The Milford Track, New Zealand

The Finest Walk in the World.

That’s the tag line inevitably associated with the Milford Track on the South Island of New Zealand. It’s almost always wrongly attributed to Kiwi Poet Blanche Baughan. Her original title — A Notable Walk — was changed by an editor when printed in the London Spectator, 1908.

Serious hikers often make the Milford pilgrimage so they can legitimately rank it below more favourite treks.

In reality, Milford is a wonderful hike. Lakes, crystalline rivers, huge waterfalls, kooky birdlife, rainforest, and, of course, arriving at fantastic Milford Sound.

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Details on besthike.com

Tongariro Northern Circuit, New Zealand

The best multi-day Kiwi hike, we feel, is not the Milford Track, rather a circuit around an active volcano called Ngauruhoe. You know it as Mt. Doom in the film The Lord of the Rings.

On this 3-4 day trek you can scramble 2 volcanoes. Walk the only desert in the country. Wash-up in pristine waterfalls. And marvel in how life survives in a bleak, tortured volcanic landscape.

The best trip report is posted by David Briese. He calls this the Land of Mordor.

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Ngauruhoe – David Briese

Details on besthike.com

Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand

The best day hike in the world, we reckon.

Especially if you have never hiked around active volcanos. It’s fascinating.

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You can warm yourself at steaming vents, scree down volcanic scoria, marvel at aquamarine water filled explosion holes, tramp craters & puzzle at bizarre volcanic formations.

Wait for good weather before setting out. Wind & low cloud sometimes make this hike a miserable slog in the fog.

Details on besthike.com

Angel’s Landing, Utah

The shortest hike deemed worthy to be listed on besthike.com is Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, one of the best hiking destinations in the world.

When I climbed to the Landing I felt it should be restricted to experienced mountaineers! And angels.

This is one vertical and hairy ascent. It’s almost as steep as Half Dome in Yosemite in places. But what a view from the top.

Angel's Landing

Details: Angel’s Landing on BestHike.com

traverse the Chilean Andes – Sendero de Chile

The proposed Sendero de Chile hiking trail system will stretch the entire length of Chile, from the northern border to the tip of South America. A total of more than 9,700km (6000mi) of trekking paths.

A main trail is being built to connect existing trails in Chile. It will cross some of the great remaining wilderness areas of the world.

Hard core through hikers will be interested. But it seems only about 25% of the proposed route exists today.

There is not much information available yet. The best source of information is AllSouthernChile.com

Choquequirao to Machu Picchu, Peru

Choquequirao is a enigmatic ruined Inca city even less accessible than Machu Picchu. In 2005, we had the Choquequirao ruins to ourselves in the late afternoon.

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One day it will draw hordes of tourists but for now it is still little visited. The ultimate itinerary is to hike to Choquequirao and continue to Machu Picchu via Aguas Calientes.

As of this date, no guidebook details the long route, 7-days minimum. Guide and pack animals recommended.

If you are looking for an alternative to the over-popular Inca Trail, check out:

Choquequirao to Machu Picchu

Cirque of the Towers, Wyoming

The Cirque of the Towers represents a real “must see” on the lifetime list of most serious backpackers … TwoHikers.org

I seriously must get back to Wyoming to hike this 2-day, 20.4mi (32.8km) loop via one of the most impressive cirques anywhere! it’s surprising how some of the biggest glaciers, the best peaks, are not in the central Rockies but way over in Wyoming.

August and September are the best months.

Cirque of the Towers