13 Major U.S. Hiking Trails: A List of the Longest Hiking Trails in America

3. The Continental Divide Trail (CDT)

The Continental Divide Trail is 3,100 miles of trail that is constantly changing, so much so that the exact route is often disputed and or changed because of weather or problems with the trail. Sections of the trail are built or changed so frequently that most USGS maps don’t even bother to label the exact route.

To date, only 70% of the route is officially complete, so those that do try to complete the hike can expect to be doing a lot of trail finding and hiking outside of designated routes. The trail takes about six months to finish, but the running joke between CDT hikers is that it’s because you can expect to be lost for about 4 hours a day.

The CDT runs between Mexico and Canada. It roughly follows the Continental Divide along the Rocky Mountains and passes through five states — Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Somewhere around 250 people start the trail every year, but only a third of them actually make it to the end.

4. The Pacific North West Trail (PNNST)

The Pacific North West Trail runs 1,200 miles from Glacier National Park in Montana to the Olympic Peninsular in Washington. The Pacific Northwest Trail has recently become one of the United States newest National Scenic Trails. Hikers and equestrians primarily use it, and it ranks among the most scenic, rugged and wild trails in the world. The trail crosses three National Parks, seven National Forests and seven mountain ranges.

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