Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy, and Switzerland from Best Backpacking Locations around the World
Best Backpacking Locations around the World
Day hikes bring a sense of wanderlust and a yearning for adventure that’s almost palpable. It’s common to want to get out and explore and there’s no better way to enjoy traveling and the great outdoors than by taking a backpacking trip that lasts several days or even months. Sleeping under the stars at night, enjoying the stunning beauty of nature by day, and traveling through wilderness is among the best ways to relax and rejuvenate. The hiking trails on the following list range from week-long trips to expeditions that can last up to six months. But the stunning views along the way and the proud feeling of accomplishment after completing the challenge will prevail. It’s hard to stay away.
Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy, and Switzerland
Trekking rarely gets much better than this superb and spectacular path that unwinds around the Mont Blanc massif. Your reward by completing the 104-mile trail in about 3-4 days is seeing the most jaw-dropping and stunning panoramas 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.
Appalachian Trail, from Maine to Georgia
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a 2,190-mile footpath along the ridgecrests and across the major valleys of the Appalachian Mountains from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in northern Georgia. Thru-hikers taking on this classic backpacking adventure complete the entire length of the Trail in one season. The approximate gain/loss in elevation is 464,500 feet. The trip is one of the most iconic of its kind for “self-discovery.”
Inca Trail, Peru
The Inca Trail in Peru is by far one of most famous hikes in the world. Adventurers, who don’t mind crowds, hike 26 miles in about 4-5 days, conquering taxing ascends and descends. The rewards come in the form of getting close to ancient ruins, exploring the jungle, being inspired by gorgeous mountain scenery, and seeing the iconic Machu Picchu.
Laugavegur Trail, Iceland
Finding reasons to visit Iceland is easy. More adventurous hikers’ favorite will mostly likely be trekking the 50-mile Laugavegur Trail. They will see some of the most remote, wild and breathtaking scenery on the planet. Hikers will pass by unique waterfalls, glaciers, mighty volcanoes, including Eyjafjallajökull which erupted in 2010 and stopped flight traffic between the U.S. and Europe for a while. You can also choose to hike for 15 more miles to finish at famous Skogafoss waterfall.
Pacific Crest Trail, California, Oregon, and Washington
Hiking along the entire Pacific Crest Trail – all 2,650 miles passing through three states – is the ultimate American trip. By the end, you will have been in seven national parks and explored several lavish forests as well as harsh deserts. The trip can last several months but every day is worth it. The best time to embark upon this adventure is between April and the end of October. The PCT is one of the original National Scenic Trails established by Congress.
Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest mountain and the highest free standing mountain in the world at 19,340 feet. The views along the 35-mile trail are simply spectacular. It actually happens to be a reasonably priced climb – prices typically range from $1,200 to $1,800. Running the Kilimanjaro Maraton is an adventure in itself –you will be gaining about 26,000 feet in altitude. The next race is on Feb. 26, 2017.
Te Araroa Trail, New Zealand
Te Araroa is simply “New Zealand's Trail.” It will take those willing to complete the 1,894-mile route about four months going through beautiful, varied and unspoiled landscapes from beaches to mountains, jungles to volcanoes, and forests to cities. Its name means in Maori “The Long Pathway.” The best time to explore the greatest New Zealand adventure is from October through April.
Scottish National Trail, Scotland
The Scottish National Trail is a 470-mile-long walking route running the length of Scotland from Kirk Yetholm to Cape Wrath. The trek starts with long-established footpaths and they continue for much of the distance, but eventually become progressively more difficult. Every minute is worth your effort as you are surrounded by legendary Scottish landscapes every step of the way.
Snowman Trek, Bhutan
This Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge is a secluded land of monasteries and fortresses. If you are looking for authenticity, this is the place. The spectacular 200-mile, 25-day high-altitude adventure in the exotic and remote kingdom of Bhutan includes some of the most untouched rocky countryside with snowcapped peaks and glacier covered terrain. The country purposeful regulated the number of tourists to avoid being swamped with visitors.
The “W” in Torres del Paine, Chile
This is a relatively short hike through the remarkable Torres del Paine National Park – 37 miles of volcanic peaks, glaciers, and spectacular lakes can be completed in less than a week. The subject of many stunning photographs and some of the best hikes in all of Chile, the park attracts roughly 150,000 visitors to its remote wilderness each year. The best time to go is between April and October.
The Sir Samuel and Lady Florence Baker Historical Trail, South Sudan to Uganda
You’ll pass by Victoria Nile’s Murchison Falls, a waterfall you need to see in your lifetime. The trail will stretch 500 miles from Gondokoro, the location of the modern day capital of the new nation of South Sudan, which was born in 2011, to Baker’s View overlooking Lake Albert in western Uganda. Go in the winter months for the best weather and views. Uganda’s mix of unique wildlife like mountain gorillas and chimpanzees and natural wonders is making it a big draw.
Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal
This is the next best thing to ascending the highest point on Earth. It’s not as popular yet as climbing Everest, but it’s certainly easier and just as remarkable. The 70-mile, 2-week long trek along the camp, which is at 17,590 feet above sea level, will take you through incomparable scenery and on a discovery of the historic treasures of Kathmandu. The best time to go is September through November when the weather is still nice and the crowds are smaller.
MacLehose Trail, New Territories, Hong Kong
Hong Kong to you may just be an incredibly densely populated city. But just outside are rugged peaks, remote valleys, and ocean coastlines. The MacLehose Trail will show you striking natural beauty and ecological diversity. The 62-mile trail in the New Territories covers the region’s finest countryside. The central mountains, which the MacLehose Trail crosses, include many of Hong Kong's highest peaks. The best time to go is during the winter season from November through March because summers are too humid.
The Long Range Traverse, Newfoundland, Canada
The Long Range Traverse is an unmarked and rugged backcountry route. It starts from Western Brook Pond and leads towards Gros Morne Mountain, which alone is a reason to visit Canada. Gros Morne’s ancient landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Recent glacial action has resulted in some spectacular scenery, with coastal lowland, alpine plateau, fjords, glacial valleys, sheer cliffs, waterfalls and many pristine lakes.
Winter Tour – Bozeman, Montana, to Jackson, Wyoming
Most trek adventures are best done in the summer, but some just need to be experienced in the snow. Ski for some 215 miles in the wild and finish you trip in Jackson, a top town for relaxation in the winter. Want to see some grizzlies? Bozeman is the place to be. Watch the bears and learn how to handle them (if you ever need to). Winter is the time for amazing skiing trips because of the powder snow on the peaks at Bridger Bowl Ski Area. You’ll inevitable pass by Yellowstone’s massive supervolcano.