If you have around 230 days and lots of stamina, how about hitting Hokkaido Nature Trail, the longest of Japan’s nature trails? You’d be the first person ever to complete it.
Well, it’s probably better to take it down a notch and explore more manageable but still challenging trails. While everyone has their own list of the best day hikes in the world, these seven come up the most open.
Inca Trail, Machu Picchu
The Inca Trail is a hiking trail in Peru that leads to Machu Picchu, the famous 15th-century Incan citadel. The trail is approximately 43 km (26 miles) long and takes four days to complete. It starts at the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and along the way, hikers will pass through lush cloud forest, alpine tundra, and ancient Incan ruins, including several Inca-built stone steps, tunnels, and ruins. The trail ends at the Sun Gate, which offers a dramatic and unforgettable view of Machu Picchu.
Trolltunga is a popular hiking trail located in the region of Hordaland, approximately 27 km (17 mi) round trip and it takes on average 10-12 hours to complete. The trail starts in the small village of Skjeggedal and it goes through beautiful landscapes, including forests, lakes and mountains, before reaching the highlight of the trail: Trolltunga, a rock formation that extends horizontally out of a mountain, offering a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding area.
Puez-Odle Altopiano, Italy
The Puez-Odle Altopiano trail is a hiking trail located in the Dolomites region of Italy. The trail is approximately 25 km (15.5 miles) long and it takes on average 8-10 hours to complete. The trail starts from the village of Pedraces and it goes through a beautiful alpine landscape, passing by the Puez and Odle mountain ranges and offering breathtaking views of the unique landscape characterized by the typical peaks called “Dolomiti”.
Half Dome Trail, United States
Half Dome Trail is a popular hiking trail located in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. The trail is approximately 22-26 km (14-16 miles) round trip and it takes on average 12-14 hours to complete. The trail starts at the Happy Isles trailhead in Yosemite Valley, and it goes through beautiful landscapes, including forests, waterfalls, and granite cliffs, before reaching the highlight of the trail: Half Dome, a granite dome that rises over the valley floor.
Rupin Pass Trek, India
The Rupin Pass Trek is a popular hiking trail located in the Indian Himalayas, in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The trail is approximately 70-75 km (43-47 miles) long and it takes on average 7-8 days to complete. The trail starts from the village of Dhaula in Uttarakhand and goes through beautiful landscapes, including lush forests, waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks, before reaching the highlight of the trail: Rupin Pass. Along the trail, hikers will cross several rivers, climb steep inclines and pass through remote villages, offering an opportunity to experience the local culture and customs.
Gunung Rinjani, Indonesia
Gunung Rinjani is a volcano located on the island of Lombok in Indonesia. It is the second highest volcano in Indonesia and is considered one of the most popular trekking destinations in the country. The trek to the summit of the volcano typically takes 2-3 days and passes through dense jungle, savannah, and volcanic landscapes. The summit offers stunning views of the surrounding islands and the crater lake, Segara Anak.
Dragon’s Back, Hong Kong
The Dragon’s Back Trek is a popular hiking trail located in Hong Kong, known for its scenic views and challenging terrain. The trail is located in the Shek O Country Park and runs along the spine of a ridge, giving it the name “Dragon’s Back.” The trek is considered to be moderate in difficulty and can take anywhere from 2-3 hours to complete, depending on the trailhead you start from.
20 best day hikes in the world, Earth Trekkers
How to prepare for your trekking adventure: our 10-step training guide, Intrepid Travel