A truly great trail winds into the essence of a place, so when assembling this list of the world’s great hikes we kept an eye on more than the footpath. We looked for walks that travel deeper into a location’s history and culture. Sure, there’s outdoor adventure on each of these 20 hikes, but the trails also tell a rich story. So here they are, the holy grails of trails across the world. —Doug Schnitzspahn

Share

Expert-Recommended Hikes

  • Photo: Pilgrims walk along the Mount Kailash trail in Western Tibet.

    World's Best Hikes: 20 Epic Trails

    We looked for walks that travel deeper into a location’s history and culture. Sure, there’s outdoor adventure on each of these 20 hikes, but the trails also tell a rich story.

  • Photo:

    World's Best Hikes: Classic Trails

    Over the last decade, author Peter Potterfield has hiked more than 10,000 miles on six continents to research this list. We present the world's 15 best hikes, including Patagonia, Newfoundland, Petra, and more.

  • Photo: Hikers on the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park

    Best Day Hikes in the Parks

    Every national park has places of beauty, but certain legendary parks contain sights so compelling that people make it a lifetime goal to see them at least once.

About the Writer

Boulder, Colorado-based Doug Schnitzspahn knows trails. He spent six seasons building and maintaining them while working for the U.S. Forest Service in Montana and Idaho (even constructing sections of the Continental Divide Trail featured in the story). He has put his outsoles to the tread of many of these classics in Corsica, Iceland, Quebec, and South America. He is also the editor-in-chief of Elevation Outdoors magazine.

Hit the Trail With National Geographic Maps