World’s Best Trekking and Hiking Destinations

Ice climbing in Iceland or a jungle trek to ancient ruins in Colombia? The spectrum of the world’s trekking and hiking opportunities is unlimited so let us help you select some of the most rewarding destinations that best suit your preferences. From more travelled countries to absolutely remote and wild states, this list will help you choose your next ultimate trek adventure.

1. Colombia. The Andes.

By Aztlek
Chingaza National Park. By Aztlek

After years of civil conflict, Colombia is now back on the travelers’ map, luring backpackers and holidaymakers with spectacular nature and cultural achievements. Among the country’s highlights are its trekking possibilities – Colombia offers some of the best destinations on the continent for hiking and trekking addicts.

Among the most rewarding mountain zones are Pargue Nacional El Cocuy and Los Nevados. Sierra Nevada Del Cocuy is a stunning mountain range, with 20 spectacular peaks (most of them higher than 5,000 meters), waterfalls, glaciers and crystal lakes.  Los Nevados, located in the central area of Colombian Andes, is a great, though a bit more demanding, destination for mountain lovers. It is home to the famed Nevado del Ruiz, the northernmost volcano of the Andean Volcanic Belt. In turn, the trekking beginners should consider a 5-day hike through Colombia’s rainforest to fascinating Ciudad Perdida, a lost city founded about 800 A.D., some 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu in Peru.

Ciudada Perdida. By maxieduncan
Ciudada Perdida. By maxieduncan

 

2. Tajikistan. The Pamir.

By Yodod
Pamir Highway. By Yodod

If you are looking for a wild, remote and off the beaten track trekking destination, Tajikistan should be your choice for the next adventure trek. This mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia, bordering with Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and China, is covered by the spectacular Pamir range known locally as the Roof of the World. In fact, 50% of Tajikistan’s area lies over 3,000 meters (10,000 ft) above the sea level so the high-altitude landscape is right at your fingertips.

The country is home to the Pamir Highway, one of the Asia’s most spectacular road trips, and it also contains three of the four highest peaks in former USSR. The highest is the Communism Peak (now renamed as Koh-i-Samani) – the mountain of 7495 m  discovered only in 1928. Of course, climbing the latter would be an option for the advanced trekkers. Still, the country has hundreds of outstanding routes of different difficulty levels on offer.

By belboo
Trekking in Tajikistan. By belboo

 

 3. The USA. California.

California. Alabama Hills. By sandman
California. Alabama Hills. By sandman

It may not be the most unspoiled destination on Earth, but California certainly is home to some of the most amazing trekking and hiking routes in the country. This third largest state (by area) in the USA offers something for every type of trekkers, from mountain addicts to desert lovers. Besides such iconic natural sites as Death Valley, Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park, California also contains an array of mountain ranges: coastal mountains in the west, the Sierra Nevada to the east, the Cascade Range in the north and the Tehachapi Mountains in the south.

Be it hiking along the famous High Sierra Trail to the Mount Whitney, the highest peak (4,421 m) in the contiguous forty-eight states, popular wine treks, or a hiking tour in the spectacular scenery of California’s national parks, the state has plenty of rewarding trekking destinations.

By mlhradio
Hiking on the trail from the Little Lakes Valley up to Mono Pass. By mlhradio

 

4. Argentina and Chile. Patagonia.

By mtneer man
By mtneer man

Shared by Argentina and Chile, Patagonia is a must for every avid trekker and mountain lover. Though it is now being visited by more and more travelers, Patagonia remains a land of wild nature, large spaces, pristine lakes and unconquerable peaks. Among the Patagonia’s most spectacular treks are the Fitz Roy Range trails, Torres del Paine National Park, and Glacier Perito Moreno as well as Tierra del Fuego, an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, perfect for lone wolf type of trekkers. Whether you follow more popular tourist trails or venture more isolated stretches of the region, Patagonia is a place not to be missed while in South America.

Trekking over Perito Moreno Glacier. By Marina & Enrique
Trekking over Perito Moreno Glacier. By Marina & Enrique

 

5. Iceland.

By utrechtman
By utrechtman

The absolutely stunning landscape of Iceland creates a perfect scenery for some of the world’s best hikes and treks. Be it glacier trails leading through the labyrinth of glacier tongues, hot spring hikes, ice climbing or mountain climbing, trekking Iceland is like walking on the moon. If you search for an ultimate adventure, don’t miss hiking Hvannadalshnúkur, the country’s highest peak of 2110 m (6,900 ft). The trail offers jaw-dropping views of Vatnajokull glacier (one of the world’s largest), though it is a long and physically challenging climb. On the Iceland’s hike odyssey, you will discover much more than the highlands – the country is home to fantastic waterfalls, geysers, volcanoes, hot springs and steaming waters of thermal pools, where you can relax and give your muscles the rest they deserve after the treks.

