Adventure Excellence hasn’t been everywhere in the world but, as our name suggests, we know plenty about what makes a great adventure.
With our wealth of experience we have compiled a list of some of the most scenic and truly beautiful one-day hikes that the world has to offer. So read on and get a pen ready to add a few more lines to your bucket list.
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What’s been your favourite hike in your lifetime?
Kings Canyon Rim Walk
Situated in Watarrka National Park, this 461,901 acres of land was originally established to protect the giant sequoia trees growing in the area. It has now become one of the most popular hikes in the world. Kings Canyon is just a few hours’ drive from Uluru, one of Australia’s most visited tourist destinations.
With 100 metres of sheer sandstone as your footing, the colours and aspect of the view changes continually with the movement of the sun. A little side track will take you to the Garden of Eden, a lovely spot to rest in the shade of the cliff walls surrounding the picturesque watering hole.
Cotterills lookout is also a must see if you are in the Kings Canyon region. You cross a narrow bridge over a steep gorge but the view on the other side is simply breathtaking. It is a hike to suit the whole family as it is achievable in a couple of hours. It is a 6 kilometre distance making it a 2 to 4 hour adventure.
Imbedded in Zion National Park, Angels landing is considered one of the more treacherous hikes. The climb from the bottom to the top is 300 metres up a narrow trail of rock and this hike is definitely for the more adventurous at heart but certainly a must do if you like a challenge. The best time to climb the area is between March and May and then again from September through until November. It is not considered a family friendly climb as there are 300 metre sheer drops either side of the trail.
In 1863, the Mormons who had settled in the nearby region had begun farming corn, tobacco and fruit trees in the area however it was declared a Monument in 1909 to preserve the area’s natural beauty and heritage.
The hike through the entire park and up Angels Landing adds up to 9 kilometres which will take you around 3 to 5 hours.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Given that you would be hard pressed to find a bad hike in NZ, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is known as the best single day hike in the country. Situated on the north island, Tongariro National Park is the oldest in NZ and is dual world heritage listed. Years of volcanic eruptions have created unique land formations which serve as platforms to some of the most awe inspiring views in the world.
Established as the sixth National Park in the world, there are a number of religious Maori sites and the area has much cultural significance for the locals.
The hike is rather long and can sometimes be quite steep so a high level of fitness and some hiking experience would be advisable. The hike is 19 kilometres which should take around 6 to 8 hours. The walk will showcase NZ beautiful natural landscape including lush green views and hints of the smoke which comes from the near dormant volcanoes not too far away. The further you walk, the more the vista changes.
Puez Odle Altopiano
There are many hikes in this region but this particular climb in the cream of the crop.
Known as the “pale mountains” this area was declared a world heritage back in 2009.
The Dolomites have become a popular tourist destination thanks to the many activities the region has to offer including, skiing, base jumping, paragliding, cycling, and hang gliding.
It is a 20 kilometre hike with considerable climbing involved so you need to be fit and well equipped. You will be rewarded with 360 degrees views from the top of the Dolomite making the effort well worth it. A hike this long will take you around 6 to 8 hours.
The Zion Narrows
This particular hike is known as a slot canyon hike. It is the narrowest section of the Zion Canyon which has you walking between sheer rock formations, but the changing natural beauty is amazing.
The area was known to indigenous people who took a European by the name of Nephi Johnson there 1858. The townships of Springdale and Virgin were founded soon after in 1861 and 1862.
You can hike the area at you own leisure but if you want to hike the Narrows from top to bottom it is a 25 kilometre journey. This will take up to 13 hours.
Jiankou to Mutianyu
Great Wall of China
Originally built for fortification purposes, this 21,000 kilometre architectural feat must be seen to be believed. It has been built and added to by different dynasties over time and some parts are in good condition, some have been restored and some are falling apart. The wall was first built 700 years BC, the wall we are familiar with today was built 600 years ago and took 200 years to build. It starts from Huhsan, Liaoning in the east of China and finishes in Jiayuguan Pass, Gansu, in the west.
There is a designated 10 kilometre hike which will take you between 4 to 5 hours.
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, USA
This is an iconic hike but not for the faint hearted. Half Dome is a 27 kilometre hike along slippery granite rock which also involves the use of cables. Once you are standing on the peak you will be rewarded with panoramic views of Vernal, the Nevada Falls, Liberty Cap, Half Dome, Yosemite Valley and Sierra. Like every challenging hike, it is worth the effort once you reach the top.
George Anderson was the first to hike to the summit in 1875 and managed to lay the cabling that marks the trail today. This hike requires a permit and will take between 10 and 14 hours.
The interpretation means “trolls tongue”. It has been given this quirky name as the rock juts out from the mountain horizontally 700 metres above Ringedalsvatnet river. The view of the river and snow capped surrounding mountains is a sight to behold. It has quickly become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Norway but up until 2010, the climb had only had 800 visitors.
From then until 2016 more than 80,000 people have made the trek. Located in Skjeggedal, the mountain is a leftover remnant from the ice age around 10,000 years ago. The climb is a distance of 23 kilometres and will take between 8 and 10 hours.
Inca Trail, Machu Picchu
The famous Inca Trail is located in the picturesque Andes region and showcases the natural beauty of the area as you trek through the alpine tundra and cloud forest. The hike is considered to be one of the most culturally significant as you will pass tunnels, settlements and Incan ruins along the way. The summit of the mountain is located 4,200 metres above sea level so it is a trek only experienced climbers should attempt.
It is a popular climb and authorities have had to limit the amount of visitors the mountain has due to erosion problems. It is a 15 kilometre hike which will take you about 4 to 5 hours.
It is a challenging climb and you can sometimes be climbing over slippery wet granite rocks so the chain cables will come in handy that line the track. This hike should only be attempted during the summer months between June and September.
Your reward at the top is a boulder suspended between two cliffs with 900 metres of fresh air underneath. It is a 12 kilometre hike so will take you around 6 to 8 hours.