Top 5 Hiking States For Travel Nurses
Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona
Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park is often considered one of the best hiking spots in the world. Keep in mind – hiking the Grand Canyon isn’t for beginners.
There are a few hiking routes you can take at the Grand Canyon, all of which are as difficult, but rewarding, as the next. Hikes usually begin at Mather Point, and they take hikers down into the canyon. Getting into the canyon is perhaps one of the toughest downhill hikes, but there’s no experience quite like being inside the Grand Canyon.
Aside from Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona is home to tons of other hikes and should offer more than enough for the outdoor enthusiast.
The best city for Arizona hiking is easily Phoenix, the largest city in Arizona. Aside from hiking, Phoenix is home to NBA, NFL and MLB teams, as well as a number of excellent hospitals.
Kauai and Oahu – Hawaii
As if you needed another excuse to apply for a travel nursing assignment in Hawaii! Along with the beautiful beaches, stunning ocean views and vivacious culture, Hawaii has some of the coolest hikes in America.
The island of Kauai offers some of the greatest natural sights. Hiking trails will take you through the same rain forests where films like Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park were filmed, and many of them end with a breath-taking waterfall.
Chances are you’ll be taking your travel nursing assignment in Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Fortunately, Oahu has a number of great hikes, such as the famous Haiku Stairs. The Stairs, also known as the stairway to heaven, take you along the ridge of a mountain offering a view of the island unlike any other.
If rainforest hikes and mountain walks weren’t enough, you can also hike to Diamond Head, an active volcano.
100-Mile Wilderness – Maine
The Appalachian Trail in Maine stretches for 100 miles, all of which is completely unpaved and great for a weekend out. While it would be difficult to hike the full 100 miles, it is recommended to do smaller chunks of the hike, such as the first 30 miles.
If the 100-Mile Wilderness doesn’t sound like your thing, Mount Desert Island and Deer Isle also offer excellent hiking destinations. As a plus, both islands are also fishing destinations and have famous lighthouses to check out.
The biggest city in Maine is Portland, but a travel nursing assignment in Massachusetts’ Boston area would leave you a 4-5 hour drive to reach the trail – and even less for the islands.
Jacks River Trail – Georgia
If you aren’t interested in hiking up the highest mountains or if you’d rather spend time by the river than atop a peak, the Jacks River Trail in Georgia is the spot to visit.
Unlike other hikes on this list, the Jacks River Trail will bring you across rivers a few times. This means that you will be getting a little wet. If you can get past having to get in the water, this is a gorgeous hiking location.
It’s located on the border of Georgia and Tennessee, so a travel nursing assignment in Atlanta, Georgia or in Chattanooga or Nashville, Tennessee would best. All three are pretty famous cities on their own, so there should be no shortage of things to do.
Columbia River Gorge – Oregon (or Washington)
The Columbia River Gorge offers a number of hiking trails ranging from just 1 mile to 60 miles, so it caters to hikers of all skill levels. Thanks to the northwest rain, there are a number of waterfalls to admire as you hike near the second largest river in America.
There are dozens of hiking trails, but Dog Mountain and Angel’s Rest are some of the major highlights. Both offer some of the best views of the gorge, perfect for a sunny summer hike or a fun winter trek.
If the northwest is your thing, Portland is going to offer the best opportunities for nursing. The hip, quickly-growing city is just a few hours away making the gorge an easy weekend trip.