Whether you are hiking, trekking, or scrambling up a scree wall, spending your time walking through nature can be the BEST way to connect with and experience a destination. Planning trips around an epic hike you have seen or heard about can be a tremendously cool way to create an itinerary. So where can you find epic hikes to help organize your travels? I have figured it out!
I have asked 50 amazing travel bloggers to list their favourite hikes all over the world, from continent to continent and through varying intensities. Without a doubt you should be able to find something to inspire you here.
50 Best Hiking Destinations by 50 Travel Bloggers
1. Fox in the Forest – The Tenmile Range, Colorado
The Tenmile Range of Colorado surrounds the town of Breckenridge. Breckenridge isn’t just known for skiing, but also for a wide range of outdoor activities possible throughout the year. Colorado boasts over 50 peaks that are 14,000 feet or higher. Experienced hikers will love Mt Quandary, one of these iconic 14,000 foot peaks.
Those looking for a longer journey can join the Colorado Trail, a 486-mile trail that runs from Denver to Durango. It is the highest of all of America’s thru-hikes and a real challenge. The trail is broken into segments and you can join the trail at the Segment 6 and Segment 7 junction just outside of Breck.
For an easier day hike check out the Spruce Creek Trail to Mohawk Lake. This six-mile trail features a lake and fantastic mountain views. If you’re a total beginner, head over to Mayflower Gulch; an easy three-mile out-and-back hike which will leave you speechless in the high-alpine cirque. There is something for every hiker in the Tenmile Range of Colorado.
2. The Royal Tour – The Santa Monica Mountains – California
The Santa Monica Mountains run east-west through the Los Angeles and Ventura Counties of California, dividing the San Fernando Valley from Malibu. While some of the land is developed, most is protected wilderness consisting of several state parks and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The National Recreation Area contains more than 600 miles of well-marked trails through a Mediterranean climate. You’ll encounter native trees and bushes, as well as potentially spot deer, snakes, bobcats, and even mountain lions! For my favorite hike, check out the Big Sycamore Trail. You can do any portion of it, which crosses the Mountains from the Satwiwa Native American Cultural Center all the way to the Pacific Ocean. You will only be a half hour from downtown Los Angeles, but you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere.
3. Fit Two Travel – Bend, Oregon – United States of America
Our favourite hiking destination hands down is Bend, Oregon. Bend has so many different areas for hiking and the weather is always great! While Oregon is a great state to plan some great hiking adventures, Bend is the hiking hub of the Pacific Northwest. Bend is just 3 hours south of Portland and so is an easy trip if you’re basing your time in Portland. Bend’s climate is typical of desert weather, with cool nights and sunny days. The average rainfall is much less than Portland, which allows for the perfect place for some outdoor activities! There are hikes of all levels, with unmatched scenery. Some of our favorites include Smith Rock State Park , Tumalo Falls, and the Deschutes River trail. Smith Rock has some of the best scenery we’ve ever seen, with deep river canyons and big beautiful volcanic rock! Smith Rock State Park is famous for the Misery Ridge loop, a trail that is overall moderate, but does have a .68 mile steep incline straight to the top. When you get to the top of the 3360 foot summit, the views are just incredible, overlooking the mountains in Central Oregon. There are plenty other hikes in Smith Rock, with varying difficulty. Everyone must truly experience the scenery that Bend’s hikes provide.
4. Together to Wherever – San Diego, California
I know that some people may scratch their heads if I recommend San Diego as a top hiking destination. You may think “But I thought San Diego was all about beaches and tacos?” Well, yes, I will never deny this as it has always been a central focus of my visit (and the highlight of my seven years of living there). However, on a recent visit, I realized what a gem San Diego is for hiking-lovers. I should have known, considering San Diego is THE spot for outdoorsy-types so, of course, the hikes would be epic here!
My top two hikes in San Diego include Torrey Pines State Reserve and Potato Chip Rock. These two trails are very different from each other and quite a distance apart. To decide which one you would want to take, just ask yourself if you prefer mountains and lakes or cliffs and beaches?
Torrey Pines offers several different paths and most are not difficult. The views of the ocean are absolutely breathtaking. You also have a spectacular coastline to gaze out at during your hike. Potato Chip Rock, on the other hand, is quite long though I would not say difficult as far as terrain. At the beginning of the hike, you are presented with gorgeous lake views. Once you reach the highly popular Potato Chip Rock, get your camera out for some Insta-fun capturing of this cool rock formation.
5. Travel? Yes please! – Banff, Alberta, Canada
There are a lot of great hikes in Banff National Park but one that really stands out is the Larch Valley hike. Every autumn larch tree needles turn a golden yellow, creating a brilliant scene you can only enjoy a few weeks of the year.
The hike begins with a section of steep switchbacks before arriving at Larch Valley, a meadow bordered by row upon row of vibrant larch trees backed by snow dusted mountain peaks. Continuing through the meadow, the trail gains some elevation as it leads towards Mount Temple, the Minnestimma Lakes, and Sentinel Pass. From here you get a lovely view of both Larch Valley and the famous Ten Peaks.
The Larch Valley trailhead is at Moraine Lake, a destination in itself. From there, it’s 4.3 km to Larch Valley. The hike is rated moderate and takes about 3.5- 4 hours to complete a round trip.
6. Green Global Travel – The Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (as it is officially known), the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail form what is referred to as the “Triple Crown of Hiking” in the United States. The AT stretches around 2,200 miles along the East Coast, from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, making it one of the world’s longest hiking trails. It moves through 14 different states along the way, passing through stunning scenery that includes rugged mountains, gorgeous waterfalls, wildlife-rich forests, and beautiful lakes. Around 2,700 hardy hikers manage to complete the entire trail in a given season, usually taking between five and seven months to do so. There are several shelters set up along the route for hikers carrying their own tents or hammocks, and “trail towns” offer occasional accommodation in hotels and motels along the way.But we’re among the two million people who prefer to hike smaller sections of the trail. Some of my earliest travel memories involved backpacking in the backcountry of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee with my family. Fortunately, the fact that I live less than an hour from the trail’s southern terminus makes it easy to relive those memories on any given weekend today!
