Hikers go on an extended walk for pleasure or exercise. More so, they want to do something, like trek on the roughest steeps, anything that is seemingly impossible for an ordinary adventurer. They trek the highest peaks under the harshest climates to experience what it’s like to be at the top of the world, passing through dangerous canyons, climbing mountains, crossing moors, and forbidding terrains. These adventurous people don’t mind the dangers of extreme hiking just to have the experience of a lifetime.
If you are one of these people who want to take the challenge of hiking to an extraordinary level, we give you thirty of the best hiking trails that a real thrill-seeker would want to try. Whether you want a longer walk and turn your hike into a trek, these places should be on your bucket list.
The Haute Route, France and Switzerland
If you want to experience the very best areas of the Alps available for hikers, you should start in Chamonix, France, through Switzerland. Take a walk in the Haute Route, a trail that has enough routes to keep you hiking for two weeks. Travelers recommend hiking in the area on summer and winter.
If you think you have what it takes to survive a hike in the Haute Route and have enough money for it, then do so. To help you, make sure to get a guide upon booking your trip and reserve room at the nearest hotel in Chamonix, France. Your guide will give you all the information you need, and possibly, the staff of the hotel you’ll be staying in will share to you some tips on how to successfully hike the Haute Route.
However, it pays to remember that only fit hikers are recommended to go on this route because it’s dangerous, and the terrains are difficult to pass.
Inca Trail, Peru
The Inca Trail is by far the most famous trek in South America and is rated by many to be among the top five treks in the world. And if you want to hike a unique trek that’s made by ancient people, this might just be it.
To complete the Inca Trail, you will walk through the Sacred Valley of Machu Picchu, an ancient wonder that spans just 26 miles. It is the product of the combined beauty of a beautiful mountain scenery, lush cloud forest, subtropical jungle, and of course, a stunning mix of Inca paving stones, ruins, and tunnels.
If you want to hike on the Inca Trail, here’s what you have to do. Book with a tour guide months in advance, and when the time comes for you to travel to Peru, fly to Cuzco, then catch a train to Aguas Calientes, the prime access point to Machu Picchu. Your tour guide will communicate with you every step of the way to make sure you find the actual trail and reach the area safely.
Overland Track, Australia
The Overland Track is situated in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, Tasmania, and is one of Australia’s most famous bush treks. The trail will give you an 80 km hike, which usually takes about six days to complete.
Hiking between the Cradle Mountain and Lake St. Clair, Australia’s deepest natural freshwater lake, gives you a peek of the area’s mountains, lakes, moors, forests, waterfalls, and the Mt. Ossa. More than 8,000 walkers each year take the challenge of completing the track.
Here’s how to get to Overland Track, Australia: you need to get to the Cradle Mountain Visitor Center, where buses that will transport you to the start of the track are stationed. Upon arriving, your guide will show you to the Cradle Mountain and Lake St. Clair. It will only take you four hours to travel to the nearest towns like Davenport, Burnie, and Launceston from the start of your track.
Cinque Terre, Italy
This trek may be one of the best walks you’ll ever experience. The Cinque Terre is a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. You will travel through five Italian towns and traverse this beautiful scenery. So if you’re looking to experience some extraordinary culture, this is the hike for you.
How to get there: as always, you need to book your trip first. You can travel via train, plane, or car, but if you want to take the train, you will have to walk to the first first village Corniglia.
Torres del Paine Circuit, Chile
The Paine Circuit around the famous Torres del Paine Massif is one of the most striking trekking routes in the world. It will take you ten days and an 83-km walk (52 miles) to reach the end of Chile’s number one hiking destination. This trek, though, will be all worth it because it lets you experience the real wonder of the South American continent with its breathtaking sceneries. The circuit is the perfect adventure for trekkers who crave for the ultimate challenge.
How to get there: it will take you a total of six hours to get to the town of Puerto Natales, assuming you have already flown to El Calafate. Once you arrive at the town of Puerto Natales, you need to catch another two-hour bus ride to the Torres Del Paine National Park. There will be many guides available at the park who will help you complete the hike.
The Narrows, USA
The Narrows is carved for over the past millennia by the Virgin River. The result is a trail that provides a breathtaking scenery that spans 26 km (16 miles). The The Narrows, which name refers to both the through-hike between the end of the Riverside walk trail and Big Spring, is one of the premier hikes on the Colorado Plateau. More than half of this hike takes place in the river, including some areas in which you can take a swim. After the hike that can be completed in just one day, you can dry off at one of the twelve camping grounds spread across the park.
How to get to the Narrows: you can first check for the detailed directions and maps on the download section of Zion Adventure’s brochure. The hike through the Virgin River will kick off at the Chamberlain Ranch found about 20 miles from Zion National Park’s east entrance.
