I’ve always loved the adventure that a simple hike always turns into. Whether it’s a simple hike through our city park, or an epic week long foray into the depths of a national forest, there’s always a story waiting to be told when you come back. There’s something about being out in the wilds, away from commonly trod paths that leads you to discoveries and happenings that just can’t happen in more civilized terrain. There are still quite a few places in the world that I haven’t had the chance to hike, that are on my bucket list, and I’m going to share these with you.
Lunana Snowman Trek in Bhutan
This hike isn’t for the faint of heart, taking 27 days to complete, but it travels through some of the most beautiful highland country that Bhutan has to offer. It does require some special gear to complete, which they break down in the preparation packet they send you. You’ll be covering over 4,500 miles of terrain before it’s all done, and crossing through 11 passes. This is a part of the world I’ve always wanted to see, including monasteries, fortresses, and other far flung places.
Japan’s Nakesando Trail
I’ve got a bit of a love affair with places that have a lot of history, and this trail was connecting Kyoto to Tokyo since the feudal period in Japan. It’s a much shorter route than the Lunana trail, but most things are. The Nakasendo trail is a four day walk through beautiful villages, and old world country inns that still serve the best of Japanese traditional cuisine. Even better, at various points along the trail you’ll encounter hot springs to soak away the days aches.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska
Some of the most beautiful untouched country in the world can be found out on the Arctic Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. This one promises to be a particular challenge, as there are millions of acres of untouched land out in the reserve, presenting the stark beauty that Alaska is known for. With 185 species of birds migrating here each year, and furry mammals from Dall Sheep to Polar Bears, this hike presents an opportunity to see species only able to be seen in Zoo’s elsewhere.
Deep within Italy is a beautiful tapestry of interwoven landscapes, beautiful wild alpine meadows, soaring peaks, rich evergreen woods, and desolate lunar landscapes, all encompassed within the expansive Dolomite mountains. There are so many places here that I want to see before I die, and it’s definitely on my list of 5 places I absolutely have to go hiking one day! Feasting on traditional Italian food is just the icing on the cake!
Hawaii is one of the most beautiful pieces of country in the world, with it’s rich tropical jungle and the calls of tropical birds in the air, and there’s nowhere you can be that you aren’t just a short hike down to the beach. With places to visit like the magnificent Wailua river and the ageless Waimea Canyon, I know I’ll find places that will touch my soul with their beauty and wildness. There is an appreciation of the great passage of time that comes with locations like the native fishponds that are 1,000 years old that has lessons to teach to the modern traveler.
These are just a few of the places that I want to go hiking before I pass from this earth, and there’s nothing like hiking to help reconnect you with the wildness left behind in our technology driven age. I hope to catch you hiking out on the trails one day, a fellow traveler into the natural wonders still hidden for those willing to go looking.