7. Wandering Wheatleys – Havasu Falls, Arizona
Deep in a canyon in Northern Arizona is a 100′ turquoise-blue waterfall that can only be accessed on foot, horseback, or by helicopter. Here you’ll find a desert oasis of beautiful swimming holes and shady campsites at the base of Havasu Falls.
Getting to this little piece of paradise, however, is no easy feat. To reach Havasu Falls you’ll first trek 8-miles down through Havasu Canyon with very little shade from the hot Arizona sun. At this point you’ll reach the Havasupai Village where you can fill up your dwindling water supply and sample some Indian fry bread.
The final 2 miles stretch down to Havasu Falls follows the river and offers numerous swimming holes and smaller waterfalls to test out before arriving at the campground.
While you’re camped in the canyon make sure you don’t miss Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls further downstream. And plan to hike out of Havasu Canyon early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the brutal sun on your long climb up.
The Havasupai Tribe manages the Havasu Falls area where only 300-400 people are allowed to camp each night. Camping permits go on sale on February 1st of each year and the phone lines at the campground office don’t stop ringing for 3 days straight at which point almost the entire 9-month camping season is booked solid (so mark your calendar!).
8. In A Far Away Land – Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
I’ve spent the majority of my adult life near the mountains in all corners of the globe and most recently I devoted 14 months to adventuring in the Canadian Rockies and Pacific Coastal Mountains of western Canada. They are truly breath-taking regions which every fibre of my soul wants to return to.
My favourite hiking area there is called Kananaskis Country. It’s an amalgamation of provincial parks in southern Alberta which neighbours the much more popular Banff National Park. However K-Country, as it’s colloquially known, is further removed and in my eyes much more dramatic than it’s bigger brother Banff.
One of my favourite hikes there is Pocaterra Ridge which translates roughly to “A Little Earth” but believe me, that name is quite misleading. There is nothing little about this hike. Surrounded by jagged cliffs the relocation hike is 11km and summits 3 distinct peaks.
When a perfect weather window was predicted I decided to spend a night at the first, and highest, summit. When the skies took a turn for the worse I was forced to descend at sunrise through an intermittent hail storm across a large snow drift left over from winter even though it was already late June. An experience I’ll never forget.
9. Made all the Difference -Zion National Park, Utah
Zion National Park in southern Utah is the park of epic hikes. In this park, the question is how far, how long, and in want conditions do you want to hike. The most famous hike in the park is Angel’s Landing. This 5-mile round trip hike takes a guest up a series of switch backs to an overlook which is the final resting point before a half mile upward rock scramble out on to Angel’s Landing. The Narrows is another famous hike. It is a 16-mile hike through the narrowest part of Zion Canyon. Depending on the water levels, the hike can involve swimming in waist deep water. If you are lucky enough to get the permit, hiking to the Subway can lead to some amazing views of a canyon overhang.
These are just 3 of the many hiking trails in Zion National Park. Every trail has a view, It’s just a question of which view do you want to see.
10. The Daily Adventures of Me – Tumbledown, Maine
I am in amazement of the beauty of this world and often hike to see the best of it. I have hiked among the fjords in Norway, waterfalls and glaciers of Iceland and the stunning red rocks canyons of the southwest United States. I had never thought anything on the east coast of the United States would rival those experiences… and then I reached the summit of Tumbledown Mountain in Weld, Maine. After an arduous hike up the 4-mile trail of rock scrambles, I found one of my favorite spots in the world. About three miles up, there is a gem of blue among the striking green conifers covering the mountain. The alpine Tumbledown Pond is the perfect place to cool off in the sparkling clear water or, if you are lucky, nab the one camping spot on the island in the middle of it. The reward for hiking to the tip-top of the mountain gives a panoramic view of unending greens that are Maine’s western mountains. Some of the peaks you can see are Mount Blue and Little Jackson Mountain. I highly recommend this hike for anyone visiting New England. As an added bonus, you will also get a chance to experience the peace of Maine.
11. Tales of a Backpacker – Ciudad Perdida, Colombia
La Ciudad Perdida, or Lost City trek is a spectacular jungle trek in Colombia and it is not an easy hike. The hike takes 4 or 5 days there and back through the jungle, across rivers, and up and down mountains, but the reward is worth the effort! On the third day you finally reach the ruins of an ancient city, ‘lost’ for centuries in the forest. The Teyuna people built the city which dates back to 800 AD (around 650 years before Machu Picchu was built!), and abandoned it during the Spanish conquest. The city was rediscovered by chance in 1972 when local treasure hunters stumbled across the stone steps leading up to the city through the jungle. Nowadays, some descendants of the Teyuna people still live in the city, and you could even get the chance to meet the shaman of the Ciudad Perdida!
12. Practical Wanderlust – Valle de Cocoa, Salento, Colombia
In 2016, my husband and I embarked on a year-long honeymoon. Our first destination? Colombia! We fell head over heels in love with this amazing country, exploring it from top to bottom. Literally: we started on the Caribbean Coastline and worked our way south to the mountains of Bogota. One of our absolute favorite destinations was smack dab in the center of Colombia: Salento, in the Eje Cafetero, the coffee region. Imagine lush rolling hills covered in dense cloud forests, coffee farms sprinkled with banana trees and hummingbirds, and green landscape as far as the eye can see. But the star attraction of Salento is a hike: the Valle de Cocora.
The Valle de Cocora hike took us through cheerful green meadows up into a buzzing cloud forest, past waterfalls, up to a hummingbird preserve with a resident coati, and back down into the valley. But the best part? The world’s tallest palm trees. The green meadows of the valley are dotted with HUGE, skinny wax palms, whose bright green tops seem to brush the sky! They are the stars of the Valle de Cocora, and the reason travelers come from all over the world to hike this incredible route!
The Valle de Cocora hike is not challenging in terms of mileage or elevation – but the terrain in the cloud forest can be tricky. Horses use the same path as hikers and churn the wet mud into a deep, mucky mess. There are also several nerve-wracking water crossings on hanging bridges or logs, but they’re more scary than difficult!
After your hike, you’ll hop onto an inexpensive Willy, Salento’s jeep taxis, and hang onto the back for incredible views of the most picturesque countryside in Colombia.
