We’ve hiked over a thousand miles in the past three years of our nomadic lifestyle and have seen some incredible views.  It’s impossible to pick a single favorite hike but I can give you a few.  These are our all time favorite day hikes in the world…so far:

Angel's Landing best day hikes in the world
Angel’s Landing is a must do hike in Zion but go early to avoid crowds.

Location: Zion National Park, Utah
Distance:  4.8 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 1,500
The Draw: Bragging rights for overcoming your fear of heights!
Cool things nearby: Camp at Watchman’s or South Campground, Pizza and Brew at Zion Pizza and Noodle Co

Related blog: Southwest National Parks Road Trip Itinerary

 

Cerro Chato

Best hikes in the world- Cerro Chato

Location: Arenal National Park, Costa Rica
Distance:  3.8 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 2,224 feet
The Draw:  Hiking through dense rainforest to a gorgeus crater lake.
Cool things nearby: Stay in a glamping tent immersed in the rainforest at Essence Arenal and prepare delicious communal vegan meals on-site.  Take a dip in the free hot springs.

Related Blog: Best National Park In Costa Rica: Arenal or Monte Verde?

 

Molden

Best hikes in the world- Molden
Best hikes in the world- Molden
Best hikes in the world- Cerro Chato

Location: Hafslo, Norway
Distance:  4.8 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 2,030 feet
The Draw:  Epic fjord and mountain views.  
Cool things nearby: Camp at KjΓΈrnes.  Rock climb at Kvam.

Related Blog: Best Norway Hikes

 

Helvellyn Trail (via Striding Edge)

Best Hikes in the World- Helvellyn

Location: Patterdale, Lake District U.K.
Distance:  8 mile loop
Elevation Gain: 2,980 feet
The Draw:  Epic mountain views and the adrenaline rush of feeling like a mountain goat scrambling the ridges. (Note: scrambling is optional.  There are paths along the side if you’d rather just walk. Get details here.)
Cool things nearby: Camp at Gillside Camping and Caravan Park Ullswater and start hike from your pitch.

Related Blog: Best Scramble Hikes In the UK

 

Eiger (from Alpinglen to Wengen)

Start in Grindelwald.  Take train to Alpinglen.  Hike to Eigergletscher to Mettlenalp to Stalden to Wengen.  Take train from Wengen to your next destination or back to your car in Grindelwald.

Best Hikes in the World- Eiger
Best Hikes in the World- Eiger

Location: Jungfrau region of Switzerland
Distance:  9 miles one way
Elevation Gain: 2,440 feet
The Draw:  It’s Switzerland.  Need we say more? Incredible towering rocks, lime green mountain sides, glaciers with falling avalanches breaking the silence, forests, and quaint towns filled with church steeples and flower boxes on every house window. 
Cool things nearby:  If you like hikes, check out the 4 mile RT hike to Oeschinensee Lake that starts in Kandersteg. If you are an adrenaline junkie, try out one of the many adrenaline packed activities like paragliding and wingsuit flying.

Related Blog: 3 Reasons To Visit Interlaken

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Best Hikes in the World- Plitvice
Best Hikes in the World- Plitvice

Location: Croatia
Distance:  varies 3-18 km
Elevation Gain: varies but nothing too strenuous
The Draw:  A wooded walkway that meanders past 16 crystal clear turquoise lakes and dozens of cascading waterfalls. Tip: Go early for best lighting and less crowds.
Cool things nearby:  Rock climbing and hiking in Paklenica National Park

Related Blog: Best Destinations In Croatia

 

Cinque Terre

Best Hikes in the World- Cinque Terre
Best Hikes in the World- Cinque Terre

Location: La Spezia, Italy
Distance:  Up to 13km (varies on how many sections you do)
Elevation Gain: varies (1,800 feet if you do all of the coastal path)
The Draw:  A one of a kind experience walking between fishing villages filled with delicious food options and incredible cultural experiences.
Cool things nearby:  Florence & surrounding Tuscany area.

Related Blog: How To Hike The Cinque Terre: Things You Need To Know Before Visiting

Rota Vicentina (Odeceixe to Zambujeira)

Best Hikes in the World- Odeceixe
Best Hikes in the World- Odeceixe

Location: Odeceixe, Portugal
Distance:  18 km one way (11.5 miles)
Elevation Gain: 1600 feet
The Draw:  Hiking along the rugged coastline of Portugal. Walking along rolling sand dunes and poor fishing villages with views of waves breaking on the jagged rocks below.
Cool things nearby: Uuummmm….you’re in Portugal.  Go to Lisbon and surf Ericeira and Peniche, duh!