Trekking Iceland. By pabfou
Trekking Iceland. By pabfou

 

6. Slovakia. The Tatras.

Sunrise over High Tatras peaks covered with the first snow. By Martin Sojka
Sunrise over High Tatras peaks covered with the first snow. By Martin Sojka

This tiny country in Central Europe is a paradise for trekkers and hikers. While the trails of the Alps and the Dolomites are well-worn and crowded, Slovakia offers amazing, pristine mountain land of crystal lakes, snow-capped peaks and wild forests. The Carpathian Mountains extend across most of the northern part of the country and amongst these mountain ranges are the Tatra mountains – shared by Slovakia and Poland. Slovakia is home to Gerlachovský štít (2654m), the highest peak in the Carpathian range and around 600 km of hiking trails that will take you to  beautiful alpine valleys and high summit ridges.

central part of the Nízke Tatry National Park from Chabenec (1955 m a.s.l.) By Peter Fenda

Central part of the Nízke Tatry National Park. By Peter Fenda

 

 7. Kazakhstan.

Altai Mountains. By mmmAleksei
Altai Mountains. By mmmAleksei

The travelers are still rare in Kazakhstan, so the vastness of its highlands is literally all for those who decide to venture into this remote state in Central Asia. This huge country, the ninth largest in the world, contains two grand ranges: the Tian Shan and the Altai Mountains, where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan come together. The beauty, remoteness and wilderness of the country go beyond imagination. Although the mountain areas cover around 10% of the Kazakhstan’s territory, their untouched and breathtaking landscapes make it one of the world’s most rewarding trekking and hiking destinations.

By kitseeborg
Where four countries meet. By kitseeborg

 

8. The USA. Alaska.

By Unhindered by Talent
Down the valley towards Denali National Park. By Unhindered by Talent

It goes without saying that Alaska is one of the world’s most beautiful and wildest destinations. Home to Denali and Glacier Bay National Parks as well as Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska has so much to offer for trekkers and hikers that one could spent a lifetime venturing the state. Alaska’s iconic area is Denali National Park, home to Mt McKinley, the highest peak in North America. The park offers loads of off-trail trekking opportunities where nature lovers can admire absolutely stunning wildlife such as marmot, brown bears and moose, which are, fortunately, quite easy to spot. Though expensive and difficult to access, Alaska is a heaven for outdoor enthusiasts.

View of Eklutna Lake from the Twin Peaks trail, near Anchorage, Alaska. By Alaskan Dude
View of Eklutna Lake from the Twin Peaks trail, near Anchorage, Alaska. By Alaskan Dude

 



Comments

  1. Those of your who seem to be on the payroll of the Tourism Board of Napal, appear to have missed the point on why we all stopped on this site. It has some exotic places that are are on other lists (that all seemed to copy each other). However “Buzz” has a very good point. Has this writer been to any of these places? And are #2 and #7 reasonably safe? I was in Bogota, Colombia in May 2015 and he’s right about the politics and safety of that place. Incredible transformation in the past 10 years.

  2. On Inca Trail to Machu Picchu the government reagoutilns say that porters should not carry more than 25kg. But in practice, most of them carry at least 35kg (though almost never more than 45kg).The frustrating thing is, that if you want to do Inca Trail, you need to do it with an organized group and they will carry lots of useless stuff for you, e.g. a 4-person tent for each 2 people, tables, chairs, plates, cutlery and so on and so forth.In our group there were 13 tourists, 2 guides, 1 cook (who was also a porter), 16 regular porters, plus 4 extra porters that carried personal belongings of lazy/out-of-shape tourists. So we calculated that for the two of us (me and my husband) there were 3 porters (each carrying at least 25kg) on the trail, even though we carried all our personal stuff (clothes, sleeping bags and pads, water, and so on). If we would carry the ESSENTIAL things that the porters carried for us (like food, cooking equipment and a tent), it would only add 6-7kg of weight to our backpacks (instead of 3 25) The only good thing about this system is that it creates jobs. Also, porters on Inca Trail are reasonably well paid around $20-40/day (depending on the company). Though I still think they should be paid at least triple of that.

  3. Nepal is the best destination for hiking and trekking as we can get variations of height frm 60m to 8848m and probably all kind of ecosystems within the height variation.

  4. I am not the good trekker and do not know about the trekking world that much. But viewing the forementioned comments one should be come to the conclusion that excluding Nepal no rating of trekking is credible (including this one).

  5. Norway has a trekking organization with close to 500 cabins, all with beds and fuel, half with food; i.e. you can hike with a 30 lbs pack in the summer, partly marked trails and of course an incredible scenery.

  6. um…. guys, have you ever thought that maybe nepal isnt there because everyone already nows about it. they probably put ones on the site that arent that famous to get people to go there. Nepal is a great place but, this site is just trying to advertise some other hiking/trekking destinations and STOP BEING SO MEAN TO THE WRITER! sites are hard to make, the person is probably TRYING to make it a great site

  7. I think Nepal Should be listed……..Trail to Mt. Everest, Annapurna Circuit are the Natural Wonder that you can’t Ignore………..So it Who ever made this………..list he has to come here and watch Nppal, How is it…………..

  8. It unbelievable,Nepal is not in the list.If we search in google, we find that Nepal is the most consistent destination in terms of the world’s most beautiful trekking sites.

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