13. Hashtag Ljo Jlo – The Inca Trail, Peru
You really can’t beat The Inca Trail as a hike to complete in 2018. Only having conquered the Inca in 2017, I really can’t recommend it enough. It was indeed an experience and one I won’t forget.
From the spectacular scenery to reaching over 4200m over Dead Woman’s Pass to the stunning Machu Picchu at its conclusion, this 43km trek has it all.
Day 1 sees what is known as the ‘Inca Flat’ with much of the day going up and down small hills. Day 2 ramps up with summitting Dead Woman’s Pass. If you are anything like me take it slow like was recommended and you will conquer it. If I did, anyone can. Day 3 for me was the most spectacular. The longest day in regards to kilometres covered, has some steep sections, but the reward is glorious views throughout the day. Day 4 starts super early allowing you get to the sun gate ready for the final push down to Machu Picchu. What a sight it is too! The journey is made even more worth it for its spectacular finish. Also, The Inca Trail is a one-way hike, which I loved. It meant I could catch the most spectacular train back and see even more scenery from a different perspective.
Finally, the close friendships you will make on this hike will undoubtedly last a lifetime. Adding this extra special dimension to this trek and another reason to recommend it for 2018.
14. Finding Beyond – Colca Canyon, Peru
When most people think of a Peruvian trek the famous Inca Trail usually comes to mind. However, if you are interested in something different, an equally exciting and adventurous alternative to hiking to Machu Picchu are the steep slopes of Colca Canyon. At double the height of the Grand Canyon, this is no easy hike but the test is well worth the remarkable experience of observing an unusual landscape populated with small canyon villages and sweeping giant Condors.
Trekking Colca Canyon is best started from a small town called Huancarqui that sits on the canyons edge. From here it takes a few hours to hike all the way down to the tropical green oasis found at the very bottom of the canyon. The length of your trek is totally up to you. For a one day hike you could simply hike back up to Huancarqui and be back before dinner, but we recommend spending two or three days inside the canyon following the numerous trails that zig-zag the canyon’s walls.
Colca Canyon has a handful of local villages offering basic accommodation for the night. No booking is required, it’s more fun to just turn up, speak to some locals and you’ll soon find a meal and a bed for the night. The views from any point of the trekking trails are truly awesome and on the route don’t forget to look out for soaring Condors above your head!
15. Nomad Biba – Huaraz, Peru
With the impressive snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca and sitting at over 3000 meters above sea level, Huaraz is arguably Peru’s best hiking destination. Located on a valley not far from the Huascarán National Park, Huaraz is the best base to prepare for your hiking trip in this section of the Andes. There are countless hiking opportunities in the area, from easy and mellow half-day excursions up to very challenging multi-day treks. No matter your experience level, you will likely find something here to challenge you. Just remember that due to the high altitude, it is advisable to first spend a couple of days getting used to it before setting out on any of the more complex hikes. Also, in Huaraz you can hire a guide or group tours, buy any supplies you need, and rent camping gear if you need to. Some of the most popular day hikes include those to Laguna 69, Pastoruri Glacier, or Laguna Churup. While most travelers wanting to do a multi-day hike would go for the Santa Cruz trek, which you can do on your own, depending on how experienced you are, or with a guided group tour.
16. La Vida Nomade – Jeinimeni, Aysen region, Northern Patagonia, Chile
Jeinimeni National Reserve is located in Aysen, Northern Patagonia in the south of Chile. Is the 4th. largest reserve in Chile and has an amazing variety of landscapes.
Our guide picked up us at 8 am. The plan was to spend part of the day hiking about 7 kilometers, which actually took us 4 hours and a half. You can totally do this trekking on your own, but it’s recommended to go on a tour because it’s safer, you can easily get lost and will miss some interesting information about the surroundings and the history about nomadic tribe that used to be there and was exterminated by Spanish colonisers. Lunch and snacks were included as part of our tour. Andres, the owner and guide, was super patient with me, because I’m afraid of heights and I didn’t bring proper shoes. Don’t be silly as me!
In this huge reserve you will encounter the wonderful condor, considered the national bird, and you will see Patagonian desert and different rock formations. A totally recommended hike to enjoy beautiful landscapes and to realise that Patagonia is not just about Torres del Paine.
17. Our Escape Clause – High Tatras, Slovakia
The High Tatras Mountains of Slovakia may be a popular getaway for Polish, Hungarian and Slovakian families…but for those of us coming from an ocean away, they are very much an ‘off the beaten path’ hikers destination.
Gorgeous and imposing, the High Tatras skip past the idea of foothills altogether, instead rising abruptly from the centre of a flattened farming landscape.
Home to dozens of hikes of all levels (and plenty of skiing in the winter), the High Tatras are a great option from anyone looking for a chance to try out hiking in Central Europe.
Come to the High Tatras to hike among the wildflowers, check out the waterfalls, or climb a mountain or two such as the beautiful Gerlachovsky Peak.
For those with a larger amount of time on their hands, the High Tatras also extend into Poland, offering even more opportunities for stunning views from summits, alpine lakes, waterfalls, and more.
18. Eternal Arrival – Durmitor National Park, Montenegro
One of the best places to hike in Europe is Montenegro! This country is 90% mountainous and is home to one of the most beautiful national parks I’ve ever been to, Durmitor National Park. There’s a variety of hikes here all worth doing, but two stand out in my mind: Black Lake and Bobotov Kuk. Black Lake is a beautiful alpine lake that goes from turquoise at the rims to a glassy dark blue that looks black in certain light. It’s about a 30 minute walk from the center of Zabljak, takes about an hour and a half to loop around, and is perfect for those wanting a quick hike.
For those who want a bit more activity and adventure, you can’t miss hiking Bobotov Kuk. This was formerly thought to be the highest mountain in Montenegro (it’s actually the 4th) and at over 2,500 meters it’s no joke to climb! It takes 5-6 hours roundtrip and will have you walking through a landscape carved by melting glaciers. There are a few glacial lakes you’ll pass on the way in addition to beautifully striated limestone mountains. The final ascent to the top of Bobotov Kuk is a bit of a challenge and not for those with a fear of heights – but some ropes will help with the tough footwork and the view is worth the final push. From the top, you can see over Montenegro into Serbia and Bosnia — truly a view worth working for!
