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Classic American hiking trails

Mount Washington hiking trail

Photo: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

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Mount Washington

The shortest series of hikes in this compilation are found on the trails that climb New Hampshire's Mount Washington. This famous peak is one of the most popular alpine and backcountry trekking spots east of the Mississippi. Some adventurers come to climb, but there are hiking/scrambling routes to the top that do not require a safety rope or ice pick (but are still quite challenging). The shortest route (but one of the most strenuous) is just less than 5 miles long. Scenery is one reason to take on this peak. The other reason: It is a challenging ascent that was called one of the most dangerous hikes in the U.S. (because of wind and unpredictable weather conditions) by Backpacker Magazine. So hikers looking for a test of their skills will find plenty of excitement on the way to the summit.