More often than not, some of the natural world’s most spectacular sights require a little effort to reach.
Hiking can be an extremely rewarding holiday activity where following trails, whether guided or unaccompanied, in some of the planet’s great unspoiled landscapes gives hikers the chance to experience spectacular views firsthand.
Featuring destinations across our beautiful planet, ranging from the treasures of the great North American continent to ‘The Land of the Long White Cloud’, here are 8 insanely epic day hiking experiences around the world.
The featured inspirational destinations all offer trails that vary in difficulty.
Remember to always plan ahead and research any potential hiking destination before setting off on your hiking adventure!
1. Angel’s Landing
Found in Zion National Park, Angel’s Landing is arguably Utah’s most iconic natural landmark.
Over 400 metres tall, the great monument is simply spectacular and is a day hiking favourite with visitors to the park.
A trail cut into the red rock over 80 years ago leads visitors up to the rock where you can then look out across the vast Zion Canyon.
Not for the faint-hearted, the hike up can be challenging in places and more often than not, walkers will be faced with a steep drop off to the edge of the path.
The canyon is simply spectacular providing a great photo opportunity.
Looking out, the canyon floor is surprisingly, in spite of the harsh climate, full of colour stemming from a flowing river and rich greenery that is slowly but surely taking the canyon back from the rocky shades of red.
Gazing out, the view from Angel’s Landing also provides the perfect opportunity to plan your walking route whilst visiting this tremendous National Park.
This short adventure is a key tourist draw and it’s not hard to see why.
2. The Dolomites
Throughout the vast Dolomites of Italy, you can find a number of great hiking trails, some that can be completed in a day with time to spare.
The landscape here is simply mesmerising. Trails worth consideration in the area include the Adolf Munkel trail and Seceda – Pieralongia trail.
The sprawling Dolomites can be admired from a number of valleys ideal for exploration on foot.
A great place to visit all year round, the Dolomites are beautiful whether covered in a generous dusting of snow or in the peak of summer when the landscape is awash with greenery.
3. Half Dome
This fabulous American icon can be found in the iconic Yosemite National Park.
One of many amazing sights in the park, the Half Dome and close by El Capitan dominate the Yosemite skyline.
In order to hike the dome, a permit is required, available from the U.S National Park Service.
Over 1500 metres tall, the Dome is not a hike for everyone. Regarded as one of the Park’s more challenging hiking trails, the route can be a great day adventure.
During the journey, be on the lookout for great views of Nevada Falls and glimpses of the Half Dome from different angles as you climb to the summit.
An infamous section of the route, near the end of the hike to the top, hikers become climbers with one last obstacle to tackle – a 400-foot stretch of cables to be overcomed without the aid of climbing equipment!
Don’t worry, the journey has been completed by thousands of people since the cable’s installation at the start of the 20th century.
Much like everyday encounters, consideration is requested amongst climbers tackling the cables should they encounter other people on the route that will see hikers with varying levels of experience attempt the climb.
Upon reaching the summit, hikers are greeted by awe-inspiring views looking out across the surrounding valley.
Definitely an Instagram-worthy moment, the views offered at the summit are sure to live long in the memory.
In a country full of impressive sights, the Norwegian cliff of Trolltunga is right up there amongst the most dazzling sights on the planet, never mind just this corner of Scandinavia.
Rising thousands of metres above Lake Ringedalsvatnet, this great Norwegian sight attract tourists from all over the world.
Bit of Trivia – Trolltunga translates to ‘Troll’s Tongue’.
The rewarding hike ascends close to 900 metres and can take roughly 10 hours in total.
Along the journey, hikers pass a number of scenic spots including Ringedal Dam.
When hikers reach the famous cliff, they will be met with the famous protruding rock cliff that juts out in a manner that appears to almost disobey the laws of physics.
Regarded as quite a challenging ascent, reaching Trolltunga provides the chance to look out and admire the famous region of Hardangerfjord.
For those looking to practice their photography skills, taking a position on a nearby viewing point provides great views of Trolltunga where you can capture loved ones of travelling companions in this truly unique and special hiking location.
You can also venture just above the ‘troll’s tongue’ and admire the views from a less popular ledge ideal for pausing for a break and perhaps having a picnic.
Whilst in the area, other local attractions popular with tourists include a scenic waterfall walking trail, the beauty of Hardangervidda National Park, and a trail named after HM Queen Sonja of Norway (who has a passion for hiking).
5. Amalfi Coast
Offering some less challenging hiking trails compared to some of our featured day hike destinations, Italy’s mesmeric Amalfi Coast is a stunning stretch of coastline.
A popular walking holiday destination, the area is home to a number of idyllic coastal routes, some of which pass through historic fishing villages before rising back onto ridgetop walks.
Following the footpaths can sometimes be challenging, ranging in length and also difficulty.
Trails include Valle delle Ferriere, and an alpine trek ‘Monte Tre Calli’ where you can look out 360-degrees around at the surrounding landscape and coastline.
6. Torres Del Paine National Park
This famously mountainous landscape is home to some of Patagonia’s most spectacular scenery ranging from the brooding sight of Grey Glacier and Grey Lake to Lake Pehoe and the iconic mountain range Cordillera Paine.
Sometimes slightly draped in clouds, these spikey in appearance mountains stand to attention at the top of a great valley.
It is within the valley where day hikers often take advantage of a spectacular photo opportunity.
7. Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Opting to take on the challenge of crossing this beautiful World Heritage Area takes hikers through some awe-inspiring scenery including active volcanoes and the lovely Emerald Lake, the most famous sight in the park.
8. The Wave – Arizona
The Wave rock formation in Arizona is one of the great natural spots on the North American continent.
Tremendously important, access to The Wave is strictly controlled with day permits limited although this could change in the near future.
Wonderfully photogenic, river and wind erosion has slowly but surely shaped the rocks here into an amazing natural work of art.
This surreal, protected landscape is an unusual hiking spot where planning is essential.
You can actually walk through naturally occurring lanes created by river wash with the varied landscape offering great opportunities to admire this great American hiking spot from a whole host of different angles and points of elevation.
Have you visited any of the featured hiking destinations?
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