6 Incredible Hikes to Add to Your Bucket List

Great hikes, Dunheger Travel Blog

 

Whether you’re a novice hiker or an experienced backpacker, there are innumerable treks around the world that will inspire you to take to the mountains. Below find breathtaking hikes from each continent to trigger your wanderlust. Ramble on!

North America: Appalachian Trail
Test your endurance with the ultimate exploration of authentic America on the Appalachian Trail. One of the world’s longest continuously marked footpaths, this track stretches over 2,000 miles and winds through fourteen states from Georgia to Maine. These weathered peaks also comprise eight national forests and two national parks, and the route takes roughly six months to complete in its entirety.

McAfee Knob, Catawba Mountain, Appalachian Trail, Virginia, Dunheger Travel Blog
McAfee Knob, Catawba Mountain, Appalachian Trail, Flickr © Frank Kehren
Katahdin, Appalachian Trail, Maine, Dunheger Travel Blog
Katahdin, Appalachian Trail, Maine, Flickr © Jeffrey Stylos

South America: Santa Cruz Trek
Since its revelation to the international tourist market over a century ago, the 15th-century Inca citadel Machu Picchu has inspired millions to travel to South America. Whether you’ve already made the four-to-five-day trek along the Inca Trail to these magnificent ruins, or if the trail has reached maximum capacity, you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of excellent alternative hikes in Peru. The 30-mile Santa Cruz Trek is the most popular circuit in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, or White Mountains. Its incredible, varied landscape, running the gamut from thermal hot springs to snow-capped peaks, will thrill hikers of all levels over the four days it takes to complete.

Santa Cruz Trek, Peru, Dunheger Travel Blog
Looking Back at Lago Grande, Santa Cruz Trek, Peru, Flickr © Aram Kudurshian
Tauliraju, Santa Cruz Trek, Peru, Dunheger Travel Blog
Tauliraju, Santa Cruz Trek, Peru, Flickr © Romain Lefort

Europe: Camino de Santiago
When you’re in Europe, you can hear about its centuries of history or you can experience it firsthand. Put yourself in the well-worn shoes of pilgrims past on the Camino de Santiago. Begin the medieval Christian pilgrimage in western France, among the Pyrenees Mountains. Over the next 500 miles, you’ll cross the border into Spain, drinking in breathtaking rural views and locally produced wines. This trek is especially good for solo travelers, as the path to Santiago de Compostela becomes a veritable tourism superhighway during peak season in summertime and eager new friends are easy to come by.

Camino de Santiago Trek, Dunheger Travel Blog
Camino de Santiago Trek, Flickr © Jesús Pérez Pacheco
Santiago de Compostela, Camino de Santiago Trek, Dunheger Travel Blog
Santiago de Compostela, Camino de Santiago Trek, Flickr © bernavazqueze

Africa: Mountains of the Moon
Conquering Kilimanjaro is a hugely popular bucket list item, but if you’re after an even more heart-stopping experience, travel across the simply surreal landscape of Africa’s Great Rift Valley to the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda. The highest range on the continent, these peaks include the dazzling week-long Mountains of the Moon trek. Where else could you find glaciers, elephants, and traditional Bakonzo villages within a few miles of one another?

Great Rift Valley, Africa, Dunheger Travel Blog
Great Rift Valley, Africa, Flickr © Rainer Voegeli
Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda, Duhneger Travel Blog
Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda, Flickr © Jørn Eriksson
Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda, Dunheger Travel Blog
Rwenzori Mountains Hike, Uganda, Flickr © Jørn Eriksson

Asia: Annapurna Circuit
The Himalayas are among the best known mountain ranges in the world, but if you’re not quite ready to tackle Everest, there are plenty of other amazing treks to be had in Nepal. The Annapurna Circuit in particular has charmed many a mountain-lover with its perfect level of challenge and stunning vistas. Trekking companies have exploded on the scene since the ancient trade route first opened to travelers in the late ‘70s and you’re best off purchasing from a local company upon arrival, rather than booking in advance. The shortest and easiest section of the full circuit is the Royal Trek, named for its popularity with the British royal family, which can take as little as a few days to finish. For the full monty, you should plan to devote two to three weeks to the trek.

Bhraka, Annapurna Circut, Nepal, Dunheger Travel Blog
Bhraka, Annapurna Circut, Nepal, Flickr © Julien Lagarde
Annapurna Circut, Nepal, Dunheger Travel Blog
Annapurna Circut, Nepal, Flickr © travelwayoflife
Annapurna Range, Nepal, Dunheger Travel Blog
View of the Annapurna Range between Ledar and Thorong Phedi, Flickr © travelwayoflife

Oceania: Milford Track
New Zealand is the ultimate in instant gratification for hikers and nature lovers – no matter what way you turn, you’re guaranteed stunning panoramic views. The towering peaks and glittering waters of Milford Sound, situated within Fiordland National Park on the South Island’s western coast, make a striking viewpoint, but for the best introduction to this postcard-worthy fjord, spend a few days tramping the Milford Track. It’s a grand entrance you’ll never forget.

Milford Track, New Zealand, Dunheger Travel Blog
Milford Track, New Zealand, Flickr © Louis Vest
Milford Track, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand, Dunheger Travel Blog
Milford Track, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand, Flickr © andreas-j
Milford Track, New Zealand, Dunheger Travel Blog
Milford Track, New Zealand, Flickr © Eddy Milfort