19. Megan Starr – Faroe Islands
When one thinks of the Faroe Islands, more often than not, the picturesque image of the Kallur Lighthouse on the edge of a sea cliff on Kalsoy island comes to mind. It did for me. I traveled to the Faroes last year and was determined to do this stunning hike myself so I could witness the lighthouse with my own eyes instead of just a photo. The Faroe Islands have some of the most temperamental weather in the world and I also have an insane fear of heights. I started this hike with my partner and despite it not being the most challenging of hikes, my fear of heights took over. Fortunately, it was a smart decision as a patch of thick fog rolled in and would have ruined the hike had we been in the wrong place when it came through. While this hike was an utter failure as I didn’t see the lighthouse, I actually think the views I witnessed with the fog were amongst some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen… and I have absolutely no regrets. The Faroe Islands offer an abundance of hikes on every single island (there are eighteen of them) and I can’t imagine that there is a bad view anywhere!
20.The Opposite Travellers – Seven Sisters Cliffs, United Kingdom
Hulking white chalk cliffs overlooking the English Channel, the Seven Sisters Cliffs are an absolutely stunning sight to see, and is our favourite location for long scenic hikes on the English countryside.
Hikes at the Seven Sisters range from as short as 1km to as long as 8km, so there are plenty of options to suit your mood, fitness levels, and time. The trails are well-marked and mapped out to make navigating a breeze. The trails take you across varying terrains along the beach side or the cliffs.
The scenery and landscapes around you are simply breath-taking and it makes this location a truly special place to hike. It is always best to arrive early and avoid the large tour groups that roll up between 10am and noon. Arriving early and having the place to yourself is a really magical experience.
The golden light in the morning is particularly beautiful as it contrasts perfectly with the deep blue ocean water. It is also quite special when all you can hear are the sounds of the birds and the crashing of the waves around you.
We usually like to arrive around 8am with insulated bottles filled with coffee, do our hike, and then stop for lunch at the quaint little café found just at the start of all the hikes.
21. Grrrl Traveler – Goreme Cappadocia, Turkey
Ever wanted to feel like part archeologist, part explorer and traveler? I enjoy hiking challenges, but I love intriguing and interactive landscapes more. Cappadocia is known for its unusual sandstone rock formations, which jut up from the ground. The landscape looks as though aliens made it, but many of these formation are man-made or a result of weather erosion. An interesting historical fact is that Cappadocia once was a cave dwelling community. During the Hittite era, caves were created by Christians for escaping persecution. They eventually became hideout dwellings and evolved into communities. There are monastery caves and underground caves pf which many you can explore, as if you’re walking into an apartment of the past. Today, many Cappadocians have moved onto modern apartments and some family caves have been transformed into cave hotels. You can explore the region by hot air balloon but it’s fascinating to undertake on foot. Cappadocia is a vast region, so Goreme is the ideal launch ground, as you can see much in a little over a day from Love Valley, where the rocks look like giant penises, to Rose Valley, Open Air Museum and Uchisar Castle (it’s a giant rock and cave dwelling formation that looks like Swiss cheese!). Hiking in Cappadocia is like a fantasy for those who ever wished they could explore an archeological site. Hiking level: Ideal for light to medium level hikers.
22. Wayfaring Views – Jurassic Coast, United Kingdom
England is a country committed to hiking. They have over 12,000 miles (19/k) of hiking trails with laws that guarantee hikers the right of passage through private lands. Given that, if you want to hike in England, you have a lot of terrain to choose from.
One of the lesser known, but bucket-list worthy hiking spots is on the Jurassic Coast. This stretch of coastline in southwest England offers 185 million years of crazy geology, fossils and gobsmacking coastal views. The Jurassic Coast is a UNESCO designated area of natural beauty and the landscape benefits from protected status.
The trail transits wildlife estuaries, red sandstone cliffs, white chalk cliffs and wooded landslides. The area became popular during the Victorian era among intrepid fossil hunters and people seeking clear air away from London’s industrial smog. Because of this, there are adorable little beach towns strung all along the coastal trail. The towns are not usually more than 12 miles (20/k) apart, making it very easy to tackle sections of the trail as a 1-way hike. You can even use their well-organized luggage portage service, allowing you to do a multi-day hike with a simple day pack.
The ups and downs of cliff side hiking can be hard, but access to the Jurassic coast is easy, making this a great hike for someone who wants challenging terrain with an easy insertion point. Follow in the footsteps of giants and find your own dinosaur on the Jurassic Coast.
23. Full Suitcase – Stavanger, Norway
One of our new favourite hiking destinations is the Stavanger region in Norway. Three of Norway’s most epic hikes are located in this region, all doable as a day trip from Stavanger. The most popular hike takes you to the Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) that rises high above the Lysefjorden. Often described as the world’s most spectacular viewing platform. The second epic location is the iconic Kjeragbolten – a hanging boulder squeezed in between the deep mountain crevice. To many hikers taking a photograph on the Kjeragbolten is an ultimate trophy of their trip to Norway. Kjerag is the highest mountain in Lysefjorden and this hike is the longest and the most strenuous of the three. Florli 4444, the world’s longest wooden staircase, is the least known hike of the three. It is one of our favourites. Florli 4444 is not a regular hike in the mountains, but a tough climb on the steep narrow staircase following the pipeline of an old power plant along the fjord. It’s the most challenging hike we have ever done; at the same time it’s the most special and unforgettable experience ever.
If you love nature and being outdoors, the landscapes and the hikes in Stavanger region in Norway are as good as it gets.
24. Helen on her Holidays – Plitvic Lakes, Croatia
The Plitvice Lakes, Croatia is one of the most jaw-dropping, beautiful places to hike in Europe. There’s a trail for everyone in the park, from easy ambles to longer paths around the upper lakes and the wild forests that surround them.
We took a route somewhere between the two; from the park’s middle entrance, we took a shuttle bus to the upper lakes and worked our way down. The walk begins peacefully, with a boardwalk curving across a large pond, full of fish and bulrushes. When you turn the first corner, the drama begins – a bubbling torrent appears underneath your feet and suddenly you’re in a magical world where you’re surrounded by waterfalls at every turn.
