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25 Best Hikes in the World to Put on Your Bucket List 2024

Have you added these amazing hikes to your hiking 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 five years ago. We do, however, like to get out and explore, knowing some places you can only access on foot.

We’ve compiled a list of the best hikes in the world, including the distances and best times of the year. So far, we’ve completed two of these hikes plus sections 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, you can too!

The Best Hikes in the World to Put on Your Bucket ListPin

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Last Updated: February 16, 2024

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

1. Inca Trail →

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.

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.

See More: How to Hike the Inca Trail in 4 Days + What to Pack for Your Inca Trail Hike

2. The Torres Del Paine W Circuit →

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.

You can also do the longer longer “O” circuit that encompasses the “W”.

If you 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. It’s unreal to have the park to yourself.

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

See More: Ultimate Guide to Torres del Paine National Park

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. Check out REI’s guide here.

Hiking the Appalachian TrailPin

4. Kilimanjaro →

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

Africa’s highest peak (19,340 feet) is widely popular and 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. This is the next major hike we want to do.

Guides: If you’re seeking a reliable Kilimanjaro outfitter, we highly recommend considering Altezza Travel. This company offers supremely serviced Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions and is highly rated, securing the #1 spot on TripAdvisor. With over a decade of experience in the field, Altezza Travel is a trusted choice for your adventure.

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 WorldPin

6. Everest Base Camp Trek →

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.

7. SNowman Trek

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

Some say this is the most challenging trail on the planet, and many cannot finish because of unpredictable weather in the high Himalayas. Traversing 11 passes, most of which are more than 16,000 feet, you can only do this hike with a guided tour.


8. Grand Canyon Rim-To-Rim Hike

Location: Arizona, United States
Distance: 44 miles
Time: 1-2 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.

See More: 17 Breathtaking Things to Do at the Grand Canyon

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

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!

See More: 21 Best Hikes in the Columbia River Gorge

pacific crest trail markerPin

10. Yosemite Grand Traverse →

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 (our favorite NP!), part of the John Muir Trail, and the Cathedral Range. You hike through waterfalls, granite basins, sprawling meadows, and even ascend Half Dome via the Cable Route.

See More: 11 Scenic Hikes in Yosemite National Park

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

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

See More: 17 Unforgettable Things to Do in Denali National Park

chilkoot trail hikingPin

12. Tonquin Valley

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

Ansel Adams traveled to Tonquin Valley to take photos of the beautiful scenery and landscape. And a quick Google search will convince you that getting into the valley is well worth the experience and effort.

tonquin valley hikePin

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 one of the best hikes in the world.

See More: 25 Things to Do in Melbourne for First Timers

Bay of Fires Tasmania Australia + 25 Best Hikes in the World to Put on Your Hiking Bucket ListPin

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.

See More: 10 Day Guide to New Zealand’s South Island

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

15. Mountains of the Moon

Location: Ruwenzori Range, Uganda
Distance: 38 miles
Time: 6-7 days
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 Uganda HikePin

16. Kalalau Trail

Location: Kauai, Hawaii, United States
Distance: 20 miles
Time: 2-4 days
Best Time to Go: May to September

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

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

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 gives you a chance to hike through 3 countries and trek through mountain passes, alpine meadows, glacial valleys, and the base of the highest mountain in Western Europe. Check out REI’s guide here.

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

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 the tundra and explore hidden lakes, and you may even share campsites with moose, caribou, or black bears.

See More: 25 Amazing Things to Do in Newfoundland

long range traverse gros mornePin

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. You can also have a 15-mile add-on to start or end at the 200-foot-high Skogafoss waterfall.

See More: Your Iceland Winter Road Trip Guide + 5 Epic Day Trips from Reykjavik

Laugavegur Hike Iceland + 25 Best Treks in the WorldPin

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 routePin

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 fantastic hiking options. Although Milford Track is the most popular hike in the park, the Routeburn Track allows you to see equally spectacular views with fewer people on the trail.

