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.
Details: Angel’s Landing on BestHike.com
National Geographic Top 100 Adventures in America
Zion Narrows was number 5 on the National Geographic list in 2000. It’s an awesome hike, thigh deep in places.
16mi (25.8km) winding through one of the most spectacular slot canyons anywhere. There is a long section where there is no escape from flash flood.
Details: Zion Narrows on BestHike.com
I just uploaded my collected highlight travel photos which have migrated through various locations over the years.
In Flickr I can easily add and edit. Others can easily find and comment.
(Rick McCharles is the editor of this blog.)
See all the photos on Flickr.
photo – George Novak
If I could be transported to one hike, right now, it would be Paria Canyon. (5 days, 4 nights, 37.5mi (60.4km) plus sidetrips)
These are the longest, best slot canyons in the world. Many hikers have drowned between steep cliff walls in surprise flash floods. Careful planning is necessary to get your hands on a much-coveted hiking permit.
The ultimate challenging route includes Wire Pass Trailhead, Buckskin Gulch and through Paria to Lee’s Ferry, Arizona. The Wave is a must sidetrip.
See Besthike Paria Canyon for details
The Wave, Arizona.
Rave for the Hubba tent. Why carry a bivy?
This coffin-sized, 1-person sanctuary weighs (maximum) 3.5lbs (1.6kg) and yet is fully functioning protection. I wouldn’t trade it for a bivy or tarp.
Product details on the MSR Hubba at MEC.ca
minimum weight – maximum fun
The best hiking podcast as of this date is hosted by Bob Cartwright of backpackinglight.co.uk
Cartwright posts a new 30min+ podcast it seems almost every day. You can subscribe from iTunes as I did â€” but it is worth checking the backpackinglight.co.uk podcast page too. They archive some of the best podcasts and include links to related blogs and websites. It is well done.
Complaints? I find the podcasts often too long. And very UK-centric.
Still, they have set the bar for future audio and video hiking podcasts. Congratulations to Cartwright and the rest of the team.
backpackinglight.co.uk home page
This 570gm (1.25lb) pack is one of the most popular for carrying up to 14kg (30lbs).
A minimalist speciality item without frills.
backpackinglight.co.uk â€” it sets the standard for maximum strength at minimal weight.
Available in 4 colours, 3 sizes for about US$100, we think it’s a bargain.
An alternative we like are the ultralight packs by Granite Gear.
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.