Related Blog: Surfing Portugal: Guide for Intermediate Surfers, Adventurers & Campers 

 

Camino De Santiago (Celorio to Playa San Martin)

Best Hikes in the World- Camino De Santiago
Best Hikes in the World- Camino De Santiago

Location: Northern Spain
Distance:  1.5 miles RT
Elevation Gain: minimal
The Draw:  Following the golden seashells knowing you are on a journey of self exploration, even if it’s for less than a mile.  That and sitting all by yourself on a secret cove in the middle of gorgeous Asturias.
Cool things nearby: The FOOD!!! You haven’t eaten until you’ve eaten in Asturias.  Yes, the apples are amazing, but so is ALL the food.  There are epic surf breaks all along the northern coast of Spain and amazing hikes.  You really can’t go wrong spending a week from San Sebastian to Galacia.

Related Blog: 15 Best Adventures in Northern Spain

Routeburn (Glenorchy to Harris Saddle and back)

Best Hikes in the World- Routeburn Track
Best Hikes in the World- Routeburn Track
Best Hikes in the World- Routeburn Track

Location: South Island, New Zealand
Distance:  20 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,600 feet
The Draw:  So much bang for your buck.  One of the easiest ways to access so much raw nature (If you can’t get permits to backpack it, day hike it from the Glenorchy side to Harris saddle and back.)
Cool things nearby: Adventurer’s paradise in Christchurch and the relaxing beauty of Milford Sound

Related Blog: How To Backpack the Routeburn Track

Yosemite (Four Mile to Panorama to Mist Trail)

Best Hikes in the World- Yosemite
Best Hikes in the World- Yosemite

Location: California
Distance:  20 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,600 feet
The Draw:  Waterfalls and rocks.  Seriously, these are some jaw dropping waterfalls and rock formations that you’ve gotta see for yourself.
Cool things nearby: Head over to Tuolumne Pass for great views, camping, and more incredible hikes.

Related Blog: Best Day Hike in Yosemite

Enchantments

Best Hikes in the World- Enchantments
There are so many beautiful lakes at the top of the Enchantments
Colchuck lake, Hiking the Enchantments
Colchuck lake on Enchantments Hike

Location: Leavenworth, Washington
Distance:  19 miles
Elevation Gain:  4500 feet
The Draw:  Some serious ego boosting for being able to climb up Asgard Pass.  But don’t let it all be about ego!  There are some out-of-this-world alpine lakes that you will pass on the way that make the feet numbing descent down to Snow Lake Trailhead completely worthwhile.
Cool things nearby: Head over to Icicle Creek Brewery for an IPA and Landjaeger.

Related Blog: How To Thru Hike The Enchantments in One Day

Stawamus Chief

Best Hikes in the World- The Chief
Best Hikes in the World- The Chief

Location: Squamish, British Columbia, Canada
Distance:  miles varies depending on the number of peaks
Elevation Gain:  2,000 feet
The Draw:  Adrenaline pumping scrambling with some “hell ya” edges and gorgeous views of the turquoise sound below.
Cool things nearby: Head over to Backcountry Brewery for beer and pizza after, then wake up early to rock climb at Chek Recreation Area before hiking to the exhilarating rope swing at Brom Lake.  

Related Blog: Sea to Sky Highway: An Adventure for the Whole Family

Devil’s Thumb + Plain of 6 Glaciers

Best Hikes in the World- Devil's Thumb

Best Hikes in the World- Devil's Thumb

Location: Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Distance:   5.2 miles RT
Elevation Gain:  1,400 feet
The Draw:  Well, it takes scrambling up some steep loose scree, but the reward of standing up above Lake Louise and Lake Agnes are totally worth it.  Plus, you get to hike past two tea houses and up to a gorgeous glacier if you do the whole loop (see related blog).
Cool things nearby: Head to Canmore for good breweries and delicious French pastries.  While you are there, hike to the oh so steep East End of Rundle for more epic views.

Related Blog:  Adventurers Guide to Day Hiking Lake Louise

Consolation Lake

Best Hikes in the World- Consolation Lake
Consolation Lake
Best Hikes in the World- Consolation Lake
Starts here at Moraine Lake

Location: Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Distance:   3.7 miles RT
Elevation Gain:  only 200 feet πŸ™‚
The Draw:  A reason to carry bear spray.  Plus, wonderful views of alpine lakes with very little effort.  Bring mosquito repellent!
Cool things nearby: Head to Canmore for good breweries and delicious French pastries.  While you are there, hike to the oh-so-steep “East End of Rundle” for more epic views.