See More: Photo Diary of Fiordland National Park

Routeburn Track New Zealand + 25 Greatest Hikes in the WorldPin

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 WorldPin

23. Fitz Roy Trek →

Location: Patagonia, Argentina
Distance: 26 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 WorldPin

24. Trek to Petra

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

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

25. Cinque Terre National Park →

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 five towns and the Blue Path a couple of years ago but could only hike parts of the trail because a flood destroyed much of it. We hope to go back now that the trail has fully reopened.

See More: Hiking Via Dell’Amore + Essential Tips for Visiting Cinque Terre


Best Hikes in the World Part II + 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

See More: Best Hiking Trips in the World Part II

Recap of the Best Hikes in the World

  1. Inca Trail
  2. Torres del Paine W Circuit
  3. Appalachian Trail
  4. Kilimanjaro
  5. Kungsleden
  6. Everest Base Camp
  7. Snowman Trek
  8. Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim
  9. Pacific Crest Trail
  10. Yosemite Grand Traverse
  11. Chilkoot Trail
  12. Tonquin Valley
  13. Bay of Fires
  14. Queen Charlotte Track
  15. Mountains of the Moon
  16. Kalalau Trail
  17. Tour du Mont Blanc
  18. The Long Range Traverse
  19. Laugavegurinn / Fimmvörðuháls Pass
  20. Sierra High Route
  21. Routeburn Track
  22. Scottish National Trail
  23. Fitz Roy Trek
  24. Trek to Petra
  25. Cinque Terre National Park

Map of the Best Hikes in the World

Frequently Asked Questions

How many miles should a beginner hike?

A beginner hiker should start with hikes that are 5 miles or less in length. These hikes should have a moderate elevation gain and be on well-maintained trails. As the hiker gains experience, they can gradually increase the distance and difficulty of their hikes.

What is considered an extreme hike?

An extreme hike is a hike that is challenging due to its length, elevation gain, technical difficulty, or environmental conditions. Extreme hikes often require a high level of fitness and experience.

What is the most famous hike in the world?

The most famous hike in the world is the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. This 4-day hike takes hikers through the Andes Mountains to the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu.

What is the most intense hike in the world?

The most intense hike in the world is the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. This 21-day hike takes hikers through the Himalayas and is considered one of the most challenging hikes in the world.

What are the Big 3 US hikes?

The John Muir Trail in California, the Pacific Crest Trail in California, Oregon, and Washington, and the Appalachian Trail in 14 states from Georgia to Maine.

What is the world’s scariest hiking trail?

The world’s scariest hiking trail is the Trolltunga in Norway. This hike takes hikers to a rock formation that juts out over a 700-foot cliff.

What is the most iconic hike in the US?

The most iconic hike in the US is the Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, California. This hike is challenging but offers stunning views of Yosemite Valley.

What is the hardest hike in the US?

The hardest hike in the US is the Denali Peak in Denali National Park, Alaska. This hike is over 20 miles long and has an elevation gain of over 18,000 feet.

What is the hiking capital of the US?

The hiking capital of the US is Colorado. Colorado has over 300 fourteeners (mountains over 14,000 feet tall) and over 500 hiking trails.

What is the deadliest trail in national parks?

The deadliest trail in national parks is the Angels Landing Trail in Zion National Park, Utah. This hike is 5.4 miles long and has an elevation gain of over 1,400 feet. There have been over 30 deaths on this trail since 1990.

What is the hardest day hike?

The hardest day hike in the US is the Mount Whitney Trail in Sequoia National Park, California. This hike is 22 miles long and has an elevation gain of over 14,500 feet.

What state has the most hiking?

The state with the most hiking is California. California has over 10,000 hiking trails, including the John Muir Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Yosemite Valley Loop.

Planning Checklist

Do you keep a hiking bucket list? Which of these have you done? Are there any other best hikes in the world that we’re missing?

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SEE More Best Hikes in the World by Region


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

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Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found 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.

Follow on Instagram (E + J), YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.