Feeling like this year will be your year to get in better shape, relish in the outdoors and fresh air.. Well if you are one that prefers to travel on foot, then you might want to consider one of these amazing hikes on National Geographic's list of the worlds best that your feet might want to sample.
Author Peter Potterfield is just that expert who himself has hiked more than 10,000 miles across six different continents, here are some of his picks which include Tasmania, Newfoundland, and Petra. He details his accounts of some of these spectacular hikes in his book, Classic Hikes of the World or Classic Hikes of .North America.
Beginning with a journey into Sweden's heartland, Abisko Mountain Station to the Saami Village of Nikkaluokta. The hike is 65 miles and takes 3-5 days to complete. Most Europeans do this hike in August which is their holiday time, so September is a recommended time to do with less crowds. The location is 100 miles inside the Arctic Circle, Sweden’s famous 275-mile Kungsleden (also known as “The King's Trail”) Traverses one of the last great wilderness in western Europe. This spectacular northernmost section delves into the vast Arctic landscape of Sweden through birch forests, open tundra, and big glaciers before it crosses the shoulder of the countries highest peak, 6,926-foot Mount Kebnekaise. Here there is a comfortable hut system placed about a day apart assures you a safe haven form potential bad weather. Sturdy suspension bridges take the danger out of the big rivers. The vibe here is “far north,” with a emptiness and solitude that will challenge and stir the heart and soul all in one.
What comes to mind here, expansive views, glowing shades of red and golden hues? deep gorges, temperatures that can soar into the three figures, well for most the answer would be none other than the Grand Canyon. Most likely one of the most famous hikes in the world, and one you might not want to conquer in the height of summer. Covering 44 miles and taking 4-6 days, the best months are April-May or September - October. Of course any walk in the Grand Canyon is going to be high on the Richter scale of hikes, but this route covers both rims and the river, and allows enough time within one of the greatest features on Earth to actually absorb what you are viewing, the natural architecture. Here you will find yourself traveling through an expansive time of geological history like none other on this earth.
If you are one of those people who is an avid hiker and backpacker and who has managed to conquer some of the world's greatest hikes and have only one major one to add to your bucket list, then you might want to head to the highest one of all. Mt.Everest Base Camp. The trek from Lukla to Everest Base Camp takes 16 days and is 70 miles. Best times are March or April before the Monsoon season sets upon the region. No question about it, one of the most challenging and greatest hikes or more like a climb in this world. You might want to check out the view from Thyangboche that one of the world's greatest explorers W.H. Tillman calls the greatest view in the world. Here in the highest mountains in the world among the deep Buddhist culture of the Sherpa people , cultivate friendships with the personable locals, the term going to new heights is a Spiritual experience that climbs many levels. One thing for sure, this is a trek for the hardy and healthy, taking your time and not rushing is of vital importance. learn before you go so you are well prepared.
High in the Andes Mountains of South America, lying within Argentina is the Fitz Roy Trek in Patagonia. The trek from El Chaltén to Laguna Torre to Poincenot Camp to Laguna Eléctrico takes approximately 4-7 days and covers 36 miles. Go in February or March to avoid crowds of the midsummer months, and take part in the more stable weather of the Patagonian fall.. The 11,073-foot Fitz Roy is a staggering peak that literally rises out with an appearance that will have you gasping for more. The tour gives you three views of Fitz at sunrise, with Cerro Torre and Marconi Pass thrown in for good measure. The trek through the Delaware-size Los Glaciares National Park takes you from the crackled and snarled , spooky beech forests and open plains to glaciers, roaring waterfalls, and massive monoliths aglow with the shimmering light of the dawn of the day. Mesmerizing and thralling there are really no words to explain what you will feel.
The Next hike is to a place that many have yet to hear of. With a name Petra through the back door in Jordan. 7 days and 50 miles, the only time to go is October-April, when you can actually feel the temperatures plunge just a bit. This hike, one that travels through the desert, the mountains and onto the peaks. The Adventure Jordan company is the only company that will take you on this trek and discovered it. Here there is an ancient stairway that is carved through the red rocks and then you will soon find yourself standing before this amazing facade right before your eyes which is that of a Monastery or Al Deir. From the ancient city of Dana, the route leads down to the Feynan Eco-Lodge before you will cross a vast arid expanse of Wadi Araba.Then continue to climb into the Sharah Mountains past an oasis and Bedouin camps toward Petra itself. The trek l travel through the deserts and mountains can be grueling, exacerbated by the heat, but the hike sets you up to enter Petra into a state of mind that prepares you to absorb the mystical qualities of the Rose Red City.
There is probably no other place in the world that evokes passion of mountains than the Swiss Alps. One thing for sure, the Magical landscape of this tiny country, the chalets, the greenery, lakes of sapphire blue, castles about, Switzerland has a variety of hikes that appeal to all. From casual day hikes to hiking in the hut system, you can go for days on and steel feel the fairy tale of this land. Yet when it comes to the Best hikes, Grindelwald holds the record. The trek First to Lake Bachal to Faulhorn Hut. If you ride up then walk down it is 10 miles. Going up will take 2-3 days. The peak time to go is high summer, and then extends into September.The Faulhorn closes in October. this unbelievably beautiful walk takes in the scenic highlights of the Bernese Oberland which includes notorious Eiger and even more impressive sister peak, the fearsome Shreckhorn jetting out over Grindelwald’s fantasy landscape.
Taking in all of this and perhaps a night maybe two at the cozy Faulhorn hut or berghotel, perched at 8,800 feet on the peak of the same name , for just a day’s worth of hiking. You can cut off some time by taking the cable car up to First. Walk the whole way from Grindelwald and by then that beer that is awaiting you will have been worth all of it and more. Finding yourself on the terrace as the the sun is setting painting the walls of the Eiger that red the color of deep wine.
Some other amazing hikes are that of Yosemite's Grand Traverse, Chilkoot Trail, Alaska and Yukon Territory, U.S. and Canada, Bay of Fires, Tasmania, Australia. Long Range Traverse, Newfoundland, Canada, Mountains of the Moon in Uganda, and Croagh Patrick, Ireland just to name a few. Check out National Geographic websites for more info:
So this spring and summer pack those hiking poles, and plenty of water and get ready for and adventure that will take you to new heights, expansive views and new experiences like none that you have ever experienced.