Dividing the upper and lower parts of the park is a large lake which most visitors cross on a ferry. In the lower section of the park the waterfalls tumble from lake to lake until the path ends at the Big Waterfall.
To make it a circular hike, climb the path up inside the cliff to see an incredible overhead view of the lower lakes and either walk or catch the bus back to the entrance.
25. Owl Over The World – Gergeti Glacier, Georgia
The scenery and the landscapes in Georgia are just incredible and if you’re a hiking lover, then Georgia should be your next travel destination.
Hiking the Gergeti Glacier in Kazbegi was one of the most amazing hikes I have ever done to date. There are more hikes in the area and when I return to Georgia, I have goals to conquer Mt. Kazbek.
There are many amazing hiking trails in Georgia as it is a beautiful mountain region, so even if you don’t really enjoy hiking, or find it difficult, you will be able to enjoy breathtaking mountain views.
Georgia and its nature are truly great and I definitely recommend everyone to visit and explore the country. Personally, I can’t wait to go back.
26. City of the Week – Retezat Mountains, Romania
The Retezat Mountains of the Southern Carpathians are definitely one of the most exciting hiking destinations in Romania. With over 20 different trails encompassing 2,000+ m tall peaks, glacial lakes, waterfalls and mighty rivers, the mountains offer a myriad of options for beginner and advanced hikers alike.
For an insightful exploration, I recommend planning at least a 4 day trip so you’ll have enough time to leisurely see the most impressive sights. By setting up camp on the shores of Bucura Lake (the largest glacial lake in Romania), you’ll enjoy proximity to the tallest peaks offering some of the finest views in the country.
You’ll be merely a short hike away from Păpușa (2,509 m), Bucura (2,433 m) and Peleaga Peak (2,509 m), the latter being the tallest point of the Retezat Mountains. The glacial lakes with crystal-clear waters of the Bad Valley (Valea Rea) and the Bucura Valley are just an effortless stroll away from the campsite.
Winter trips are only advisable to advanced hikers in good weather conditions. Avalanches are a frequent phenomenon, so make sure you’re properly equipped before you head out to explore the Retezat Mountains in the colder months.
27. Where is your Toothbrush– Slovak Paradise National Park, Slovakia
The Slovak Paradise National Park in Eastern Slovakia is a hiker’s paradise—quite literally. It’s not as difficult to hike as the High Tatra mountains, yet it’s beautiful and challenging in its own way. The Paradise is best known for numerous well-marked forest hiking paths that feature ladders, which take you up narrow ravines, above roaring creeks; chains that you hold on to in order to hoist yourself up rock faces or to climb up steep, rocky slopes; and metal grates that serve as steps suspended over deep canyons. The most famous spot is Tomašovský Lookout, where a scene in the 1996 fantasy movie Dragonheart was filmed. Several paths converge in Kláštorisko, so named after a medieval monastery whose ruins still stand there, where you can refresh with a meal and a beer at a small restaurant. The Park is located a short bus ride from the city of Spišská Nová Ves, about 5 hours by train from the capital Bratislava.
28. The Crowded Planet – Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is definitely one of my favourite hiking destinations in the world! If you’re looking for a place where you can be alone with nature, and hike for days without seeing another single soul, this is definitely the place for you. The Tien Shan mountains are one of the best places to see in Kyrgyzstan, a mountain range with peaks that exceed 7000 meters, glaciers with no name and field after field of wildflowers. There are countless hikes available in the Tien Shan mountains, with many more being mapped every year – Karakol is a great place to plan your hike, hire local guides and porters as well as camping and cooking equipment, as there are no mountain huts or places to eat and drink in the mountains.
We hiked the 3 day, 2 night Turgen Ak Suu trail – we crossed two mountain passes at nearly 4000 meters altitude and spent two nights camping under the stars, before walking back to a village through a pristine valley. We saw no one the whole way, save for shepherds and their animals camping in the jailoo (high mountain pastures), where they spend the whole summer. Hiking in Kyrgyzstan was an unforgettable experience – the best advice I can give is having a local guide with you, as the Tien Shan mountains are a really wild place, and it’s very easy to get lost.
29. Against the Compass – Tajikistan
With it’s highest peak being at 7,649 meters above sea level, the Pamir Range is the third highest mountain range in the world, after the Himalayas and the Karakoram.
This great range lies mostly in Tajikistan but it’s spread across China, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. From the most off the beaten track nomad settlements in the region to striking high-altitude mountains passes with awesome views and countless herds of Central Asian yaks, the Tajik Pamirs are considered some of the remotest and least accessible mountains in the world.
For this reason, you should know that trekking the Pamirs is no joke, as there is very little information regarding trails, no tourist infrastructure, and the lowest point is at 4,000 meters. However, with just a bit of planning and preparation, for mid-experienced trekkers, there is also the opportunity to do a few 4-day treks from the villages of Murghab and Alichur.
If you are looking for a real off the beaten track adventure, the Tajik Pamirs are, definitely, the ultimate trekking destination.
30. Daves Travel Page – Hiking in Nepal
Nepal has to be one of the most famous hiking destinations in the world. The treks such as the Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp trek are legendary, and feature on virtually every serious hikers to-do list. The surprising thing though, is that Nepal is more than just mountains. Sure, the mighty Himalayas dominate the country, but there is far more to hiking here than simply stunning scenery.
During a recent trip to Nepal, I hiked a variation of the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek. Whilst the mountains were always a constant companion, I enjoyed hiking in Nepal mainly because of the Nepalese people themselves. Whenever we stopped to have a chai or some dhal bhat, the people were super-friendly and wanted to chat. Being invited to a village dance at Ghorepani was an experience I’ll never forget! In short, visit Nepal with the intention of doing some hiking, but don’t be surprised if your memories after are not of the trail, but those people you met along the way.
31. Walk my World– Inle Lake, Burma
Hiking from Kalaw to Inle Lake is a highlight of any trip to Burma. At around 60km spread over three days, the walk is doable for anyone of average fitness, with not too many steep ups and downs. The scenery is breathtaking: sometimes forest, sometimes mountainous and a lot lush green farmland. Passing the rice paddies and farmland feels like stepping back in time. The fields are still worked by ox and by hand, and the locals are only too happy to stop for a chat or to exchange a cup of the ubiquitous fresh green tea. You sleep and take meals in villagers houses and it is some of the best food we had in all of Southeast Asia. The walk is beautiful from start to finish, and Inle lake is the perfect place to relax at the end, but it is the friendly locals and their amazing hospitality I will always remember the most.
