For those who enjoy the outdoors, exploring a destination’s hiking trails can be a great way to spend your time. While almost all hiking trails have something to offer, whether it be scenic beauty or a chance to immerse yourself in nature, there are certain places that one should travel to solely for the trekking. For the following destinations, you won’t want to plan anything other than exploring the trails and loosing your in unique landscapes.

For those who enjoy the outdoors, exploring a destination’s hiking trails can be a great way to spend your time. While almost all hiking trails have something to offer, whether it be scenic beauty or a chance to immerse yourself in nature, there are certain places that one should travel to solely for the trekking. For the following destinations, you won’t want to plan anything other than exploring the trails and loosing your in unique landscapes.

1. The Blue Mountains, Australia

The Blue Mountains, Australia
Photo: PermaCultured / Flickr

Located in New South Wales, the Blue Mountains get their name for their mountainous topography and the fact the Eucalyptus trees that cover the landscape spray a mist that appears like a blue haze in the sun. You could easily spend months exploring the many hiking trails in the Blue Mountains, as they offer everything from short and easy hikes to challenging multi-day treks. Part of the Great Dividing Range, the Blue Mountains are longer than the Rocky Mountains and are dramatically cut by deep chasms. The Blue Mountains are home to numerous towns and suburbs which you can choose from for a homebase. If you’re going to choose one place to explore, Katoomba is the chief town of the Blue Mountains. Hike from Echo Point to Katoomba Falls to see iconic natural landmarks like the Three Sisters, Orphan Rock, Jamison Valley, Kings Tableland and Mount Solitary. You can also explore Scenic World and do the Scenic Skyway, Scenic Cableway, Scenic Walkway, Scenic Cinema and Scenic Railway, which according to the Guinness Book of World Records is the steepest funicular in the world, with an incline of 52 degrees.

2. Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan

 Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan
Photo: Hiking in Jordan / Flickr

The Dana Biosphere Reserve is Jordan’s largest nature reserve at 119 square miles (308 square kilometers). It’s full of scenic hiking trails, as well as one of the few authentic Bedouin communities left in the country as you approach Feynan. Moreover, the reserve features about 600 species of flora, 37 species of mammals and 190 species of birds. I recommend staying overnight at the Rummana Camp overlooking the Jordan Rift Valley, and waking up early the next morning to trek nine miles (about 14.5 kilometers) to the Feynan Ecolodge. Along the way you’ll take in wind-cut sandstone cliffs, otherworldly rock formations, Bedouin goat-hair tents, archeological sites and an array of landscapes, climates and ecosystems.

3. The Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon, Arizona
Photo: Anita Ritenour / Flickr

One of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World,” the Grand Canyon is a must for any hiking enthusiast. There are four types of trails within the backcountry areas of the park: Corridor Trails, Threshold Trails, Primitive Trails and Routes. For those who are looking to do popular hikes, the corridor trails like Bright Angel, the South Kaibab Trail and the Plateau Point Trail are good options that will get you those iconic Grand Canyon photos. Threshold Trails are a bit less traversed but not completely unused, while Primitive Trails receive the least visitation. Routes are completely wild, and are for the more adventurous and feral travelers. Possibly the greatest hiking experience is doing the Rim-to-Rim Hike. This difficult 23-mile (37-kilometer) trail should take you about four days for you to make the most of the experience, and allows you to experience the postcard views of the South Rim as well as the lesser-known sights of the North Rim.

4. Gimmelwald, Switzerland

Gimmelwald, Switzerland
Photo: ActiveSteve / Flickr

While Switzerland in general is a great destination for hiking, Gimmelwald is particularly great as it is a remote, car-free mountain village that allows you to enjoy the beauty of the Swiss Alps in peace and solitude. To get to the tiny and secluded mountain village — which sits at an altitude of 4,500 feet (1,372 meters) and overlooks the UNESCO world heritage listed Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn — you’ll need to take a cable-car from Stechelberg. Stroll the narrow road of the village, passing timber homes and small farms, until the houses begin to disappear and you’re immersed in woodland scenery. From this point on, you’ll encounter myriad choices for trails and vistas. For an interesting waterfall hike head downhill for two hours to Trummelbach Falls, said to be Europe’s only subterranean waterfall. For a challenge, the Gimmelwald to Tanzbodeli trek offers a steep 90-minute climb and awards aerial views of the Swiss Alps. And if you’re looking for something leisurely yet scenic, the Gimmelwald to Chilchbalm trek will immerse you in a world of caves, rivers, lush green, Alpine flowers and panoramic views of the nearby villages and peaks.

5. Patagonia, Argentina/Chile

Patagonia, Chile
Photo: ciRo / Flickr

In my opinion, Patagonia is the hiking capital of the world. Nowhere else can you see such diverse landscapes and otherworldly settings all in one destination. Encompassing 402,700 sq miles (1.043 million km²), this southern South American region includes parts of Argentina and Chile and offers myriad hiking trails of all kinds. Start your exploration by visiting the national parks, including Torres del Paine, Tierra del Fuego and Los Glaciares National Park. Los Glaciares is exceptionally worthwhile, as it offers a mix of mountain trekking — most notably with Fitz Roy — and glacier hiking. In the different cities and towns in Patagonia you’ll also find myriad trails in smaller parks or paths accessible from the roads.

0 Comments

Best Destinations for Hiking Enthusiasts

  1. Nice feature and I certainly wouldn\’t question any of your choices, not having hiked in any of them. Now that you\’ve alerted me to them, I really want to hike them all. Some of my favourite walking has been in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, in the Canary Islands and in the Spanish Pyrenees.

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