Hiking and trekking have long been associated with a sense of adventure, exploration, and appreciating nature at its best. Whether you're looking for a stroll in the countryside or a more challenging hike up some of the world's most beautiful mountain ranges, there is something out there to suit everyone. But for those who want to push themselves and experience the outdoors in all its glory, here are five incredible hikes and treks that should be on your bucket list. From traversing stunning glaciers to crossing spectacular canyons, these hikes will take you to places few people ever see.
The Kalalau Trail
This 11-mile trail on the Hawaiian island of Kauai takes you through lush valleys and past incredible waterfalls. This trail will capture your heart with its panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.
You'll start in Keʻe Beach Park, then walk around the cliffs and the Na Pali Coast.
Along the way, you can dip in Hanakāpīʻai Beach or explore some of the natural pools at its base.
Once you reach Kalalau Valley, you can camp overnight to truly appreciate one of nature's most breathtaking sites. Moreover, if you're feeling adventurous, you can also attempt the Kalalau Trail overnight hike for a truly unforgettable experience.
The Chilkoot Trail
This 33-mile trail is between Alaska and British Columbia, winding through the Coast Mountains. This hike will take you around glaciers, waterfalls, and crystal-clear lakes where bears and moose are known to roam. You'll also see some of the richest wildlife in North America during your journey. It's a challenging hike with plenty of uphill sections, but once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the mountain range that stretches out before you. Its history makes it even more remarkable, as it is considered one of the most critical trails used by gold prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898.
The Inca Trail
This famous trail stretches 42 miles in Peru and takes you to Machu Picchu. It was once an important road used by the Incas, and it's now one of the most popular hikes in South America. Along this trail, you'll see some of the most remarkable ruins built during the Inca empire's time. You will also pass through cloud forests and experience breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains. The hike is challenging because of its high altitude and steep sections, but it's worth it for those looking for a unique adventure. Furthermore, the end of this trail is the famous Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
The John Muir Trail
This 211-mile path extends from Yosemite National Park to Mount Whitney in California's Sierra Nevada mountains. This path was named after conservationist John Muir, and it will take you through some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States. Along this trail, you'll have the chance to see wildflowers, streams, meadows, and incredible mountain views. Moreover, you will walk along a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail, over 2,650 miles long. The entire hike can take up to 3 weeks, so plan if you decide to embark on this adventure.
Mount Everest Trail
This classic trek takes you to the base camp of Mount Everest in Nepal, where adventurers flock to experience the world's highest mountain. During this trip, you will traverse quaint villages and diverse landscapes, such as terraced rice paddies and high-altitude forests. You can also get up close with some locals, who will undoubtedly be happy to share their stories.
The hike is not overly complicated but requires strength and a good fitness level due to its higher altitude. Because of its popularity, trips to Everest base camp are very well organized; packages are available for those who don't want to tackle all the arrangements themselves.
The Annapurna Circuit
This spectacular trek takes you around the giant Annapurna massif and is considered one of the most iconic trails in Nepal.
It's a challenging path that requires you to traverse several large passes and ascend steep slopes, but with its lush forests, small villages, and stunning views of snow-capped peaks, it will be worth it. Furthermore, this trail is also known for its cultural variety; Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries can be found along the way. This route has something for everyone: hikers looking for an exciting challenge to those seeking peace.
The Tsavo East National Park
This 4,400-square-mile park in Kenya offers an excellent opportunity for hikers looking for an adventure.
Here you can enjoy spectacular views of the Kenyan plains and get up close with some of the most iconic animals in Africa. The national park has plenty of wildlife, including lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, zebras, and buffaloes. It's also one of the best places to glimpse black rhinos.
Hiking trips there are organized by tour operators and usually last around three days, so you have enough time to explore this great environment. Moreover, trips to the Tsavo East National Park are affordable, making it an excellent choice for those who want to experience African wildlife without breaking the bank.
The Pacific Crest Trail
This trail spans 2,650 miles from the Mexican to the Canadian border and passes through California, Oregon, and Washington. It's a much longer version of the John Muir Trail mentioned earlier since it follows a similar route but goes further north. Enjoy spectacular scenery along this trail, from desert landscapes to lush forests. You will also pass by many national parks, such as Yosemite and Lassen Volcanic National Park. This path is an excellent choice for those who want to experience some of the most iconic areas in the western United States. However, trips along the entire PCT can last up to 6 months due to their length, so make sure you are prepared for this extended adventure.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Senior Content Creator
Aleksandra Djurdjevic is a senior writer and editor, covering snowboarding, skiing and trends in outdoor winter activities. She has previously worked as ESL teacher for English Tochka. Aleksandra graduated from the Comparative Literature department at the Faculty of Philosophy in Serbia. Aleksandra’s love for the mountains, getting out in the snow on her board, season after season, seeking wild snow adventures across the globe helps her continue to be a top expert at CSG.