The best hiking spot in the world is a debatable topic. For some it’s Base Camp at Mount Everest. The endless sea of snow and isolated beauty makes the trip for them. For others it’s the trail at their local valley, three blocks away from home. Still others might enjoy the radical difficulty and freedom of a week-long trek in Yosemite National Park. It really all depends on what you want: scenery, something social, isolation, or a challenge.
Taking all these into account, we have created a top 5 list of the best hiking paths around the world.
5. Zion Narrows, Utah, United States
The Utah Desert is home to some of the wildest scenery available to hikers. The sandstone structures are a result of thousands of years’ worth of erosion. What remains for hikers to explore is a landscape like Mars, with peaks that reach thousands of feet into the open sky.
4. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
The tallest peak in Africa is a gentle summit for inexperienced hikers, with natural beauty and gorgeous contrasts in the landscape. The hike can be done in less than a week and offers a number of trails that lead you up to the highest view point in Africa. From the parched landscape of Sub-Saharan Africa to snowy hillsides, hiking Kilimanjaro is the equivalent of seven hikes in one.
3. Mount Huashan Trail, China
Definitely not for the faint hearted or hikers without a few serious excursions under their belts, the Huashan Trail offers some of the most gravity defying trails above open rock faces. Make no mistake; this trail is one of the most dangerous in the world. But the rewards for completing it are worth it. The monastery at the top of the mountain offers spectacular views.
2. Tour de Mont Blanc, France
The gem of the French Alps, Mont Blanc, offers hikers a breathtaking view from the highest peak in Europe – 15,000 feet. The snow capped mountains and hills are home to a number of very forgiving trails, making this great feat accomplishable to most hikers. Along the way you will bypass glaciers, lakes and green valleys that look enchanted. Those just wanting the view without the hard work can take a cable car. With a little effort and a few days dedication, however, the 170km hike will reward you with absolute beauty every step of the way.
1. Inca Trail, Peru
There is a reason that everybody says they want to do the Inca Trail – it is breath taking. The ancient ruins that are etched into the lush Peruvian hillsides are a like a time machine into a historic bygone era. Because of the trail’s popularity, it is safe and regulated, making it suitable to hikers of all levels. There are a number of trails that lead up to Machu Picchu, giving more hard core hikers a chance to stretch themselves a bit a long the way. But for the most part, this famous landmark hike is all about the scenery and atmosphere.
Article by: Phil Smulian
Phil writes about hiking trails for the South Africa travel & adventure directory, Leeulekker.