Exploring new places is always a thrilling adventure, regardless of the destination. Getting there by foot is an exciting part of the rewarding journey. Trekking up a mountain is a stunning way to spend your day or vacation. Along with the sheer beauty and natural appreciation that comes with exploring the scenery and trails, being outside enhances your health and improves your mood. Here are some of our favorite hikes.
John Muir Trail In California
The Scottish-born world famous naturalist was the catalyst in the creation of Yosemite National Park, and his namesake trail runs 211 miles between Yosemite Valley and Mount Whitney. One of the most worthwhile sections is the 58-mile journey from Mammoth Lakes to the valley. It crosses Yosemite, Ansel Adams and John Muir wilderness, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.
Tour du Mont Blanc In Switzerland, Italy, France
Trekking rarely gets much better than this spectacular path that unwinds around the incredible Mont Blanc massif. Your reward for completing the 104-mile trail is seeing the most jaw-dropping panorama of mountains and glaciers in Italy, Switzerland and France. This is one of the most talked about long-distance treks in all of Europe and it’s certainly an adventure of a lifetime. The best time to go is in the summer.
GR20 Route In Corsica
GR stands for “grande randonnée,” which means “great trek”; and that is exactly what you’re going to get. This may very well be Europe’s toughest mountain trek and many call it the continent’s hardest long-distance excursion. Because you get to see remarkable scenery, magnificent colors and free roaming wildlife, it’s worth the challenge. You can walk through towering pinnacles, deep forests, windswept craters, glacial lakes, and snow-capped peaks.
Pacific Crest Trail In California, Oregon, Washington
Completing this trail is every adventurer’s dream, but it’ll take months. The 2,650-mile-long Pacific Crest Trail extends from Canada to Mexico and traces a north-south route through the Cascades, Sierra Nevada and coastal ranges of Southern California, sticking mostly to national forest land and passing through seven national parks. Among the trail’s many iconic waypoints are Yosemite National Park, Crater Lake and Mount Rainier.
Teton Crest Trail In Wyoming
The Teton Crest Trail is the highlighted hike of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Explore the glorious Teton Range, witness the high divides and passes, majestic alpine lakes, and stunning views at the legendary rocky peaks. The best time to go is between July and September when you’ll see all kinds of colors, flowers and wildlife. There are plenty of campsites in case you decide to take a break along the 37 mile-trail.
The Narrows In Zion National Park, Utah
The very narrow trail in Zion’s main red rock canyon will definitely test your physical limits. Another favorite is the most famous and often very dangerous hike in the park (because of flash floods)– The Narrows. The gorge’s walls are a thousand feet tall and the river is sometimes just 20 to 30 feet wide. It is easy to hike the park’s slot canyons – when it’s not raining.
Portage Pass In Alaska
This is a short hike, but as is the case with most trails in Alaska, it’s worth every step. This hike is one you won’t find in the Southern states! The end of the trail offers a very close look at the Portage glacier from the shores of the lake. The best view requires a descent to the shore.
Laugavegurinn/Fimmvörðuháls Pass In Iceland
Finding reasons to visit Iceland is easy. Adventurous hikers’ favorites include trekking the 50-mile Laugavegurinn Trail. You will see some of the most wild and breathtaking scenery on the planet. Hikers will pass by unique waterfalls, glaciers, and volcanoes (including Eyjafjallajökull). You can also choose to hike for 15 more miles to finish at the famous Skogafoss waterfall.
Kalalau Trail In Hawaii
The 11-mile long Kalalau Trail offers the only foot access to the spectacular Na Pali Coast of Kauai and the hidden beaches along the way. The rugged trail, steep and eroded in places, traverses five distinct valleys. They are the very definition of rugged beauty. The trail curves around the heavily vegetated cliffs, or fluted ridges. Beware though — there are no emergency services or cell phone coverage along the way.
Cinque Terre National Park In Italy
Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site deemed as having noteworthy cultural value for signifying a “harmonious interaction between man and nature to produce a landscape of exceptional scenic quality.” The colorful village provides a vibrant backdrop for travelers who are seeking stunning snapshots. It’s a great destination for cycling and swimming as well.