Hiking is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of nature around the world. It’s also a good way of exercising. As you grow older, you’ll realize that there’s more to the world than your living room. A reason to check out the best hiking trails.
All around the world, some amazing hiking trails will leave you breathless with wonder. Since it’s virtually impossible to visit them all, I have compiled a list of the world’s top 10 hiking trails. If you intend to travel to any of these places, do find time to visit each one.
Pick up your camping gear, put on your hiking shoes, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime.
1. Everest Base Camp, Nepal
With a height of 18,193ft at Kala Pattar, this popular trail takes about 2–3 weeks to finish. This trail has amazing romantic scenery that leaves trekkers breathless.
This trail runs through some small, beautiful mountain villages, which is on the route to the famous campground. The trail is traversed by the Sherpa people of the Solu Khumbu. Trekking up this trail can be dizzying when you get to the highest altitude, but with time you’ll get used to it.
Also, this trail has some treacherous paths, so make sure you stick with the others. You should bear in mind that prime trekking season also brings serious crowds.
2. Mount Huashan, China
This is undoubtedly the most dangerous trail in the world. It’s one of the five sacred mountains in China and has five perilous peaks. Before embarking on this trek, you should endeavor to buy the compulsory harness for $5, and then with all your grit, walk on the Chang Kong Plank road. This road is only 30cm wide and was built 700 years ago.
While on your trek, you can rest in one of the Taoist temples along the way. Also if you’re not in a hurry and want to do it in a few days, you can sleep in a hotel along the way. Alternatively, you can sleep under a tent, a much cheaper option.
The maximum altitude here is 2,150 m at the South Peak. There are several ways you can get to the peaks—classic path, stairs, or cable car. You should be patient, though, as you need to be able to read the indications and they’re only written in Chinese.
3. Kungsleden, Sweden
This trail, which is 440 meters long, is usually seen as too large for most hikers. Thankfully, it can be split into three sections, north, middle, and south. And you can choose to attempt any of the three if you don’t have time for the three.
You shouldn’t worry, however, if you don’t have time for the whole thing. That’s because any of the three sections you pick would still be a memorable experience. With a wide stretch of mountain views that occasionally brings you into the clouds, this is a wondrous experience that shows you what you’ve been missing about hiking.
There are glacial springs, waterfalls, and two-plank paths that run across the verdant woodland, that would make you feel incredibly Swedish.
4. Appalachian Trail, United States
The Appalachian Trail is widely known as the world’s longest footpath for hiking as it extends for 2,200 miles. It starts from Springer Mountain to Mountain Katahdin in Georgia and Maine respectively, going through some of the remotest places in the US.
This means that this trek isn’t for the fainthearted. You either need to have a lot of vacation money, or you’re going to walk part of the long route.
There are well-marked paths and campsites along the way, which means you can do this alone. But if you are looking for comfort, some companies offer feeding and accommodation you can contact for their services.
5. The Inca Trail, Peru
This is, without doubt, the most famous trail in the world. This trail involves a four-day strenuous trek before arriving at Machu Picchu, the seat of the ancient Incan civilization.
The trail starts at Cusco and involves a 26-mile hike across the plains of Peru. Although this trek gives a calm feeling, it’s also the flattest terrain on this list.
As the trek progresses, you’ll start experiencing some difficulties, including blisters on your feet, making you wish you’d gone on a train. This trail will take you through jungles and across mountain passes, making the journey seem endless.
But this is only part of the experience, and while you may feel like giving you sometimes when you get to the end, you’ll see that it was worth it.
6. Puez-Odle Altopiano, Italy
The Puez-Odle Altopiano hike, which is located in the Italian Dolomite range, is one of the best trails in the region. The view is so amazing that you don’t even have to do the entire hike to get a feeling of adventure. The trek starts at the head of the Dantercepies cable car and goes for about nine miles.
With this trail so wide and easy to follow, you’ll be able to see the Sassolungo massif and the incredible Sella Towers. This trail is filled with modern amenities like refugios and restaurants, where you can get food and drinks.
7. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Kilimanjaro is one of the most famous destinations in Africa, and hiking to the top of the mountain is a worthwhile adventure. And with around 30,000 people attempting this hike each year, it’s definitely worth a mention.
The view from the top over the landscape is breathtaking, especially in the morning when most people try to climb. On average, it takes about five to six days to climb up the mountain, depending on your fitness level and acclimatization rate.
8. The Basho Wayfarer, Japan
Japan has lots of ancient trails that connect temples and cities. This particular route was discovered by Matsuo Basho more than 300 years ago.
The trek takes about six days and starts at Sendai. Then it passes through the northern Tohoku region, through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hiraizumi. Then you get to the Dewa Kaido path, with its beech and cherry forests. Finally, you go into the Natagiri-toge mountains before stopping at the Yamadera temple.
9. Yosemite Grand Traverse, United States
The Yosemite Grand Traverse in California takes about a week to complete. The 60-mile trek will take you through waterfalls, granite basins, and beautiful meadows that are common on the west coast.
If you require some support, you can contact the Southern Yosemite Mountain Guide for accommodation on your first night before stepping into the wilderness.
This trail takes you to the Post Creek Pass and you’ll get the opportunity to camp at 10K Lake. From there you can follow the river for a constant supply of refreshing water as you go further into the trail.
Although it’s not as comprehensive as the Appalachian Trail, this trail is good for those hikers who want to experience nature in its diversity.
10. Mount Toubkal, Morocco
A trek to the summit of Mount Toubkal is not for the fearful as it is the highest peak in North Africa at 13,671 feet.
The hiking trail starts from the village of Imlil, going over a dry river bed. It then rises through the shrine at Sidi Chamharouch, and then towards a mountain hut.
After spending a night here, the hikers would strap on their crampons and start climbing toward the top of the mountain.
Planning for your Hiking Trip
The idea of going on a hiking trip can be exhilarating, and at the same time, be filled with tension. It’s only natural to feel a little fear, but if you’re well prepared for the trip, there won’t be any problems and you’ll surely enjoy yourself as you hike.
Being prepared is somehow a vague term. Yes, you should be prepared—you should have your food, water, and other supplies packed in your bag. Also, make sure you carry a bag that will contain everything you need and might buy on the way.
Also note the weather forecast before leaving, then select the right and comfortable clothing for the trip. You should pick waterproof clothing, and don’t forget to take survival knives, enough food, and water for when you get tired. If you do these, then you should have an enjoyable hiking experience.
However, being prepared doesn’t end there. There is another place you need to get ready—you mind. This is because you need to have your wits sharp and ready for any emergency so you can be able to tackle it. You have to plan for the worst, even if it never comes.
What Not to Do
There’s no need to talk too much about those hikers who lost their way in the wilderness. It’s important, however, to know about them so you can do your best to prevent these mistakes less experienced hikers have made.
- If you’re lost, remain where you are. If it’s possible to get the word out that you’re lost, it will be easier to locate you if you’re in one place.
- In case someone is injured, do your best to help them with your first aid kit. Superficial wounds like cuts or scratches are easy to deal with. But if they’re severe injuries like broken bones, then you need to get help.
- If you encounter a track that’s not beaten, then please don’t explore it. There’s a reason that track isn’t being used. You shouldn’t let your curiosity lead you into a potentially dangerous situation. The temptation to get more cool photos might bring you more trouble than you bargained for.
Finally, you should always be calm. Yes, accidents happen, but you won’t be alone because these trails are very popular, so someone will definitely come to your help.