The Best Bucket List Hikes in the World!

Updated: May 6, 2019

Need some inspiration for your next backpacking adventure? From Torres Del Paine to Mount Kilimanjaro, we've got some unique hikes listed here to add to your next travel destination! Over the years we have been trying to conquer our goals of trekking through all these bucketlist hikes. We have made a small dent in this list, but as we do more research we keep adding more and more to it!


We've listed the difficulty rating and the length of time it takes to complete these epic treks.

Europe

Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy, Switzerland

Distance: 170km

Difficulty: Moderate

Time: 8-12 days

Best time to go: July to September


One of the best treks to tackle without a tour group, this well marked trek is easily conquered with little experience. This beauty is dubbed the Monarch of the Alps, and for good reason, the trek takes you along the slopes of the mountain itself rather than on the hills and valleys surrounding it. During your journey you will pass through three countries, and stumble upon many different accommodations. Be sure to spend some extra time acclimatizing to the higher altitude, and bring plenty of water.


Although this trek is considered more of a walk, you want to make sure that you are physically prepared, especially if you are going to be carrying all of your gear for the next 10 days. Grab a comfortable backpack and do some more research.

Laugavegur, Landmannalaugar, Iceland

Distance: 55-77 km

Difficulty: Moderate

Time: 5-6 days

Best time to go: June to September


One of Iceland's most popular hikes, and featured in National Geographic's "World's Best Hikes". Travellers from all over the globe venture here to tackle this challenge and experience this scenic beauty. From low geothermal hot springs and rhyolite mountains to fields of obsidian, black sands and glaciers. For Marvel fans, the story of Thor originated from Thorsmork, a valley you will pass through on this hike.


If you are travelling to Iceland to see the Northern Lights, make sure that you book this trek at the end of August to September, the best time to catch a glimpse of this natural phenomenon. Be sure to book this trek through a reliable tour company. A guide will help keep you safe on the rugged terrain, and will share folklore stories with you along the way. Save your dollars for this one, tour companies tend to charge quite a bit of money. For a detailed overview of what each day has in store, you can click here!

Coragh Patrick, County Mayo, Ireland

Distance: 13km

Difficulty: Beginner

Time: 1 day

Best time to go: March to October


One of the best day hikes in the world. Coragh Patrick is one of Ireland's most iconic mountains, and it's possible to reach the summit in a single day, and without a tour group! There is no need to pay for a guide or tour on this hike, it's well marked paths are easy for any tourist to follow, and the visitor centre at the beginning of the trail will provide you with all the necessary information and trail maps.


This mountain is known as an ancient pilgrimage site. Standing along the shoreline, Coragh Patrick is an astounding sight for tourists all over the world. At the top you’ll be rewarded with views of Clews Bay and the surrounding scenery near the town of Westport.

North America

La Cloche Silhouette Trail, Ontario, Canada

Distance: 78-100 km

Difficulty: Advanced

Time: 5-8days

Best time to go: May to October



Be sure to book a reservation in advanced for this trek. Only a limited amount of visitors are able to tackle this trail at a time. This trail is completely self-guided, but Killarney Outfitters can provide all the gear and tips needed to complete the hike without any issues.


During this trek you will see picturesque silver, peaks and crystal clear blue lakes. This trail gets its name from a popular Canadian painter, Franklin Carmichael, who created the famous La Cloche Silhouette painting. Be sure to pack a bathing suit and snorkelling mask with you if you are heading out in the summer months because Topaz Lake is an ultra clear lake with white quartzite diving cliffs and offers the ability to snorkel through the pristine waters.


Berg Lake Trail, British Columbia, Canada -

Distance: 23-42 km

Difficulty: Beginner and Advanced Routes

Time: 1-4 days

Best time to go: July to September


If you're feeling up to the challenge, you can traverse around the highest peak in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The trek begins with multiple cascading waterfalls, and lush forests. Soon, you'll be walking through ancient glaciers, and turquoise glacial lakes. Nothing is prettier than snowcapped mountains mixed with brightly coloured lakes. Berg Lake trail offers quite a few extended trail options that trekkers can choose to add on.


Prepare yourself physically months before this trek because you will need to be able to carry your own gear the entire time. This includes all food, tents, clothing, water, etc. This trek is completed without the luxury of guided group tours. Be sure to look out for changing trail conditions. Allow plenty of time to plan for this trek of a lifetime and book a permit well in advanced for this popular backcountry trek.

