Adventure tourism is becoming popular day by day. And of these the most common form is hiking. So there is always a lookout for the best hiking trails that one can go on.
Here is a list of the top ten popular trails.
But these are not all and everybody has their personal favorites.
1 – Inca Trail, Peru
Undoubtedly, the most talked after trail in the adventure tourism world is the Inca Trail of Peru. In fact there are many trails in the Andes which are called Inca Trails. But the most famous of all these is the trail that leads one to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca city. The trail, the ‘Classic’ version of the many, starts from Cuzco. The trail wanders through the ruins of Patallacta, Runkuraqay and gives a view of Sayaqmarka. The trail is lined with rivers, lakes and thick jungle at some places. It will lead one through an Inca tunnel and there are number of drop offs all along. The longest of the trails takes several days and there is also a single day trek.
2 – Monte Fitzroy, Argentina
Monte Fitzroy trail is a trail in Patagonia, the unique geographical region of South America where the flat plains rises in steps till the Andes rises abruptly. The trail is located in the Los Glaciares National Park of Argentina. The distance traveled in the trek may vary because one has the choice of various different trek routes. But on an average any of the trails is around 40 miles long and can take about a week to complete. Apart from having a look at the jagged ice-capped peaks of the Andes one may have glimpses of the condor, guanaco or the rhea.
3 – Torres del Paine, Chile
Torres Del Paine is the most popular and famous hiking trail in Chile and one of the best routes to trek along in the whole of South America. The most famous sight is the view of the iconic Torres Del Paine, the monumental granite spires rising dramatically like towers over the Patagonian steppe. All along the trail one will be served with beautiful panoramas of mountains, valleys and glaciers. There are also a number of lakes and reflection of the glowing ice capped mountains on the lakes at the sunset is a view to die for.
4 – John Muir Trail, USA
The John Muir Trail, named after John Muir, the naturalist and author who was instrumental in saving the Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Park, is one the most popular trails of USA. This 215 mile trail begins from the Yosemite National Park and ends at Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in continental United States. The trail takes one through the breathtaking landscapes of Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park and the King’s Canyon National Park. Covering the whole trail in one go will take about a week.
5 – The Appalachian Trail, USA
If anyone is interested in the longest trail, the Appalachian Trail can easily compete for the top spot. The trail is 3505 km long and covers 14 states of the United States. So if one has the time and energy to take over 5 million steps over a period of half a year then one should hike the Appalachian Trail. The trail covers 8 national forest and 8 national parks and covers one the most picturesque part of the United States. The southernmost part of the trail is in Georgia and climbs to an altitude of about 6,600 feet before going down near the Pennsylvania to New York region before ending at Maine in the north. The whole trail is full of wildlife from snakes to moose.
6 – West Coast Trail, Canada
Staying on in North America, one can travel further north to another of the top rated trails in the world, the West Cost trail in Vancouver, Canada. The trail is about 121 km long and is part of the Pacific Rim National Park. This hiking trail starts from Bamfield and ends at Port Renfrew. The trail will take one through different ecosystems ranging from bogs and beaches to waterfall and forests. Interestingly, one will have to cross various points of the trail on boats apart from regular or log bridges. The lucky ones may catch a glimpse of the sea lions or the orca along the route.
7 – Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy and Switzerland
Tour du Mont Blanc takes one around the Mont Blanc Massif and is about 170 km long. This tour is considered a classic long distance hiking trail and is covered in around 7 to 10 days. Normally the tour is made in an anti-clockwise direction and can be started from Les Houches or Les Contamines in France, Courmayeur in Italy or Cahampex in Switzerland. One will pass seven valleys around the massif. To get to the better viewpoints one may have to make some short diversions but that can take greater physical ability.
8 – Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest free standing mountain in the world and is an inactive volcano. This snow capped mountain can be accessed from Shira, Unbwe, Lemosho, Rongai, Marangu and Machame. Each of these routes varies in distance and level of difficulty. The most scenic of these 6 routes is the one from Machame but it is also a bit difficult than the others. But the most adventurous is the Lemosho route where one may encounter elephants and other big game animals.
9 – Mount Everest Base Camp, Nepal
One of the best ways to go nearest to the highest peak in the world is to visit the base camp. The trek to the Mount Everst base camp starts at Lukla and can take a couple of weeks to complete. The highest point of the hiking trail is around 18500 feet or 5640 meters at Lobuche. However one can go not further than the Everest base Camp at 17650 feet. The area offers some breathtaking views of the highest mountain in the world on a clear day.
10 – Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna is the 10th highest peak in the world and the trail takes one along four regions, Lamjung, Manag, Mustang and Myagdi. Of these the Manang and Mustang regions are high altitude, cold climate regions while the other two are subtropical valleys. The trail will also take one along the deepest gorge of the world and a number of Buddhist and Hindu villages and holy sites. The complete journey can take almost 3 weeks.