11 hiking hot spots around the world
Eleven popular hiking destinations around the world, from the Appalachian Trail to Mont Blanc.
1. Appalachian Trail (U.S.)
The Appalachian Trail is legendary among long backpackers in the U.S. At 2,190 miles, it’s the longest hiking-only footpath in the world, running through 14 states from Georgia to Maine. It’s famous for hikers’ attempts to complete the entire trail in one season, and the many memoirs written over the years to document this feat.
2. Everest Base Camp Trek (Nepal)
The vertical ascent up the highest mountain in the world is an effort of epic proportions. But hikers don’t have to make it to the top to enjoy one of the greatest of high-mountain journeys. The miraculous views and immersive Sherpa Buddhist culture of the base camp trek make it worth the 70-mile round trip.
3. Fimmvörðuháls Pass (Iceland)
You’d probably be surprised to hear that one of the world’s best waterfall hikes is in Iceland. But during this 2-day hike, waterfalls are only the beginning. The trail takes hikers through glaciers, past volcanic lava fields and giant craters.
4. Grand Canyon (U.S.)
The views of this geological wonder are second to none. But it’s the 44 miles of majestic desert and natural architecture within the canyon that attracts hikers. The 4-6 day hike is like time traveling through two billion years’ worth of geology.
5. Grindelwald (Switzerland)
With valleys and views described as straight out of a fairy tale, this scenic trail through the Alps is a top hiking destination. Hikers can even save time by riding up the mountain lift and then hiking back down.
6. Inca Trail (Peru)
The Inca Trail is one of the many routes you can take to Peru’s premier travel destination, the famous Machu Picchu. It can be completed in the standard 4-5 day trip, or an abbreviated one-day trip. Either way, hikers get to see and explore several ancient ruins and lost cities.
7. Kalalau Trail (Hawaii, U.S.)
Touted as the finest coastal hike in the world, the Kalalau Trail is a 22-mile round trip through steep trails, muddy slopes and rocky cliffs. The tropical Hawaiian views are worth the trek, as is the option to camp right on the beach of the Pacific Ocean.
8. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania, Africa)
The tallest freestanding mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro, also called “the roof of Africa,” is not a hike for the faint of heart. But along the way, hikers get to explore rainforests, lava formations, and glaciers, all in one trek.
9. MacLehose Trail (Hong Kong)
Mountains and monkeys and cobras, oh my! This 62-mile trail is made more challenging by extremely steep descents, difficult ridge-top ascents and some wildlife watch outs. If a hiker is brave enough to make the trek, they’ll be rewarded with stunning beach and mountain views—as well as bragging rights for life.
10. Sierra High Route (California, U.S.)
More than half of this trail is off-route, so hardcore adventurers love it. Hikers need to have excellent navigation skills to cross the Sierra High Route, but they’ll get to explore through the best parts of Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks.
11. Tour du Mont Blanc (Switzerland/Italy/France)
Hanging glaciers and snowfields give it the nickname “White Mountain,” and it gives hikers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to trek across the borders of France, Italy and Switzerland—all in one trip.