25 Best Hikes in the World to Put on Your Bucket List

25 Best Hikes in the World to Put on Your Bucket List

We are far from hardcore hikers. In fact, my friends used to call me “indoorsy” before I started training for our Inca Trail hike years ago. We do, however, like to get out there and explore the world, and some places you can only get to by foot!

We’ve compiled a list of 25 amazing multi-day hikes to do around the world, including the distances and best times of the year. So far we’ve only completed two of these hikes plus some one-day portions of others. We hope to get our bodies in shape so we can hike them all in our lifetime. If an indoorsy person like me can do it, I’m sure you can too!

CHECK OUT PART II – HIKES 26-50 HERE ]

25 Best Hikes in the World to Put on Your Bucket List

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Last Updated: July 1, 2019 // First Published: March 3, 2015

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Location: Peru
Distance: 26 miles
Time: 4 days
Best Time to Go: May to September

One of the most popular hikes in the world, the Inca Trail takes you through 26 miles of grueling inclines and declines. You get a chance to explore ruins, jungle, and beautiful mountain scenery, and of course, end the hike at Machu Picchu.

BONUS: Inca Trail Alternates

Check out The Ancascocha Trail, Lares Valley Hike, or Salcantay Trek if you’re looking for less crowded alternatives. With each, you still get amazing views and you can easily add a day to explore Machu Picchu as well.

Dead Womans Pass - Highest Point on the Inca Trail // localadventurer.com
Ultimate Guide on How to Hike to Machu Picchu Peru // localdventurer.com

Location: Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile
Distance: 37-50 miles
Time: 4-6 days
Best Time to Go: Popular from October and April. We preferred July (their winter).

The popular route that follows the letter “W” takes you through the wondrous Torres del Paine National Park. You get a chance to see volcanic peaks, glaciers, and beautiful lakes. Our friend just went on the longer “O” circuit that encompasses the “W” and the photos looked unbelievable. If you really want to beat the crowds, try the hike in their winter. It’s probably not as cushy as the summer trek, but during our hike we only saw one other person with a guide vs 800-1000 people who are on the trail every day during their summer months. It’s unreal to have the park to yourself.

Here are some posts we wrote to help you plan your trip:

Everything You Need to Know About Hiking the Patagonia W Circuit // localadventurer.com

3. Appalachian Trail

Location: Georgia to Maine, United States
Distance: 2,180 miles
Time: 5-7 months
Best Time to Go: Year Round

This hike is one of the longest continuously marked footpath in the world and is not an easy feat. It takes you through 14 states and takes careful planning and execution if you want to do it one go.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Location: Tanzania, Africa
Distance: roughly 35 miles
Time: 7+ days
Best Time to Go: January, February, or September

Although it is widely popular now, at 19,340 feet, this is Africa’s highest peak and is still on most people’s bucket list. With a wide range of climbing routes, most travel with a guided tour to reach the spectacular view above the clouds.

Kilimanjaro Trek + 25 Best Hikes in the World
Kilimanjaro Hike + Kilimanjaro Trek + 25 Best Hikes in the World
Climbing Kilimanjaro + 25 Best Places to Hike in the World

5. Kungsleden

Location: Sweden
Distance: 65 miles
Time: 3-5 days
Best Time to Go: August to Early September

Kungsleden, or “The King’s Trail,” is a 275-mile traverse, but get a glimpse of this amazing landscape with a shorter hike. See the amazing Arctic landscape, open tundra, big glaciers, and brush up against Sweden’s highest peak, Mount Kebnekaise.

Kungsleden Trail + 25 Best Hikes of the World

Location: Nepal
Distance: 70 miles
Time: 16 days
Best Time to Go: March to May, September to November

This trek is becoming popular as you get the opportunity to experience the people and culture that makes their home at these elevations. You also get to be face-to-face with the highest point on Earth.

