9 of the World’s Greatest Hikes

Hiking and camping often go hand in hand, especially when the trails are quite long. If you’d like to challenge some of the world’s best hiking trails and camp out while you’re at it, these are some of the best on the planet.

1. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Wales: The Pembrokeshire Coast Path

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path(photo by phillip)

This 186-mile hike features sandy beaches, limestone cliffs, and charming fishing villages. It’s not too strenuous as it’s made up of several trails between about nine and 16 miles in length. You’ll pass some exciting historical sites including ancient burial grounds and forts as well as a fantastic medieval castle.

You’ll also pass several bed-and-breakfasts as well as a few hotels and campsites. Hiking the path will also allow you to get a glimpse of some interesting wildlife such as puffins, grey seals, and foxes.

2. Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile: The Paine Circuit Trek

The Paine Circuit Trek(photo by rickmccharles)

Patagonia offers some challenging and dramatic terrain as well as spectacular views and plenty of wildlife. The circuit is 62 miles long and winds through the forests in Torres del Paine National Park. You’ll also see some beautiful ice fields, glacial lakes, and mountain peaks.

3. Tongariro National Park, New Zealand: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing(photo by docnz)

There is some amazing terrain in New Zealand, and you’ll witness this on the 11-mile long Tongariro Alpine Crossing. In fact, some people feel it looks like moon’s surface. The World Heritage Site features aquamarine lakes, a couple of active volcanoes, snow-capped peaks, alpine meadows, and mud pools. The Tongariro is also considered a spiritual site by the nation’s indigenous Maori population.

4. Yunnan, China: Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge(photo by hectorgarcia)

This hike takes place on the High Road beside the Yangtze River, which is China’s longest. You’ll get a great view of Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The trail is 15 miles long and takes about two days to finish it. You can take a break at the local Naxi tea houses and spend the night.

5. Tanzania: Mount Kilimanjaro

Worlds Greatest Hikes (photo by koenmuurling)

Mount Kilimanjaro Africa’s highest point at 19,336 feet and is a well-known hiking destination with travelers. You need to be prepared though as the trip takes about six to eight days to complete through five different climates. However, all hikers have to complete the trek with a guide. This makes it a safe journey and the guide can lead you through the volcanoes and ice fields.

6. Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine, USA: The Appalachian Trail

Worlds Greatest Hikes (photo by mikemcd)

This is recognized as the longest hiking trail there is at a length of more than 2,100 miles. It takes you through 14 different states. Because of its length, most hikers only complete a portion of the Appalachian Trail. It offers some amazing scenery and wildlife.

7. Pacific Rim National Park, British Columbia, Canada: The West Coast Trail

Worlds Greatest Hikes (photo by Paula Reedyk )

The 47-mile long West Coast Trail can be considered as one of North America’s best. The trail was originally used to help survivors of shipwrecks find their way to safety. You’ll see a variety of caves, waterfalls, sandy beaches, and remnants of the shipwrecks. You may also spot sea lions and whales on the waterfront and bears, cougars, and minks in the forests.

8. Peru: The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu(photo by mcgmatt)

Machu Picchu is well known as one of the greatest ancient sites in the world as it represents the ancient Incan way of life. The 50-mile hike takes about four days to complete and most of it takes place through surreal cloud forests and past ancient ruins.

9. Zion National Park, Utah, USA: The Zion Narrows

The Zion Narrows(photo by gregfoster)

This 16-mile hike follows a trail beside a slot canyon, meaning a good portion of it takes place in a river. You’ll come across red cliffs, waterfalls and interesting geological formations. You can tackle the trek in one day or decide to sleep under the stars and take two days to finish it and enjoy the wonderful desert scenery.