Top 10 Destinations for Hiking and Trekking in 2024

Global Hiking Hotspots

From the towering peaks of the Alps to the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, Europe’s hiking trails offer a diverse range of terrain and scenery.​ You’ll traverse breathtaking landscapes, encounter diverse wildlife, and create unforgettable memories on these remarkable trails.​ Discover the best hiking destinations for 2024!​ From Patagonia in Argentina to the Dolomites in Italy and Zion National Park in the USA, these breathtaking trails offer a variety of landscapes and challenges for hikers of all levels.​

North American Trails

North America, a land of vast wilderness and dramatic landscapes, offers some of the world’s most spectacular hiking experiences.​ From the iconic Appalachian Trail to the rugged Pacific Crest Trail, hikers can immerse themselves in diverse ecosystems, encounter fascinating wildlife, and challenge themselves physically and mentally.​ Here are some of the most captivating North American trails to explore in 2024:

The Appalachian Trail, Eastern United States

Spanning over 2٫190 miles from Georgia to Maine٫ the Appalachian Trail is a legendary thru-hiking destination.​ Traversing fourteen states٫ this iconic trail offers hikers a chance to experience the diverse beauty of the eastern United States٫ from the lush forests of the south to the rugged peaks of New England.​

The Pacific Crest Trail, Western United States

Stretching 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada, the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) winds its way through California, Oregon, and Washington, showcasing the awe-inspiring beauty of the American West.​ Hikers on the PCT encounter towering mountains, lush forests, arid deserts, and pristine alpine meadows, making it a truly unforgettable adventure.​

The John Muir Trail, California

Named after the renowned naturalist John Muir, this 211-mile trail in California’s Sierra Nevada is a bucket-list destination for experienced hikers.​ The John Muir Trail (JMT) offers breathtaking views of granite peaks, alpine lakes, and deep valleys, including Yosemite National Park, making it a challenging yet rewarding adventure.​

The Continental Divide Trail, United States

As the name suggests, the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) follows the Continental Divide for approximately 3,100 miles, traversing New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.​ This challenging trail offers hikers a chance to experience the remote wilderness of the Rocky Mountains and the High Plains, with stunning views and diverse ecosystems along the way.​

The Trans-Canada Trail, Canada

As the world’s longest recreational trail network, the Trans-Canada Trail spans over 18,000 miles across Canada, connecting all provinces and territories.​ From coastal paths to mountain trails, the Trans-Canada Trail offers a diverse range of hiking experiences for all skill levels, allowing hikers to explore the vast and varied landscapes of Canada.​

These trails represent just a glimpse of the incredible hiking opportunities available in North America.​ Whether you seek a multi-month thru-hiking adventure or a weekend getaway, North America’s trails offer something for everyone, from casual walkers to seasoned adventurers.​

European Adventures

Europe, with its rich history, diverse cultures, and breathtaking landscapes, offers a plethora of hiking and trekking opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. From the rugged peaks of the Alps to the picturesque coastlines of the Mediterranean, Europe’s trails cater to every level of adventurer.​ Here are some of the most alluring European destinations for hiking and trekking in 2024:

Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy, Switzerland

Circling the iconic Mont Blanc massif, the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is a classic multi-day trek that traverses France, Italy, and Switzerland. Covering approximately 170 kilometers (110 miles)٫ the TMB offers stunning views of glaciers٫ alpine meadows٫ and charming villages٫ making it an unforgettable experience for hikers.

West Highland Way, Scotland

Stretching 154 kilometers (96 miles) from Milngavie to Fort William in Scotland, the West Highland Way is a renowned long-distance trail that showcases the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands.​ Hikers on the WHW encounter lochs, glens, and mountains, including the iconic Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the British Isles.

Camino de Santiago, Spain

A network of pilgrimage routes leading to the shrine of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, the Camino de Santiago offers a unique blend of spiritual journey and physical challenge.​ With various routes to choose from, hikers can tailor their experience to their preferences and abilities, immersing themselves in the rich culture and history of Spain along the way.​

Alta Via 1٫ Dolomites٫ Italy

Known as the “High Route 1,” the Alta Via 1 is a challenging yet rewarding multi-day trek through the Italian Dolomites. Spanning over 150 kilometers (93 miles), the trail offers breathtaking views of jagged peaks, verdant valleys, and picturesque rifugios (mountain huts), providing a true taste of alpine adventure.​

Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail is a 55-kilometer (34-mile) trek that showcases the country’s otherworldly landscapes.​ Traversing a geothermal wonderland, hikers encounter hot springs, glaciers, volcanoes, and colorful rhyolite mountains, making it a truly unique and unforgettable hiking experience.​

These European destinations represent just a fraction of the continent’s hiking and trekking opportunities; Whether you seek a challenging multi-day trek or a leisurely day hike, Europe’s trails offer something for everyone, from seasoned adventurers to casual walkers eager to explore the continent’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.​

Unique Hikes and Treks

For those seeking hiking adventures that go beyond the beaten path, the world offers a plethora of unique and extraordinary treks.​ From ancient pilgrimage routes to trails traversing surreal landscapes, these hikes promise unforgettable experiences and a chance to connect with nature in its most awe-inspiring forms. Here are some of the most exceptional and unique hikes and treks to consider for 2024:

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru

This iconic trek follows the ancient Inca Trail through the Peruvian Andes, culminating in a breathtaking arrival at the lost city of Machu Picchu.​ The Inca Trail offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, with stunning views of mountains, cloud forests, and Inca ruins along the way.​

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Ascending to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, is a bucket-list achievement for many hikers.​ Various routes cater to different experience levels, each offering unique challenges and rewards. The trek showcases diverse ecosystems, from lush rainforests to alpine deserts, and culminates in breathtaking views from the “Roof of Africa.​”

Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal

Trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal is an unparalleled adventure that takes hikers to the foot of the world’s highest mountain.​ The trail winds through the heart of the Himalayas, offering stunning views of Everest and other towering peaks. Hikers experience Sherpa culture, traverse suspension bridges over raging rivers, and acclimatize to the high altitude, making it a physically and mentally challenging yet deeply rewarding journey.

