#4 day hike – Laguna de los Tres, Argentina

One of our top 10 day hikes in the world.

Why?

The photos say it all. 😀

  • our pick for best day hike — of many — out of El Chaltén, Argentina’s Trekking Capital in Patagonia
  • the nearest airport is El Calafate
  • November – March are the best months. You might have snow on the trail in November or March, however.
  • 8+ hours round trip depending on route
  • elevation gain 2,300 ft. (700m)
  • option to tent near the lake
  • infamous for bad weather. Be prepared for extreme wind.

World → S AmericaPatagonian Andes → Argentina → Laguna de los Tres

vista from El Chaltén

For details click over to our Laguna de los Tres information page.

Best Laidback Hikes, Banff National Park

By Lukas Saville:

The rugged terrain of the Canadian Rockies might seem a little imposing at first glance, but once you do a bit of research and immerse yourself in this breathtaking landscape filled with jagged peaks, crystal clear lakes, and sprawling forests, you’ll find that it is fairly accessible for most outdoor enthusiasts. 

With its charming village and easy access to a wide variety of hiking routes, there is no better place to begin exploring the Rockies than in Banff National Park. Whether you are new to hiking and want to take in the natural beauty of the mountains for the first time, or are a seasoned outdoorsman looking to kick back with your grandkids on a relaxing adventure, there is no doubt that you will be able to find a hiking trail in Banff that will perfectly suit your needs. 

With that in mind, I’ve put together a great little list of the best laidback hikes in Banff National Park that will certainly make for an amazing day outdoors, no matter your age or skill level. Just don’t forget to pick up your Parks Canada Pass before setting out on your adventure!

6 Best Laidback Hikes 

  1. Moraine Lake Hike – Distance: 3.4km | Elevation: 38m | Time: 0.5-1h

This breathtaking hike will expose you to some quintessential Rocky Mountain views for a minimal amount of required effort. Gorgeous mountain peaks and the glittering surface of Moraine Lake make this an absolute must-hike if you are in the area.

Suitable for all ages and skill levels, you will need to time your hike to avoid the crowds, as the large volumes of visitors and limited parking can be a bit frustrating. Even still, this is the perfect hike to take in the beauty of Alberta.

  1. Peyto Lake Viewpoint Hike – Distance: 2.6km | Elevation: 80m | Time: 0.5-1h

Located along Icefields Parkway, the Peyto Lake Viewpoint Hike is a quick and easy adventure that should be on everyone’s list. 

Featuring two scenic viewpoints overlooking the pristine Peyto Lake and surrounding mountains, this is a great bang for your buck excursion that won’t take up too much of your time.

  1. Monarch Viewpoint Hike – Distance: 7.2km | Elevation: 175m | Time: 1.5-3h

Stunning meadow scenery and a fun gondola ride characterize this spectacular family-friendly adventure in Banff. The Standish Viewing Deck, Rock Isle Lake, and of course Monarch Viewpoint are all highlights of this 7.2km hike, making for an action-packed day on the trails.

Although kids will need to be able to ride a chairlift, the views on this hike are simply too good to avoid!

  1. Bow Lake Hike – Distance: 3.4km | Elevation: 2m | Time: 1-1.5h

Another short and scenic hiking route along the Icefields Parkway, the Bow Lake Hike is a great option that the entire family will love. Spend some time strolling by the water’s edge, taking in the breathtaking views of the mountain terrain that encompasses the shimmering waters of Bow Lake.

The trail here is flat, well-maintained, and easy to navigate, making it perfectly suited for young children and the elderly.

  1. Johnston Canyon Hike – Distance: 6.3km | Elevation: 122m | Time: 2-3h

While busy, the Johnston Canyon Hike is an amazing hiking trail that will lead you through a scenic canyon landscape to a picturesque series of waterfalls. Families and those less-inclined to traverse more rugged terrain can simply stop at the lower falls; however, you can also continue on to the upper falls, which are more impressive.

Due to the popularity of this route in the peak season, you will need to plan on starting your hike before 8AM to avoid the crowds. Additionally, the path can be slippery, so parents should always travel with children, keeping them close through wet areas.

  1. Lake Agnes Tea House Hike – Distance: 7.5km | Elevation: 353m | Time: 2-4h

Last – but certainly not least – is the Lake Agnes Tea House Hike, which is an incredible adventure in Lake Louise. Featuring some of the most splendid views in all of Banff National Park, the Lake Agnes Tea House is the perfect excursion for families, as everyone can get out for some exercise and enjoy some amazing scenery – with a delicious hot chocolate of course!

This route isn’t limited to families, so head up solo or with your friends and hike some of the connecting trails that explore this beautifully scenic landscape.

Other ways to explore the Rockies

After you’ve fully exhausted this list of trails – which shouldn’t take too long – you might be wondering how you can continue unlocking all of the wonders that Banff and the surrounding Rocky Mountains have to offer. 

