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40 Best Hiking Trails in the World

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Are you looking for a new adventure? There are few things more exhilarating than reaching the summit of a towering mountain or completing a challenging hike surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Luckily there’s no shortage of fantastic hiking trails to explore all around the world.

Hiking is a great way to explore new places. It’s also a fantastic workout that can leave you feeling refreshed, invigorated, and grounded. Not only will hiking give you that unique adrenaline rush, but it’s also a great way to meet interesting people. Hikers are a sociable bunch!

From the peaks of the Alps to the unique Grand Canyon National Park, below are some beautiful and impressive hiking locations that deserve to be on any hiker’s bucket list. Located in the most beautiful places in the world, they offer something exceptional for hikers of all experience levels.

There’s every kind of terrain to explore – glaciers, beaches, volcanic wastelands, mountain meadows, snow-capped peaks – all waiting to provide you with an unforgettable experience.

Safe hiking should always be done in groups, so plan a trip with three to four people or families. Now get out your backpack and boots because here are some of the most breathtaking hikes in the world.

What We Cover

Best Hiking Trails in the World

1. Inca Trail, Peru

Incline on the Inca hiking trail, Peru

The Inca Trail’s beautiful location makes it one of South America‘s most popular treks. This route through the Peruvian Andes provides breathtaking views, the end reward being the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas.” 

The best time to hike the Inca Trail is between April and October – the dry season. To avoid peak season crowds, choose the shoulder season, April or October. You’ll need a trail permit, available only through an authorized tour operator. We recommend this highly-rated guided tour.

Though only 26 miles, the classic Inca Trail takes 4 days, owing to pretty challenging terrain. And you’ll need suitable insurance, for example, Safetywing’s nomad cover, which covers hiking up to 4,500 meters.

See Related: Most Beautiful & Best Vacations in the US

2. Appalachian Trail, United States

signage on the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail or AT – “America’s Most Famous Footpath” – follows the beautiful Appalachian Mountains along the eastern United States. This massive 2190-mile hike covers 14 states from Georgia to Maine.

Several hundred hardy hikers complete the 5 – 7 month thru-hike each year. Most people start from the southern end at Springer Mountain and hike to Katahdin in Maine’s Baxter State Park. Campers can get information by registering with the AT Conservancy.  Remember to bring a bear canister to protect your food – just in case!

It’s easier to take day hikes, which you can start at many points along the trail. Either way, keep hydrated, because the trail offers a lot of ridgeline exposure. This lightweight water filtration system regularly tops “best-of” lists, and you’ll find plenty of water sources.

See Related: Most Scenic Bike Trails Across America

3. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Camping at Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

The world’s tallest freestanding mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro is a must for world trekkers. At 19,300 feet, it’s also one of the most popular hikes in the world for anyone looking to tackle one of the Seven Summits. With its feet in the savanna and its summit capped with snow, locals will warn you to expect every climate zone.   

The driest time to climb Kilimanjaro is June through October, but bring a down or fleece jacket as night temperatures can get down to -22 degrees Fahrenheit. Whichever route you pick, don’t rush it – a gradual ascent prevents altitude sickness.

Hikers must register with the Parks Authority, and there are fees to pay for camping and mandatory guide hire. Tour operators usually handle all this for you in advance.

See Related: Best Hiking Trails in the United States

4. Kungsleden, Sweden

Hiking in Sweden along the King's Trail

Kungsleden, the “King’s Trail,” is around 275 miles in total and one of Sweden’s most popular hikes. The regal name comes from its spectacularly scenic views of forests, fells, and wetlands. Its mystical remoteness gives you a real chance to connect with nature.

You may well encounter moose, elk, and even lynx or wolverines. There will be reindeer herders, too – take care not to disturb their activities. It’s best to visit July – September; the later you go, the fewer the mosquitoes. 

Except for one section, Kvikkjokk – Ammarnäs, there are accommodation huts. Not all the streams in this section have bridges, so you might want trekking poles to help you cross safely.

5. Cinque Terre National Park, Italy

Cinque Terre National Park

The Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on northwest Italy’s Ligurian Coast. This famous national park has 75 miles of marked trails providing some of the most scenic hikes in the world. Make sure your camera’s fully charged!

