Buckskin Gulch is a difficult trek, but worth the effort. // © 2015 Creative Commons user snowpeak
Feature image (above): Tour du Mont Blanc is considered by many to be one of the greatest hiking trails in the world. // © 2015 Creative Commons user carbone14
If you want to truly get to know a destination, exploring it with trekking poles can sometimes be the best way. Hiking trails allow your clients to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of a place and at a pace that allows them to soak in the experience.
Listed below is just a small selection of the most amazing hiking trails in the world.
Buckskin Gulch (U.S.)
Buckskin Gulch is considered to be the longest and deepest slot canyon in the southwestern U.S., extending through the Utah desert and across the Paria River. It’s also a tight squeeze — in some areas, the path is only 10 feet wide. Despite that, the Buckskin Gulch provides travelers with an awe-inspiring path through southern Utah and amazing views of the canyon.
Kalalau Trail (U.S.)
The Kalalau Trail runs along Na Pali Coast — considered by some to be the most beautiful coastline in the world — on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Hikers will walk through jungles, sea caves and valleys to witness the beautiful Hanakapiai Beach, Kee Beach and Hanakapiai Falls. This hike is about both the journey and the destination.
Kungsleden, translated, means “The King’s Trail.” About 270 miles long, this trail winds its way through northern Sweden and was created in order for more travelers to admire the beauty of Swedish Lapland. The route travels through or around Kebnekaise, Sweden’s highest mountain, Sarek National Park and the valley of Tjaktjavagge, enabling hikers to explore glaciers, forests and tundra. Huts are conveniently placed around the trail for rest spots, and camping along the trail is encouraged.
Mount Fitz Roy Trek (Argentina)
Mount Fitz Roy Trek is one of the most popular hiking trails in Patagonia and offers stunning views of Mount Fitz Roy and Lago de los Tres. Located in Parque Nacional Los Glaciers, Mount Fitz Roy is the largest icecap that is not located in a polar region. The trail also hits Cerro Electrico, Cerro Torre and several forests and fields of wildflowers.
Pays Dogon (Mali)
Dogon Country is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s easy to see why with its sandstone cliffs, vistas and sand dunes. Hiking along Pays Dogon is a rewarding experience for animal-lovers — along the way trekkers will run into several bird species and maybe even a crocodile or two.
Snowman Trek (Bhutan)
The Snowman Trek takes clients on a high-altitude hike through the valleys of Bhutan for an up-close experience of the country’s beautiful scenery and Buddhist-influenced culture. Upon reaching the highest peaks in Bhutan, trekkers will pass Buddhist monasteries and remote villages that have been perfectly preserved in time. Despite being a rather difficult journey, the Snowman Trek is worth the challenge.
Torres del Paine (Chile)
Torres del Paine National Park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and has been popular with hikers for decades. The “W” route — named for the letter it most resembles — is the most popular trail and takes travelers from Glacier Grey to Torres del Paine. Along the way, trekkers will experience Frenchman’s Valley, considered to have some of the best scenery in the entire park.
Tour du Mont Blanc (Switzerland, Italy and France)
This trail passes through three different countries in the Alps and offers trekkers a chance to see many of Europe’s most breathtaking glaciers and mountains, in addition to Swiss ski hamlets and lake resorts. The trail is a fun, and difficult, mix of Europe’s natural landscapes and cosmopolitan glamour.
West Coast Trail (Canada)
The West Coast Trail, located on Vancouver Island, is part of the Pacific Rim National Park and remains consistently high-rated among veteran hiking guides. The trail allows trekkers to discover the history of Ditidaht First Nation and the Pacheddaht and Huu-ay-aht people — some of whom created the original paths along the trail. Along the way, trekkers will also take in the amazing sight of some of Canada’s most gorgeous forests, bogs, waterfalls and beaches.