From a family day hike through southern Utah’s Road Canyon to a grueling scramble through northern Michigan’s Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, this exhaustive (and highly subjective) list of the best hikes in the world can guide you on your next outdoor adventure, and on adventures for years to come.
To create the list of the best hikes, we canvassed some of the most accomplished guides, mountaineers, and backcountry adventurers, including pro climber Jimmy Chin, who recommends Wyoming’s “stunningly beautiful” Teton Crest Trail as “the number one hike in America”; three-time Everest summiter Conrad Anker, whose hands-down favorite is the sandstone Angels Landing Trail in Zion (He says he hikes it “barefoot, to wear-off calluses”); legendary mountaineer Jim Whittaker; backpacker Andrew Skurka, and Brad Ludden, who shared a well-kept (until now) local secret in Glacier National Park.
Some of these best hikes are rambling strolls, and some are true tests of skill and endurance. While most are here at home in the U.S., we’ve thrown in a few classics from around the world, like Iceland’s Laugavegurinn Trail, and Europe’s epic Tour du Mont Blanc.
The 50 Best Hikes in the World
1. Laugavegurinn Trail, Iceland (34 miles)
This trail is set among the violent, volcanic, glacier-bound land of the Norse sagas, which has more diversity of terrain than probably anywhere else in the world. From Skogar, the trail winds through a mountain pass between the twin lava-belching craters of Magni and Móði, (“Strong” and “Angry,” respectively), who in the Icelandic Edda are the sons of Thor. After crossing the glacial Krossa River, you pitch down to the southern lowlands of the Thorsmork (Thor’s wood) and Porsmork nature reserve. Near the end you have a chance to take a second trail, Fimmvörduháls, which skirts a volcano’s cap for 14-miles toward the coast.Learn More
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