Routeburn Track, New Zealand
You can have a magnificent alpine adventure on soaring mountain peaks, huge valleys, waterfalls, and jewel-like lakes, if you travel to the Routeburn Track. This track links the Mount Aspiring National Park with Fiordland National Park, which stretches over 32 km (20 miles) and takes just three days to complete. The most difficult part of this hike is getting a spot on the team of hikers as numbers are extremely limited.
How to get to the Routeburn Track: you need to depart from Queenstown. You can go to Queenstown by plane, car, or bus. Many hikers choose to begin the walk from the Routeburn Shelter.
Santa Cruz Trek, Peru
There is no doubt that the Santa Cruz trek is one of the most popular trekking routes in the Cordillera Blanca, Peruvian Andes. Through this hike, you will see almost all of the most important Peruvian peaks, and expect to see rivers, lakes, and mountains that would otherwise go unseen if the trail remains overlooked.
How to get there: it’s better if you have friends who have already experienced the trek to come with you, or hire a guide as travelling independently may pose restraints on this experience. You will need to take a coach from Lima if you start the trek in Huaraz, which is situated in Cordillera Blanca’s Huascarán National Park. You can choose from the many coaches stationed in Lima like Movil Tours, Ormeño, Cruz del Sur, and CIAL.
Indian Himalayas, India
The Indian Himalayas is far less popular than the Alps or Everest, but it is just as majestic, offering the best hiking, kayaking, paddling, climbing experience, or even spotting tigers in the Himalayas along India’s northern border. The Great Himalayan Trail in Himachal Pradesh is a hike for true adventurers. The remote trek takes twenty-four days to travel, starting from Spiti to Ladakh, teetering on cliff edges and reaching dizzying heights.
How to get there: if you are aiming for Spiti in Lahaul, you have to enter through Manali, which you can reach via plane from Delhi or train, then move toward Rohtang Pass using the eastbound rounds that lead to Kaza. If you have a car waiting for you, you can drive for about eight to ten hours to reach your destination, or you can take the bus services that depart at Manali.
GR20, Corsica, France
GR20 is considered to be the most difficult of all the GR routes yet the most beautiful mountain trail in Europe. The GR20 trail in Corsica is a legendary hike, spanning 168 km (104 miles), that will direct you to Calenzana, Balagne, toward the end of Conca, north of Porto Vecchio.
The trail consists of two parts. The first one is the northern point that starts in Calenzana and stops in Vizzavona. It is more difficult than the second one because of the steep and rocky paths, but it is also considered more beautiful. The second trail is the southern part that starts from Vizzavona and ends in Conca. This one is easier but with less natural wonders, but you can still feast on the beauty of the Coscione plateau with its green meadows.
How to get there: you have to travel to Calenzana, which is situated near Calvi. Once you get there, start traveling from the Saint Catherine Airport or go to the local ferries. Then take a bus from Calvi to Calenzana.
Desert Trek to Petra, Jordan
The desert plains and red-ochre sandstone mesas of Wadi Rum provide one of the world’s most dramatic landscapes. The Kingdom of Petra provides a magical setting for a trekking holiday in the Middle East. A five-day trek in this locale will take you to the ancient trails in hidden canyons and across open, rocky slopes to the summits of the biggest formations in Jordan.
How to get there: ride on a plane to Amman, Jordan, and catch a bus to Madaba where you will meet your tour group. You will be escorted via coach to Dana where your hike will begin.
Baltoro Glacier and K2, Pakistan
The Baltoro Glacier is the world’s second-highest mountain located in Baltistan, in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, and runs through part of the Karakoram mountain range. You can actually hike along its icy foundations and climb its peak that usually results to a fifteen-day travel. Hike along Paiju (6,610 m / 21,686 ft), Uli Biaho (6,417 m / 21,053 ft), Great Trango Tower (6,286 m / 20,623 ft), and finally K2 (8,611 m / 28,251 ft).
How to get to the Baltoro Glacier: You must first begin your journey in Islamabad before flying or driving to Skardu, where you will be driven in a Jeep to Askolie, the last village on route, where your trek will finally begin. It is recommended that hikers stay in Envoy, Shalimar or Royal Inn for safety and protection but of course the ultimate choice is up to you.
West Coast Trail, Canada
There are some places still left in this world that only the most intrepid travelers will ever see, like the West Coast trail in Vancouver Island. This 75 km (47 miles) long trail along the southwestern coast was originally carved in 1907 to help locals save shipwreck survivors, but now it’s a must-visit destination for hikers.
Trek beneath the canopy of an old-grown forest of trees that are so tall they’re almost impossible to comprehend. Experience the real, coastal wilderness of Canada through the West Coast Trail.
