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Summit hikes offer up that big reward—a hard-won objective and a new perspective on everything you hiked up to get there. While there are plenty of wondrous mountaintops on the planet, for this list we chose our favorite peaks based on both the walk up and the larger history of the place. Beyond the thrill of making it to the top, each of these summit hikes offers a deeper connection to the surrounding landscape and people. —Doug Schnitzspahn

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About the Writer

Boulder, Colorado-based writer Doug Schnitzspahn knows trails. He spent six seasons building and maintaining them while working for the U.S. Forest Service in Montana and Idaho, and as a freelance writer and explorer he has checked off countless summits across the globe.