10 Incredible Hiking Trails

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    John Muir Trail, California

    Beginning in Yosemite National Park, the iconic John Muir Trail extends for 211 miles through the High Sierras to Mount Whitney. If you have the time to complete the entire trail in one go, you'll get to enjoy scenery in Yosemite, Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks.

    Photo courtesy of Peretz Partensky

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    Mount Everest Base Camp, Nepal

    One of the world's most spectacular hikes takes you past some of the world's highest peaks as you make the 70-mile journey from Lukla to the base camp of Mount Everest in Nepal. While the mileage itself isn't all that long for experienced hikers, the need to acclimatize to the altitude means a typical round-trip journey takes around two weeks: 10 days in and three days out.

    Photo courtesy of lampertron

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    Grand Canyon Rim to Rim

    While it may not sound like much, the 24 miles of hiking the Grand Canyon's Rim to Rim crossing are challenging, thanks to heat, dehydration risk and rattlesnakes. It's well worth the challenge when you consider how much of this magnificent national park you'll get to see and the historic camps you'll get to stay at along the way.

    Photo courtesy of Grand Canyon National Park

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    Trek to Mount Fitz Roy, Patagonia

    Patagonia is considered by many an outdoor enthusiast to be one of the most beautiful places on earth, and the 36-mile round-trip journey to Mount Fitz Roy takes you through the best of it. Watching the sunrise light up the iconic ridge is nothing short of magical.

    Photo courtesy of Liam Quinn

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    The Narrows in Zion National Park

    Hiking the 16 miles through the Narrows sandstone slot canyons is one of the best experiences you can have in Zion National Park, but expect to get more than a little wet. For several miles, you'll have to wade through the Virgin River, which can rise to waist-height, but the eerie experience of camping deep within a canyon makes it totally worth it.

    Photo courtesy of Ada Be

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    Sentiero Azzuro in Cinque Terre, Italy

    If you prefer a little civilization mixed in with your hiking, then take on the Sentiero Azzuro, or "Blue Trail," in Cinque Terre, Italy. With a distance of only 8 miles along an easy trail, the Sentiero Azzuro is a great option for families or less experienced hikers, and you can complete the route in a single day, with stops in all five villages along the way.

    Photo courtesy of kkmarais

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    Tour du Mont Blanc in Switzerland, Italy and France

    The Tour du Mont Blanc, one of the most popular long-distance hikes in Europe, passes through France, Italy and Switzerland with views of Western Europe's highest alpine peaks. The 105-mile loop takes approximately 10 days to complete, starting in Chamonix and going anticlockwise around the Mont Blanc Massif.

    Photo courtesy of akunamatata

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    Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru

    In South America, the 26-mile Inca Trail is arguably the most iconic. Centuries ago, Incan devotees make the trek in spiritual preparation for a visit to Machu Picchu, and while it's possible to catch a trail from Cusco straight to the ancient ruins, the hike passes by many less-visited archeological sites you wouldn't see otherwise.

    Photo courtesy of World-wide-gifts.com

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    Kalalau Trail in Kauai, Hawaii

    Hawaii's Kalalau Trail might just be the most beautiful coastal hike in the world, winding for 22 miles along the Na Pali coast of Kauai. Your reward for conquering the difficult, and at times hair-raising trail? A view of the lush Kalalau Valley and the option to camp on the pristine Kalalau Beach, accessible only by boat or by foot.

    Photo courtesy of Michael from Minnesota

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    Overland Track, Australia

    For 50 miles, the Overland Track takes you through the prehistoric-looking landscape of Tasmania between Australia's Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair. Some 8,000 hikers complete this famous bush walk each year, passing through mountains, rainforests and alpine plains over the course of six days.

    Photo courtesy of J Brew

About Lydia Schrandt

Lydia graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Philosophy and quickly bid farewell to the United States for good. She's traveled throughout Europe, Asia and South America, and has lived in Albuquerque, Galveston, Austin, Thailand, Korea, China, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil.

Lydia is currently "slow traveling" through South America in search of a place to call home. Florianopolis, Brazil currently serves as her base of operations. She speaks a little Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese, and loves cooking, photography, knitting and watching Spanish soccer. She hopes to get her first novel published in the next year.

Read more about Lydia Schrandt here.

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