How to get there: begin your journey at the starting point of the West Coast Trail. The easiest way is to kick off at the Pacheena Bay Trailhead, which can be reached by plane and ferry.
Pays Dogon, Mali
Welcome to Dogon Country, the jewel of West Africa, which many hikers choose to hike because of its breathtaking landscape. The region has both its natural beauty and cultural significance with its amazing landscapes, fascinating culture and welcoming people, a journey to Dogon Country is a memorable experience. Hikers visit ancient cliff dwellings and Dogon villages as they traverse the peaks.
How to get there: It is recommended to drive a car or hire a driver if you’re planning to get anywhere in Dogon Country. If you got already got a car or a hired driver, you can easily choose one of the hiking start villages Kani-Kombolé, Djiguibombo, Endé, Dourou or Sanga.
In the extreme north of Sweden, a hundred miles (160 kilometers) inside the Arctic Circle, there hides the last remote wilderness in Western Europe, the Kunsleden. Otherwise known as The King’s Trail, this hike spans an incredible 434 km (270 miles) of untouched European wonder. The route will take you through an expansive landscape of birch forests, hidden glaciers, powerful rivers, and the highest mountains in Sweden.
To begin your incredible journey, you must first reach Abisko, which is a twenty-five-hour ride away from Malmo and thirteen hours from Stockholm. The trains from both Lulea and Gallivare come every day, so you won’t have any problems on your transportation.
North Drakensberg Traverse, South Africa
The Drakensberg Mountains in the Royal Natal National Park in South Africa offer is a region of incredible natural beauty that’s regarded by many enthusiastic hikers, explorers, and survivalists as one of the best hiking trails on earth. You can walk between The Kingdom of Lesotho and South Africa for 64 km (40 miles) and experience a unique view of the African landscape.
The most convenient place to start your journey in is the Sentinel. Then work on your way to the south to begin your trek. You can travel by car along the N3 highway, fly into Durban Airport, and catch the Baz Bus.
Fitz Roy Trek, Argentina
The average hike measure on the mountains of Fitz Roy can reach around 64 km. Although the walk can be long, each route takes you to a great view of Patagonia that cannot be experienced unless you take a trip to Fitz. The views of Mount Fitzroy vary, depending on the site, time of day, and of course, the weather. At sunrise, its massive granite structure turns into an elegant rose hue that is well worth the early rise.
Before you take the walk on the mountains, you have to make sure you’ve decided on a route because there are numerous treks that you can partake in here. Travel to El Chalten to reach the gateway to Mt. Fitz Roy, which is reachable by bus from either El Calafate or San Carlos de Bariloche.
Muliwai Trail, Hawaii
The Muliwai trail is regarded as the most rigorous hike in Hawaii. The 28 km (18 miles) Muliwai trail will have you pass through the Waipi’o and Waimanu valleys. The Muliwai Trail from Waipio Valley to Waimanu is a seven-mile arduous hike through the beautiful Hawaiian rainforest.
It starts out flat as you cross the Waipio Valley but the trail will soon get very steep as you climb on the Z trail section that is elevated at about 1200 feet. The trail also offers a beautiful black sand beach that you can enjoy with your fellow hikers.
To get there, the easiest way to reach Honoka’a is by plane because it is close to Hilo International Airport. You can catch a bus or rent a car to reach the city, which will take just over one hour.
Cape Wrath Trail, Scotland
With its magnificent yet wild landscapes, the Cape Wrath Trail is a superb route for very experienced long-distance backpackers. It is also the hardest trek in the United Kingdom that lets people hike across Cape Wrath. It is very difficult that even the most experienced hiker will need twenty days to compete it as it spans 321 km (200 miles). The Cape Wrath Trail is a long-distance walk from Fort William to the northwesternmost point of mainland Britain, Cape Wrath.
To start, you can take a trip to Fort William where you can easily get coaching services or available trains from numerous cities including Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Zillertal Alps, Austria
The Zillertal Alps is one of the most spectacular national parks in Austria. The mountains feature narrow gorges that spread into glacial valleys and their tributaries, steep rock walls, summits, and glaciers. It also offers numerous hiking trails that evryone can choose from, depending on their level of expertise. The most popular of these trail options is the Berliner Höhenweg, which usually takes about seven days to complete.
It is highly advisable that you traverse the Berliner Höhenweg as it is the most visited place in the Austrian Alps. Travel via train, plane, or car to get to the Innsburg to start your journey.
Everest Base Camp, Nepal
Take on the adventure of a lifetime by trekking in Nepal to reach Everest Base Camp that reaches a dizzying height of 5,545 m (18,193 ft.). It can be found in Kala Pattar and takes three weeks to complete. It can be long, but it will be worth it because along the way, you can expect to see valleys and mountains that are all worthy to be basked in. If you think you are not brave enough to do it alone, worry not because you will be accompanied by Sherpa people of the Solu Khumbu.