Everest Base Camp Trek + 25 Best Places to Hike in the World
Everest Base Camp Trekking + 25 Best Places to Hike in the World

7. Snowman Trek

Location: Bhutan
Distance: 200+ miles
Time: 25+ days
Best Time to Go: April or October

Some say that this is the hardest trail on the planet and many are unable to finish because unpredictable weather in the high Himalaya. Traversing 11 passes, most of which are more than 16,000 feet, you can only do this hike with a guided tour and is at the top of most hikers’ bucket lists.

Snowman Trek Bhutan (25 of the Best Hiking in the World).
steynard / cc

8. Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Hike

Location: Arizona, United States
Distance: 44 miles
Time: 4-6 days
Best Time to Go: March to May, September to November

This hike gives you an in-depth look at on of Earth’s greatest features. Not only does it help you appreciate its vastness physically, the views and scenery that you get by being up close and personal with it will be more rewarding than any view point you’ll get by a quick stop.

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Hike + 25 Epic Hikes of the World

9. Pacific Crest Trail

Location: California, Oregon, and Washington, United States
Distance: 2,650 miles
Time: 6-7 months
Best Time to Go: April to October

Trek through 7 national parks and numerous national forests, state parks, and wilderness areas on this hike. Along the way, you will experience the Mojave Desert and also reach heights of over 13,000 feet. After reading Wild, I kept thinking if she can do this, maybe we can too!

Location: California, United States
Distance: 60 miles
Time: 6-7 days
Best Time to Go: Mid-July to Mid-September

This trek takes you through some of the best of Yosemite National Park (my favorite NP!), part of the John Muir Trail, and the Cathedral Range. You hike through waterfalls, granite basins, sprawling meadows, and you even ascend Half Dome via the Cable Route.

Yosemite Half Dome Hike // localadventurer.com
Yosemite National Park Half Dome Cable Route // localadventurer.com

11. Chilkoot Trail

Location: Alaska and Yukon Territory, United States and Canada
Distance: 33 miles
Time: 3-5 days
Best Time to Go: Late June to Early October

With routes like the Golden Stairs, the Stone Crib, and the Scales, this hike lives up to its name. Its rich gold miners history brings you through amazing views of Alaska and Yukon Territory and helps you experience the wild and vastness of this area.

Chilkoot Trail (25 Best Backpacking Trips in the World).
Anthony DeLorenzo / cc

12. Tonquin Valley

Location: Alberta, Canada
Distance: 27 miles
Time: 3-5 days
Best Time to Go: July to September

Ansel Adams made his way to this valley to take photos of the amazing scenery and landscape. And a quick google search will convince you that it’s well worth the experience and effort to get into the valley.

13. Bay of Fires

Location: Tasmania, Australia
Distance: 16 miles
Time: 4 days
Best Time to Go: October to May

This hike takes you to endless beaches of white sand, boulders covered in blood red lichen, and alongside turquoise water. You can do this hike on a guided trip or on your own, but the scenery makes it all worth it.

25 Best Hikes in the World to Put on Your Bucket List

14. Queen Charlotte Track

Location: New Zealand
Distance: 44 miles
Time: 3-5 days
Best Time to Go: Year Round

Located on the north end of the South Island, this trek takes you through sunny hills, next to beautiful blue waters, and gives you plenty of options on how to take this journey.

Queen Charlotte Track New Zealand + 25 Best Treks in the World

15. Mountains of the Moon

Location: Ruwenzori Range, Uganda
Distance: 38 miles
Time: 6-7days
Best Time to Go: December to March

These peaks make up the highest range in Africa at over 16,000 feet. Besides the views, this enchanting place also brings you face-to-face with high altitude glaciers and elephants in the same place.

Mountains of the Moon (25 Best Hikes in the World).
Jørn Eriksson / cc

16. Kalalau Trail

Location: Kauai, Hawaii, United States
Distance: 22 miles
Time: 3-5 days
Best Time to Go: May to September

This amazing coastal hike takes you on steep trails and tropical heat as you trek through amazing jungle, beautiful waterfalls, and explore the mile-long arc of Kalalau Beach.

