1. Perito Moreno Glacier Trail, El Calafate, Santa Cruz, Argentina
This 2.9 mile out-and-back trail in the famed Argentine Patagonia region is achievable in well under half a day. What makes it unforgettable enough to top our list is its spectacular views of the Perito Moreno glacier from multiple vantage points along the trek. The glacier is one of the few remaining in the world that has maintained a state of equilibrium, rather than losing mass. You’ll have the option to either trek on the ice, or get a closer look at the face of the glacier by boat or kayak. It’s best to go November through June. Be prepared for some frigid winds — and to be wowed by stunning arctic views.
Outdoor content creator Alex Schnee says this about the hike: “One of the best parts of the Perito Moreno hike is that this glacier is never too far from view. With three different trekking options, you have a chance to see all areas of the stunning blue ice that makes up this famous, natural wonder. These three paths also offer different skill levels, so everyone has the opportunity to grab a glimpse and a picture of Moreno.”
2. Hooker Valley Track, Canterbury, New Zealand
Outdoor-obsessed New Zealand features some of the most incredible hiking trails anywhere. This moderately challenging hike
in Mt. Cook National Park is just over 6 miles, with an elevation gain of around 400 ft. Along the way, you’ll see views of New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki Mt Cook, at roughly 12,200 feet. You’ll also admire the unique geology, native trees, plentiful wildflowers, and breathe in fresh alpine air.
While it’s a bit of a steep climb at points, you’ll be rewarded with some truly unforgettable views.
3. Scenic Drive, Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah, USA
This relatively easy 12.6 mile out-and-back day hike takes about 5 hours, and is a stand-out favorite of the National Parks in the western United States. A popular route for scenic drives as well as hikes, it topped our ranking in terms of Instagrammability — and the insane canyon views and unique red rock formations along the way make it easy to see why. Depending on the time of year, many hikers opt to rent or bring water shoes for the trek, as getting your feet wet might be unavoidable.
While Zion National Park
can certainly get crowded in busy season, it tends to be less well-trodden than other parks in the American southwest, such as the Grand Canyon.
4. Continental Divide Trail From NM 547, Grants, New Mexico, USA
Though it is short at 3.7 miles, this out-and-back hike has a moderately challenging ascent and takes about 2 hours to complete. You’ll be rewarded with spectacular views at the top of the mesa and plenty of solitude, with just a few other hikers and keen birders around. The best time of year to go is March through November (unless you want to trek through snow) and trail conditions can be rocky so proper supportive footwear is essential.
5. Lower Yosemite Falls Trail, Yosemite Valley, California, USA
If you’re passing through Yosemite National Park and only have time for a short day hike, then you can’t do better than number 5 on our list. In just 1.2 miles, you’ll get plenty of views, waterfalls, and a chance to get acquainted with one the nation’s most iconic pieces of protected land, dating back to 1864. It’s a popular route that takes roughly 30 minutes and is open year-round, so come prepared for the weather.
6. Carnarvon Gorge Nature Walk, Queensland, Australia
A relatively easy 2.6 mile loop, this family-friendly hiking trail with minimal elevation gain is set in the wet oasis of Carnarvon Gorge. With plenty of unique wildlife habitats in the park due to the creek running through the gorge, this walk even boasts a platypus viewing platform. It’s open year round, and the best time of day to go is at sunrise or sunset, when you might get lucky enough to spot some unusual critters.
7. Colca Canyon (Cabanaconde to Llahuar), Cabanaconde, Arequipa, Peru
This point-to-point hike — which takes roughly 5 hours — is the first segment of the full trekking route of Colca Canyon. It is known for being one of the world's deepest and most ancient canyons; in fact, it predates the Incas and the Inca Trail, and is twice the depth of the Grand Canyon. The trail boasts indigenous villages and vertiginous volcanic peaks which are cut through by the Rio Colca. There are stunning views and plenty of wildlife, but visitors should be prepared to trek without much shade cover.
