Loop hikes are considered to be the pinnacle hiking experience.
With fresh views at every step, none of your time or energy is wasted.
The circular trails listed below also all offer incredible experiences in some of America’s most treasured public lands.
Some could be challenging day hikes while others are best enjoyed as weeklong adventures.
Don’t forget to get our hiking tips before you begin your hiking journey!
Timberline Trail, Oregon – 41 miles (3-5 days)
Some visit Mt. Hood to scale its 11,000-foot heights, but this historic trail leads you around its belt. It offers scenic views, interesting geologic features, and plenty of wildlife. One section also joins with the famous Pacific Crest Trail.
Three Sisters Loop, Oregon – 55 miles (3-5 days)
In this treasured area, the third, fourth and fifth-largest peaks in the state are surrounded by gorgeous lakes and alpine meadows. But what’s most unique about this place is its volcanic wonderland of cinder cones, glassy obsidian, lava flows and pumice flats. With relatively small elevation changes, this hike is a bit easier than others in the northwest too.
Pemi or Franconia Ridge Loop/Traverse, New Hampshire – 32 miles (1-3 days)
This iconic trek through the trail-packed White Mountains crosses eight summits, which is why it’s considered the second hardest day hike in the U.S. (we recommend savoring it over a few days). The “Pemi” boasts beautiful wildflowers and lots of peace and quiet, especially in spring and fall. It connects with the part of the Appalachian Trail known as Liberty Spring Trail.