#4 best hiking region in the world is the …

Sierra Nevada

The longest, highest, most diverse mountain range in the continental United States is not the Rockies. It’s the Sierra Nevada range in California.

Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite … everyone loves these mountains.

In the summer of 2007 we met a hiker there who enjoyed 41 days in a row of perfect weather. Where else in the mountains can you get that? (Starting day 42 he had pounding hail and was at risk of death by lightning.)

The range is about the same size as the Alps, 430mi long, 40-80mi wide. It’s all great.

Many come here specifically to climb Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous States. Others come to see astonishing Yosemite Valley. And to scramble Half Dome.

Lower elevation hikes are accessible year-round. The Parks are within easy driving distance of major urban areas and, unusual for the USA, have good public transportation. Kids love this region.

In fact, everyone leaves John Muir’s “Range of Light” elated.

More information on our new Sierra Nevada information page.

Our favourite hike in the Sierra Nevada is the John Muir Trail, our #2 hike in the world. (Every photo of the JMT is a postcard.)

See our JMT Information page.

A good starting point is the somewhat dated Lonely Planet Hiking in the Sierra Nevada – Mock & O’Neil, 2002. There are many other good guidebooks for this region, however.

Lonely Planet Hiking in the Sierra Nevada

WHO is Hiking for Years?

Rebecca McPhee:

Long-Distance Hiking Roundup

  • Alexander Campbell – plans to walk 40,000km across 30 countries
  • Paul Salopek – possibly 15 years walking the original migration route of humans
  • Yann Busnel – 50,000km the southern tip of Africa, to Cape Horn, South America
  • Karl Bushby – Chile to England, around the world
  • Angela Maxwell –  32,000km across four continents and 14 countries
  • Juls Stoden – hiking to every bothy in the UK
Karl Bushby’s route so far

BestHike #7 – Otter Trail, South Africa

The Otter Trail on the Garden Route out of Capetown is arguably the most famous in Southern Africa.

Click PLAY or watch a 1 minute introduction on YouTube.

Otter Trail

Lush forests, rugged shorelines, mountain streams and waterfalls and fragrant fynbos make this a unique coast adventure.

Book 12 months in advance to get one of the exclusive permits. .

South Africa Tourism
South Africa Tourism


  • one of our top 10 coastal hikes in the world
  • Storms River Mouth to Nature’s Valley
  • 42km
  • 5 days, 4 nights
  • clean huts, no tenting
  • gorgeous cliff tops, returning to sea level to cross rivers

Read more on our Otter Trail information page.

Johnston Canyon, Banff Park, Canada in Winter ☃️

Johnston Canyon is a MUST SEE attraction for visitors to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies.

On a summer day it is packed. Narrow trails with far too many people.

Recommended is to do the hike very early or late in the day. Avoid the crowds.

OR do Johnston Canyon in the winter with some kind of ice traction or micro spikes for your shoes. The access road is closed each winter, further reducing the traffic.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I took the bus from Banff ($10 return) end of April 2023. Too late, in my opinion.

I still needed my YakTrax. But it was far too crowded.

The highlight for me were the catwalks between narrow canyon walls.

Seeing the frozen waterfalls up close is cool — but they were looking quite dirty end of April. These will be gone in a week or two.

A minority of hikers carry on up to the “Ink Pots“, mineral springs that differ in colour because each pool fills at a different rate.

Distance: 5.7 km (3.5 miles) one way

Elevation gain: 330 m or 1,083 feet

Time needed: 2.5 – 4 hours to do the return hike

Difficulty: Easy

Read more on Hike Bike Travel – Ink Pots hike via Johnston Canyon

Where the Deer and the Antelope Play by Nick Offerman

Of all celebrities, the one I’d like to most go for hike is Nick Offerman.

I got to know him as the hilarious Ron Swanson in the sitcom Parks and Recreation (2009–2015).

He’s an actor, comedian, boat builder, wood craftsman, and author.

This book starts with day hikes in Glacier National Park with friends Jeff Tweedy and George Saunders. The three are well prepared — but ultimately incompetents.

It’s very entertaining while being smart and philosophical.

Nick is a humane and thoughtful guy.

I recommend Where the Deer and Antelope Play.

Walking the Bow River in Canada

I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Gateway to the Canadian Rockies.

Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time on and around the Bow River and the Elbow River which joins the Bow in Calgary.

The Bow flows through Banff all the way to Hudson’s Bay.

The other day it seemed Spring had finally sprung — so I grabbed the drone and headed off trail to walk the river.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

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