There are so many things we love about hiking. It's an easy way to get into nature without needing training and fancy gear. It's a great workout where you control the pace and distance. It offers the unique balance of thrilling heights, natural beauty and challenging landscapes all rolled into one. For those with a love of the natural world, these treks offer sensory overload of exhilaration and zen.
Grand Canyon [U.S.]
It’s hard to beat hiking through the Grand Canyon, with two billion years of ancient rock layers. Hiking rim to rim is an off-the-beaten-path trek where you'll experience its glory from many angles. You'll descend over 14 miles and 6,000 feet to the bottom of the canyon. The Bright Angel Trail awaits which guides you back up the canyon walls over 9.6 miles to the South Rim. It's a strenuous climb, but well worth the views.
Milford Track [New Zealand]
It’s the Adventure Capital of the World with scenery so stunning you'll need to pinch yourself. The Milford Track is located in Fjordland National Park a.k.a. Land of Fjords. With the name like that, you know it must be good. It’s a journey among cascading waterfalls, rain-forests and through valleys carved out by glaciers. The full track is 32 miles, or 4 days of guided hiking.
Great Wall of China [Asia]
Stretching 1,500 miles, you can hike until your heart is beyond content. But pick out just a few miles and you’ll be more than impressed with its magnitude. The limestone rock beneath your feet will shift and crumble ever so slightly, reminding you of its age and the history that unfolded centuries ago. The Great Wall effortlessly follows the mountain peaks, challenging you to steep climbs with awesome views. Our favorite area to hike is in Simatai – there are less crowds and a zip line that will take you down from the Wall in true epic tourist fashion.
Machu Picchu [S. America]
This 4-day moderate hike is extremely popular and one of the most well-known treks in the world. You're guided a total of 26 miles along original paved Inca pathways through ancient sites. On the final day, you rise before the sun and reach the peak of the incredible Machu Picchu. A one-of-a-kind experience, this destination is deserving of its 7th Wonder of the World status.
Peninsula Regions, Antarctica
Sure, it’s a continent far, far away with colder than comfortable temperatures. But, it’s also an incomparable destination for hiking. Imagine massive glaciers, mountains, and movements in the distance catching your view. Penguins appear by the dozen and seals bask along the shores. A hike in the Peninsula Region of Antarctica exposes your gaze to animals in their habitat and stunning glacial scenery.
[Mount Kilimanjaro] Africa
The trek to Africa’s highest mountain isn’t for the faint of heart. Mount Kilimanjaro is the world’s tallest walk-able mountain, meaning preparation and proper gear are needed for this adventure. Hikers trek through 5 different climatic zones to reach the summit, making for one incredible journey! The trek takes 6-7 days of strenuous hiking up to 19,000+ ft. The final ascent is usually timed so you can watch the sunrise over the crater!
Tour de Mont Blanc & El Camino de Santiago [Europe]
In this continent of extensive history and various landscapes, we narrowed it down to two epic hikes. Our favorites are routes with popular attraction and sheer beauty.
The Tour de Mont Blanc is 105 miles of trail that circumnavigates the highest mountain in the European Union. Its incredible valleys extend into France, Switzerland, and Italy where hikers cross through all three countries in route. Often starting and ending in Chamonix, France, the trail extends through picturesque alpine villages and stunning mountain terrain.
Another incredible hike is El Camino del Santiago, a series of routes that was an ancient Roman trade route turned Christian pilgrimage. The routes wind for hundreds of miles across vast landscapes and through quaint villages, all leading to the final destination – a gorgeous cathedral in northern Spain.
With many incredible hiking routes, where do you want to go next?