West Coast Trail, British Columbia, Canada

Distance: 75km

Difficulty:

Time: 3-5 days

Best time to go: May to September


The West Coast Trail is a rite of passage for any true hiker. This is truly the hike of a lifetime. With rich history, this trail takes you through ancient walkways and paddling routes which were once used for trade by the indigenous peoples. The trail includes bogs, forests, waterfalls, beaches and more. Lookout for the sturdy moss covered ladders and bridges that are frequent along the path.


Like most other trails in Canada, be sure that you book a permit for this amazing trek. Open availabilities fill very quickly, and you may need to commit to this a full year in advance. Sample itineraries have been made available to those of us brave enough for this adventure.

Long Range Traverse, Newfoundland, Canada

Distance: 37km

Difficulty: Difficult

Time: 2-4 days

Best time to go: June to September


Bring a map and compass with you on this rugged, unmarked beauty. See the raw, untouched landscapes of the Canadian East coast, and venture through one of Canada's most prized National Parks. Gros Morne National Park is known for mountain ranges and fjords. Steep cliffs and dramatic drop-offs into pristine waterways are just a few of the sights you will encounter along this world class journey. Bring a camera with you and extra batteries because the photo ops are endless.


I wasn't joking when I told you to bring a map and compass with you, before you embark on this trek, the Visitor Centre will need to test you on your navigation skills to ensure that you don't get lost in the never-ending forest of Newfoundland.

Angels Landing, Utah, USA

Distance: 8km

Difficulty: Moderate

Time: 1 day

Best time to go: April to October


Welcome to Zion National Park, home to enchanting deep red canyon cliffs and emerald rivers. Take a risk trekking Angels Landing and experience the best view that you will ever experience. This is one of the worlds most renowned hikes, and for good reason too! Imagine standing on the edge of a cliff, holding on to only a chain bolted to some rocks. Once you climb up these steep pathways, you'll be happily rewarded with stunning views of the famous red rock canyons.


Trekkers of all experience levels will love this hike. Though it can be mentally challenging at points, with dramatic switchbacks and very steep climbs. The best part about this hike is that it can easily be accomplished in a single day.

Yosemite Grand Traverse, California, USA

Distance: 96km

Difficulty: Difficult

Time: 6-7 days

Best time to go: July to September


One of the most majestic hikes in all of North America, this hike has been famed by many avid hikers as a must see! National Geographic has this trail listed as one of the world's best hikes, so you know that with a title like that, this trail is a crowd pleaser. With massive waterfalls and gorgeous mountains like no other this trek will take you as high as 11,000ft, so be sure to take your time in order to avoid altitude sickness. If your dream is to conquer the all famous Half Dome, then this trek is for you, Half Dome is just one of the many challenges you will face while on this journey.


Book a tour and learn about the natural geography and significance of Yosemite.

The Narrows, Utah, USA

Distance: 26km

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 1-3 days

Best time to go: June to October


Zion National Park keeps popping up on this list! You might as well book your next summer vacation in this park because it is home to some pretty incredible hikes.The Narrows is a nice hike for any skill level, just make sure you’re prepared to get wet, you will be sloshing through rivers and canals that can be waist deep, so make sure that you know how to swim! This is a slot canyon hike, so if you don't know, you'll be meandering through tall, red walls of canyons. Be prepared to find a crowd of people around every corner, this is one of the most popular hikes in the park. The farther along you go, the less people you will encounter.


Plan your stay accordingly because this trek is off-limits during periods of flooding, and when the river is too deep.

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim, Arizona, USA -

Distance: 77km

Difficulty: Advanced

Time: 2-4 days

Best time to go: May to October


Very few Grand Canyon visitors ever venture into the canyon itself. The views from the top are absolutely stunning, but what they don't realize is the the views from the bottom are even better. On this epic hike you will descend for the first 22 km before enduring a brutal 14 km up-hill trek back to the rim. Along your journey, you will make it to the beautiful sandy banks of the Colorado River, a sight that most people have only experienced from above.


After each day tough of hiking, you don't have fret about sleeping on the cold, hard ground, make your way to the most exclusive lodge in America, the Phantom Ranch. Gorge in freshly cooked hot meals, and sleep in plush beds nestled in cabins at the bottom of the canyon. Book your stay as early as you can because this ranch fills up quickly!

Half Dome, California, USA

Distance: 23km

Difficulty: Advanced

Time: 1 day

Best time to go: May to October


Over 2,500m above sea level, this trek will make you feel weak in the knees. Throughout your ascend, you'll see panoramic views of High Sierra and Yosemite Valley. Most hikers will need to spend an entire day completing the full hike. It's best to start as early as possible in order to make sure you don't get stuck climbing down in the dark. In earlier years, the summit of Half Dome was only accessible to climbers with proper equipment, with the modern addition of cables and bridge-like steps, hikers can make it to the top without any equipment at all!


