hawaii's "Garden Isle" means diverse trails, breathtaking views, lush flora and fauna, and a refreshing dip in warm surf at day's end.

8) North Cascades National Park, Washington 

"America's Alps" offer jagged peaks, ice fields, brilliant lakes, alpine meadows, and a variety of hikes from densely-forested trails to ridge routes with panoramic views.

North Cascades, Washington. Photo: Sascha Paris.

9) Patagonia, Chile

Embark on one of the world's classic hikes, the "W," through this massive, untamed wilderness teeming with turquoise lakes, snow-capped volcanoes, and calving glaciers.

10) Wind River Range, Wyoming

Cascades, wildflower meadows, sprawling glaciers, and lakes filled with trout make "the Winds" a favorite for destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Don't forget your fishing pole!

BONUS! Your own backyard

Discover a variety of trails near you on one of the Sierra Club's many local outings!