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Best Hike Trails in the World

Hiking is one of the most rewarding travel experiences. From crossing breathtaking sceneries to reaching mountain peaks, seeing pounding waterfalls and deep lush forests, hiking offers the ultimate adventure, it is a sustainable way of traveling that doesn’t impact the planet negatively.

Hiking creates a deep connection with nature. We have compiled various hiking trails for nature lovers who want to explore the globe for an epic adventure. Our best hikes will take you to deep canyons, towering waterfalls, dizzying heights, overgrown forests, and much more. Keep reading!

Best Hike Trails in North America

North America has beautiful hiking trails that offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can think of rocky mountain summits, jungle isles, coastal treks, etc. Our favorite North American hikes include:

Pacific Crest Trail

Stretching from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, this trail has everything a hiker would anticipate. The Pacific Crest Trail is 2650 miles, through forested wildernesses, rivers, and cascading mountain ranges.

Hiking the whole trail may be out of the books due to the long distances, but you can consider the John Muir Trail. This trail is our favorite, thanks to the granite cliffs, canyons, and beautiful mountain scenery. It has a mild sunny climate ideal for hiking.

The John Muir Trail runs from the Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney in the Sierra Nevada of California. With this trail, you will hike through:

Besides the John Muir Trail, you can opt for other trails in Oregon, Washington, and California along the Pacific Crest Trail. Regardless of the trail you choose, this hike is beautiful and welcoming.

North Cascades National Park

You will want to lose yourself in the vast North Cascades National Park in the Pacific Northwest. This area, often referred to as the ‘North American Alps', is located in Washington State. The North Cascades National Park is an ideal hiking destination. The panorama of conifer-clad mountain peaks and glaciers make this hike a thrilling one.

The North Cascades has a variety of trails. The Cascade Pass Trail is one of the most popular, offering views of impressive glaciers and peaks. From the high peaks through verdant meadows on your way down, this hike is highly impressive. There is epic scenery everywhere. The Cascade Pass Trail is also a great chance to spot a variety of wildlife species such as:

  • Wolverine
  • Lynx
  • River Otter
  • Bald Eagles
  • Osprey
  • Harlequin Duck

Henry’s Fork Trail, Kings Peak, Utah

The 13,000 ft Kings Peak in Utah is among the most popular mountain hikes. Being Utah’s highest point, hiking here can be a great prospect. The Henry’s Fork Trail provides the easiest way to Kings Peak. The paths are ideal for hiking with a dog.

This path explores winding streams, small lakes, tall pines, and misty mountain meadows. Here, you can explore fascinating geology and wildlife such as black bears, mule deer, and elk.

The best time to hike at the Henry’s Fork Trail is July through September. However, this period is prone to crowding, which may ruin your hiking experience. Consider traveling in the Spring and Fall shoulder seasons to avoid crowds. Don’t forget to carry your camping gear as Kings Peak has ideal camping destinations.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States

One of the best hike trails in North America
Photo Credit: National Park Services (NPS)

Regarded as a top hike destination in the United States, the Grand Canyon in Arizona offers an unforgettable adventure. This trail provides routes with panoramic views and varying degrees of difficulty.

This hike starts at the North Rim and descends through the lush pine forests on the sides of the North Kaibab Trail. Another trek on the Bright Angel Trail takes you towards the South Rim.

Grand Canyon hiking is best during Fall and Spring because soaring summer temperatures can lead to heatstroke for hikers.

Sierra High Route, Sierra Nevada, California

The Sierra High Route is a 195-mile hike featuring challenging yet highly spectacular treks. Most of this trail is a difficult course on high altitudes above 9000 ft. Hikers in the Sierra High Route negotiate huge boulder fields and talus slopes.

The best time to hike is from June through to August. The area gets snowy during winter and fall, and the conditions tend to be harsh. There are designated campsites to have a rest after a long hiking expedition.

Every part of this hike is strikingly beautiful. The Sierra High Route passes through turquoise lakes, glacier-carved valleys, and clear streams flowing over granite spires.

Franconia Ridge Loop Trail

Located in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the Franconia Ridge is a quintessential hiking destination. Featuring steep ascends and descends and mountain crosses, this route is strenuous and ideal for experienced hikers.

During this hike, you will come across several waterfalls with panoramic views. For a full hiking experience, it’s best to start with the Old Bridle Path trail. This route offers several benefits, such as reusable water bottle refilling.

When hiking at the Franconia Ridge Loop Trail, it’s best to use camping gear for hard terrains. Running shoes and hiking boots are essential here. One of the best times to hike The White Mountains is in the Fall. New Hampshire's native trees make this area quintessentially beautiful for viewing Fall leaves.

