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  • The most beautiful hiking trails in the world

    Salkantay Trail, photo by Helder Ribeiro on Flickr

    Here’s the reason why there are so many incredible hiking trails in the world: our planet is pretty big (for us, at least), and not all people who claim to like hiking actually go hiking (otherwise there might be actual traffic jams on hiking trails).

    That leaves us with expanses of magnificently rugged and challenging terrain through which daring travelers have forged paths in their search of beautiful vistas and healthy outdoor exercise. Some trails are difficult and technical, while others are easy enough that you have ample time to admire the surrounding scenery. So here are some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world.

    Salkantay Trail, Peru

    There are two ways to reach the stunning Inca ruins of Macchu Picchu – either take the Inca Trail (and most people choose this path) or the more demanding but ultimately also more rewarding Salkantay Trail, among others. This trail takes you though a deep pass and valleys dotted with small villages, and ends at the village of Aguas Calientes, known for its thermal springs.

    Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

    Kilimanjaro, photo by Stig Nygaard on Flickr

    Hiking up the Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak on the African continent, is not too difficult for most climbers, however, even if your muscles won’t give up on you, your lungs might. If you can get over the altitude sickness, then you will have the incredible experience of trekking through five different climate zones, from jungle to glacier.

    Zion Narrows, Utah

    The Zion Narrows in Utah are unique thanks to their 16 miles of slot canyons, narrow gorges carved into rock in thousands of years. The Narrows are a haven of peace for those who want to retreat from the bustle of daily life, and although parts of the canyons can be difficult to climb, you can find portions where the trek is mellow and relaxing.

    Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

    Annapurna Circuit, photo by Greg Willis on Flickr

    The Annapurna is the 10th tallest mountain in the world, and fittingly enough, a circuit hike around this beautiful peak is as grueling as it is amazing.

    The Annapurna Circuit takes you through four rural districts of subtropical weather and terraced farms, Buddhist villages, as well as colder and higher regions. This incredible hike can take up to three week, but unless you’re really committed to hiking, you can make only portions of this long trek.

     Tongariro Northern Circuit, New Zealand

    Many people who visit Tongariro Reserve (a World Heritage Site) stick to the one day Alpine crossing, but if you feel like a more adventurous hike, there’s also the three-day Tongariro Northern Circuit. The volcanic and desert environment will make you feel like you’re on a distant planet, and you get to circle around Mt. Ngaurube (Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings films).

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