If you've already done the Inca Trail, or are just looking for an alternative in Peru, the Colca Canyon can't be missed.
8. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania, Australia
This coastal out-and-back hiking trail in Tasmania takes about 3 hours to complete and offers the chance to see dolphins and whales during their migration season, which is June to September. Lookout spots along the walk boast unmissable views of the bay in Freycinet. With 1,000 steps up and down the mountain, it’s not the easiest of routes, but if you want a walk where you can stop on the beach and swim, you can’t miss this one in Tasmania.
9. B'nei Hamoshavim Ascent Loop, Ein Gedi, Israel
The Ein Gedi Nature Reserve is an easy day trip to make from Jerusalem, and you won’t regret visiting this oasis situated in the Judean Desert. Starting more than 1,300 feet below sea level, the B'nei Hamoshavim (known as Bene Hamoshavim) trail walk is a 4.6 mile trek that will take you roughly 2 hours. Along the way you’ll see waterfalls — including the impressive David’s Waterfall — and enjoy stunning views of Ein Gedi’s sheer rock face.
While the uphill climb of the loop can make for a challenging hike, you’ll have the satisfaction of finishing 650 feet above sea level. This hike is a great complement to our tour of this ancient holy land.
10. Jaffa Port – St Peter's Church Loop, Tel Aviv, Israel
This roughly 5.5 mile trek is only moderately difficult, and winds its way through the ancient port city of Jaffa, situated in south Tel Aviv. This coastal path will take you through the contrasts of the oldest part of the city to the hustle and bustle of modern Tel Aviv, giving you an ancient-meets-new experience you won’t forget.
11. World's End – Baker Falls Loop from Ohiya, Horton Plains National Park, Sri Lanka
This 5.4 mile hike through grassland and forest is located in Horton Plains National Park. This area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka is known for its rich biodiversity and unforgettable waterfalls. Along your roughly 2.5 hour hike you’ll take in the majesty of Baker Falls before making your way to World’s End, a vertical cliff drop of more than 3,000 feet. In terms of difficulty, it’s an intermediate trek — but one with a huge payoff in terms of views and vistas. If you’re touring around Sri Lanka
, take the time to explore this trail.
12. South Kaibab Trail to Ooh Aah Point, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA
This out-and-back trek is relatively short at just 1.8 miles, but it’s a moderately challenging walk if you’re looking for a quick adventure. You’ll turn around at the aptly-named “Ooh Aah Point,” which offers some jaw-dropping views of Grand Canyon National Park. Note that it can be icy depending on the time of year, so research conditions and bring appropriate footwear (such as crampons) if necessary.
13. Okatse Canyon Loop, Okatse Canyon National Park, Georgia
This deep and narrow walk through a ravine offers some serious adventure in just over 2 hours. The 4.1 mile loop includes a hanging trail that’s over half a mile long, and views of the historic Dadiani forest park. Along the way, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the canyon and gain an appreciation for the unique and rugged beauty of Georgia’s ancient paths and mountains. This is one highlight of Georgia
you won’t find in many guidebooks.
14. Jaffa Gate – Western Wall, Jerusalem Loop, Israel
This 1 hour walk will take you through some of Jerusalem’s most historic and religiously significant sights. Starting at Jaffa Gate, you’ll pass by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Near the end you’ll find yourself at the Western Wall, a site of pilgrimage for many Jews. More of a walk than a hike, this loop is easily accomplished as part of a larger tour of the ancient city.
15. Catbells Circular, Lake District National Park, Cumbria, UK
The United Kingdom’s famed Lake District is loved by walkers the world over for a reason. This 7.8 mile loop near the market town of Keswick is a great introduction to the beauty of the region. There is a relatively challenging climb to the top which can involve some scrambling and can be difficult in wet weather. However, once you reach Catbells, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the fells that the Lake District
is so famous for.