To reach the area, you can travel via plane and fly from Kathmandu to Lukla Airport, which is close to Sagarmatha National Park. It is recommended that you book a guide to accompany you from the airport and for the rest of your journey.
Grindelwald is located in Bernese Oberland, Switzerland, and offers prime hiking for beginners. There are around 290 km (180 miles) of trails that you can pick and choose from, some lasting a day and others a week. Aside from the fact that you can choose an easy trail for you, there are hotels and chattels around the area that are accessible, so this is the perfect destination for any of you who wants light adventure.
To reach the place, you should first get to the numerous Swiss cities like Zurich and Geneva to get to Grindelwald. You can simply catch a train or drive from Interlaken, and that will take you to the cities. Or you can even hike there if you prefer to.
Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia
The Simien Mountains National Park offers immensely rewarding trekking along the ridge that falls sheer to the plains filled with hiking paths than roads. This massive plateau has rivers with gullies and pinnacles that you’ll see when you start your adventure, which is available for all levels of hikers.
The Semien Mountains are accessible via plane and has a vast number of bus routes from all over Ethiopia, including Addis Ababa or Bahir Dar.
Tongariro Northern Circuit, New Zealand
The Tongariro Northern Circuit encircles the cone of Mount Ngauruhoe, the most perfectly shaped volcanic cone within the Tongariro National Park. The Tongariro Northern Circuit is also known as the New Zealand Great Walk. Following the trail will lead you to a place on the northern island of New Zealand. Spanning a total of 49 km (31 miles), this circuit around Mount Ngaurohoe normally takes four days to complete.
Plenty of travelers prefer to begin their adventure in Tongariro from the village of Whakapapa, where the Department of Conservation asks you to leave your vehicle and instead take a $15 shuttle. Whakapapa has an air field that will take you to Aukland.
Cordillera Apolobamba, Bolivia
The remote Cordillera Apolobamba is becoming a popular hiking, trekking, and climbing destination, but only a few brave souls dared to conquer it. The Cordillera Apolobamba is 104 km (65 miles) long and takes around five days to complete. This Bolivian masterpiece offers spectacular views and a unique experience that you’ll surely remember for the rest of your life.
To go there, you should first go to the City of La Paz, the capital city of Bolivia, which is accessible through many airports. From the city, you can arrange transport to Pelechuco, situated right in the center of the Cordillera Apolobamba mountain range.
Croagh Patrick, Ireland
Mt. Croagh Patrick is a mountain near the town of Westport in County Mayo, and is considered the holiest mountain in Ireland. The four-hour trail is fit for beginners as it is just an easy hike. If completed, the path will take you to some incredible views that can only be found in Ireland
The easiest way to travel to Croagh Patrick is by going to County Mayo’s Westport. You can reach it by catching a train from Dublin.
Polar Route, Greenland
A trip to Greenland would be incomplete without a glimpse of the thick polar ice sheet that covers most of the island of Polar Route, also known as the Arctic Circle Trail. From Kangerlussuaq, the trail will take you to one of the most remote places of earth, the Sisimiut, via the world’s second-largest glacier.
You can get to this place if you’re lucky enough to get a seat in a plane scheduled by Air Greenland, which usually departs from New York.
Appalachian Trail, USA
The Appalachian Trail is the most famous hiking trail in the world, spanning 3,540 km (2,200 miles) and fourteen states. The Appalachian hike will truly test your trekking skills. Some people try to walk the entire 2,174-mile trail over several months, and others simply enjoy day trips to some parts of the trail; but either way, if you’re planning to level up your game significantly, then this is the trek for you.
Majority of the people who visit the Appalachian Trail arrive via car as there are numerous car parking lots around the area.
Kalalau Trail, Hawaii
The Kalalau Trail leads you to one of the finest camping destinations in all of Hawaii. This trail along the Na Pali Coast in Kaua’i is known to be the most dangerous but also very spectacular, although it is only 35 km (22 miles) long.
You can travel via plane to reach the Island of Kaua’i. Once you reach your first destination, you can complete the journey on foot till you reach Ke’e Beach, or you can hire a taxi.
Sarek National Park, Sweden
Sarek National Park is famous for its 1,220 sq. km. (760 square miles) untouched terrain that’s sprawling across 1,200 square miles of pristine Arctic wilderness. The park contains 100 glaciers, a sea of 200 alpine peaks more than 5,000 feet high, and broad valleys cut by fast-flowing rivers. This is the perfect place to go hiking and exploring at your own pace and following your own route.
The Sarek National Park is situated in the extreme north of Sweden, where it shares a border with Kungsleden and can be reached using a similar route.