Whether you are a talented hiker or a beginner searching for a challenge and adventure in the great outdoors, there are hiking trails that will offer you the experience of a lifetime. There are a great many people and growing that build their entire vacation experience around adventure travel, with many of those destinations hiking trails. If you’re one of those individuals that want to experience nature and abandon your regular anxieties, here are 5 of the world’s best hiking trails.
Hiking in Kungsleden, Sweden
Otherwise called “The King’s Trail,” Kungsleden is a 275-mile trek that will give you a voyage through some of Sweden’s most delightful scenes, winding through four national parks and a nature preserve. Unless you have the time to spend a month hiking, stick toward the northernmost trail, which is about 65 miles.
The Snowman Trek, The Kingdom of Bhutan – 5 of The World’s Best Hiking Trails
A 216-mile trail created by yak herders, the Snowman Trek starts at Laya and ends in Trongsa. In between, the Snowman Trek will take you through Bhutanese Himalayas with elevations reaching as high as 16,400 feet. This is a challenging hike that will take you underneath six mountains and crosses nine passes. Highlights include Buddhist religious communities and little towns like Laya and wildlife like the Himalayan blue sheep.
A word of caution – most hikers do not finish the trek due to the weather and altitude. Also, snow leopards have been reported along the trail as well.
The Colorado Trail, United States, Colorado
Traversing 486 miles, the Colorado Trail runs from the mouth of Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango. To put that in perspective, Denver is in the northern part of Colorado and Durango in in the southwestern corner. Along the trail, you’ll encounter noteworthy mining towns and old Indian trails. Be prepared to reach elevations above 13,000 feet.
If you’re a thru-hiker, give yourself plenty of time for this hike. Most thru-hikers will start at Waterton Canyon and go west to Durango. For the short form hiker, concentrate on the 68 miles between San Luis Pass and Molas Pass.
Buckskin Gulch, United States, Utah – 5 of The World’s Best Hiking Trails
Colorado’s neighbor, Utah also has some world-class hiking, with perhaps the best being Buckskin Gulch. The rock formations within Buckskin Gulch are some of the most amazing you’ll ever see. It is a 13-mile hike located between Kanab, Utah and Page, Arizona. Although, it is only 13 miles, it is the longest and deepest slot canyon in the southwest United States.
The hike is possible to do in one day. However, there are many hikers that like to spend a few days hiking Buckskin Gulch to enjoy its beauty. Don’t be fooled by the fact this trail can be done in one day, there are portions of the hike that are extremely challenging like the Wire Pass section, which does have pour-offs and drop-offs. That combined with the lack of sunlight can make for an incredibly challenging hike. Check ahead for conditions and be prepared.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro features the highest peak in Africa at 19,340 feet. It is also home to some of the most breathtaking hiking trails in the world. Officially, there are seven hiking trails you can choose from at Mount Kilimanjaro: Lemosho, Lemosho Western-Breach, Machame, Marangu, Mweka, Rongai, Shira, and Umbwe. Each comes with its own challenges and will take about seven days or more. Out of the trails above, Marangu is the easiest and the one most frequently taken by hikers.
As for Mount Kilimanjaro, Hiker magazine depicts it as a “volcanic mass [that’s] so gigantic that it bolsters five unmistakable eco-zones, from the banana trees developing at its base to the ice sheets hanging its upper slants. … After 27 miles of climbing, you’ll watch Kili’s pyramidal shadow vanish as sunrise spreads over a reddish-brown ocean of savanna that is home to lions, elephants and the sky is the limit from there.”