When it comes to hiking, some trails are definitely more challenging than others. From steep ascents to treacherous terrain, these hikes require a high level of physical fitness, endurance, and mental fortitude. If you’re an experienced hiker looking for your next big challenge, here are some of the most challenging hikes in the world that you should consider.
Standing at 19,341 feet, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and a popular destination for experienced hikers. The climb takes between five and nine days depending on the route you choose and involves traversing through several climate zones, including rainforest, alpine desert, and arctic conditions. The hike is physically demanding and requires a good level of fitness and endurance.
Huayna Picchu, Peru
If you’ve ever visited Machu Picchu, you may have seen Huayna Picchu towering in the background. The hike to the summit is steep and challenging, with narrow pathways and sheer drops on either side. The climb takes around two hours, and the final ascent requires using your hands and feet to scramble up a nearly vertical rock face. The reward for reaching the top is a breathtaking view of the ancient ruins and the surrounding Andes mountains.
While only experienced mountaineers attempt to summit Mount Everest, hiking to the base camp is a popular challenge for many hikers. The trek takes around two weeks and involves navigating through difficult terrain and high altitude. Along the way, hikers pass through Sherpa villages and get a glimpse into the unique culture of the region.
The Inca Trail is a 26-mile trek that leads hikers through the stunning Andes mountains to the ancient city of Machu Picchu. The hike takes four days and involves steep ascents and descents, narrow pathways, and high altitude. Hikers also pass through several Incan ruins, including the impressive Wiñay Wayna.
The W Circuit, Chile
The W Circuit in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park is a 50-mile hike that takes hikers through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in South America. The trek takes around five days and involves challenging terrain, including steep ascents and descents and crossing rivers. The highlight of the hike is the stunning view of the park’s iconic granite towers.
Located on the remote Na Pali Coast of Kauai, the Kalalau Trail is a challenging 22-mile hike that offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and lush valleys. The trek takes around two days and involves navigating through steep cliffs, narrow pathways, and crossing several streams. Hikers also pass through several ancient Hawaiian settlements along the way.
In conclusion, these hikes are not for the faint-hearted and require a high level of physical fitness and mental fortitude. However, the stunning views and sense of accomplishment after completing one of these challenging hikes is well worth the effort. If you’re up for the challenge, start planning your next hiking adventure today!