Of the 48 official trails, the most popular is the “Blue Path.” This 7-mile path connects several brightly-colored cliff-side villages and is mostly level, though there’s a steep flight of steps at the Monterosso terminus.

Most Cinque Terre trails are free, but you’ll need a Trekking Card to access some of the busier ones.  The best time to come is spring or fall, to miss the heat and the crowds. 

See Related: Breathtaking Camping Spots in the World

6. Petra Hiking Trail, Jordan

Petra, Jordan

Bucket list hikes don’t come more breathtaking than those in Petra, Jordan. There’s an unearthly feel to the desolate desert setting of Petra Archeological Park, together with the massive rose-red temples and tombs. 

There are several great Petra trails. The 5-mile Main Trail is the most popular – allow 2 – 4 hours if you want to stop off at the archaeological sites. The Monastery Trail is shorter but includes lots of steps. 

Guided tours help you get the most out of the site. To avoid weather extremes, the best times to visit are April and October. And to avoid crowds, try to miss the peak times of 8 – 10 am. 

7. Fitz Roy Trail, Argentina-Chile Border

Fitz Roy is an 11,000ft peak in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, on the Argentina-Chile border, and one of the best hiking destinations in the world. Hikes here offer majestic mountain scenery, including the dazzling glacial lake, Laguna de Los Tres.

The Fitz Roy day hike is 15 miles and is accessible only from El Chaltén, Patagonia’s hiking capital. The final hour or so is steep going, with rocky or gravelly terrain.  

The best time to hike is December to February, but this is also the busiest time. Book up early in El Chaltén – we recommend Kau Si Aike – to avoid having to start your hike day with a long bus or cab ride.

8. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

Fiordland National Park on New Zealand‘s South Island is known as the walking capital of the world. The 4,500 square miles of wild landscape offers a huge range of options for hikers – or trampers, as they’re known here.

The most popular is the 33-mile Milford Track. One of New Zealand’s Great Walks, this is often called the “Finest Walk in the World.”  There’s no camping, so you’ll need to book your stays in the en-route huts

There are numerous other trails available, from an hour to multiple days. However long your trek, you’ll be rewarded with stunning scenery – mountains, forests, lakes, and waterfalls.  Maybe try a Milford Sound boat tour, too. 

See Related: Best Tourist Destinations in the World

9. Scottish National Trail, United Kingdom

Hiker on Scottish National Trail

The Scottish National Trail is the first walking route to run the entire length of Scotland, in the United Kingdom. The 540-mile route, made up of various individual trails, starts at the Scottish Borders and ends in the northernmost Highlands. 

The trail starts out relatively easily, gradually increasing in difficulty. The final section, the Cape Wrath Trail, is a wild wonderland of glens, streams, and lochs. Its lack of way-marks, clear paths, or bridges, makes this one of Britain’s most adventurous hikes, too. You’ll need to know your way around a map and compass.

This epic hike takes 6-8 weeks. The best time to tackle it is April – July before the midges get too annoying

10. Sierra High Route, United States

range of mountains

The Sierra High Route is one of the best hiking trips in the US, taking in some sensational landscapes. This massive hike goes through three national parks – Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia, with many peaks, lakes, and forests along the way.

It’s also one of the most challenging hikes. The reason for this is that about half of its 195 miles is off-trail. You’ll be crossing unprepared terrain, rocks, and scree.

There’s also precious little shade – come prepared with a hat and lots of SPF 30+ sunscreen.  The good news is there are plenty of freshwater streams and lakes. Note that you’ll need a wilderness permit, depending on which trailhead you choose.

11. Laugavegur, Iceland

Laugavegur trail hike

The name might be quite complex to pronounce (try: lay – ga – ve – GOOR), but this fantastic trail offers the very best of Icelandic scenery – and that’s saying something.  Geothermal springs, mighty waterfalls, black lava fields, active calderas – you’ll see them all. 

The Laugavegur Trail covers 34 miles and usually takes 3 – 4 days. You can camp or stay in a mountain hut – pre-booking is essential. Note that huts don’t accept credit cards, so bring enough cash.