Plan your trip wisely or you won't make it to the top. The park service takes down the cables during the winter and spring months in order to keep trekkers safe. Plan your trip during the summer and fall months if you want to tackle this giant!


Kalalau, Kauai, Hawaii, USA

Distance: 35 km

Difficulty: Advanced

Time: 2-4 days

Best time to go: April to October


The beautiful Kalalau trail, the views keep getting better and better.

Immerse yourself in the magical beauty of the Na'pali coast. This trek has been dubbed one of the most dangerous in the world due to flash floods on river crossings, and steep, rocky drop-offs. Don't let that scare you off just yet, this coast line hike is also one of the world's prettiest! Walk through lush jungles, sleep on untouched beaches and gorge on fresh fruit along the way. Did I mention that you'll be walking through waterfalls too? This hike cannot get any better.


Unfortunately, due to a massive flood in 2018, the hike and road to access the hike have both been closed for the past few months. There are hopes that this hike will reopen in early 2019, but no clear answer has been settled upon. Check out this website for updates on trail closures and to book a permit.


Muliwai Trail, Hawaii, USA

Distance: 29 km

Difficulty: Strenuous

Time: 1-2 days

Best time to go: April to October

Located on the popular Big Island, this hike is a real bucket list item for any adrenaline junkie. Enjoy the history of the Hawaiian culture as you meander through the twists and turns of this trail, once used by ancient citizens to cultivate taro. Walk along the gorgeous trail and take in the views of green mountain walls and white waterfalls. Make sure to stop along the way to cool off in icy pools that can be found along the way.


Make sure that you prepare well for this hike, you will need to carry all of your gear, and ensure that all the water you drink is properly treated. It is advised to only attempt this hike if you are an experienced hiker. The switchbacks and gulch crossings can be detrimental to the novice hiker, and helipads are used often along the way to rescue those who are ill prepared.


For more information and for permits check out this website!

South America

Salkantay Trek, Peru

Distance: 70 - 80km

Difficulty: Moderate

Time: 5 days

Best time to go:


This arduous hike is one of the best ways to get to Machu Picchu. Walk along ancient Inca paths, and cross through the Salkantay Pass at a staggering 4,650m above sea level. Enjoy the cool crisp air as you reach the highest point of the trek, and start shedding all those layers of clothes as you climb back down through hot, humid jungles, and misty cloud forests.


You will want to book a tour for this trek. We booked our trek through Salkantay Trekking, they offer vegan meal options at no additional cost, all food is included, and you don't have to sleep in tents for the entire journey.




Torres Del Paine W Circuit, Patagonia, Chile

Distance: 60km

Difficulty: Easy- Moderate

Time: 5-7 days

Best time to go: October to March


One of the most spectacular treks in the entire world, Torres Del Paine will take you through all of the top spots around Patagonia, and leave you awestruck. Wander along immense towers of rocks, waterfalls, glaciers and azure lakes. The W and Circuit Trek are very accessible and manageable for most hikers. The trail is mainly at sea level, with no extreme elevation gains. Campsites are equipped with drinkable water, and the entire trail is well-marked so you don't need to worry about booking with a tour group.


Like most hikes on this list, you will need to book early, only 80 people are allowed to leave per day, and campsite permits are strictly enforced.

Fitz Roy Trek, Patagonia, Argentina

Distance: 26 km

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 1-2 day

Best time to go: November to April


There's a reason why you're noticing a trend with hiking through Patagonia. It's one of the world's absolute best places for trekking. You'll find so much untouched landscape that you'll never want to stop exploring. Incredible peaks and scenery by day, and the darkest skies for star-gazing by night.


Mount Fitz-Roy is a World Heritage site, watch out for strong, frigid winds if you plan on camping overnight. The views of these jagged mountains, and massive glaciers make this chilli hike well worth it. You'll never get tired of stopping to take in the unique landscape. Booking a tour is not necessary but will be a nice option if you have some spare cash, or if you are looking to learn more about the area.


Fitz Roy is arguably one of the best hikes to explore in all of Patagonia. Being part of Hielo Sur - the second largest ice cap not in a polar region - this trek is close to it's sister Torres Del Paine. If you plan on doing this trek, it may be best to spend a few extra days and conquer both of them.

Middle East

Trek to Petra, Jordan

Distance: 64 - 76km

Difficulty: Easy - Moderate

Time: 5-7days

Best time to go: March - May, October - November


Experience one of the 7 wonders of the world with this incredible trek to Petra. The journey into the ancient Nabataean city is any travellers dream, go off the beaten path and hike to this hidden gem, you won't be disappointed. Hike through canyons, gorges, and ridges, and see tombs and temples along the way all while avoiding crowds of tourists.


