The 15 Most Incredible Summer Hikes Around the World from The 15 Most Incredible Summer Hikes Around the World
The 15 Most Incredible Summer Hikes Around the World
Lace up your boots and hit the trail; summer will be over before you know it. You don’t have to a hardcore hiker to step outside of your comfort zone and explore the world, or even your state, on foot.
Laugavegurinn/Fimmvörðuháls Pass, Iceland
Finding reasons to visit Iceland is easy. More adventurous hikers’ favorite will mostly likely be trekking the 50-mile Laugavegurinn 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.
No part of the 2,174-mile footpath along ridge crests and across major valleys of the Appalachian Mountains from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in northern Georgia will disappoint. The trail attracts 2 million hikers annually, including about 2,000 would-be thru-hikers, according to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. There are designated overnight sites for camping along the trail for when you want to relax and/or sleep under the stars.
Tour du Mont Blanc, Switzerland
Trekking rarely gets much better than this superb and spectacular path that unwinds around the Mont Blanc massif, and summer is the time to go for the most favorable weather. 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. This is one of the most talked about long-distance treks in all of Europe and it’s certainly an adventure of a lifetime.
Chilkoot Trail, Alaska
The trail has a lot of history. It is referred to as “the meanest 33 miles of history,” according to the National Park Service. More than 30,000 men, women, and children climbed up the daunting Golden Stairs during the Klondike Gold Rush. The trail stretches from coastal Dyea in Alaska to Lake Bennett in British Columbia. You have to get a permit for overnight hiking June-August, even if you are not crossing the border.
Inca Trail, Peru
You can’t make a list of stunning hiking routes and not include the Inca Trail in Peru. It 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. If the Inca Trail is too crowded for you, try the Quarry Trail instead.
Kalalau Trail, 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 all 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.
Bibbulmun Track, Australia
If you want to go on a long, long hike, this is where you head. It stretches 621 miles from Kalamunda in the Perth Hills, to Albany on the south coast, winding through the heart of the scenic South West of Western Australia. Bonus: The Track is for walkers only so you won’t be bothered by people in cars or on bikes. Take your time enjoying the peace and beauty of the natural environment, or sign up for an 8-week adventure. If you walk the whole trail you can register as an end-to-ender.
Tonquin Valley, Canada
Explore the valley on foot and you will find endless territory set in a serene setting but full of adventure. The trail takes you into one of the country’s premiere alpine regions, a unique combination of barren peaks, ghostly ice and fertile lakes, according to Parks Canada. The valley is popular for its stunning views of Amethyst Lake at the base of the Ramparts Mountain Range. It’s famous for its variety of wildlife, which includes grizzlies, black bears, and mountain caribou. Bikes and pets are not allowed.
Kungsleden or The King’s Trail, Sweden
You’ll cover the 275-route in about a month. Summer is the time to go because it’s very cold the rest of the year. The trail is in extreme northern Sweden, well inside the Arctic Circle. The trail cuts through the heart of this expansive landscape of big Arctic valleys, birch forests, hidden glaciers, powerful rivers, the highest pass on the trail, Tjaktjapasset, and the highest mountain in Sweden, Mt. Kebne. You’ll pass four national parks and a nature reserve.
Angel’s Landing, Zion National Park, Utah
Angel’s Landing may have been named for its remote route, but the difficult trek is well worth the effort. Begin by scaling cliffs with the help of chains bolted into rock and reach the best views by negotiating a narrow rock fin with steep drop-offs on either side. Red rock fans and dare devil hikers will love the journey, but they should go prepared for sheer cliffs on both sides, a narrow trail to follow to get up to the best views and slippery rocks.
Cinque Terre National Park, 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 after truly stunning snapshots. It’s a great destination for cycling as well. Hurry up before you have to “stand in line” and buy tickets to visit.
Tongariro Northern Circuit, New Zealand
Set on a 3-day journey to explore the volcanic heart of Tongariro National Park, a landscape of stark contrasts and mountainous views. See the dramatic active volcanic lands, glacial valleys, desert-like plateaus, native beech forest, alpine meadows and emerald colored lakes. Bookings are required for huts and campsites, according to the Department of Conservation.
Camino de Santiago, France and Spain
Hike through the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is actually a large network of ancient pilgrim routes. Explore Northern Spain on a bike and indulge in everything the region can offer amazing wines, architecture, drinks, food, seashores and backcountry adventures. You’ll get to see thousands of landmarks along the way.
Pacific Crest Trail
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.
West Highland Way, Scotland
The route was the country’s first long distance trail and is still the most popular, according to Walk Highlands. Stretching for 95 miles from Milngavie on the edge of Glasgow to Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis, West Highland Way offers a magnificent introduction to the Scottish Highlands. You’ll see a tremendous variety of pastoral sites, the serene beauty of Loch Lomond, and the rugged and majestic Highlands.