Overland Track, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania’s Overland Track is a renowned multi-day trek through Cradle Mountain-Lake St.​ Clair National Park.​ The trail traverses diverse landscapes, from alpine meadows and glacial valleys to ancient rainforests, showcasing the island’s unique flora and fauna.​ Hikers can expect challenging terrain, breathtaking views, and a true sense of wilderness isolation.

Laugavegur Trail, Iceland

This otherworldly trek through Iceland’s southern highlands showcases the country’s geothermal wonders.​ Hikers encounter colorful rhyolite mountains, glaciers, hot springs, and black sand deserts, creating a surreal and unforgettable experience.​ The Laugavegur Trail is a testament to Iceland’s raw and untamed beauty.​

These unique hikes and treks offer a chance to step outside of your comfort zone, challenge your limits, and experience the world’s most extraordinary landscapes.​ They are journeys of a lifetime that will leave you with lasting memories and a profound appreciation for the power and beauty of nature.

Planning Your Hiking Trip

Embarking on a hiking or trekking adventure requires careful planning to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.​ From choosing the right trail to packing essential gear, thoughtful preparation is crucial.​ Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you plan your next hiking trip:

Research and Choose Your Trail:

Begin by researching potential hiking destinations and trails that align with your fitness level, experience, and interests.​ Consider factors such as trail distance, elevation gain, difficulty level, permit requirements, and time of year.​ Online resources, guidebooks, and hiking communities can provide valuable insights.​

Check Permits and Regulations:

Many popular hiking trails and national parks require permits, especially for overnight trips or backcountry camping. Research and obtain necessary permits well in advance to avoid disappointment.​ Familiarize yourself with Leave No Trace principles and any specific regulations in place to minimize your impact on the environment.​

Assess Fitness Level and Training:

Honestly assess your fitness level and prepare accordingly.​ Begin training several weeks or months in advance, gradually increasing the distance and intensity of your hikes.​ Focus on building endurance, strength, and balance.​ If you have any underlying medical conditions, consult with your doctor before undertaking strenuous hikes.​

Pack Essential Gear:

Invest in high-quality hiking boots that provide proper ankle support and traction.​ Pack layers of clothing to adapt to changing weather conditions, including moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and a waterproof outer shell.​ Essential gear includes a backpack, map and compass or GPS device, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, insect repellent, first-aid kit, headlamp, and a whistle.

Plan Your Itinerary:

Create a detailed itinerary that outlines your daily hiking distances, estimated hiking times, planned breaks, and potential campsites or accommodation options.​ Factor in elevation changes, altitude acclimatization days (if applicable), and potential weather delays.​ Share your itinerary with someone trustworthy who can monitor your progress.​

Consider Food and Water:

Pack sufficient food and water to sustain your energy levels throughout your hike. Opt for lightweight, nutrient-rich snacks and meals that provide sustained energy.​ Carry a water filter or purification tablets to ensure access to safe drinking water, especially on longer hikes.

By following these planning tips, you can embark on your hiking adventures with confidence, knowing that you have taken the necessary steps to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and memorable experience.​ Remember to respect the environment, be prepared for unexpected challenges, and most importantly, have fun exploring the great outdoors.

Essential Gear and Preparation

Having the right gear and proper preparation can make all the difference between a successful and enjoyable hiking trip and a miserable one.​ Here’s a comprehensive guide to essential gear and preparation tips for your next hiking adventure:


Invest in a pair of high-quality hiking boots that provide adequate ankle support, traction, and waterproofing.​ Choose boots that fit comfortably and break them in before your trip to prevent blisters.​ Consider trail runners for shorter hikes or if you prefer a lighter option.​


Dress in layers to adapt to changing weather conditions.​ Opt for moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers (such as fleece or down), and a waterproof and breathable outer shell. Don’t forget a hat, gloves, and a buff or neck gaiter for sun protection and warmth.​


Choose a backpack that is comfortable to carry and has enough capacity for your gear, food, and water.​ Consider a pack with adjustable straps and a hip belt to distribute weight evenly. Test your packed backpack before your trip to ensure a comfortable fit.​


Carry a map, compass, or GPS device and learn how to use them effectively.​ Familiarize yourself with the trail route, landmarks, and potential hazards. Download offline maps or bring a guidebook as a backup.​

Hydration and Nutrition:

Pack plenty of water or a water filtration system to stay hydrated throughout your hike. Carry high-energy snacks like nuts, trail mix, and energy bars.​ Consider packing a lightweight stove and cookware for longer trips or if you prefer hot meals.​

Safety Essentials:

Always carry a first-aid kit with essential supplies for blisters, cuts, sprains, and other minor injuries.​ Pack a whistle, headlamp or flashlight, sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellent, and a fire starter.​ Consider a personal locator beacon (PLB) for remote hikes.

Additional Gear:

Depending on the length and location of your hike, you may need additional gear such as trekking poles, a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and a bear canister (if required).​ Research the specific needs of your chosen trail.​

By packing these essential items and preparing adequately, you can enhance your safety, comfort, and enjoyment on the trail.​ Remember to adjust your gear based on the specific requirements of your hike and personal preferences.​

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