With hopes of inspiring you to get out hiking in 2015, here are some of the best hikes of 2014 done by fellow travel bloggers.
Ted from Traveling Ted took off on a solo adventure to do Big Bend National Park’s signature backpacking trip – the 30 mile Outer Mountain Loop starting and ending in the Chisos Basin. With danger from three main sources – heat, fire and wildlife – Ted had to do the following before he could even shoulder a backpack.
I had to complete a special solo hiker entry form with information about my clothing, color of my backpack and rain gear, information on my car and a signed note from my mother (just joking on the last one although I did leave my mom as my emergency contact.) I had to have my picture taken as well as a picture of the sole of my boot.
Read more about Ted’s adventure on this hike here.
Agata Mleczko from Null n Full voted for Königssee (King’s Lake) as one of her best one day hikes in 2014. Located in the German Alps close to the border with Austria, the hike did not go exactly as planned.
The basic idea was to have a look at the Königssee from high altitude and to do that we had a plan to go up in a cable railway first and climb a nearby summit called Schneibstein (2276 m) afterwards. The plan was simple, we set up in the early morning and after a 2h drive from Munich we met the first obstacle: a lady at the cash desk of Jennerbahn (a cable railway). She refused to sell us a one way ticket up saying that the path towards Schneibstein and Carl-von-Stahl hut was impossible to cross. We could only buy a half way ticket and we did so. And that was the first thing that made our day and the route really, really long.
Read more about this wonderful early season hike here.
Donna Hull from My Itchy Travel Feet takes you to beautiful Grinnell Lake in Montana’s Glacier National Park. She has this to say about the hike.
Most people come to experience the Grinnell Glacier Trek or the one to Iceberg Lake. But the trail to Grinnell Lake offers a beautiful experience too, if you’re looking for a less strenuous Glacier National Park hike….And there are two options for getting there – the easy way via the Glacier Park Boat Company or the hard way hiking the entire journey (6.8 miles) on your own two feet.
Read about the full hike here – and see the photos.
Mette from Italian Notes takes you on an easy hike in the land of Barolo, Italy. Apart from the culinary pleasures of the region, Mette states that exercise is welcome and in fact necessary. She says hiking can often be difficult in Italy unless you have a GPS based app but local tourist authorities are making an effort to improve trails and signage. The 5 km winery trail from Monforte d’Alba to Barolo
…takes you through the most spectacular vineyard landscapes with nice cultural and culinary stops along the way…including the truffle trail in the dark forest of Serradenari.
Read more about the trail and what you can do in Barolo here.
Simon Falvo from Wild About Travel shares her love affair with ice and glaciers. One look at her photos from this blog and you’ll be booking yourself a trip to Switzerland’s Jungfrau region. The standout hike was along the Aletsch Glacier.
Here’s what she has to say about the area.
I anticipated it would be beautiful scenery but once I stepped off the cable car in Bettmerhorn and walked just a few steps, I was literally mind-blown. The Aletsch Glacier, like a wide tongue of white ice, was standing right at my feet, the crevasses making it similar to a big, natural lace.
Read more about this fabulous area which is also a UNESCO site here.
Freya at Holiday Nomad includes the Everest Base Camp trek as her top pick for 2014. There were real highs and lows over the course of this trek – with many of the lows related to adjusting to altitude and lack of energy. One of the top days on the trek was the 9th day.
On day 8 of my Everest Base Camp Trek, I was not sure whether I would be able to continue, as I felt really sick. I was already mentally preparing myself to return but against all odds, I felt great when I woke up on day 9. This day turned out to be one of my favorite days on the trek and brought us from Dingboche to Lobuche.
Lash from Lash World Tour takes you on New Zealand’s famous Abel Tasman Track, considered to one of nine Great Walks in New Zealand. This is a hike Lash says she’d dreamed of doing for years – and it didn’t disappoint.
The scenery, topography and flora are spectacular and extremely varied. And, just as I’d hoped for, I was blessed with beautiful sunny, warm weather. While walking the trek over 4 ½ days I couldn’t help but note what an easy multi-day trek it is, particularly in the scheme of outback multi-day treks around the world. In fact, just about anyone with decent fitness and reasonable preparation should be able to walk it, even if they have little outback hiking experience. At the very least, they could do a section of the trail as a day hike.
You can read more about what makes this trek an easy multi-day hike here.
Michael and Marlys Schuermann from Easy Hiker choose a hike with a view in the French Riviera as one of their top picks for 2014. Hiking in the French Riviera sounds intriguing to me and one look at the photo and you’ll want to be following in their footsteps. Michael explains why this hike is exceptional:
The view you get across the Mediterranean from the southern slopes of Saint Michel Mountain, is in reality not a single view at all. Climbing up this trail is not like looking at the same object for several hours from different angles but more like spending some time with an interesting character in a movie or a play. With every change of scenery, with every twist or turn of the plot (or path) you fine out something new and reveal something else.
As for me I’d have to call the best hike of 2014 a toss-up between the Long Range Traverse in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and the Tombstones in the Yukon Territory. Both gave me access to scenery few people ever see. Both were drop-dead beautiful, rugged, desolate and challenging. Both belong on a bucket list of any serious backpacker.
Which of these hikes would you most like to do?