Truth be told, there are a few different routes that you can take to get to Petra, but you will be more than pleased with whichever trail you choose. Pass through forests made of rocks, and deep red sand, with a never-ending blue sky as far as the eye can see. Bring a guide along with you for this trek because most routes are unmarked, and you don't want to get lost without water in this vast desert.

Africa

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Distance: Route Depending

Difficulty: Advanced

Time: 8-11 days

Best time to go: June to October


This dormant volcano doubles as Africa's highest peak, attempting to climb this giant is a privilege for any hardcore trekker. Kilimanjaro is one of the Seven Summits, and is one of the most achievable climbs. Don't go thinking that this trek will be all sunshine and rainbows though, the altitude alone is enough to turn many novice and experienced hiker around, add in some freezing temperatures and a couple sore legs, and you've got yourself a real challenge.


When you book your trek, be sure to pick a company that has flexible routes. For anyone who is taking on this challenge, look for tours that last from 9-11 days in order to achieve better acclimatization. The more acclimatized you are, the higher chance you have at reaching the summit.

Pays Dogon, Mali

Distance:Route Dependant

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 1-7 days

Best time to go: October to February


The treasures of West Africa are not known well by travellers, but this area is one that should not be so easily over-looked. Africa has a very fast growing economy, and is home to some of the most diverse wildlife on the planet. This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to isolated villages clinging on to the edge of cliffs. Immerse yourself in the unique and friendly cultures you will discover along the route, and pay special attention to the cascading views of cave-like homes. This trek can be easily completed by hikers of all experience levels, but is best completed with a guide who can tell you about the lives of the locals in these remote villages.


Otter Trail, South Africa

Distance: 44 km

Difficulty: Easy - Moderate

Time: 2-3 days

Best time to go: October to April


South Africa's most popular hike, and a dream hike for travellers across the globe. From cliffs, and ocean views lush forests and tropical waterfalls, this hike seriously has it all. Meander through forests, river crossings, caves and beaches, take your time and stop to enjoy all the wildlife you can imagine.

This trail is so popular that you need to book your permit well in advance. Before you embark on your journey you will receive more information about the trail such as; conditions, accommodations, potable water, and special cautions. Monkeys, baboons and genets seem to be the biggest problems while on the hike, so make sure you keep a close eye on all of your food items.

Asia

Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal

Distance: 130km

Difficulty: Moderate

Time: 10-18 days

Best time to go: March to May, September to December


Dreaming of catching a glimpse of the tallest peak in the world? This is your chance to get up close and personal with the glorious giant, without having to pass through endlessly deep crevasses and climbing miles high to it's peak. Sure, climbing Everest is an amazing feat, and might make this trek seem a little less difficult in comparison, but don't be fooled, Everest Base Camp Trek will give you a run for your money.

This trek takes so long compared to others because it's at high altitude. Depending on the tour company you go with, and how well you do at high altitudes, this trek can take from 10 days, to almost 20. Make sure that you book a few extra days before and after the hike because getting to the dangerous airport in Lukla from Kathmandu can sometimes be difficult. Unpredictable weather patterns can cause delays, so plan accordingly.


This trek appears in National Geographic's top 15 classic hikes.

Mount Kailash Trek, Tibet

Distance: 52 km

Difficulty: Advanced

Time: 14 days for a Tour, 2-3 Days to trek

Best time to go: April to September

This might be one of Tibet's best kept secrets, its a hike known only to those who are avidly scouring the web for the world's most epic treks. The highlights of Kailash tours are the sacred Mt.Kailash and mystical Lake Manasarovar, two of the most remote and legendary travel destinations in the world. Pass through the otherworldly ruins of the ancient Guge Kingdom at Tsaparang, and be awe-inspired by it's simple beauty. With a rough, technical road, a long journey, and simple accommodations Kailash tours have a taste for adventurers, and pose a real challenge!


Australia & New Zealand

Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand

Distance: 19km

Difficulty: Moderate

Time: 1 day

Best time to go: April to November


This alpine crossing is situated in New Zealand's oldest national park, which doubles as a World Heritage site. Stumble through ancient volcanoes, and high, sharp peaks. Walk beside sky-blue glacial lakes, and gorgeous blooming alpine flora. You will walk through a rainbow of colours during this trek, and be completely mesmerized by the time it ends. The climbs are steep and unpredictable but can be accomplished by hikers at any skill level.


Check out this website which is updated with current trail information.


Did we miss a hike? Have you heard about, or been on an epic hike that we absolutely need to trek? Please let us know so that we can add it!

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