Best Spring Hikes In The U.S.

While winter has been amazing for those of us who like to ski and snowboard down mountains, it hasn't been quite as much fun for those who'd rather trek up them. [slideshow:1265]

The hikers out there have been waiting for sunny days, blooming plants and for the snow to clear from the trails—and though it may not seem like it right now, spring isn't too far off. Before long it will be time to dust off those hiking boots and take them out for a few challenging trails, which is why we've put together a list of some great spring hikes.

Spring is the time to take in the budding flowers, enjoy the mild temperatures and avoid the crowds that flock to some of these amazing trails in the summer. We considered those factors in our list and tried to pick trails from all corners of the U.S. We sought out a range of trails, both widely known and relatively unknown, that would appeal to everyone from beginners to experts. This list is based in opinion and is meant to serve as inspiration for your adventures.

Did we miss one of your favorite hikes? Leave a comment and tell us what other trails you'd recommend.

Upper Yosemite Falls—Yosemite National Park, Calif.

Take on one of the tougher day hikes in Yosemite and see the falls at their most magnificent. When the ice begins to melt, the falls are at their most powerful and you may even feel the mist from some spots on the trail. The 7.2 mile trek offers plenty of scenic lookouts, including Colombia Rock, which offers a breathtaking view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Sentinel Rock. You don't have to summit to catch some amazing views, but if you can make it up through the melting snow and ice, we highly recommend it.

Waihee Ridge Trail—Maui, Hawaii

The Waihee ridgeline is beautiful any time of year but the bright greenery and cool temperatures of spring offer hikers a real treat. This five mile hike climbs more than 1,500 feet through lush forest and over a winding ridge. The beginning of the hike may be a bit brutal but the views of water cascading off Makamaka'ole Falls are amazing and seeing the valley from the farthest peak is incredibly surreal.

Check out the 8 other Spring Hikes