The trail is well-marked, but mists, rain, and snow can quickly make things tricky. Check weather conditions before setting out, as well as the condition of rivers; good water shoes might come in handy.

12. The Long Range Traverse, Canada

The Long Range Traverse trail in Canada

The Long Range Traverse is a trekking path in Gros Morne National Park, Canada. The park is known for its picturesque “ponds,” really glacial valleys, lakes, and fiords. This is one of the best places to hike if you want to challenge yourself. 

This is a strictly map+compass hike, and a GPS with a Parks Canada map is recommended.  Though only 22 miles long, the traverse may take 4 – 5 days. The weather is frequently challenging (bring gaiters), and moose trails often mislead!

You’ll start near the town of Rocky Harbor, Newfoundland. The closest airport is Deer Lake, about an hour’s drive away. And you’ll need a hiking permit, available on the Parks Canada website.

See Related: Best Places to Travel Alone in the World

13. Tour Du Mont Blanc, France-Italy-Switzerland

Tour Du Mont Blanc on a sunny day

The Tour du Mont Blanc is an iconic bucket-list hike that winds its way around the Mont Blanc mountain range in France, Italy, and Switzerland. It’s filled with some of Europe’s most beautiful scenery, from flower-rich meadows to snow-capped mountains.

At 103 miles long, the high-altitude trek takes 8 – 12 days to complete. It’s also easy to tackle individual sections of the trail. Whichever you choose, you can do it without a guide – the route is well way-marked with either the letters TMB or red-and-white stripes. 

The route passes close by hotels such as the highly-rated Funivia. Alternatively, you can stay in one of the friendly, if sometimes rustic, mountain huts, located every 3 miles along the trail.

14. Teton Crest Trail, United States

Grand Teton, Mount Owen, and Teewinot in Grand Teton National Park
Kim Magaraci/ViaTravelers

The Teton Crest Trail is a 40-mile trail that extends from Bridger-Teton National Forest into Grand Teton National Park. It’s one of the most popular hikes in the United States, and reservations for the most popular campsites sell out when they open, on January 1st, each year.

The Death Canyon Shelf is the most incredible place to camp along the trail, but if you can’t get a reservation for the shelf, you’ll still be impressed by the backcountry campsites among gorgeous meadows and mountain peaks.

The National Park Service gives details about trailheads, permits, and safety tips for hiking in bear country.

15. Kalalau Trail, Hawaii

Kalalau Hiking Trail, Hawaii

The 22-mile Kalalau Trail, on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, is among the most amazing hikes in the world. Its magnificence comes at a price –  the trail also frequently appears on “most dangerous” lists. We’re talking about one tricky trek.

If you want to experience Kalalau’s bamboo forests, swim holes, sky-high waterfalls, and breathtaking views of turquoise seas, be warned. Rockfalls and flash floods are common, and the trail is full of sheer drop-offs. 

If all this doesn’t deter you, you’ll need an official camping permit to tackle the whole trail. Spending three nights on the trail will give time for offshoot trails, and some fun at Kalalau Beach.

16. The Great Wall of China, China

Great Wall of China with trees on both sides

If you’re trekking the world, you’ll include the Great Wall of China on your bucket list. The scale is jaw-dropping – altogether it’s over 5,000 miles long. So you won’t be hiking it all in one go.

Whether you go wild or tame is up to you. The section nearest to Beijing is Badaling, which is convenient and well-maintained, but touristy. Sixty miles north is the Jiankou section. This is unrepaired, with no facilities, and you have to hike up a mountain to get there.

A happy medium might be the less crowded Mutianyu. There are many tours available, some with the added optional thrill of a toboggan ride back to the foothills.

17. North Drakensberg Traverse, South Africa

North Drakensberg Traverse in South Africa and Lesotho

Considered one of the world’s best hiking trips, the North Drakensberg Traverse is a 40-mile trail-less trek along the South Africa/Lesotho border. Here you’ll experience some stunning scenery, including the monumental Amphitheatre cliff face and Tugela Falls, Africa’s tallest waterfall.

