Take a deep breath and escape to a trail where birds serenade, fresh air rejuvenates, and blue skies mesmerise. Whether you're chasing endorphins on a trek of Machu Picchu or connecting with the ground beneath your feet on an effortless walk, a hiking adventure is a much-needed release from the rollercoaster of life.read more
Discover a hidden world
Meander through verdant forests and past pristine lakes to reveal views only a few have seen before. Be rewarded for your hard-earned efforts by savouring panoramic vistas that are guaranteed to make your challenging journey completely, and utterly, worth it!
Good old rest n' relaxation
After your days' adventure, there's nothing quite like soothing your muscles and taking a break. That's the beauty of an organised hiking trip, everything's taken care of - from a hearty meal ready to fuel the day ahead to a luxury hotel spa calling your name.
Share your passion
Beautiful things happen when we push ourselves and very few people can relate to that. Connect with those who share the same passion as you on a group hiking trip. Recount stories over a beer at an Old English pub, or marvel at starry skies together over a campfire on a mountain trek.
Escape to nature
Whether you're seeking complete solitude on a self-guided walk or achieving a life-long goal with a loved one on a private hike, a trip amongst nature creates the perfect escape, giving us a chance to disconnect from the nine-to-five and reconnect with what truly grounds us.
Just because this trail circumnavigates, rather than summits, 14,411-foot Mount Rainier, don’t assume it’s an easy walk in Mount Rainier National Park. Think of it this way: with a total elevation gain of 22,000 feet, it’s sort of like summitting the active volcano twice, minus the scary crevasses. Spread the hike over 10 to 14 days to fully appreciate this epic meander through the most beautiful terrain in the Pacific Northwest, from lowland forests and subalpine meadows to wide-open valleys with views of Rainier’s icy glaciers. With 18 designated wilderness camps and four resupply mailboxes, the trail is well maintained and designed with thru-hikers in mind. Apply for a permit well before the April 1 deadline to get a coveted July-to-September slot and avoid the snow that lingers in the higher elevations into June.
Patience is a virtue when planning to hike this lush, steep trail along Kauai’s famously fluted Na Pali Coast. With its 300-foot-high waterfalls, views to the crashing Pacific, and access to two stunning sand beaches, Hanakapiai and the completely isolated Kalalau, this out-and-back trek is worth every rigorous step. But because of heavy flooding in 2018, it will be closed until at least mid-2019. Even when the trail is open, access can be hard to come by. Hiking farther than two miles requires a permit, and to mitigate growing congestion and overtourism on Kauai’s north shore, the state is also building a new parking area near the trailhead that will limit daily visitors to 900. Monitor access and updates on the Hawaii Division of State Parks Kalalau Trail web page.
There are many paths to the Shrine of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela, but in true pilgrim spirit, sign on for the ninth-century route that the original pilgrim, Alfonso II of Asturias, took from Oviedo in northern Spain. The 15-day route receives only 4 percent of annual Camino trekkers, because it crosses the craggy, 8,000-plus-foot Cantabrian Mountains. The payoff, however, is killer views of the peaks of Picos de Europa and a halfway point marked by the third-century World Heritage site of Lugo, the only city in the world still surrounded by a fully intact Roman wall. In the lively market town of Melide, the Camino Primitivo joins forces with the more crowded Camino Frances for the last 36 miles. Stay in private or municipal albergues, hostels specifically for pilgrims, which vary in price, charm, size, and cleanliness. One of the most highly rated on the trail is the private, 14-room Cantábrico Fonsagrada. If time is an issue, REI offers a condensed nine-day version of the route.
Choosing the best of Colorado’s 59 fourteeners is a little like being forced to pick your favorite child. We love the Bells because few peaks on the planet are more impressive than the behemoth 14,163-foot South Maroon (and its 14,019-foot twin, North Maroon, a third of a mile away). The alpine views of Maroon Creek Valley and the surrounding Elk Range from the summit of South Maroon, the true fourteener of the two, are astounding. And the awe is earned: these peaks are largely composed of sedimentary mudstone and are notorious for their loose, rotten rock up high, so bring your helmet. Even the standard, Class III South Ridge Route to the summit of South Maroon requires extensive time above the tree line, scrambling up often vertical rock. It’s a worthy 4,500-foot challenge, but it would be more relaxing to stay low and stick to the 1.5-mile-long Maroon Lake Scenic Trail.
Slightly shorter in length and higher in altitude that its famous sibling, the Inca Trail, this two-to-three-day trek starts in the village of Lares and traverses the Urubamba mountain range. It’s the best way to experience true Andean culture. You’ll see farmers hand-tilling potato fields at 10,000 feet, Quechua women wearing beautifully colored woven shawls while herding llama-like vicuñas, and cross 14,435-foot Ipsaycocha Pass, the highest point on the trek, before descending to the town of Ollantaytambo, where you can catch a train to Aguas Calientes, the jumping-off point for Machu Picchu. No permit is required for the trek, but going with a local guide is recommended. Hire the best through Explorandes Peru. For a more luxurious option, Mountain Lodges of Peru offers multi-day adventures combining day hikes, visits to villages and archeological sites, and farm-to-table meals at its tasteful, plush lodges throughout the Sacred and Lares Valleys.
There are other, lesser known wilderness treks in Patagonia, like the Dientes Circuit on Navarino Island and the Las Horquetas Circuit in newly minted Cerro Castillo National Park. But if your heart’s set on seeing Torres del Paine National Park, the best way to avoid the crowds is to circumnavigate the entire Cordillera Paine. The beauty of this trek is that it includes the three iconic stops on the famous W circuit—the 12-mile, 2,500-foot hike to the base of the towers, the 360-degree view of the Paine Massif from the French Valley, and the retreating hulk of the Grey Glacier. But the full circuit continues to the back side of the cordillera, where the grandeur of the southern ice field and exquisite views to the massif can be enjoyed in solitude. Treat yourself to a few well-deserved rest days at Tierra Patagonia, a luxurious hotel so well disguised that it nearly disappears into the surrounding steppe.
There are better-known and more easily accessed slot canyons in Utah, but Buckskin Gulch in the northern section of Paria Canyon–Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness has the distinction of being one of the longest in the world, with uninterrupted narrows for 15 miles that rise up to 500 feet high in places. Start at Wire Pass Trailhead. This shortcut surpasses two miles of canyon walls but quickly puts you in the most spectacular sections of sandstone whorls, precipitous cliffs, and ancient petroglyphs. The hike requires rope for lowering gear through the canyons and may even necessitate waist-deep wading through water pools. Don’t rely on your weather app before attempting it; instead call the Paria Contact Station or the the Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument Visitor Center in Kanab for essential updates on trail conditions.
Compare French, Italian, and Swiss cuisine while trekking through all three countries on this circuit around 15,781-foot Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe. This is a full-on immersion course in real mountain living: you’ll gain some 32,000 feet, spy the most stunning peaks in the Alps, and stop in serious mountain towns like Chamonix and Courmayeur. Unlike other circuits, there are multiple starting points, plenty of route options, public transportation to shorten the trip if something goes awry, and a variety of accommodations, from mountain huts to five-star hotels. For a true vacation, let someone else handle all the logistics, like Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures or MT Sobek. Or if your legs and lungs can handle it, the route also makes for the most luxurious trail run over 100 miles.
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