Once upon a time – before planes, trains, cars and domesticated horses – mankind walked the earth.
There’s a large number of people out there who enjoy the pleasures of exploring the world on foot; and if you’re reading this, you’re likely one of them. For your pleasure and inspiration, we’ve set out a couple of tracks in particular that are sure to meet your wandering urges.
Copper Canyon (Mexico)
Already walked the Grand Canyon and want something new? The Copper and Tararecua Canyons of Mexico are some of the deepest canyon systems in the world; covering 25,000 square miles of the Chihuahuan Desert the setting makes for some incredible wilderness hiking.
This probably isn’t the best ‘introduction to hiking’ location for those just starting out, as some experience in canyoneering and the odd rope or two can certainly come in handy; but for those prepared: Beautiful hot springs and rivers line the way. Just make sure to leave a gift before you leave – a sign of respect in the Tarahumara culture.
Inca Trail (Peru)
Moving into South America, you’d be hard pressed finding someone who doesn’t regard the mighty Inca trail as one of the most iconic hikes on the face of the earth. This is definitely a trip you need to plan in advance – as only 500 people are allowed on the trail per day, and most of these are guides or porters.
Furthermore, the track is closed every February for cleaning and maintenance, amid growing concerns about the preservation of the track. The nearby Santa Cruz trek is also a fantastic chance to catch a glimpse of the Peruvian countryside.
National Trail (Israel)
A trail that can be enjoyed just as much for it’s incredible history as it can for it’s magnificent scenery. The National Trail of Israel passes many notable locations from early periods of the Judeo-Christian religious faiths, but also to sites important to the history of modern Israel as well.
The trail is cut into 12 shorter sections, making it more approachable for less experienced hikers, but the lack of creature comforts (most notably, water) along the way definitely warrant some preparation regardless of skill.
Mt. Fuji (Japan)
This is certainly one for the tourist/hikers rather than the hiker/tourists. The trail to Mount Fuji can be considered one of the most unpleasant walks in the world, given the 300,000+ revellers who partake in the climb annually – not to mention the fact it’s also an active volcano.
For those looking for a cultural experience however, look no further. To those who love immersing themselves head and shoulders in their surrounding environment when travelling, the Yoshida trail is dotted with noodle houses and huts to share stories with your newfound friends along the way.
Mt. Kilash (Tibet)
Moving from the tourist trip to the spirit quest, the destination of your spiritual enlightenment lies – as one might expect – within the sacred lands of Tibet.
The Mount Kilash pilgrimage is one that has been taken with great reverence by many walks of life – as the mountain itself is sacred to 5 religions. While it is forbidden to scale the actual mountain – which remains unclimbed to this day – the 32 mile walk around it’s base is known the world over for it’s powers of spiritual cleansing.
While it’s very hard to narrow down to 5 tracks (believe us, the list left unmentioned is long!), there’s definitely a good mix here to whet your hiking palate.
You better hurry up and take that first step. When you do, be sure to protect your travel and consider packing Virgin Travel Insurance.