There are plenty of different solutions that can help you take your outdoor exploration to the next level, starting with booking an unforgettable adventure tour in the Canadian Rockies. For anyone who isn’t a keen planner, booking a tour can be a great way to experience some of the most pristine mountain landscapes in the world, all with the help of experienced professionals who know the area inside and out. 

On the other end of the spectrum, if you are comfortable enough to hit the trails on your own or with a few friends, then a good GPS app – such as the 10Adventures Trail App – is a great option that will enable you to tackle the outdoors at your own pace. Featuring detailed route descriptions, maps, and the ability to track your activity, a trail app can go a long way in helping to keep you safe and on the right path!

No matter what direction you end up choosing, the Rocky Mountains – and Banff National Park in particular – are full of some amazingly scenic and laidback hiking trails, making it the ideal place to begin exploring the natural beauty that Canada has to offer.

#5 day hike – Reinebringen, Lofoten, Norway

One of our top 10 day hikes in the world

Why?

Reopened in 2019 with sherpa-built steps.

Now much safer and easier.

  • Reinebringen is on the island of Moskenesøya , one of the Lofoten islands in Norway, north of the Arctic Circle
  • infamous for wind and rainy weather
  • famed for dramatic scenery,  rugged peaks, open sea vistas past sheltered bays
  • about 448 meters (1470 feet) above sea level
  • over 1500 stone steps
  • about 2 hours up
  • It’s crowded. Over a thousand people a day in high season if the weather is good.
  • permits not required

World → Europe → Norway → Reinebringen, Lofoten

For details click over to our Reinebringen, Lofoten, Norway information page.

#6 day hike – Alpine Circuit, Lake O’Hara, Canada

One of our top 10 day hikes in the world.

Why?

Many feel this is the most beautiful of the Canadian Rockies trails.

  • Yoho National Park in British Columbia near Banff, Alberta.
  • mid-June through the end of September (start and end dates vary) for example, bus operated for hikers and campers from June 19 to October 4, 2018
  • 11.6 km
  • perhaps 9 hours
  • perhaps 900 photos 🙂
  • highest point 2528 m
  • elevation gain 1012 m

World → N AmericaRockies → Canada → Alpine Circuit, Lake O’Hara

For details click over to our Alpine Circuit, Lake O’Hara information page.

#7 day hike – Caminito del Rey, Spain

One of our top 10 day hikes in the world

Why?

Once called the most dangerous pathway  in the world.

  • Caminito del Rey is near Ardales in the province of MálagaSpain, Andalusia
  • first built 1905, the walkway had fallen into disrepair and was partially closed for nearly 15 years due to deaths
  • re-opened in 2015
  • new pathway still offers a walk of 2.9 km
  • 1 metre (3 ft) wide climbing over 100 metres (330 ft) above the Guadalhorce river
  • the entire trip from the start at the town of Ardales to finish at Álora would be about 8km and might take 3-4 hours
  • originally built to provide access to workers at hydroelectric power plants Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls

World → Europe → Spain → Caminito del Rey

For details click over to our Caminito del Rey information page.

#8 day hike – The Wave, Arizona USA

One of our top 10 day hikes in the world.

Only 20 hikers / day are allowed access. The BLM is considering an increase to a maximum of 96 per day .

Getting a permit is the BIG problem.

  • on the Utah-Arizona border, halfway between Page, Arizona and Kanab, Utah in the Paria Canyon/Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness
  • in 2014 about 50,000 applied for permits. Only 15% were granted.
  • Wire Pass trailhead located in North Coyote Buttes permit area of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
  •  5.2 miles return
  • you can go any month of the year, if you can tolerate the heat

World → North AmericaS.W. USA  → Arizona → The Wave

For details click over to our Wave information page.

#6 – Glacier North Circle, Montana, USA

Glacier North Circle is one of our top 10 hikes in the world.

Why?

  • 7 days, 6 nights recommended
  • 65miles (104km) plus side trips
  • best months July-Sept
  • well-signed
  • medium difficulty hiking
  • recommended for experienced multi-day hikers
  • Highline Trail
  • Ptarmigan Tunnel (120ft long)
  • Swiftcurrent Mountain Lookout
  • Iceberg Lake
  • wildflowers late June to early August
  • great day hikes elsewhere in the Park
  • likely to see elk, mule deer, moose, mountain goats & bighorn sheep. For wild life, this Park is second only to Yellowstone, in our opinion

World → North AmericaRockiesNorth Circle

yellow marks the Highline Trail / Ptarmigan Tunnel, North Circle red arrows point to our recommended campgrounds

Click PLAY or watch a 1-minute preview on YouTube.

 

For details click over to our Glacier North Circle information page.

New Zealand’s Great Walks – Happy Birthday

New Zealand is our #1 hiking destination in the world.

Infrastructure is terrific.

The Great Walks of New Zealand are just a few of the terrific tramping adventures available.

The Great Walks network was established by the Department of Conservation in 1992.

North Island

South Island

Stewart Island / Rakiura

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

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