Extreme trails are always a challenge, even with the bravest hikers who are willing to traverse through the hardest climate and terrains for the irresistible beauty of those trails. Take a look at The Finest Magazine’s choice of 10 amazing trails which are perfect for trekking.
Torres del Paine Circuit, Chile
The popular route that follows the letter “W” takes you through the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park. Famous for its volcanic peaks, icy glaciers, and crystalline lakes, the 5-day trail will amaze even the most experienced hikers. Ambitious travellers can hike the full “O” circuit that encompasses the “W” for about 10 days.
Appalatrian Trail, U.S.A
Including 2,200 miles of exclusively wilderness and crossing 14 states from Georgia to Maine, the Appalatrian trail is considered as the longest continuously marked footpath in the world. This trail is perfect for various types of hikes with many entry points, ranging from overnights to full 6-month trips. Discovering the trail, travellers are ensured to feel far away from civilization and immerse in nature.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
At 19,340 feet, Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa but still walkable and requires only a bit of mountaineering skills to summit. Comprising a wide range of climbing routes, it will take at least 5 days to reach the rooftop of Africa and enjoy spectacular views above the clouds. Even though professional skills are unnecessary, travellers are advised to avoid the risky rainy season from March to May annually.
West Coast Trail, Canada
The 47-mile West Coast Trail was created in 1906 to save shipwreck survivors along the rocky west coast of Vancouver Island. With abundant wildlife (both in the sea and on land) and quaint forest, this pristine wilderness is perfect for adventure-seekers. While trekking across beautiful beaches and through misty forests, you may encounter sea lions or spot whales offshore, but what you are not likely to see are other hikers. It is because there are only 52 people allowed to set off each day, and the trail is only open from May to September.
Tour du Mont Blanc, Switzerland, Italy and France
This multi-cultural Euro trail covers more than 100 miles and passes through various countries. Hikers can enjoy fabulous sceneries of green meadows and valleys, blue glaciers and white peaks, in addition to great foods and creature comforts provided by refugees. The circuit is also home to the ultra-marathon event, Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, where the winner usually finishes in about 20 hours. Travellers are recommended to book schedules in high season from July to August and to hire a tour guide if not having enough experience.
Tongariro Northern Circuit, New Zealand
Tongariro Northern Circuit encircles Mount Ngauruhoe, the New Zealand’s most active volcano. In addition to craters and lava pits, hikers can trek through volcanic deserts, grassy plains and rich forests, as well as enjoy the majestic views of Red Crater and Emerald Lakes. Lord of the Rings‘s fans are assured to be amazed by the Ngauruhoe mount, since it is the prototype of mount Doom in the trilogy.
Sentiero Azzurro, Italy
Much less crowded than the Amalfi Coast, Sentiero Azzurro Trail which means the Blue Trail in Italian offers spectacular views of the rock coastline, as well as the quaint villages. This 7.5- mile trail in Cinque Terre National Park also connects five villages, namely Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare, perfect for hikers who want to experience various cultures.
Santa Cruz Trek, Peru
Out-shined only by the Inca Trail, the 30-mile Santa Cruz Trek is one of the Peru’s most popular walks. Situated in Cordillera Blanca’s Huascarán National Park, this trek begins in Huaraz and stretches across the 15,580-foot Punta Union Pass. Over four days you can expect to see rivers, lakes and mountains that would otherwise go unseen by human eyes.
The Narrows, U.S.A
Situated in Zion National Park, the Narrows provides breathtaking sceneries of the majestic Zion Canyon throughout its 16-kilometre trail. The trek begins at the Temple of Sinawava with the one-mile Riverside Walk, then travellers can continue hiking upstream Virgin river. Eventhough some areas requires trekkers to swim, the trail can be completed in one day for experienced ones.
Kalalau Trail, U.S.A
Considered as one of the finest coastal hikes, the Kalalau trail stretches through Kauai heavenly Na Pali Coast, from Ke’e beach to the Kalalau valley. The trail will amaze travellers with its famous fairy-tale waterfalls, lush tropical jungle and quaint spiked rocky coast. Yet trekkers should keep their endurance, since this 11-mile route is a real test for inexperienced hikers with its tropical heat and steep terrains.