Nat Geo Picks the World’s Best Hikes

With the weekend nearly upon us, I’m sure more than a few of you are thinking about hitting your favorite hiking trail over the next few days. While you’re out for a walk on that familiar path, let your mind wander to some of the fantastic trails from around the world that you would like to hike someday.

And if you need a few suggestions in that department, have a look at National Geographic’s new list of the 20 Best Hikes in the World. As you would expect, their list is made up of some of the truly greatest treks imaginable, taking backpackers on some amazing adventures through breathtaking landscapes along the way.

Some of the trails that made the list include a pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash in Tibet, hiking the North Drakensberg Trail in South Africa, and the Great Himalaya Trail in Nepal, just to name a few. Each of the trail descriptions provides information on the distance, and what hikers can expect along the route. There is also a short qualifier indicating who the trail is “Best for.” For example, the GHT is labeled as “Best For: Epic adventure seekers,” while Mt. Kailash is labeled as being for “Yogis and others seeking spiritual enlightenment.”

The Nat Geo piece doesn’t end with just their selection of the 20 great trails of the world however. They also asked 20 explorers and adventurers about their dream trails, getting responses from the likes of long distance hiker Andrew Skurka (Sierra High Route in California) and Jennifer Pharr Davis (Laugavegurinn/Fimmvörouháls Pass, Iceland), who holds the record for the fastest time on the Appalachian Trail. Our friend Julian Monroe Fisher also chimed in, unsurprisingly choosing the Sir Samuel and Lady Florence Baker Historical Trail in South Sudan and Uganda his choice. Julian has championed this trail, and has been instrumental in getting it established.

If that still isn’t enough hiking tips and suggestions for you, the Best Trails section of Nat Geo Adventure also offers the Best Day Hikes in National Parks, 15 Classic Trails from around the globe, the World’s Most Thrilling Hikes, and the Best U.S. Cities for Hiking as well. There is even a handy hiking and camping gear guide to provide some suggestions for new equipment to make you more comfortable on your hikes.

As usual with articles like these, I always come away with some great new suggestions for places I’d like to visit. For instance, I’d like to hike the Chadar Trek in India, and the Snowman Trek in Bhutan. I also discovered the Benton MacKaye Trail right in my own new backyard.

If you enjoy long walks in remote places, there is basically something you’ll like on these lists. Great work out of the team at Nat Geo as always, and of course the accompanying photos are stellar.

Kraig Becker