Kalalau Trail Kauai Hawaii+ 25 Best Hiking Trails in the World

17. Tour du Mont Blanc Trek

Location: France, Italy, Switzerland
Distance: 105 miles
Time: Around 10 days
Best Time to Go: Anytime from July to mid-September

Experiencing a Mont Blanc holiday not only gives you the chance to hike through 3 countries, but also trek through mountain passes, alpine meadows, and glacial valleys, and the base of the highest mountain in Western Europe.

Tour du Mont Blanc Trek + 25 Best Backpacking Trips in the World

18. The Long Range Traverse

Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Distance: 25 miles
Time: 3-6 days
Best Time to Go: July to September

Less of a trail, and more of a frolic through the Gros Morne National Park, this hike takes you to a land that seems untouched. You will trek over tundra and explore hidden lakes, and you may even share campsites with moose, caribou, or black bears.

The Long Range Traverse (25 Best Hikes in the World).
VisitGrosMorne / cc

19. Laugavegurinn / Fimmvörðuháls Pass

Location: Iceland
Distance: 50 miles
Time: 4 days
Best Time to Go: June to September

Taking you through volcanic landscapes, lichen-covered rocks, and amazing views of rhyolite peaks, this hike packs in more variety in its 50 miles than most hikes do. You also have the option of a 15-mile add-on to start or end at the 200-foot-high Skogafoss waterfall.

Laugavegur Hike Iceland + 25 Best Treks in the World

20. Sierra High Route

Location: California, United States
Distance: 195 miles
Time: Around 13 days
Best Time to Go: Summer or Early Fall

Keeping you between 9,000 and 11,500 feet, most of this hike runs parallel to the Join Muir Trail but gives you more scenery and solitude.

Sierra High Route (25 Best Hikes in the World).
Steve Dunleavy / cc

21. Routeburn Track

Location: South Island, New Zealand
Distance: 20 miles
Time: 2-4 days
Best Time to Go: November to April

Fiordland National Park has amazing hiking options. Although Milford Track is the most popular hike in the park, the Routeburn Track gives you a chance to see equally spectacular views with fewer people on the trail.

Routeburn Track New Zealand + 25 Greatest Hikes in the World

22. Scottish National Trail

Location: United Kingdom
Distance: 470 miles
Time: 5-6 weeks
Best Time to Go: April and May

Opened in 2012, this trail is Scotland’s first end-to-end walking route. Giving you views of the most amazing landscapes in the country, this hike becomes more difficult as you go. If time is an issue, you can also break this journey into four sections.

Scottish National Trail + The Best Hikes in the World

23. Fitz Roy Trek

Location: Patagonia, Argentina
Distance: 36 miles
Time: 4-7 days
Best Time to Go: February to March

This takes you through Los Glaciares National Park, which by the way is the size of Delaware, and gives you views of beech forests, open plains, glaciers, waterfalls, and the iconic Fitz Roy Massif.

Patagonia Fitz Roy Trek + The Best Hikes in the World

24. Trek to Petra

Location: Jordan
Distance: roughly 50 miles
Time: 5-9 Days
Best Time to Go: October to April

Considered one of the best hikes in the Middle East, this trek takes you through gorges, ridges, and rocky terrain. You end this epic hike exploring the temples and tombs of this fascinating city.

Trek to Petra + 25 of the Best Hikes in the World to Add to Your Bucket List
Petra Hike + 25 of the Best Hikes in the World to Add to Your Bucket List

Location: Italy
Distance: Varies
Time: Varies
Best Time to Go: Mid-March to Mid-October

Much less crowded than the Amalfi Coast, the Ligurian coast in Cinque Terre National Park offers spectacular views of the rocky coastline. Two of the most popular hikes are Alta Via or “High Path,” which is 22 miles and Sentiero Azzurro or “Blue Path,” which is 7.5 miles. We explored each of the 5 towns and the Blue Path a couple of years ago, but was only able to hike parts of the trail because a lot of it was destroyed by the flood. We hope to go back now that the trail has fully reopened.

Cinque Terre National Park (25 Amazing Hiking Trails).

