Going on a day hike can be an exhilarating experience that leaves you with a sense of accomplishment and a renewed connection with nature. From breathtaking scenery to once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters, you never know what you might discover out on the trail. While going on a long hike can make for an unforgettable adventure, sometimes you only have the time or energy for just one day. Whether you’re new to the lifestyle or an avid hiker, our list of some of the best day hikes in the world is sure to help you get your blood pumping.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Central North Island, New Zealand
Out of all the incredible day hikes across New Zealand’s breathtaking landscape, Tongariro Alpine Crossing is often considered one of the best. Located in New Zealand’s oldest national park, Tongariro National Park, the 12-mile hike takes roughly six to eight hours to complete. Highlights from the trek include stunning views of vibrant red craters, twin emerald lakes, and the iconic volcano Mount Ngauruhoe, which represented Mt. Doom in The Lord of the Rings film franchise.
Sentiero degli Dei
Amalfi Coast, Italy
Aptly named the “Path of the Gods,” this clifftop trail provides heavenly views of the turquoise sea and coastal towns below. The peaceful hike follows mountain ridges throughout the Amalfi Coast and features a relatively rocky path that includes some steep drops. Typically, hikers take around five hours to complete the seven-mile trek.
The Trolltunga Trail
If you’re afraid of heights, the Trolltunga Trail is not the trail for you. After hiking past beautiful fjords, lakes, and white-tipped mountains, you’ll eventually come to the cliff known as Trolltunga, which translates to “troll’s tongue.” This cliff extends out over Lake Ringedalsvatnet and features an elevation of roughly 3,609 feet. The hike is around 17.4 miles out-and-back, and it typically takes around 10 to 12 hours to complete.
Horseshoe Canyon in Utah takes you through the state’s famous secluded red rock canyons. As you walk through the horseshoe-shaped canyon, you’ll be treated to a stunning view of the river that runs through it, the Green River. While this scenery is truly stunning, it’s what awaits you at the end of the trail that makes the hike truly incredible and rewarding. At the bottom of the canyon, hikers will find a remarkable ancient art gallery called the Great Gallery, which features depictions of human-sized figures painted by Native Americans over 2,000 years ago. The hike is roughly 6.5 miles long, and it usually takes an average of five hours to complete.
While hiking any of these incredible trails is sure to be an unforgettable experience, doing so also comes with some risks. As such, following certain safety precautions when hiking is important. You should always pack essential hiking equipment such as safety gear and water and avoid hiking on trails that are too difficult for your experience level. By doing so, you can improve your chances of having a safe and memorable hike.