This week on BootsnAll, we explored some of the best ways to go hiking and trekking on your travels, from walking across an entire country to checking out unique walking paths through vineyards and over waterfalls, to hiking in Switzerland on a small budget.
Some of these places can easily be seen by car, or rail, or even from the comfort of a cafe chair, but others can only be experienced on foot. And there’s something great about that. When the only way you can reach a place is through the power of your own two feet, the payoff seems that much better. And then of course there’s the added benefit: if you have to walk there, chances are the place will be visited by fewer tourists.
Here are a few more options for places – both well known and off the beaten path – that can only be explored on foot.
- The sepia-hued walls of the Zion Narrows enclose one of the best hiking spots in the world. Hikers here make their way between sandstone walls that rise up to 3,500 feet, hiking through streams and rivers for about 60% of the route. At one point the canyon is just 22 feet wide.
- Cars, trains and boats can you help you get from city to city in Italy’s Cinque Terre, but for the best views, you’ve got to hike. Start at the northernmost town to make the route a bit easier and be prepared for crowds- the trail is as popular as it is beautiful. If you’d rather (literally) get off the beaten path, head to Umbria for a hike around Lake Trasimeno.
- Crowds of tourists pack the edges of the Grand Canyon every summer, but far fewer ever make it to the canyon’s depths. Technically, you can get there without walking (on a pricey helicopter ride or via donkey), but the best way to descend is by hiking. If you want to visit the bottom of the Grand Canyon, you need to plan in advance.
- If you want to hike an active volcano, it turns out that you have quite a few options, including at the Crater Rim Trail in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Not only is Hawaii one of the best places for hiking in the US, but it’s also one where you can walk around an active volcano over alien-landscapes and hardened lava flows.
- Hornstrandir, in Iceland’s Westfjords, is so remote that it has no roads, no hotels, and no permanent inhabitants. If you want to visit, you need to hike in or take a ferry, carry all your own gear and be totally self-sufficient. Those who make the trek are rewarded with beautiful views off the cliffs and of the many seabirds that live there.
Want more ideas for places to go walking? CNN offers five lodges you can only reach on foot, or check out some small cities ideal for exploring on foot, or find some awesome treks that nearly anyone can do.
Photo by: randomcuriosity