Related Blog:  Canada National Parks Trip Itinerary

Alice Lake

Best Hikes in the World- Alice Lake
Best Hikes in the World- Alice Lake

Location: Sawtooths, Idaho
Distance:  11 miles RT
Elevation Gain:  1,600 feet
The Draw:  Idaho…it’s on a league of it’s own.  These mountains deserve so much more cred than they get.  Few crowds and enough back country trails to need a gps, why wouldn’t you want to spend a few nights escaping to this mountain haven?!
Cool things nearby: Trails, trails, and more trails throughout the Sawtooth Range.  And when you get tired of hiking, there is always a hot spring nearby for those aching muscles.

Related Blog:  Best Day Hikes In The Sawtooths

 

Delta Lake

Best Hikes in the World- Delta Lake

Location: Grand Tetons N.P., Wyoming
Distance:  7 miles RT
Elevation Gain:  2,400 feet
The Draw:  This might me the most gorgeous alpine lake we’ve ever been to. ‘nuf said
Cool things nearby: Grab a mountain bike and head to Teton Pass for some intense riding or go all the way to Grand Targhee and ride up to some jaw dropping views of the backside of the Tetons. Then head into Jackson Hole for some grub.

Related Blog:  Nomad Life: Why We Live To Purposely Get Lost

The Subway (Top Down)

Best Hikes in the World- The Subway
Best Hikes in the World- The Subway
Best Hikes in the World- The Subway
Best Hikes in the World- The Subway
Best Hikes in the World- The Subway

Location: Zion National Park
Distance:  9.5 miles (thru hike top down)
Elevation Gain:  it’s pretty much all downhill baby!
The Draw:  Rapelling, swimming though ice cold pools of water, worrying about flash floods, hiking an insanely cool canyon floor, a log sitting diagonal against a rock… what’s not to love about it?!
Cool things nearby: Bring supplies and be ready to just chill off-grid for awhile. And  if you have trouble sitting still like us, bring mountain bikes and hit the trails.

Related Blog: How We Made the Jump From Resortist To Adventure Traveler

Punta del Pacino

Best Hikes in the World- Punta del Pacino

Location:  Spainish Pyreneees
Distance:   5 miles RT
Elevation Gain:  2,000 feet
The Draw: Epic views of mountains and picturesque ski villages.
Cool things nearby: So much rock climbing in Spain!

Related Blog:  50 Things to Know When Planning Your First Trip To Europe

 

Cemin de la Mature

Best Hikes in the World- Chemin de la Mature
Best Hikes in the World- Chemin de la Mature

Location: French Pyrenees (Etsaut)
Distance:  7 miles RT
Elevation Gain:  2,500 feet
The Draw:  It’s the fall colors and the abundance of amazing food in the cutest towns that draw us back to the Pyrenees.  It’s like geting a huge hug from nature while still keeping the senses overloaded with beauty.
Cool things nearby: Find a local farmer who sells fromage.  Then head to the local baker for bread and you’re good to go.

Related Blog:  Adventure Road Trip Through France

Valle de Nuria

Best Hikes in the World- Valle de Nuria
Best Hikes in the World- Valle de Nuria
Best Hikes in the World- Valle de Nuria

Location: Catalonia Spain
Distance:  14 miles RT
Elevation Gain:  5,000 feet
The Draw:  Feeling lost without being lost.  Huge mountains that make you feel like you are lost in the backcountry until you hike a few hours to a secluded ski resort with great food and drinks.  
Cool things nearby: Stay in the town of Ribes De Fraser for a cultural experience you will not forget (nor regret).  This is like the Idaho of Spain, but with incredible food!

Related Blog:  Guide To Tent Camping In Europe

 

Olomana Ridge

Camping Hawaii, Olomana Ridge, Ultimate Guide to Visiting Hawaii on a Budget
Camping in Hawaii is perfect for you if you’re looking to explore mountains like these all day

Location: Oahu,Hawaii
Distance:  6 miles RT
Elevation Gain:  700 feet
The Draw:  Exposed ridges with ocean views.  
Cool things nearby: Surf Chuns, get poke at foodland, and run into Kelly Slater on an early morning surf check…day complete.

Related Blog:  10 Outdoor Adventures You Must Do In Oahu

Tongarriro

Best Hikes in the World- Tongarriro
Best Hikes in the World- Tongarriro
Best Hikes in the World- Tongarriro

Location: Tongariro National Park
Distance:  12 miles RT
Elevation Gain:  3700 feet
The Draw:  Feel like you’re in a real life middle earth filled with an active volcano, vivid lakes of green and blue, and hike along exposed ridges.
Cool things nearby: Surf the famously perfect wave, Raglan.  Camp below a glacier at Mount Cook.  Hike above alpine lakes in Wanaka.

Related Blog: 3 Week New Zealand Adventure Road Trip itinerary

What’s your favorite day hike in the world?  Let us know in the comments below!

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best day hikes in the world to add to your bucket list