This hike has all the attributes of one of the best hikes in the world. It’s a circuit. It takes you to the base camp of the highest local peaks. Wildlife is not only visible, you may get chased by a mountain goat!
And you access and exit the trip by train.
The 4-day circuit around the Needle Mountains.
photos – Mike Donato & Chris Kaffer
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.
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
One of the most accessible great hikes in the world, you can get to the trailhead on a shuttle bus departing Aspen every 20 minutes.
This is a great treat in a region where most trailheads are not accessible by public transport.
The 4-day circuit around the famous Maroon Bells (mountaineering peaks) is a classic. Most of the walking is above 11,000ft (3343m) so the views are magnificent.
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.
Alpine Club of Canada – Abbot Pass Hut
At 9,598 feet, it is the second highest permanent structure in Canada. Built in 1922, how is it that I still haven’t been there. It’s just up the hill from Lake O’Hara.
Might be the extreme scree gully / avalanche shoot approach.
More Alpine Club of Canada huts.
Next week I will announce the besthike.com South America page. A resource for any hiker wanting to get started organizing a trek. I focused on South America first as it is the best neglected continent by hikers. Information on hikes in the Andes is more critical than in the Alps, by comparison.
Best hikes & treks in South America.
My favourite photo on South American hikes was professionally published by Radek Tezaur. This is the Dientes Circuit in Patagonia, perhaps the world’s most southern major hike.
I was twice so far frustrated trying to hike Bolivia, the poorest and most problematic of South American countries.
But I vow one day to do the long Transcordillera trek through the Royal Mountains. And return to the great salt flats.