More Bucket List Hikes + Readers' Favorites

  • Abel Tasman Coast Track, New Zealand
  • Boiling Lake, Dominica
  • Cordillera Huayhuash Trek, Peru
  • Fish River Canyon, Namibia
  • Great Himalaya Trail, Nepal
  • Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory, Australia
  • Whale Trail, South Africa

We’re hoping to do the Rim-to-Rim Grand Canyon hike before we move next month, and then Kilimanjaro, we’re coming for you next!

Map of the World's Best Hikes

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More Hikes (Reader's Favorites)

Essential Tips

Best Places to Stay

More Resources

Don'T Forget These Hiking Essentials

25 Best Hikes in the World to Put on Your Bucket List

Do you keep a hiking bucket list? Which of these have you done? Which of these hikes would you do first/next? Anything we need to add?

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25 Best Treks in the World for Your Hiking Bucket List
25 Best Hikes in the World to Add to Your Bucket List
25 Best Hiking Trails in the World to Add to Your Bucket List
25 Best Hikes in the World To Put On Your Bucket List // localadventurer.com
Best Hikes of the World Bucket List Challenge // Local Adventurer #hiking #bucketlist
Best Hikes in the World Bucket List Challenge // Local Adventurer #hiking #bucketlist

See More IDEAS FOR Hikes

“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

25 Best Hikes in the World to Put on Your Bucket List

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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This Post Has 53 Comments

  1. Have you done any of the Dolomites “Alta Via Uno”?? Super great hiking on the 65-70 miles of trails in the Italian Alps. Highly recommended!

  2. Hi,

    One more quick question. Which alternative trek would you choose? Ancascocha or Lares Valley Hike?

    1. We personally haven’t done either, but we know people who have done Ancascocha who have loved it.

  3. Hi again,

    I read somewhere that you were taking a group to hike in Patagonia this July but I can’t find that page now. Are you still doing this? If so, can you provide me with the details and costs of the hike? Thanks!

    1. That was last year! We went with OneSeed Expeditions though and they are great!

  4. Hi, I love your list! I am looking to go to Peru in either May (end of the month), June or July this year. When did you go? Which month would you suggest I go? Also, I just contacted a trek company about Ancascocha Trail after seeing it on your list. Can you tell me why you choose that trail? I know that I am looking to avoid crowds, see the most beautiful scenery possible and have a truly challenging hike. Thank you!

  5. Fantastic list. A few are deffinaly on my need to do list.

  6. This is a great article. I’m fond of hiking and it’s interesting for me to go through several of these routes. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Which hike trek is the best for you ? Torres Del Paine looks like a really unique name

    1. So far, I liked Torres Del Paine more, but we went in the winter and had a much different experience than hiking Machu Picchu in the summer. It was so crowded in Machu Picchu.

  8. The #25. CINQUE TERRE NATIONAL PARK is the best option! I’ll go there someday!

  9. You should include some of the Southern African Trails.. The Otter Trail, Fish River Canyon( Namibia) and the Whale Trail

  10. Everest best camp trek highly recommended. You will see Heaven in Earth.

  11. Hi! This list looks amazing! My friends and I are looking to do our first multi day hike and we can’t make a decision…any advice?

    Thanks!

    1. You should do Patagonia! Of all the ones we’ve done so far that one was he easiest in terms of elevation. It’s a good one to start with.

      1. If it’s there first hike Patagonia may be little to advance. Grand Canyon will be better or maybe Appalachian ( specially in upstate NY area )

  12. Wow, this is amazing! I visited Peru, but I didn’t have the opportunity to do the Inca Trail. We also backpack together as a couple, but mostly around the Portland, Oregon area. I want to try backpacking abroad. Thanks!

    1. Thank you! There’s so much good backpacking in Oregon too. :) I feel like it will be quite the different vibe since Inca Trail is so much more crowded. But the views are definitely amazing.

  13. This is an amazing List! How many of these have you done? We have done a few only but we did do Everest Base Camp Trek and that was beyond Amazing! Shall definitely try to do some more from this list. We love the mountains and are always looking for Hikes with views of snow clad mountains – but in the summer!