Note, though – the Afrikaans name Drakensberg means “dragon mountains” while the Zulu name uKhahlamba means “barrier of spears.” This is not a walk in the park; expect cliff-edge camping grounds and shaky chain ladders. And bring a first aid kit.

Don’t take the presence of vultures personally. This uncompromisingly rugged terrain is home to around 300 bird species, and you might also spot eland and baboons. 

18. Santa Cruz Trek, Peru

View from the Santa Cruz Trek, Peru, below Point Union
Photon-thug / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

For one of the best alpine treks that’s good for all experience levels, try the Santa Cruz Trek in Peru. This popular hike takes you alongside the hot springs, aquamarine lakes, and snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Blanca range. 

The 32-mile trail takes 3 – 5 days. It’s a high-altitude hike, so take the risk of altitude sickness seriously. It’s best to stay in the jumping-off point Huaraz for a few days to acclimatize yourself. You can also hire camping gear here. 

There are plenty of accommodations in Huaraz, from basic hostels such as Krusty Hostel B&B, to the 3-star El Tumi Hotel, and everything in between. 

19. Routeburn Track, New Zealand

Tarn at Key Summit, a side track on the Routeburn Track
Pseudopanax@Wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0

The Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s 10 Great Walks, takes you through stunning scenery, including alpine gardens, lakes, and fabulous waterfalls. The best time to tackle it is in New Zealand’s Great Walks Season, November – April. Avoid June – August when there’s a high avalanche risk. 

This 20-mile track can take little as 2 days, but most hikers complete the trek in 3 or 4 days. You’ll need to book to stay at the huts or campgrounds.

If the huts are all booked up, try a day hike. There are a number of great short hikes available, all taking in some of Routeburn’s most spectacular highlights. 

20. Great Ocean Walk, Australia

Great Ocean Walk in Australia

The Great Ocean Walk is one of the world’s most famous hikes and one of Australia’s most popular. Crossing Victoria’s coastal heathlands and romantic windswept clifftops over 68 miles, the trail takes 7 – 8 days. 

You might see koalas in the eucalyptus trees or humpback whales passing offshore. Look out, too, for the eerie anchors rusting away at Wreck Beach. The trek ends at the iconic limestone stacks known as the Twelve Apostles – though there were only eight.   

You can book to stay at the dedicated campsites, or there’s plenty of inexpensive accommodation nearby, such as the Sow and Piglets Guesthouse. Alternatively, you can tackle sections of the trail on a range of shorter hikes. 

21. Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand

The Emerald Lakes fill explosion craters near the summit of Mt Tongariro

Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered New Zealand’s top single-day hike. The 12-mile trail takes you past steaming craters, alpine lakes, and lush forests. The views from the Red Crater and Mt. Ngauruhoe are breathtaking.

A word or two of warning. The weather is notoriously unpredictable. You’ll be hiking through the uneven terrain of an active volcanic landscape. And there are no fresh water supplies as springs are either scalding hot or tainted by sulfurous minerals. 

This is why the famous Blue Lake and Emerald Lake are so eye-poppingly vibrant. For the brightest colors, come November to April. And a guided tour can help you negotiate Tongariro’s challenges.

22. West Coast Trail, Canada

Overlooking the Beach and Ocean - West Coast Trail
Jonathan.s.kt / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

The West Coast Trail, one of Canada’s most famous treks, is among the best places to hike to experience coastal conditions. This challenging hike involves dramatic beaches, spectacular sea arches, and rock shelves. There’s also abundant marine life, such as seastars and sea lions. 

The 6 – 8-day trek is known for its many ladders and boardwalks, some well-maintained, others pretty rickety. There are also the surge channels, including the infamous Adrenaline Surge channel; the safest option is to bypass this inland. 

Everything gets wet, so line your backpack with a plastic bag or a pack liner. And even if you’re planning a single-day hike, you have to buy a permit.

23. The Tasmanian Overland Track, Australia

This popular 6-day, 40-mile hike in Tasmania takes hikers through striking scenery. The trail crosses stunning glacial valleys, ancient rainforests, and alpine meadows. 

The official trail starts at Cradle Mountain and ends at Lake St. Clair, Australia’s deepest lake. Keen hikers, though, can add another day with a hike alongside the lake. 

