It’s time to update your bucket list of trails to explore this 2020!
New trails to discover doesn’t mean you have to forget old ways. Remember to always keep your safety a top priority. So, even though we’ve reached the start of a new decade, we still need old-time favorite hiking aids like boots and hiking poles!
We’ve rounded up a couple of hiking trails that you might want to put on your list, including some old favorites and new ones.
1. Inca Trail, Peru
History buffs would definitely love this trail as it lets you go back in time and walk the path of the ancient Sacred Valley of Machu Picchu in Peru.
This part of the world was made by the Incan Empire as the center for their civilization and important settlements back in the day. No wonder, it’s one of the most popular tours in South America.
The hike is composed of three trails, with varying lengths and difficulty. It usually takes 4 days to complete the 25-mile hike with a handful of steep climbs and narrow paths along the Andean mountain. The altitude may also be an issue for you, so you better make sure that you are fit to do this adventure.
But above all, the best part of this hike comes at the end, where you can finally pass the Sun Gate towards the iconic Machu Picchu.
The best time to visit this trail is of course during the dry season which runs from May to October. The only problem you might encounter is the volume of tourists that also want to explore the Inca Trail.
2. Everest Base Camp, Nepal
Since we’ve welcomed another year, I think we’re all ready to take it up a notch when it comes to adventures!
The Everest Base Camp in Nepal is the closest we can get to the actual peak of the highest mountain on Earth. It may not be the actual mountain, but it is still challenging enough to give you the amount of thrill you are looking for.
The Everest Base Camp has a height of 18,193 feet and would need you to take a leave from work a month. The hike itself takes three weeks to complete, and the remaining week is for recuperation as the challenge is not an easy one.
It’s an intense hike, but you will be rewarded with the beautiful sceneries across valleys and mountains.
Take note that it’s best to have a guide all throughout the hike, especially because you need to plan the trail that you will take for the day. There are also acclimation days that you need to consider in order for your body to adjust according to the changing altitude.
The best time to visit is during the fall season between October and November.
3. Indian Himalayas, India
If you want another challenging adventure but a less popular one for the lesser crowd, the Indian Himalayas is a perfect trail for you.
It may be less known compared to the Alps and the Everest, but it is definitely one of the most daring hikes in the world. This trek is notorious for its cliff edges and dizzying heights.
You have to survive the 24-day hike from Spiti to Ladakh for you to be able to truly say that you’ve accomplished hiking the Indian Himalayas.
If this is your first time hiking this mountain, don’t be too ambitious with your itinerary. You need to make sure that you acclimate well and that you have to adapt to the local festivities around the area.
If you happen to encounter some locals, be gracious enough to greet them. They may even have some helpful tips for you.
The best time to take this trail is from late October until May.
4. Snowman Trek, Bhutan
The Snowman Trek in Bhutan has one of the most beautiful treks in the world, but also one of the hardest! Some people even admitted defeat as they were not able to finish the trek because of the crazy unpredictable weather in the higher part of the Himalaya.
Its altitude is the main reason it is considered to be one of the most difficult treks. In fact, there are some that say the Everest was climbed by more people than this one.
Given the challenging altitude, the distance is also one thing to consider. It takes a full month to complete the trail!
Altitude sickness is common among hikers of this trail, so if you feel like giving up because your body can’t take it any longer, it’s fine. Make your health and safety your topmost priority.
You can always come back and complete the trail once you are in a better physical condition.
5. Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Hike, USA
You may have gone hiking in one of the smaller trails of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, but since the new year means new challenges, it’s high time to take a more daredevil-ish hike.
The Rim to Rim hike in Grand Canyon is typically considered to be a strenuous backpacking trip that will take around 2 to 3 days of descent and ascent. It’s a 23.5-mile hike, which is not really suitable for a day hike.
You can start from the South Rim going to Bright Angel Campground on Day 1 and then head towards the North Rim on Day 2.
The best months to do the Rim to Rim hike is in May, the end of September, and October.
6. Pacific Crest Trail, USA
The Pacific Crest Trail or PCT is the second longest trail in America since it stretches from Mexico to Canada. The trail goes through California, Oregon, and Washington.
Now, have you seen the movie Wild? Reese Witherspoon played the role of Cheryl Strayed who hiked 1,100 miles of the PCT out of sheer desperation for self-redemption. She completed the hike after 94 days.
Obviously, the PCT is a long commitment hike that will really take you around 4 to 6 months to complete. You may need to pitch a tent in the middle of the wilderness, manage to get your own food if you run out of supplies, and to learn how to be ready for the unpredictable weather.
You may start walking on a hot temperature and then find yourself freezing after a couple of weeks. This hike really needs thorough planning including the permits you have to secure.
7. The Long Range Traverse, Canada
The Long Range Traverse in Canada is one of the most enjoyable trails on the planet, although to be honest, there really is no official trail in this area. It’s more of going around the Gros Morne National Park with a map and compass at hand.
You may bring a GPS if you want but the signal may be tough, so a traditional map fair better in this hike.
The fun part of the Long Range Traverse is your chance to encounter moose, caribou, and black bears. They may look intimidating, but it is really part of the adventure you signed up for. They won’t hurt you as long as you don’t get too close.
Remember, these are still wild animals so anything that triggers them is all your doing.
Before you start the hike, a special location device will be handed to you which you may use in case of emergency. Once you press the button, a helicopter will come to pick you up right away.
8. Overland Track, Australia
The Overland Track in Tasmania is a 50-mile long hike that usually takes 6 days to complete. It is a well-maintained trail from Cradle Mountain to Lake St. Clair.
It’s an easy to moderate hike with the best view of Lake St. Clair, Australia’s deepest natural freshwater lake, and a number of vast forests and mesmerizing waterfalls.
Given the situation in Australia right now where part of Tasmania is also affected by the bushfire, it’s best that you put this on the bottom of your list but keeping it still while we pray for their recovery.