If you prefer shorter hikes both Kalaw and Inle lake have many day walks to monasteries and remote villages that can be easily accessed with a guide.
32. Laugh Travel Eat– Mount Fuji Japan
Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan and the symbol of the nation all over the world. At 3,776 meters above sea level, the summit of Mount Fuji is often snow-capped, leading to its iconic depiction. Hence, the mountain is only open to hikers every year from late June to early September. You can choose to start at the very base of the mountain or at the 5th station, where the access road ends. While the trail up isn’t long, don’t underestimate the difficulty of its steep terrain combined with high altitude.
The goals of most hikers are to reach the summit in time for sunrise, staying at one of the quaint huts overnight and ascending in the early morning hours. It is one of the most magical sunrises you’ll ever see, but be sure to wrap up warm for the wait.
33. 2 week Trips– Clear Water Bay Country Park, Hong Kong
Escape the urban city and head to the scenic Clear Water Bay Country Park in Hong Kong. Located along the rugged and hilly coastline, this area boasts of well-maintained hiking routes linking quiet beaches and scenic bays.
The best time to visit is during the winter months between November to February, when the weather is dry and cool. Bring along a jacket and a large bottle of water, as there are no shops along the trail. It’s an easy hike though, and most people can complete it in under 2 hours.
Avid birdwatchers and nature lovers will rejoice as well, as this country park boasts of abundant flora and fauna. On weekends, you’ll find plenty of local nature enthusiasts walking around with cameras in hand, scouting for interesting photography opportunities. You might even ask them for tips on their favourite vantage points!
34. Cycloscope – Onami Lake Japan
Onami lake is the highest crater lake in Japan (1,412m), and is a perfectly shaped blue pond amidst lush forest and volcanic peaks.
It’s located in the southern part of Kyushu, in the Kirishima range, a group of 15 active volcanic cones and 10 crater lakes.
The hike from the trailhead takes around 40 minutes, more if you take it easy. It begins with a series of paved steps and quickly becomes rougher, it is doable by almost everybody. The lake is stunning and behind it lays majestic Mt. Karakunidake. It’s possible to keep on walking to the peak of the Karakunidake (1,700m) and even further, although some trails are often closed due to the high volcanic activity.
The Kirishima range is a hiking paradise all around, with plenty of spectacular paths to explore. Most of them start from the Ebino Plateau, just a few kilometres further up the road from Onami’s trailhead.
35. Our World to Wander – Cameron Highlands Malaysia
Almost any traveler knows what an amazing country Malaysia is! What most people miss is that it can also be a wonderful trekking destination. I am not talking about high peaks and impressive glaciers like the ones in the Himalayas, however if you fancy some cool hill and jungle treks, then you should definitely check out the Cameron Highlands region.
Cameron Highlands is actually a popular hill resort, close to Kuala Lumpur, only a 3.5-hour bus ride up north. Most people choose it to escape the heat and bustle of the capital, as it nests at an altitude of approximately. 1,400m. But it is also home to some easy jungle trails, where you find yourself starting in a lush jungle and ending among tea plantations. In fact, this is what makes this region so special. Most of the trails start from Tanah Rata, the main town of the region. The paths are easy to follow so the chances of getting lost are pretty slim.
So if you are a fan of jungles, mossy forests, tea plantations and tons of exotic flowers, you should definitely check the Cameron Highlands next time you get to Malaysia.
36. The Whole World or Nothing – HuaShan China
With a rumoured (but fortunately completely unverified) 100 deaths on its slopes each year, the HuaShan Trail is certainly worthy of its nickname “The World’s Most Dangerous Hike”. Though its reputation was more than likely carefully crafted by a clever marketing executive looking to capitalise on people’s lust for danger, it’s definitely not for the faint hearted.
Located in Xi’an, China, narrow paths are carved into the precipitous slopes of Mount Hua, often only wide enough to accommodate single file navigation. The infamous Skyplank Walk is optional but undoubtedly the main attraction for many. Slender planks of wood have been haphazardly secured to the side of the rock to form a hair-raising pathway of sorts. Overhanging a drop of a few thousand feet, the prospect of certain death that lies below will have even the hardiest of adventurer’s hearts in their mouths.
Even though most hikers come for the thrills, it’s also an unbelievably scenic spot with uninterrupted views of the surrounding green tipped mountains and valleys. Many visitors choose to climb at night-time allowing them to reach the famous East Peak just in time to catch a glorious sunrise emerging over the horizon, a truly spectacular sight.
37. GettingStamped – Mount Batur, Bali
One of the coolest hikes we’ve ever been on is the Mount Batur sunrise trek on the island of Bali. We first visited Bali on our honeymoon and one of the mornings we opted for a 2 am wakeup call so that we could get to Mount Batur and trek up to the top for the most gorgeous sunrise ever. You can do the hike any time of day but we think sunrise is the best time. It’s best to do the hike with a guide, there are guides and tours for as cheap as $40. Round trip the trek took us 5 hours. Make sure to dress in layers as it will be cold at the start of the hike but during the hike, you’ll get hot and want to take some layers off but when you get to the top you’ll want them back on. DON’T forget a headlamp, you’ll need it as it’s pitch black when you start the hike.
38. Live Travel Teach – Phong Nha, Vietnam
Phong Nha, Vietnam is my favorite place in the world to hike because of its beautiful jungles filled with stunning caves. I first visited Phong Nha in 2014 to explore Hang Son Doong, the world’s largest cave, and instantly fell in love with Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park. I loved it so much that I promised to return one day and it just so happens that I went back to Phong Nha last summer!
Inside Hang Son Doong there are two magical dolines where the ceiling collapsed sometime in ancient history. Light floods into each oasis creating some of the most beautiful landscapes you can imagine. The cave was only discovered in 2009 and both massive caverns filled with greenery make you realize how aptly they named the doline, Watch out for Dinosaurs. Plus there are all of the other magnificent rock formations you’ll find as you trek through the darkness to each of your campsites.
