Are you looking for your next getaway? If you haven’t tried them yet, hiking vacations offer a little bit of everything: adventure, sightseeing, exercise, and an escape from the day-to-day.
Hiking and backpacking are growing in popularity across the US, likely because hiking is for nearly everyone. There are trails of all lengths and levels of difficulties, and you can find a place to hike even if you live in a large city.
Whether you’re looking to fly across the world, or you want to stay closer to home, hiking vacations can be exactly what you’re looking for. Read on to discover six must-do hikes.
Six Hikes You Don’t Want to Miss
1. Ausangate, Peru
The Ausangate Rainbow Mountain trek is an absolute must-do hike. Ausangate is the highest trek in Peru, and Rainbow Mountain is full of gorgeous natural scenery.
Just over 36 miles long, this is a five-day hike that’s fairly strenuous. But your effort is well rewarded with glacial lakes and mountain range views.
2. Kungsleden, Sweden
Kungsleden is Sweden’s most popular hiking trail. At 275 miles long, you likely won’t have time to hike the whole thing, but happily, the trail is divided into four smaller sections you can tackle.
The northernmost section heads into the Arctic through birch forests and huge glaciers, while going south takes you toward Kebnekaise, Sweden’s highest mountain.
3. Everest Base Camp
If you’ve always wanted to experience Mt. Everest, but you’re not a climber, a hike to Everest Base Camp may be just the thing. You can do this on your own, or as part of a guided group.
While the trail from Lukla is only 45 miles long, it does require hiking to an altitude of about 17,000 feet. You’ll also need to add a few extra days to acclimate to the altitude along the way–most people take 9-12 days to get there and 3-4 to return.
4. Tour du Mont Blanc, France
This 110-mile circular trail is one of the most popular hikes in all of Europe. The beautiful hike circles the Mont Blanc mountain range, and even dips into Switzerland and Italy.
The entire trail takes about 11 days to traverse, during which you’ll enjoy lovely valleys and lakes, charming villages, and spectacular alpine scenery. The trail is well marked and not technically challenging, making it a perfect choice for even beginner hikers.
5. Yosemite Grand Traverse, California
Yosemite Grand Traverse has been named one of the world’s top 15 trails by National Geographic, and with good reason! The trail takes you through some of the nicest parts of Yosemite National Park, which means waterfalls, meadows, and granite basins are just some of the natural wonders you’ll see.
The trail is 60 miles long, and it takes about 6-7 days to complete. Plan on hiking Yosemite Grand Traverse from July to September for the best weather.
6. Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii
If you like your vacations a little more tropical, Kalalau Trail in Hawaii is just what you’re looking for. This coastal trail takes you through jungle, by waterfalls, and even down a stretch of beach.
It’s also the perfect add-on to a more traditional vacation. The trail is only 22 miles long, and most people take 3-5 days to complete it.
There’s a Whole World of Hiking Vacations Waiting to Be Discovered
If these six trails have piqued your interest in the world of hiking, you may want to read the book Hike to Health, which is a comprehensive guide on some of the best trails in the world. The book also discusses the health benefits of hiking and how to make the most of them.
And if you’re looking to make your next hiking vacation a camping trip, we’ve got you covered there too. Our article “How to Have an Unforgettable Camping Vacation” provides excellent tips and tricks for planning your next big camp. Check it out!