While most hiking enthusiasts will have heard of these routes, they are some of the best hiking trails in the world and deserve a spot at the top of your bucket list!
Even if you are not an avid hiker, these trails are a wonderful way to experience these fascinating destinations in all their glory. If you find yourself in India, Peru, Nepal or even Hawaii, why not consider these incredible trails?
CHADAR TREK – INDIA
In the Zanskar region of India is where you’ll find the incredible Chadar Trek that takes you on a remote and unusual adventure surrounded by beautiful snow-capped peaks.
The route takes you over the frozen Zanskar River where you’ll be camping riverside. The trek is considered one of the toughest in India due to the freezing cold temperatures that drop to below -20 at night, and the high altitude — so you’ll need to pack and prepare appropriately for this hike.
January and February are peak winter season, meaning the river is completely frozen over and is thick enough to be walked on, so these will be your best months to take on this challenge. Any other time of the year, the route remains closed.
THE INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU – PERU
Machu Picchu is a well-known destination for most adventure travelers and The Inca Trail is the most popular trek to the famous historical site. This is a 45km trek that takes four days to complete.
You’ll be hiking through breath-taking forests and pass by some ancient Incan ruins along the way. The trail reaches an altitude of around 4200m, so you’ll need to have experience and a good understanding of hiking at high altitudes.
The trail requires a permit which you will need to book at least six months in advance. If you have booked with a tour operator then they will get everything organized for the hike, making planning your trip easier.
GOKYO LAKES TREK – NEPAL
One of the most beautiful hikes in Nepal is the Gokyo Lakes Trek. Stunning emerald blue lakes are a sight to behold and you’ll even see amazing views of the famous Mount Everest.
This trail has all the highlights of hiking to Everest Base Camp but with the added bonus of getting to see the Gokyo Lakes. This circular route sees no backtracking and fewer hikers than the Everest Base Camp Trek.
The trail takes about two weeks to complete and you’ll find the best time to attempt this trek is from March to May or September to November. On the trail, you’ll have the opportunity to climb to the peak of Gokyo Ri, which is 5,000m above sea level and offers panoramic views like no other.
EVEREST BASE CAMP – NEPAL
For now, we stay in Nepal for the trek to Everest Base Camp. I’m sure you may have heard of this one. This is a challenging trek that tests your physical and mental endurance.
Everest Base Camp sits at a whopping 5,300m above sea level and so it is highly important to have experience trekking at high altitudes and have a clear understanding of the risks and symptoms of altitude sickness.
You can choose to hire a porter and hike independently, or you could use a local tour operator for guided tour groups to Everest Base Camp. Booking in September to November, or March to May, are good options for warmer weather making the trek easier to complete.
KALALAU TRAIL IN HAWAII
Hiking in Hawaii is a truly magical experience and there is an abundance of beautiful trails to explore. However, The Kalalau Trail is definitely one that should be on your bucket list.
The trail follows the beautiful Na Pali Coast and will take you two days to complete. It’s a 36km hike and begins at Ke’e Beach, taking you to the secluded Kalalau Beach. This is a stunning hidden gem where you can set up camp for the night. It is hard to find this kind of true serenity elsewhere.
I recommend only attempting this trail if you have previous hiking experience as there are high cliff drops and unpredictable streams along the way. Please do not attempt this trail if rain is predicted and always inform someone of your intention to go on this hike.
But don’t let these warnings prevent you from hiking the incredible Kalalau Trail. You will not regret taking the opportunity to hike what is possibly the most beautiful hiking trail in the world.
The world is full of fascinating hikes to discover but if you love to hike and travel, these trails should definitely be at the top of your bucket list!