An increasing number of people are hitting the outdoors, bravely seeking the highest peaks, the deepest caverns, and the most remote locations on Earth. Enthusiastic hikers, professional mountaineers, and everyday adventurous thrill-seekers are boldly exploring the dangerous beauty of snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and vast yet deadly canyons – with and without trail guides and trusty satellite phones.
Whether you’re a novice hiker planning your first trip or an experienced trail runner researching your next big adventure, check out the following seven majestic locations that will provide a lifetime of enchanting memories.
- Torres del Paine Circuit, Chile
One of the largest and most visited parks in Chile, the Torres Del Paine circuit is a 52-mile, 10-day loop that encircles the Torres del Paine, an 8,000 to 10,000ft wildly shaped, granite-peaked mountain range. Come face to face with exotic animals, such as the llama-like guanacos, gorgeous blue glaciers, iceberg-studded lakes, and pristine rivers. The circuit’s highpoint deposits you at the edge of Grey Glacier, where you can watch spellbound as crumbling ice thunderously crashes into the water.
- Everest Base Camp, Nepal
The two-week trek to Everest Base Camp and back is one of the most spectacular adventures in the world. During the trek, you’ll enjoy a crystal clear view of the Himalayan range, including Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Nuptse, Pummi, and more. Accompanied by Sherpas, your journey will lead you through picturesque valleys and mountains, and on day 10, will have you reaching a woozy height of 18,193ft at Kala Pattar.
- GR20, France
The GR20 long distance trail in Corsica is a legendary hike spanning 104 miles that can be walked in 15 days. The trail traverses Corsica diagonally from north to south and will direct you through Calenzana, Vizzavona, before ending in Conca, north of Porto Vecchio. Along the trek, you’ll encounter breathtaking scenery such as glacial lakes, grassy meadows, spectacular cliffs, mountains, forests, and bogs.
- Pays Dogon, Mali
Located on a cliff known as the Bandiagara Escarpment, the Dogon Country is a beautifully wondrous, historic region of Mali where a group of people known as the Dogon make their home. Hikes through the region can take anywhere from 2 to 10 days – a journey that will have you encountering a vast sea of plains, lush vegetation, rocky plateaus, and ancient dwellings from successive periods of occupation.
- Te Araroa Trail, New Zealand
New Zealand’s Te Araroa is a 1,894-mile trail that links coastal sand, alpine ridges, and jungle bushwacks. The epic journey will have you traversing through the river valleys of the Whanganui National park, rural farmlands, the foreboding forest area of Takitimu, beaches, and over the slopes of the active Tongariro volcano. Split into 160 tracks, the trail takes a whopping 120 days to finish – somewhere between 50-80 days per island.
- Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska
The northernmost park in the U.S., the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve covers 8.4 million acres in the Brooks Range and offers no roads, trails or visitor services. The beautifully vast landscape has remained virtually unchanged for thousands of years, offering visitors a rare, magnificent view of migrating caribou, glacier-carved valleys, and mesmerizing, aurora-lit winter night skies.
- Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy, and Switzerland
Circling Mont Blanc – also known as the rooftop of Western Europe – is an epic 11-day adventure. During the Tour du Mont Blanc, you’ll traverse France, Italy, and Switzerland, and travel through several enchanting mountain passes, with breathtaking views of the continent’s grandest glaciers. Europe’s most famed long-distance walk dips down into several different valleys and reaches a peak of 8,743ft at the Col des Fours in France and the Fenêtre d'Arpette in Switzerland.
Embarking on Your Adventure
The world boasts countless exotic, beautiful, and rarely visited locations just waiting to be explored. If you’re in the midst of planning your next adventure, be sure to spend as much time organizing your pack as you do your itinerary. Traveling to dangerous and remote locations calls for special gear such as an Iridium satellite phone.
Want to learn more about what essentials you should bring to your next big adventure? Check out our blog post, Backpacking 101: The Ten Essentials for a run down on what you won’t want to leave behind.