While there is a certain satisfaction in tackling local hiking trails or spending a day in nearby wilderness, there is perhaps nothing that can compare with hiking in the shadow of the world’s highest mountain or spending several months traversing North America, from Mexico to British Columbia, as part of an epic hiking journey. You definitely need to put these 5 incredible hiking trails on your bucket list.
#1: The Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal
We’re going to start off with perhaps the most incredible hiking trails of them all - the hiking trail in the shadow of Mount Everest in Nepal. You’ll hike along snowcapped peaks and even have a chance to stay in local guesthouses and visit a Buddhist monastery. Even if you’re an experienced hiker, though, you’ll want to attempt this trail either from March to May or from September to November. Otherwise, you’ll have to contend with Nepal’s legendary monsoons.
#2: The Pacific Crest Trail in the Pacific Northwest
This hiking trail winds all the way from the hot, dry Mojave Desert to the rainy mountains of British Columbia. All told, it winds for a combined 2,650 miles, so this is a trek that will take a considerable amount of time. You’ll pass through 7 different national parks, as well as a handful of state parks and national wilderness areas. You simply won’t believe the range of scenery that you’ll encounter, including the Cascade volcanoes.
#3: Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand
Even the name of this hiking trail is exotic - it’s the Maori term for “the long pathway.” And oh what a long pathway it is - it extends for a total of 1,864 miles and includes a total of 160 different tracks. If you want to hike it to its final point, it will take you more than five months. But in the process, you’ll take in the remarkable scenery and diversity of New Zealand, everything from alpine ridges and jungle area to national parks, farmland and volcanoes. As an added bonus, you’ll learn about the Maori culture.
#4: The Long Range Traverse in Newfoundland, Canada
You didn’t think that we’d leave off a distinctly Canadian hiking trail, did you? Located in the Long Range Mountains of Newfoundland, the Long Range Traverse extends for 25 miles in one of Canada’s most remote locations, near the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 25 miles might not seem like a lot - but there are no official hiking trails. Instead, you need to navigate the entire way using just map and compass. And, along the way, you’re likely to encounter moose and caribou. This is not for the amateur hiker.
#5: Tour Du Mont Blanc in Western Europe
This hiking trail actually winds through 3 different countries in Western Europe - France, Italy and Switzerland. There are many different ways to split this trail up. It’s possible to make this just a 3-day sojourn, but you’d also be missing out on some of the real joys of this hiking trail - such as the ability to spend time in some of the villages along way and sample authentic wine, bread and cheese made in the Alps.
These five hiking trails should be at the top of anyone’s bucket list, but there are plenty more unique and challenging trails around the world that just missed our list - like the Overland Track in Tasmania or the hiking trails located within the Arctic National Park and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge areas of Alaska. Wherever you decide to travel next - North America, Europe, Asia or Down Under - there will always be a great hiking trail to visit.