You’ll need to book ahead as numbers are strictly controlled. And park authorities warn hikers against feeding wildlife. Possums and currawongs have lost their shyness around humans and will likely steal your supplies. Use bear boxes, or hang your food from the roof of your accommodation hut. 

24. Southwest Coast Path, England

Southwest Coast Path, England
Nilfanion / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

The South West Coast Path is one of the world’s best hikes because it can be attempted all year round. This beautiful 630-mile hike around England’s southwest tip usually takes 7 – 8 weeks, though it has been done in 10 days.

Along the way, you’ll see rocky headlands, dunes, waterfalls, and mainland Britain’s highest cliff. There are also 13 rivers to cross by stepping stones or ferry. Watch out for the military training areas – keep strictly to the path here.

Wild camping’s not permitted, but plenty of campgrounds, B&Bs, and hotels are close to the trail. Number 6 in St Austell is only a 30-minute bus ride from the world-famous Eden Project eco-center. 

25. Wadi Rum, Jordan

Wadi Rum, a world-famous hiking trail in Jordan.

Lawrence of Arabia famously called Wadi Rum in Jordan “irresistible,” and filmmakers regularly use it as a stand-in for Mars. It’s known for its near-vertical mountains, breathtaking rock arches, and miraculous little oases.

Some parts of the 75-mile Wadi Rum Trail cross remote deserts and involve rock climbing and abseiling. The most challenging sections have more manageable alternatives; nevertheless, you’ll need a Bedouin guide.

There are also plenty of organized trips available, offering short hikes. These often come with a tour of Petra, such as this 2-day tour that includes camping under the stars.  

26. Queen Charlotte Track, New Zealand

Te Mahia Bay from Queen Charlotte Track

Queen Charlotte Track, at the top of New Zealand’s South Island, is known for its spectacular scenery and coastal views. This popular 44-mile hike can be tackled any time of year, though the best time is November through April.

The trail is not super-challenging, being wide, benched, and well-signposted. There are also bridges over major streams. You’ll be hiking long distances; the trek usually takes 3 – 5 days. There are campsites and private accommodations dotted along the way, such as The Portage Hotel, 10 minutes from the track. 

All hikers need a Queen Charlotte Track Land Cooperative (Q.C.T.L.C.) Pass. The same goes for mountain bikers who share the trail.

27. Bay of Fires, Australia

Orange-hued granite rocks in Bay of Fires

The Bay of Fires in northern Tasmania provides some of the most scenic hiking in the world. As well as secret coves, white sands, and turquoise seas, there are the area’s famous rocks coated in glowing orange lichen. Look out, too, for Bicheno Penguins and Tasmanian Devils.

The Bay of Fires area encompasses about 45 miles of coastline, but many shorter hikes are available. A popular option is the 38-mile, 4-day Lodge Walk with lodge or campground overnighters along the way.

There are many guided tours on the market, offering a range of hiking options to suit you. We recommend this 4-day tour includes a visit to Eddystone Point lighthouse.

28. Tonquin Valley, Canada

Ramparts in Tonquin Valley, Jasper National Park
Brilang Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0

The Tonquin Valley in Jasper National Park, Alberta, is famous for its double Amethyst Lakes and the craggy Ramparts mountain range. The horseshoe-shaped 27-mile valley trail offers glorious views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

The hike can be started at either trailhead and is best done over 4 days. Although the park is open from June – October, a good time to hike is in September. The mozzies are dying down, and there’s less chance of wildfire. Just watch out for grizzly bears.

There are a few campgrounds and a hut, and early booking is essential. You’ll also need a permit. For access to 80 fabulous locations, consider a 12-month Canada Discovery Pass.

29. Yosemite Grand Traverse, United States

Yosemite Valley with El Capitan
GuyFrancis / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Situated in Yosemite National Park in California, this is one of the best long-distance hikes in the US. Part of the traverse joins the famous John Muir Trail, where you’ll use your backcountry skills to the max.

You’ll encounter beautiful meadows, lakes, and waterfalls along with formidable granite cliffs and plateaus. You can also climb Half Dome rock using the granite staircase and post-mounted cables. This gets very busy at weekends, and you’ll need permits for backwoods hiking or using the Cable Route.

