The beauty of this planet is evident in nearly every area the eye can see. Many of the most amazing scenes can only be reached on foot. If you are a lover of hiking and seeing the wonderful sights that nature has in store for you, these bucket list-worthy destinations will leave a mark on you that will be remembered for life.
1. Te Araroa Trail, New Zealand
One wouldn’t think New Zealand is home to some amazing trails, comparing its size to other larger countries around the world, but Te Araroa is one of the most popular trails of hikers. The entirety of the land mass extends to over 1,800 miles and can take anywhere from 50 to 80 days to complete for both the North and South islands.
You don’t have to tackle the robust trail all at once. Your hikes can be broken up into just a simple day trip, add more days to even a couple of weeks if you want to see a little more, and to get the full experience, take the challenge of a month’s long trip to walk the length of New Zealand.
If you want to see some beautiful sights in as little time possible, Tongariro Alpine Crossing should be your destination. You’ll see many deep volcanic craters spread about, and witness the famous Emerald Lakes among other things, all fit into New Zealand’s most popular day trip.
2. The Back Route to Petra, Jordan
You tend to have more gratitude for things when you have to work for them. That’s the case here when you take the trip to Jordan and journey through the Petra Basin to Petra’s tourist-laden Treasury. This is a bit of a detour from the main way of travel that leads into Petra from the rear. Coming this way is more of the hike, but it avoids the crowd of tourists and allows more ease of access to the hidden Monastery.
If you want to experience both routes to see the Treasury, Monastery and other areas like the Lost City’s tombs and caves, there is a packaged trek that includes both. It takes about eight days to get through and it can only be completed if you have an experienced tour guide with you to lead the way.
3. John Muir Trail, California
Being one of the most popular trails in all of the United States, the John Muir Trail is a must-see for its amazing scenery and you’d be hard pressed to find many other trails like it. It is a 211-mile journey in the Sierra Nevada Mountains that starts heading into Half Dome. Then leads through many well-known areas like famous Yosemite National Park, Devils Postpile National Monument, then finally ending on one of the highest mountains, Mount Whitney.
We did this trail in a group tour organized by Brian Bradshaw of the Boot Bomb. He’s a good old friend and blogs about outdoor footwear. The group tour not only helped us navigate the trail well but also enabled us to see beautiful scenes across the trail. Brian has been on the trail multiple times in the past which is why we decided to go with him.
The trip through the mountain should take around 3 weeks, depending on what time of the year you decide to go. Brian chimed in on the ideal time to take the trail on. He states, ”the best time for hiking the trail is between July to September when most of the snow has melted. If you opt to hike earlier in the season, you will have to carry an ice axe to cut through the ice, as you ford through streams filled with snowmelt.”
4. The Camino De Santiago, Spain
I know it says it’s located in Spain, but this trail actually starts in France, then leads into Spain by way of the Pyrenees. It takes anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks the 500-mile long journey through the Spanish countryside. It’s a very popular trail in this area and it has directions laid throughout to guide you.
They say the value in most things lies within its story, and Camino De Santiago has a robust history that will be having you feeling like you are a travelling pilgrim yourself. The grave of St. James in Santiago de Compostela was an important destination for many travellers in the Middle Ages. That’s one of the reasons why it is so popular among hikers, especially come the summertime when the beauty of the views are at their peak.