Even if you can’t get on one of the exclusive Hang Son Doong expeditions you should still go see some of Phong Nha’s stunning landscapes. There are a number of public caves and trails throughout Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park to balance out the exclusive tours. You’ll want to hire a motorbike or perhaps a boat to get to the entrances of the public caves and botanic gardens. If you decide to plan a trip then be sure to check out my guide to Phong Nha and plan the perfect itinerary!
THE MIDDLE EAST
39. Kids and Compass-Petra, Jordan
Everybody knows about Petra in Jordan. Well, at least, they know about the Treasury. What many people don’t know is that there’s a trail through the mountains that surround Petra which takes you to a building that’s arguably as impressive as the Treasury itself. And of course, half the fun is getting there.
While you could always cheat and hire a donkey to carry you up the mountainside, it’s far better to walk through the quiet of the valley, surrounded by sheer pink-tinged cliffs and waving to the local Berber people along the trail. It’s uphill all the way but the path is good and steps are carved in parts to help. The trail should take about an hour. The reward when you reach the summit is the stunning Monastery and a view over the surrounding desert.
Jordan has also recently opened the Jordan Trail which takes you 600km through the country from the black basalt ruins of Umm Qais to the refreshing shores of the Red Sea. And of course, Petra is on the way. I can’t wait to get back to Jordan to take on the Jordan Trail!
40. Where is Tara – Masada Sunrise Hike, Israel
Before I arrived in Israel I had never heard of Masada. I’m not a big history or religion person. But when I was given the opportunity to participate in a sunrise hike up to Masada I jumped at the opportunity. My one mistake was staying out drinking cocktails in Tel Aviv the night before. Definitely would not recommend that considering the horrendously early start (around 3am). Despite the fact that I was feeling a little rough, the hike was refreshing and exactly what I needed. It was dark and absolutely freezing when we started. By the time we had walked, scrambled and crawled up to the top we were all sweating. We got to the top after just over an hour and were right on time for sunrise. As I stood at the top of this giant rocky plateau, surrounded by ruins, the view was incredible. I felt like I was on an alien planet as the pinks, yellows, oranges, purples and blues swept across the sky above the rocky brown terrain below, stretching to the Dead Sea in the distance. There’s something about being up somewhere high after a strenuous hike that makes you feel brand new and ready to take on the world.
41. Solitary Wanderer – Negev Desert Israel
If you like hiking in the desert, there’s no better destination than the Ramon Crater in the Negev Desert in Israel. The crater, a product of erosion over 200 million years ago, has a number of well-marked hiking trails that’s popular especially for solo travelers. It’s safe to hike there, you won’t get lost, and, of course, you get the spectacular beauty that only a desert landscape can provide.
You would think, for example, that you’d only see one color when you’re hiking in the crater — brown. However, Ramon Crater has black hills — the remains of long-ago lava flows — and multi-colored sands ranging from pink and bright yellow to dark red and orange. The rocky desert is wide and quiet and all-encompassing. And of course, dangerous, for those who are not well-prepared.
I would recommend staying in Mitzpe Ramon, the only town in the Negev that’s perched on the rim of the crater. From Mitzpe, there are several hikes you can take, from the easy, 2-hour Carpentry trail, the harder 4-hour Shen Ramon trail, or the days-long hikes that only pass by the town. There are other trails, too, whose jump-off points are only accessible by car.
It doesn’t matter which trail you will take or if you’ll be alone or not. Hiking solo in Israel is safe so just go out the door and down into the crater, and you will see for yourself how beautiful the Negev Desert can be.
42. Big World Small Pockets – Simien Mountains, Ethiopia
The UNESCO World Heritage Listed Simien Mountains in Northern Ethiopia, are a hikers paradise! Situated in a remote area, at a high altitude – we’re talking over 3000m here – they provide a stunning backdrop to some of the most adventurous walking in this off the beaten track country. Endless, stellar views, plus soaring peaks and plummeting waterfalls are just some of the attractions in this alpine wonderland, but it’s really all about the Gelada Monkeys, They are endemic to the Ethiopian highlands, which are the biggest Simien draw card! Otherwise known as the Bleeding Heart monkeys, these inquisitive baboon-like animals are far more friendly than their appearance gives off and if you’re lucky, you’ll get some really cracking photos of them too! Hikes in the Simien Mountains range from 1 day trips to 8 day excursions, which have you camping along the way in community-owned lodges. You must have a guide and a scout with you for security when hiking in the Simien Mountains, but trips can easily be arranged from the nearby city of Gondar or smaller, closer town of Debark.
43. The World Pursuit– Drakensberg Mountains South Africa
One of the best hiking destinations that we’ve ever found in the world is in South Africa. The Drakensberg Mountains are an epic place in South Africa to go hiking. Not only are they some of the most impressive mountains in all of Southern Africa, but the hike is challenging, enjoyable, and full of great views. Our favourite hike in the Drakensberg Mountains would have to be Sentinel Peak. This is where you make the thrilling hike up to the Drakensberg Amphitheatre from the Sentinel Peak Car park. The peak, Mont-aux-Sources, is the source of the Tugela River and the lies at 3,282 above sea level. The hike is strenuous and takes anywhere from six to eight hours road trip and involves a climb up not one, but two chain ladders!
However once at the top and with the most stunning views of South Africa, you’ll find that the effort was all worth it. Don’t forget to bring your camera for some beautiful photos of the vistas.
44. Paulina on the Road – Santo Antão,Cape Verde
One of my favourite hiking destinations is Santo Antão,Cape Verde. The capeverdean archipelago is still one of those destinations that haven’t been invaded by the crowds. While some of its islands are especially known for its beach resorts like Sal and Boa Vista, Santo Antao, the second largest island of the archipelago, seems to be the most remote of them all. Its mountainous profile, being surrounded by the Atlantic ocean will give you some of the best view points. The trails are still used by the local population. Thus you shouldn’t be surprised to when you meed a 80-year old lady carrying mangos, corn or papayas. Even after staying 10 days, I couldn’t do all the hikes. My favorite trail is definitely the hike from Ponta do Sol – Fontainhas.