It’s possible to tackle the Grand Traverse independently, but preparation must be meticulous. As well as the classic trail, tour operators offer shorter guided hikes, like this 5-day Yosemite Backpacking Tour.

30. Chilkoot Trail, United States-Canada

The Chilkoot Trail is a fascinating 33-mile trek in Alaska and Yukon Territory, on the boundary between the United States and Canada. In the 1890s, the trail was a key route from the coast to the Yukon goldfield.

The 4-day trail winds through the mountains, lakes, and pine forests the old prospectors knew. And if you stay at Canyon City campground you’ll see objects they left behind. In fact, there are gold rush traces all along the trail, sometimes known as the “world’s longest museum.”

If you want to learn more, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Skagway, is 10 miles from the Dyea trailhead. You can even try panning for gold!

31. The Torres del Paine “W” Circuit, Chile

Lake View in Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine National Park, located in Patagonian, Chile, contains some of the world’s most majestic scenery.  The popular 4-day 50-mile “W” hike, named for its shape on the map, lets you see the whole gamut: lakes, peaks, forests, ice sheets, and cascades.

This spectacular hike is not especially challenging except for the weather – “W” could stand for “Wind.” A top tip is never to put anything on the ground without weighing it down. A neck buff is also helpful against the elements.

Hardier hikers can opt for the full circuit 8-day “O” route. For just a taste, try a full-day Torres de Paine tour which comes with a certified guide. 

32. Pacific Crest Trail, United States

The 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail is a mammoth undertaking. Everyone who completes it thinks it’s one of the best hiking trips they’ve ever tackled. 

This incredible trail runs the whole length of the western U.S., from the Mexico border to the Canada-U.S. border. The path stays close to the high points of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges, meaning the trail is wild, high, and rugged. 

It’ll take 4 – 6 months, with at least as much planning beforehand. If you want more, the trail continues unofficially in Canada as the Windy Joe Trail. The trail is also part of the 6,875-mile Great Western Loop. Just saying…

33. Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim, United States

Hiker overlooking the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most stunning hiking destinations. While most visitors marvel at the grandeur from up top – maybe in a Grand Canyon helicopter tour –  rim-to-rim-to-rim hikers enjoy the spectacle up close.

The R2R2R trails involve arduous, sun-exposed climbs from the Grand Canyon rim. But it’s worth it to appreciate the rushing Colorado River, the towering cliff walls, and the subtleties of the geology. Along the way, you’ll hike the 7.1-mile South Kaibab Trail and the 9.9-mile Bright Angel Trail. 

Unless you’re super-fit, it’s best to do the hike over two days. You’ll need a permit to stay in the only canyon-bottom accommodation, Phantom Ranch.

See Related: Most Beautiful Places in the World

34. Snowman Trek, Bhutan

Horses at Snowman Trek in Bhutan
Pascal / Adobe Stock

The Snowman Trek, in Bhutan, is over 200 miles long. Its high altitude – 16,000 feet – and unpredictable weather make it one of the world’s toughest tests of endurance. This stunningly beautiful trek is also one of the world’s most popular hikes.

The trek takes from 18 to 28 days to complete. Altitude sickness claims many hikers each year, and one way to prevent this is to take a longer hike, of at least 23 days.

You’ll need guides, support staff, and pack ponies. For one thing, guides can carry you across rivers if necessary! There are many tours available – this 29-day Snowman Trek gives you an idea of the itinerary.

35. Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal

The journey to Everest Base Camp is one of the best hiking trails in the world

To tackle the Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal, is to see the world’s highest mountain up close and to walk where all the great Everest heroes have been. A thrill like no other – no wonder the trek features on so many bucket lists.

It takes 12-14 days to complete the 75-mile trek. As with all high-altitude hikes, you need to pace yourself to avoid altitude sickness. Experienced hikers recommend climbing no more than 2,000 feet per day. Another top tip is to filter all water with a LifeStraw filter system.

The best times to trek here are spring and fall. Guides are mandatory but are included in guided treks.

