Adventures off the beaten path await you! Here are ten best hiking routes worldwide to add to your list, traversing stunning landscapes from Patagonia to Nepal, New Zealand, Africa, and more.
1. The Inca Trail, Peru
The ancient 43-mile Inca Trail through the Andes to the famous Machu Picchu is a fantastic hike that should be on your bucket list. Take sweeping views as you pass lush cloud forests, subtropical jungle, and the 13,775-foot Dead Girl Passage. Explore sites like Winay Wayna along the sacred path pre-Columbian Inca pilgrims use. The highlight of this challenging 4 to 5-day Inca Trail trek is the sunrise over the stunning Machu Picchu.
2. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
As Africa's highest mountain, climbing the legendary Mount Kilimanjaro is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. The multi-day route to Uhuru passes through various ecosystems from rainforest to alpine desert. Experience a heavenly sunrise above the clouds. Take an early train to climb the 19,341-foot dormant volcano, occasionally covered in snow. Completing any of the seven summits brings a massive sense of pride and wish list fulfillment.
3. The Great Wall of China
Few hikes offer more breathtaking views than hiking the Great Wall of China. Walk along the stone path along the ridge, overlooking the stunning scenery. A classic hike is the 10-kilometre Jinshanling Route, complete with spectacular lighthouses. Or join the 20-mile Great Wall Challenge hiking challenge. When you walk through these ancient fort corridors, you can imagine the great history of China.
4. Mount Everest Base Camp, Nepal
Travel across the Himalayas to Everest Base Camp to see this majestic mountain up close. This 12-day trek introduces you to Sherpa culture, following in the footsteps of famous mountaineers. Acclimate at Namche Bazaar before making the final dash to Base Camp at 17,600 feet. Seeing the sheer size of Mount Everest fills the explorer with awe and success.
5. Mont Blanc, France
Circle the Mont Blanc on this 105-mile hike and enjoy views of the 15,781-foot-tall Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps. Drive through France, Italy, and Switzerland, stopping at alpine spa towns to soothe tired muscles. Hike in summer and see wildflowers and marmots. The conclusion of the 10- to 12-day Tour Mont Blanc, the highest route in the Alps, is a splendid test of endurance.
6. Laugavegur Walk, Iceland
Iceland's 34-mile Laugavegur Hiking Trail captures the island's otherworldly volcanic landscape with steaming hot springs and bright blue glacial streams. Start at the geothermal springs of Landmannalaugar, then travel through the rugged highlands to the verdant valleys of Tosmöck. Experience all aspects of Iceland's wild, immersive beauty on this unforgettable three- to four-day walking tour.
7. Milford Track, New Zealand
The beautiful 33-mile Milford Track is New Zealand's premier walking trail, winding through the stunning natural beauty of Fiordland National Park. Follow the Clinton River through alpine wetlands and beech forests, with views of Miter Peak, before reaching spectacular Milford Sound. Overnight stays in cabins set against famous movie scenes make the three- to four-day Milford Track special.
8. Torres del Paine Circuit, Patagonia
The 50-mile loop in Chile's Torres del Paine National Park passes significant landmarks such as the Horns, Gray Glacier, and Las Torres. It traverses Patagonia's grasslands, lakes, mountains, and Magellanic Rainforest. It was humbling to camp under such a beautiful starry sky. Some days require incredible kilometers, and completing the Patagonia 8- to 10-day hiking highlights requires physical fitness.
9. Mount Toubkal, Morocco
North Africa's highest peak, Jebel Toubkal, at 13,671 feet, offers a two-day climb with stunning views of the Atlas Mountains. Trek through remote Amazigh villages to the Toubkal base, then head out early to party. Keep an eye out for ibex grazing and birds of prey soaring. Start this unforgettable North African adventure with an overnight stay in the Toubkal Reserve before descending to an incredible waterfall.
10. Kalalau Trail, Hawaii
In Kauai, the challenging 11-mile Kalalau Trail winds along towering cliffs to remote Kalalau Beach on the scenic Na Pali Coast. Get permission to camp halfway through Hanakapiai for two nights and explore this tropical paradise in depth. Crossing Hanakapiai Beach, rough surf is closed to traffic, so detours take an entire day. For unauthorized sampling, walk the 2 miles to Hanakapiai Beach and back the same way.
These top hikes across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania offer a variety of challenges and extraordinary scenery worthy of any outdoor bucket list. Hiking immersive routes through majestic mountains, distant cultures, and breathtaking vistas makes the effort infinitely rewarding. Cross these epic global hikes off your adventure list!