Every outdoors-person loves a good hike now and then, and that’s why you can find hiking trails practically anywhere in the world. No matter the country or culture, it seems like everyone has a passion for going out and exploring the wilderness. Though there are many different environments across a diverse set of climates and terrains, we’ve put together a list of our top 6 picks:
1. Tongariro, New Zealand
Tongariro National park is an experience like no other for desert hikers. Its deep plateaus and sculpted mountain-scapes are sure to give you the impression that you’re hiking on the surface of another world, or somewhere far in the past. One of the more famous landmarks in this area is Mt. Ngauruhoe, a famous active volcano that served as the basis for “Mount Doom” in the Lord Of The Rings films.
2. Mt. Everest, Nepal
Other than being a world-renowned site for some of the most rigorous climbing routes known to man, Mt. Everest and the local area is home to many hiking routes for trail-oriented folks who are more interested in the scenery than the challenge of the mountain. Mt. Everest base camp. For the more daring hikers, a trail exists at the base camp of the mountain that stretches for three weeks and hikers reach heights of up to 18,000 feet and beyond.
3. Yosemite National Park, USA
One of the most visited areas on the west-coast, Yosemite National Park has earned a reputation as an iconic symbol of the United States and its natural beauty. The boreal forests and glacier-carved mountains that make up Yosemite are sought by people from all reaches of the world, making the park a very popular natural tourist attraction in the United States. Legendary photographer Ansel Adams documented the magnificence of Yosemite throughout his career, boosting its popularity immensely.
4. Corsica Island, Mediterranean Sea
This French Island just west of Italy hosts a great deal of valleys, deserts and beaches that have difficult trails of their own that showcase the awe-inspiring scenery of the Mediterranean world. The island also has several trails that are not as daunting as some of the more exhausting and dangerous hikes, but are just as visually spectacular. The island does, however, have one very important trail that has been dubbed “The most difficult trail in Europe”, GR 20. GR 20 is a hiking trail that cuts directly through the middle of Corsica island, starting at the southern coast and ending at the fringes of the northern coastline. This distinguished route is only attempted by hikers who are serious about long-distance hikes.
5: Julian Alps, Italy and Slovenia
The picturesque splendor that makes up the Julian Alps is often understated, as the region boasts wondrous sights that make hiking there akin to being in paradise. As unforgiving as alpine hikes may be, the moment you raise your head from the ground to see the panorama of geographical perfection you’ll remember why every step is worth it.
6: Zion National Park, USA
Springdale, Utah is the home of a very exotic treasure-trove of hikes that are like no other in all the world. The sheer amount of activities available to hikers in this park is thrilling just to plan. The canyons in Zion are what it is most famous for, and there are canyon-featuring trails of multiple varieties designed for hikers of various skill-levels. The claim to fame for Zion Park is the internationally acclaimed hiking route, “The Narrows”. The Narrows is like its namesake, consisting of a narrow winding canyon that carves between two huge rock-masses for the duration of the hike. The exciting feature about this route is that it exists on top of a river, and hikers must trudge their way through the water all the way to the end of the trail.
We believe that all hikers should aim for high-goals in their expeditions, and that these hikes represent (in our humble opinion) some of the greatest goals and opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.