An amazing hiking destination can lead to one of the most memorable experiences you can have in your life, but there are a few things needed for a trail to be listed as an amazing hiking spot. Here are some trails that make the cut, as referenced in an article on Outside Online.
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Length: 93-mile loop
If you’re interested in viewing Mount Rainier but don’t want to summit the volcano, this trail may be the one for you. It’s not easy, however; an elevation gain of 22,000 feet, it can feel like you’ve completed the summit twice, as the trail circumnavigates the mountain. Over a hike of about 10-14 days, you can fully see this terrain of the Pacific Northwest, from beautiful lowland forests and meadows to wander through, with the ability to see Rainier’s glaciers. There are even four resupply mailboxes and 18 designated wilderness camps, the trail was designed with hikers in mind.
South Maroon Peak
Maroon Bells, Colorado
Length: 12 miles round-trip
Being asked to pick the best of Colorado’s 59 fourteeners is a difficult task, for sure, but few peaks top the 14,153-foot South Maroon (as well as its 14k-foot twin, North Maroon, which is about a third of a mile away). There are incredible alpine views of Maroon Creek Valley and the Elk Range from the summit of the South, though you have to earn those views. These sedimentary mudstone peaks are well known for the loose, rotten rock up high– I would pack a helmet. Even the Class III South Ridge Route to the summit requires time above tree line, scrambling up, more often than not, vertical rock. For those who want a more relaxing trail, there’s a 1.5-mile-long Maroon Lake Scenic Trail available to trek.
Tour du Mont Blanc
Switzerland, Italy, France
Length: 112-mile loop
Itching to try Swiss, Italian, and French cuisine on your hike? Why not trek through three countries on a trail that goes around 15,781-foot Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe. On this trek, you’ll get immersed in real mountain living: see the best peaks in the Alps, gain 32,000 feet, and stop in the serious mountain towns like Chamonix and Courmayeur. Unlike regular circuit trails, there are different starting points, different route options, even public transportation if something goes wrong on your trip, and accommodations from mountain huts to five-star hotels. If you just want a true vacation, let a service handle all its logistics, like Ryder-Walker Alpine Adventures or MT Sobek.