Fontainhas is considered as Cape Verde’s prettiest village and especially during the rain season, when impressive waterfalls are framing the colorful houses, Fontainhas becomes a fairytale village. The hike takes about 6 hours and will take you along the coast. There are only 3 bars along the road where you can enjoy some typical Capeverdean food. Fontainhas is set in a secluded region with no access to paved roads. The natural setting is indeed breathtaking: steep valleys, a little beach at the foot of the mountain and its colorful houses built into the hillside. Fontainhas could be the perfect backdrop for a Lord of the Rings scene.
45. World Shopping Guide – Cape Town
Cape Town is, without doubt, one of the world’s best hiking destinations. Like many cities, it’s an excellent place to base yourself while you enjoy some of the hikes near the city. There’s the La Motte hike near the La Motte Vineyard in Franschhoek, hikes in the Tygerberg Nature Reserve, and many more hikes along the Cape Peninsula. Most of Cape Town’s best hikes, however, are within the city limits itself.
Table Mountain is the most popular of these hikes, although there isn’t just one way to get to the top: there are more than 900 if you include the climbing routes. You could spend an entire hiking trip in Cape Town only going up and down Table Mountain and never get bored. Routes vary in difficulty, but be aware that even the easiest routes may be tough for inexperienced walkers: more people die on Table Mountain than on Everest.
Of course Table Mountain isn’t the only place to hike in Cape Town, although you’ll probably find yourself trying out a few of the many routes. There are also hikes around Signal Hill, the Lion’s Head, Chapman’s Peak, and throughout the suburbs surrounding Cape Town. If you’re looking for your next hiking destination, you won’t be disappointed with Cape Town!
46. Roar Loud – Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
For us, no trek will compare to hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It was the hardest hike both physically and mentally that we have ever attempted. Kilimanjaro offered such diversity of terrain and beauty of nature that is tough to beat.
A journey to the top of Kilimanjaro will take you through 5 climate zones. It all begins in a rainforest that is rich and vast. The 2nd zone you run into is heath with drier air and lichen covered trees that are very spread apart. The 3rd zone takes you into moorland with plants and trees that are other worldly and reminded me of something out of Dr. Seuss. The 4th zone is an alpine desert devoid of everything but piles of rock. Finally the 5th zone is Arctic. It is cold and draining with glaciers reminding you that you are on an epic adventure.
The push to the summit will take everything you have to give. Steep and cold, each step will be a struggle. Focusing on the next step became the distraction to keep going. Reaching Stella Point was a life changing experience. To be on the “Rooftop of Africa” will make no obstacle in life seem insurmountable.
47. Impulsive Adventures – Mount Sinai, Egypt
Hiking for me has always been about the destination, the view, and the physical challenge. So obviously, I adored doing the sunrise hike on Mt. Sinai. Stumbling up the dusty camel trail under the light of the moon, I thought of the number of feet that had walked before mine. I’ve never been happier to sip hot chocolate from under a blanket than after conquering the final steep staircase as the wind whipped across the mountain. As the first rays of sunlight crept into the valley, I understood why God might talk to Moses here. Truly, Mt. Sinai is a spiritual place.
The sunrise hike starts around 11PM. It took me 2.5 hours to reach the summit via the 4.3 mile camel trail. You should be able to do this hike regardless of fitness level if you’re able to climb the 700 steps at the end. Going down, I decided to try out “God’s stairmaster,” which consists of a much more direct 3,750 roughly hewn steps leading to the ancient St. Catherine’s monastery. Make sure to bring a coat, because it gets below freezing on the mountain!
48. Travel Tom Tom – Mount Rinjani
If you think about the idyllic islands in Indonesia you don’t expect to have amazing hiking opportunities here, but in fact it is an incredible hiking destination. Trekking Mount Rinjani is a fantastic way of seeing a different side of this country. This multi day hike will bring you to the crater rim of Mount Rinjani and the views from up here are to die for. Never in my life had I seen a huge crater lake on 3,000 m above sea level with in the middle another active volcano. The Mount Rinjani trek is not the easiest one, but still accessible for all levels of fitness. You just need a lot of determination to reach the summit. Camping on the crater rim above the clouds is something amazing and waking up watching the sun rising up from the ocean is the best way to start another amazing day of hiking.
49. Free Two Roam– Kosciuszko National Park, NSW, Australia
Mount Kosciuszko is Australia’s highest mountain. Set within Kosciuszko National Park, its summit is very accessible and many people hike it in the summer months.
The Main Range track is a slightly harder route to the summit than the more popular Summit track. Whilst the Summit track is great for inexperienced hikers and more accessible to mountain bike riders, the Main Range track pushes you a bit more with steeper gradients and some non-trivial river crossings.
Along your walk to the summit you should take the side-trip down to the stunning Blue Lake. Then, after passing Carruthers Peak you’ll have amazing views out over Lake Albina and the surrounding mountains. Typically you’ll take the gentler Summit Track back to Charlotte’s Pass where both paths begin, completing a circuit of slightly over twenty kilometres in length.
Bare in mind that, as with any mountain hike, you’ll need to prepare for all types of weather, even in the warmer months. But if you do you’ll have an amazing day. The National Park offers many shorter hikes for the less experience hikers.
50. Claires Footsteps – Tasmania
With hikes ranging in length from ten minutes to six days, Tasmania is a pure hikers’ heaven. The Australian state is home to the freshest air in the world and with it, some of the most spectacular natural beauty in Australasia.
Hikers in Tasmania will be enchanted at beautiful waterfalls, have the chance to navigate up jagged peaks or stroll through gloriously beautiful valleys. Tasmania is a hugely diverse island with a range of natural beauties; so whatever part of the state you head to, you’ll be sure to find something to take your breath away.
In Tasmania’s east, Mount Amos offers spectacular views over the often-photographed Wineglass Bay. It’s steep to the top, but the vistas make it all worthwhile. Northern based Cradle Mountain is perhaps Tasmania’s most famous day hike; it’s a challenge to reach the top of this peak, but there will be no avoiding the sense of pure achievement from the summit.
If you’re after a multi-day hike, consider the odyssey of the Overland Track, which passes through Lake St Clair and Cradle Mountain National Park – or if you just want a short stroll, check out the bewitching Mount Field National Park, full of waterfalls and some of the world’s oldest trees. There’s definitely a hike for everyone in wonderful Tasmania!