Hiking is a popular activity for people of all ages and fitness levels. It allows you to connect with nature, get some exercise, and explore new places. There are many incredible hiking trails around the world, but here are 10 must-do hiking trails to add to your bucket list:
Inca Trail, Peru
The Inca Trail in Peru is a famous hiking trail that leads to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. The trail takes you through the Andes Mountains and passes through breathtaking landscapes, including high-altitude mountain passes, lush forests, and Incan ruins. The hike to Machu Picchu is challenging, but it is one of the most rewarding hiking experiences in the world.
The Inca Trail is a four-day trek that covers a distance of 43 kilometers. The hike begins in the town of Cusco and takes you through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The trail then climbs to the highest point of the hike, the Dead Woman’s Pass, which stands at 4,215 meters. From there, the trail descends to the ruins of Machu Picchu, where you can explore the ancient Incan city.
Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy, and Switzerland
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a 170-kilometer hiking trail that circles around the Mont Blanc massif in France, Italy, and Switzerland. The trail is known for its stunning alpine scenery, including glaciers, snow-capped peaks, and crystal-clear lakes. The hike takes 11 days to complete, and it is one of the most challenging hikes in Europe.
The Tour du Mont Blanc passes through seven valleys and crosses over 11 mountain passes. The trail takes you through traditional alpine villages, where you can experience the unique cultures of the three countries. The hike also offers breathtaking views of the Mont Blanc massif, which is the highest peak in Western Europe.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a 19.4-kilometer hiking trail in New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park. The trail takes hikers through a variety of volcanic landscapes, including lava flows, steaming vents, and emerald lakes. The hike is challenging, but it is one of the most unique hiking experiences in the world.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a one-day hike that begins at Mangatepopo and ends at Ketetahi. The hike takes you through the Red Crater, which is the highest point of the hike and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. The hike also takes you past the Emerald Lakes, which are famous for their striking color.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak and a popular hiking destination. The hike to the summit takes you through five different climate zones, from rainforest to glacier. The trek is challenging, but the reward is the stunning view from the summit.
The Mount Kilimanjaro hike takes five to nine days to complete, depending on the route you choose. The most popular route is the Machame route, which takes seven days to complete. The hike offers stunning views of the African savannah and the surrounding mountains. The summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is also known for its stunning sunrise.
Torres del Paine Circuit, Chile
The Torres del Paine Circuit is a 9-day hiking trail in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park. The trail takes hikers through stunning landscapes, including glaciers, forests, and lakes. The highlight of the hike is the view of the three granite peaks, also known as the Torres del Paine.
The Torres del Paine Circuit is a challenging hike that covers a distance of 130 kilometers. The trail passes through the Valle Frances, where you can see stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The hike also takes you past the Grey Glacier, which is one of the largest glaciers in the park.
The West Coast Trail
The West Coast Trail, located in British Columbia, Canada, is one of the most challenging hiking trails in the world. It is a 75-km-long hike that takes 5-7 days to complete. This trail is known for its rugged terrain, steep climbs, and unpredictable weather. However, it is also famous for its stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, rocky shorelines, and lush rainforests.
The trail was originally used as a lifesaving trail for shipwrecked sailors, and it was later used for logging. However, in the 1970s, it was converted into a hiking trail, and today it attracts thousands of hikers every year.
The West Coast Trail requires a permit to hike, and it is recommended that hikers have previous backpacking experience. Hikers must also be prepared to carry all their gear, including food and water, as there are no facilities along the way. The trail is only open from May to September due to the unpredictable weather and dangerous conditions during the rest of the year.
Overland Track, Australia
The Overland Track is one of the most popular hiking trails in Australia. It is a 65-km-long trail that takes approximately 6 days to complete. The trail passes through the heart of the Tasmanian wilderness, and hikers will encounter a diverse range of landscapes, from rainforests to alpine meadows.
The trail begins at Cradle Mountain and ends at Lake St. Clair, and hikers can choose to go either direction. Along the way, hikers will encounter several iconic landmarks, including Barn Bluff, Mount Ossa, and the Du Cane Range.
The Overland Track requires a permit to hike, and it is recommended that hikers have some hiking experience. There are also several huts along the way where hikers can rest and cook their meals. However, hikers must still be prepared to carry all their gear, including food and water.
The Milford Track, New Zealand
The Milford Track is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world, taking hikers on a 33.5-mile journey through the Fiordland National Park on New Zealand’s South Island. The trail takes about four days to complete and includes stunning views of glacier-carved valleys, soaring mountains, and cascading waterfalls. The highlight of the trek is the arrival at Milford Sound, a spectacular fiord known for its towering cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life.
The Camino de Santiago, Spain
The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, is a pilgrimage route that has been followed by millions of people over the centuries. The most popular route is the Camino Francés, which starts in St. Jean Pied de Port in France and ends in Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. The trek takes about five weeks to complete and passes through stunning countryside, historic towns, and ancient religious sites. Along the way, hikers will meet fellow pilgrims from all over the world and experience the unique camaraderie that comes with undertaking such a journey.
The Haute Route, Switzerland and France
The Haute Route is a classic alpine trek that takes hikers on a 120-mile journey from Chamonix, France to Zermatt, Switzerland. The trek takes about two weeks to complete and includes challenging climbs, high-altitude passes, and stunning views of some of the most famous peaks in the Alps, including Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Hikers will also encounter charming alpine villages and enjoy the local cuisine and culture of both France and Switzerland along the way.
Hiking is a great way to explore the world’s natural wonders and challenge yourself physically and mentally. These 10 must-do hiking trails around the world offer a range of experiences for hikers of all levels, from challenging climbs to leisurely walks through stunning scenery. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, these trails are sure to inspire and excite you.