Exploring hiking trails is a great way to stretch those legs and get your blood pumping, or just get out and enjoy nature. It’s a great feeling when the cool wind touches your face and you can smell the fresh air. Here are a few of the world’s best hikes that are sure to take your breath away.
Amazing Hiking Trails for the Best Nature Hiking Experience
1. The West Maroon Pass
The West Maroon Pass is located in Colorado, with a 12.7 mile out and back hiking trail. It has a pass that brings you up to 12,480 feet of elevation. It’s under the Maroon Bell’s Peak which is said to be the most photographed peak in the United States. That alone speaks for itself.
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2. The Jewels Route
This 48-mile trek is located in the western end of the Grand Canyon National Park. Ironically, Jewel’s route is said to have lighter crowds and boasts of turquoise Colorado River views and deep orange rocks.
3. Yoho National Park
The Yoho National Park is located in British Columbia, Canada. It offers beautiful large lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, and hiking trails. The Burgess Shale, a fossil bed, is also nestled in this park. It boasts the best collection of rare fossil remains of prehistoric marine animals.
4. The King’s Trail
With a total of 275 miles through four national parks and a nature reserve, the King’s trail is said to take you about a month to finish. You will soak in some of the most beautiful landscapes in Sweden through this trail.
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5. North Coyote Buttes and the Wave
Just 3 hours away from Flagstaff, Arizona, North Coyote Buttes requires a permit if you want to hike through it. With just 20 permits being given daily, you’ll have to wait your turn. Reservations must be made 4 months in advance. However, it will surely be worth the wait because of the cross-bedded aeolian Jurassic Navajo Sandstone formation that’s such a unique experience in itself.
6. Red Rock Canyon State Park Trails
The Red Rock Canyon State Park trails offer 2 nature trails and 1 challenging hiking trail. It also shows the historic California trail. Although it is not a well-known state park, it is great for hiking for the whole family. The giant red boulders that wall the corridors are still very impressive.
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7. The Natural Arches
This Utah hiking trail is said to be the most popular haven for hikers. The main highlights of the Natural Arches in Utah are the 2,000-plus natural arches and red rock formations. This magnificent landscape stands in a 73,000-acre desert area. You can also enjoy the ancient rock art, which can be seen on a lot of these natural rock formations.
8. The Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii
The Kalalau Trail presents 11 miles of cliffs, valleys, mountains, rainforests, and waterfalls that will have even the most jaded backpacking enthusiast in awe. You will be climbing as high as 4,000 feet across valleys and cliffs, which can be covered in just one day.
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9. The Dragon’s Back Trail
Reaching as high up to 284 meters, the Dragon’s Back trail offers jaw-dropping views. It’s classified as a moderate to easy hike, which traverses along the ridges of Shek O Peak to Wan Cham San in Hong Kong. It has an estimated distance of 8.5 km full of ups and downs, with a wide view of the ocean. This trail, named for its resemblance to a flying dragon, was recognized as the best urban hike by Time Magazine way back in 2004.
10. St. Mark’s Summit
Soak up the amazing view when standing on the mouth of Howe Sound. St. Mark’s Summit is a picture of peace and tranquility with the mountains of Vancouver Island as a backdrop. The view of the vast ocean with Anvil Island to the right and Bowen Island to the left is awe-inspiring. With a total distance of 11 km, St. Mark’s Summit is considered the easiest trail to tackle compared to its counterparts in the area.
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11. Ledges and Pine Grove Loops
This trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio has a figure-eight trail with a total distance of 4.1 miles. The beautiful scenery on Ledges and Pine Grove Loops is indescribable–you just have to experience it firsthand.
12. The Rocky Top Trail
The Rocky Top Trail can be found in an isolated valley called Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 13.9-mile round trip hike passes through extraordinary landmarks, taking special note of Spence Field. Once there, the scenic view of the three summits of Thunder Mountain will surely be worth the hike.
13. The Rumbling Bald Mountain
This hiking destination offers an array of terrain around the Rumbling Bald Mountain in North Carolina. Passing through oak forests and rocky paths, you will see colossal cliff faces before reaching the cave. You can also choose to head for Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge. The latter was the setting for the film “Last of the Mohicans.”
14. The Bunker Meadows Trail
The Bunker Meadows Trail lies in Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield, MA. With a total distance of 12 miles, this trail cuts through wetlands, meadows, and forests of the North Shore. Turtles, eastern bluebirds, and river otters are just among the many animals that you might come across while taking the trail.
15. The Inca Trail, Peru
Hikers will certainly be in high spirits as they pass through dense clouds, rocky ruins, tunnels, enchanting mountains, and a subtropical jungle. The Inca Trail is one of the most popular among hikers around the world. The grand finale of this trail is when they get to see the “Lost City of the Incas.” There are other hiking trails so picturesque you won’t believe they exist; click here to see more.
16. The Trail to Cerro Castillo Glacier
Situated in Patagonia, the hike takes about a day to get to the glacier and back. Despite the steep trail, the panoramic view of the black rock, multicolored hills, and blue glacial lake is truly a sight to behold.
17. Awa Awaapuhi Trail
This is the famous trail on the Na Pali, considered a world-class trail in Kauai, Hawaii. The Awa Awaapuhi Trail offers some of the most unbelievable views and a one-of-a-kind terrain.
18. Padar Island Trails, Komodo National Park, Indonesia
The hiking trails of Padar Island Komodo National Park boast the most scenic beautiful views. You will enjoy 180 degrees of nature’s whites, blues, and greens as you reach the summit of the tallest peak on the island.
19. Blue Lakes Trail, Colorado
The Blue Lakes Trail can bring you as high up as 13, 000 ft with panoramic views of lakes and alpine meadows filled with wildflowers. There are a lot of beautiful Colorado hiking trails and the Blue Lakes trail is among the top destinations. To know more about this trail, click here.
20. The Redwood Creek Trail, California
Located in the Redwood National Park, the Redwood Creek Trail features the largest trees in the world, with some reaching up to 300 feet high. The trail has a length of about 15.4 miles and can peak up to 500 feet.
21. Buckskin Gulch, Paria Canyon, Kanab, Utah
This trail is the deepest and longest slot canyon in the southwestern part of the United States. Although considered to be a hard level trail, one will surely enjoy the view of sunlight peeking through the upper part of the rock walls. To see what else Buckskin Gulch has in store for you, click here.
22. The Snowman Trek, Bhutan
This is an advanced-level trail, but definitely worth the endeavor because of the spectacular views of the pristine landscape. For more details on this high altitude trek, click here.
Watch this video of hiking the Inca Trail by A Globe Well Travelled:
Make sure you put at least some, if not all, of these amazing hiking trails on your bucket list. There’s nothing more satisfying than soaking up some of the most beautiful sights that nature has to offer from dusk till dawn.
Have you taken your pick on which of these amazing hiking trails to explore next? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Last update on 2018-08-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API