Solomon Gulch Trail

The Solomon Gulch Trail is one of the best hikes that doesn’t suffer from overtourism. Located near the Port of Valdez, Alaska, this trail is ideal for trail running and hiking.

This trail begins in a beautiful coastal spruce forest before ascending to join the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. In this well-maintained trail, you can spot bears, eagles, and sparkling waterfalls.

This hike is best during summer. The weather is favorable, and the hot sun makes it more thrilling. 

The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

The Cabot Trail is more than just a hiking route. Located on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, this trail is one of Canada’s most scenic destinations. It has 26 hiking trails that range from leisurely strolls to challenging climbs through stunning vistas, old-growth forests, glaciers, and highlands. All these trails lead to panoramic views of the rugged coast, waterfalls, and canyons.The popular routes to trek include:

  • Skyline Trail
  • Acadian Trail
  • Benjie’s Lake Trail
  • Bog Trail
  • Aspy Trail

Along these trails, there are various stops where you can enjoy the island’s spectacular scenery. The Cabot Trail offers a hike of exploration and adventure that you will want to savor again.

La Cloche Silhouette Trail, Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario

The La Cloche Silhouette Trail covers 78 kilometers through scenic views. It passes through picturesque crystal clear lakes, serene mixed woods, and rugged mixed woods. Due to the challenging nature of this trail, hiking the entire route takes about 7-10 days.

The best way to hike the La Cloche trail is anticlockwise, as you will tackle the most challenging section before getting fatigued. This route starts from George Lake to Wagon Lake all the way to Three Narrows Lake before ending at the starting point.

West Coast Trail, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Photo via Mathijs Deerenberg (Unsplash)

The Canadian Pacific Coast has incredible geological features, stunning scenery that combines mountains and oceans, and rich history. The West Coast Trail, which is on the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, is one of the best hiking trails in the world.

This trail twists along the beautiful waterfront through sandy beaches. It also takes you up rocky cliffs before immersing you in biodiverse rainforests. Some of the biggest and tallest trees in Canada grow here. In these forests of old growth cedar and hemlock are a variety of wildlife including black bears, cougars, and a variety of bird species.

You can choose to ascend or descend depending on whether you start the West Coast Trail from the north or the south, but whichever way, this hike guarantees you a memorable adventure.

Parque Metropolitano, Panama

Located near Panama City, the Parque Metropolitano has a variety of trails with an abundance of animal life and cloud forest. This hike includes a variety of trails that connect with each other.

The El Roble trail is the shortest, has numerous sightings such as hummingbirds, lizards, and a pond with turtles. It joins with the Los Caobos trail, which provides an amazing view through the trees to Panama City.

Another trail, the La Cienaguita, is a fun option for hikers who want to explore the parque. To reach the peak of the hill, you have to take the Mirador Cerro Cedro Trail. Besides its panoramic views, you will come across remains of wrecked planes left over from World War II.

 

Best Hike Trails in Europe

Because of the diverse range of countries and landscapes in Europe, the types of hiking experiences on the continent are equally diverse! We know that each country can boast tremendous hiking trails with stunning vistas and wildlife. We are going to narrow our focus to just one, off the mainland, in Iceland

Laugavegurinn/ Fimmvörðuháls Pass

Iceland’s Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls trails are every hiker’s delight. They are among our favorite hiking trails in Europe. These trails take you through incredibly diverse landscapes, including bubbling hot springs and multicolored rhyolite mountains.

The 50 miles of varied landscapes will have you traversing smoky lava fields, climbing snowy peaks, and crossing unbridged rivers. You will also come across a vibrant green valley and some mountain passes between spectacular glaciers.

Best Hike Trails in Africa

Africa is an ideal travel destination due to its abundance of wildlife. However, it has great hiking destinations that provide a seamless experience. From mountain ranges to a variety of off the beaten path destinations, Africa is a place of adventure. Our best hikes include:

Mount Kenya, Kenya

Photo Credit: Kenya Wildlife Services

Located in Kenya’s Central region, Mount Kenya is an all-season hiking destination. The hiker’s challenge is to reach either of the two peaks: Nelion, Batian, and Lenana.

You can access Mount Kenya from the three main gates:

  • Naromoru gate
  • Chogoria gate
  • Meru gate

The Batian summit provides scenic views of Mount Kilimanjaro on the far South. It’s also a great chance to have a 360-degree view of the country’s breadth (only when it’s not cloudy), as this is the mountain’s highest point.