36. The Narrows, United States

The Narrows in Zion National Park, Utah
Christopher Michel / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0

The Narrows trail is located in Zion National Park, Utah, home to some of the most dramatic scenery in the American Southwest. What makes this hike special is that much of it takes place in the beautiful Virgin River. You will get wet!

There are several hikes available, all taking you through the slot canyon with its towering sandstone walls. The Bottom-Up hike is the most popular, as no permit is required. 

Sturdy shoes are recommended – no bare feet. As you’ll be wading, or even swimming, for part of the way, you’ll need a dry bag to protect electronic devices.

37. Pays Dogon, Mali-Burkina Faso-Niger

Mountain View of Pays Dogon in Burkina Faso and Niger
Image by Caillard used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Pays Dogon is a Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger region in western Africa. Dogon country, as it’s sometimes known, incorporates plateau, cliff, and plains landscapes. It’s also one of the best places to hike to immerse yourself in another culture.

Highlights include tunnel paths, hidden crevasses, and the mighty Bandiagra escarpment. You’ll have the chance to take in the fascinating local Dogon culture. You might also see mantises and scorpions.

A 60-mile trek from Kani-Kombole village will take around 13 days. Note that the wells here aren’t always reliable, so save water for drinking. And in the baking sun, a lightweight hiking umbrella protects more than just your head.

38. GR20 Trail, Corsica

Mountains and Trees in GR20 Trail

The GR20, on the French island of Corsica, is considered by many hikers to be one of the best hikes in Europe. As well as outstanding rough-hewn beauty, the famously-tough 112-mile trek presents an irresistible challenge.

The hike takes around 15 days, starting at Calenzana in the north and ending at Conca in the south. Halfway is the pretty mountain village of Vizzavona. You can stay over or catch a train here should you want to do a half-trail.

One highlight is the Cirque de la Solitude, where you climb onto chains bolted to the cliff. You’ll also encounter three beautiful glacial lakes.

39. Parang La Trek, India

The Parang La Trek is a rugged trail between Spiti and Ladakh, situated in India’s Himachal Pradesh. The trail takes in the mighty Parang La Pass; at 18,370 feet, it’s among the highest in the Western Himalayas.

It takes around 11 days to complete this challenging trail, with its steep climbs and river crossings. The rewards are the glorious high-altitude meadows and the serene grandeur of Tso Moriri Lake. You may even spot a snow leopard. 

You’ll need to hire a guide if you don’t go on an organized tour. Top pro tip for dealing with the cold – wear thermals only at night, or you’ll sweat unnecessarily.

40. K2 Base Camp Trek, Pakistan

Baltoro Glacier, Gilgit Baltistan on the way to K2 base camp
Muhammad Awais / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

K2, the “Mountain of Mountains,” is the world’s second-highest mountain. The K2 Base Camp Trek in Pakistan is a punishing hike that provides both an unsurpassed sense of achievement and a harsh, unforgettable beauty. 

You’ll cross an icy wilderness of streams, glaciers, and boulders, with some of the world’s tallest peaks crowding around. You’ll also see Concordia, where Baltoro Glacier meets Godwin Austen Glacier. Be prepared to ascend for hours on all kinds of inhospitable terrain.

It takes 14 – 20 days to complete the trek. You’ll be a world away from the grid, so invest in a good slimline portable charger. And guides are a must, though tours organize these for you.

FAQs

What is the most beautiful hiking trail in the world?

The Snowman Trek is one of the most beautiful in the world. This epic high-altitude trail passes through some of Bhutan’s most remote and beautiful scenery. The trail traverses glaciers, high passes, meadows, forests, and villages and offers stunning views of the Himalayan mountains.

Which country has the best hikes?

Many countries boast outstanding trails. Canada and New Zealand are rich in beautiful hikes and famous hiking trails. The Patagonia area of South America is also a hiker’s paradise. And the US contains some sensational long-distance hikes.

What are some of the most popular hiking trails in Europe?

Some of the most popular trails in Europe include the GR20 Trail in Corsica, the West Highland Way in Scotland, and the Tour du Mont Blanc in the Alps.

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  1. Oscar Bustamante says:

    Picture # 27 is wrong. It is really Macchu Picchu in Peru.

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