    Thanks

  14. Fantastic List! I’d put the Salcantay Trek as another Inca Trail option. We did it a couple of years ago and the Lodge to Lodge option was perfect for a couple on the “North” side of 50 years old!

    1. Thanks! We’ll have to consider it for our next list!

  15. Very surprised that you didn’t include Abel Tasman (New Zealand) on here! That’s such a great and easy one!

  16. Wow, Everest did make it to your list of best hikes. Certainly it is one of the best hiking destination for any adventure seekers. Welcome to the Himalayas in Nepal.

  17. My husband and I just got back from our New Zealand adventure where, among other great hikes, we did the Milford Sound track and absolutely loved it.
    We traveled to Dominica a couple of years ago and did a day hike in the Roseau valley to the Boiling Lake. With a few hikes behind us from your list, including the Inca trail and the Cinque Terra, I would definitely recommend the Boling Lake one. The challenging and quite strenuous trail takes you through a variety of ecosystems. An added bonus is that you’ll only have to share it with a handful of people.
    Check it out and long live great hikes :)))

  18. Total bucket list goals! I just did the Tour du Mont Blanc and it really was an amazing hike with spectacular views. I highly recommend it :)

  19. All your hikes look amazing! Loved your article. I have a suggestion …. I have done Pico Ruveiro on the island of Madeira, Portugal. It is the highest point in Madeira and 3rd highest in Portugal. Great, great hike, absolutely beautiful scenery, and quite challenging!

    1. Thank you so much, Donna. I would love to check it out next time we’re in Portugal. We will have to add it to our 3rd edition. :) Thank you for sharing!

  20. The Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory Australia is an amazing multi day trek too. It should be on your list as the gorges and waterholes in the outback are astounding and the landscape in the McDonnell Ranges is timeless.

  21. that’s a great collection, thanks for sharing. I wish I had enough time (and money) for at least half of those!

  22. I have hiked the Inca and Chilkoot, both were amazing. Your list should include the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. This is an amazing, world class trek.

  23. Great compilation here. I am really happy to see Mt Kilimanjaro because I intend to hike there in future. I am sure though I will not do the entire 35 miles.

  24. I’m surprised to not see the Mount Kailash Kora on this list.

  25. Best blog for people who loves to explore the world. I am Joe O’ Toole of washer and Dryers review sites. Thanks for sharing this beautiful blog.

    1. Thank you so much for saying that Joe. :) We really appreciate you.

  26. I think you should add Huayhuash trek in Peru.

  27. Bhutan’s Snowman Trek is seriously good. Glad to see that on your list.

    Sad that you didn’t include Peru’s Huayhuash trek which is truly beautiful. …and I’d say better than the back trail to Machu Picchu. Although that is good as well.

    Another for the serious that should also be included is the epic Great Himalaya Trail traversing the length of Nepal via the highest navigable trail. About 153 days all up or you can do one or more of the 7 sections with World Expeditions. I did the last 3 sections. 61 days of trekking across western Nepal. Amazing experience.

  28. Dude/Dudette, This list is epic!

  29. Great list.
    I’ve done the Inca trail, Patagonia, Kilimanjaro, bit also recently the Camino Primitivo in Spain.
    Add in day hikes in the Copper Canyon, Appalachian trail multi day hikes, it’s been greatl
    I am 65 and off to Italy for the way of st francis 30 days florence to Rome soon. Buen camino, good walking.

    1. That’s so amazing!! Very inspiring, Roy. :) We just got back from hiking Patagonia in the winter. What part of the AT did you do?

  30. I just backpacked a 13-mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon this last weekend and it was truly breathtaking. We passed through so many different climates and ecosystems because of how much the elevation changed; everything from rocks and scree to swamps and frogs to silent snow and trees. I really want to try the Grand Canyon Rim hikes next.

    1. Where did you start and stop on the PCT? :) We love hiking around Oregon, I know that portion is probably beeautiful.

  31. Thanks so much for the great list! As someone who lives close to the Appalachian Trail and has experienced its beauty I was glad to see it included.

    1. Thank you for reading, Summer. It’s hard not to include it! ;)

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