Hiking in Mount Kenya requires some resilience and backpacking experience. As you ascend, it gets tougher and tougher. If you are unsure about reaching the summit, it’s best not to overwhelm yourself. 

It’s impossible to hike in Mount Kenya alone, especially if you want to reach the summit. The best way is to consider group tours as they have experienced hikers and porters to help on the way. There are designated camping spots to ensure you can relax as you prepare for the next challenge. Book your tour here.

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Located in Northern Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is a top hiking destination. The scenic trail snaking its way up towards Africa’s highest peak is ideal for challenge seekers.

There are 6 hiking trails you can choose from. You can take the shorter 49 km Machame route, which is tougher, or the longer Rongai 65km route, which guarantees a chance to reach the summit.

This is an ideal one if you have backpacking experience. This hike starts with a trek inside a dense rainforest. As you ascend, the rainforest remains behind as you get into the savanna before passing through ice fields on your way to the summit.

Blyde River Canyon, South Africa

The 33 km canyon reveals wonderful sites rich in biodiversity. Located in the North East region of Mpumalanga, this is our favorite hike in Southern Africa. The Black River Canyon, which is the third-largest canyon in the world, offers epic views.

This trail traverses the Blyde River Canyon Nature reserve through the Paradise Camp to the Bourkes Luck Potholes. Other adventurous activities you can indulge in include:

  • Kite surfing
  • Hand gliding
  • Boat trips
  • Paragliding
  • Abseiling
  • Horse riding
  • River tubing

This area is a natural habitat for antelopes, monkeys, baboons, and falcons. You can also explore the cascading waterfalls and unique geological formations such as rocks and other rock formations.

Best Hike Trails in Asia

Asia has some of the best hike trails in the world.  World-class hikes in Asia are ideal for seasoned adventurers who enjoy being on the trail. From volcanic peaks to lush forests and hidden valleys, Asia is an ideal destination to explore.

The Snowman Trek, Bhutan

Often regarded as the world’s most challenging hike, the Snowman Trek combines distances, weather, and altitude. It follows the spine of the Himalayas, covering the land between Bhutan and Tibet. The combination of these factors makes this hike a rather challenging one. If you love a challenge, this hike is a perfect choice as long as you are physically prepared for the demands.

The best time for the Snowman trek is from mid-September to mid-October, as there are no rains or heavy snow in the high passes. Summer hiking is often discouraged due to the presence of monsoon winds.

The Snowman trek can reach heights of 23,000 ft.  Regardless of the challenge, the hike is an incredible experience. It gives hikers a perfect chance to explore Bhutan’s pristine landscape and cultural heritage and pass Buddhist monasteries.

MacLehose Trail, Hong Kong

Stretching 100km across Hong Kong, this hike offers stunning views of mountain tops and beaches. The route covers ten sections of hiking trails.

This trail begins in Pak Tam Chung, Sai Kung District, and ends in the Tai Lam Country Park in Eastern Hong Kong. Along the hiking trail are many stunning views and beautiful scenery that provides the perfect eye treat.

Best Hiking Trails in Australia & New Zealand

Australia is known for its wide diversity of animal species, while New Zealand is known for being a scenic and adventurous destination.  This region is known for its wide-open spaces, creeks, beaches, deserts, and natural wonders. We have picked a popular, highly impressive hiking trail stretching New Zealand’s big breadth.

TE ARAROA, New Zealand

Photo Credit: Amos Chapple

 

The Te Araroa is one of the longest hiking trails in the world. It is our favorite hike for hikers who want to explore biodiversity. It winds 3000km along coastal ridges, volcanoes, mountain passes, and beautiful parks.

The rapidly changing landscapes that start from the North Island to Bluff in the South make this hike a unique one. One moment you are hiking alongside sailboats, the next moment, you are climbing volcanoes, and another moment, you are in knee-deep folding rivers. Everything is epic, and all you need is to have the right camping gear.

The Bottom Line

Hiking is one of the best ways to travel and enjoy the world. It can inspire your soul, mind, and body. Each of the above hiking trails assures you of an unforgettable adventure.

Disclaimer: Hey reader! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase using any of these links, we'll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Hidden Lemur is committed to promoting sustainable travel, and we only partner with brands that we believe contribute positively to that cause.

Dennis Muvaa

Dennis Muvaa

Dennis is a full-time writer and content marketing professional. He loves traveling off the beaten path and is passionate about sharing tips to help people make the most of their travel experience. Dennis also loves sporty cars and soccer.

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