The tallest mountain in the world, Everest is probably beyond your reach unless you have perfect experience and $ 50,000 to spend. But you can still reach pretty impressive heights across the world with nothing more than willpower.
1. Wengen, Switzerland
With its nostalgic timber houses, the many dispersed holiday chalets and hotels dating from the belle époque period, this Bernese Oberland holiday resort has retained all the character of a picture-postcard mountain village. Kleine Scheidegg is a 9.2 kilometer point-to-point trail located near Wengen, Bern, Switzerland that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips. The key excursion destinations within the Jungfrau region can all be reached easily from Wengen. Climbers on the Eiger north face – one of the world’s most spectacular and difficult climbing faces – can be observed by telescope from the Kleine Scheidegg. Over 500 km of marked walking trails and 15 mountain cableways in the nearby surroundings lead to the most beautiful vantage points of the Jungfrau.
2. Canada, Auyuittuq National Park trail
Among the spectacular granite towers carved into the bedrock by glaciers stand Odin, Asgard, Overlord and the second tallest rock face in the world, Thor Peak. This is Auyuittuq National Park on Baffin Island, a destination ‘at the end of the world’ sought after by intrepid climbers and hikers the world over. To hike in Auyuittuq Park, you will need to be able to hike with a 30 to 40 pound backpack for a distance of 8 to 18 km per day (4 to 8 hours per day). The trail is not technical and does not present an elevation challenge be prepared to have, when crossing the glacial river. The days will be spent in the great outdoors while the nights will be spent in the tent. You should be prepared to live outdoors the entire trip and have minimal camping experience. The striking views of Overlord, Odin, Thor and Asgard peaks will guide you through this spectacular landscape.
Best Time To Go: July and August are the most popular months for hiking in the park. While warm summer temperatures are common in July and August, hikers should be prepared at all times for inclement weather such as sudden drops in temperature, strong winds, and rain or snow.
3. Peru, Huayhuash Trail
With a length of about 130km (81mi) and elevations as high as 5,490m (18,012ft), trekking the Cordillera Huayhuash is not for the faint of heart. This trek is difficult and sometimes dangerous, so the full trek should be attempted only by experienced hikers. The entire path is above the treeline, giving visitors a panoramic view of gorgeous mountainous landscapes at all times. Aside from the main 130km circuit, there are also a number of optional side treks, including climbs of Pumarinri and Diablo Mudo. the Cordillera Huayhuash, just 19 miles long, 9 miles wide, and only boasting three summits over 6,100 meters—caught our attention. With the Huayhuash’s less touristy vibe and miles of trekking potential, we made the decision to stray south of Huaraz and slightly off the beaten path. Mini Huayhuash Treks, these shorter routes intend to provide trekkers a sort of “best of” sample of the Cordillera Huayhuash in a shorter period of time. These routes tend to focus around Lake Jahuacocha or Lake Carhuacocha and cross over several 4,000+ meter / 13,000+ feet mountain passes. Although not as challenging as the full Huayhuash Trek, these treks still require prior acclimatization in and around Huaraz.
Best Time To Go: The best months to hike the Cordillera Huayhuash are May through September when the weather is dry but cold.
4. Afghanistan, Wakhan Corridor hike
Wakhan is the doorway to the mighty Hindu Kush mountain range. Although geographically in Afghanistan, Wakhan is inaccessible from Kabul and can only be entered over land through Tajikistan. The region, the warm hospitable people, the towering peaks of rock and ice that seems on the verge of a mammoth collapse and the harsh arid wind along with the constant sight of exotic flora and fauna make this trek an unforgettable experience. The Wakhan comes to a stunning halt at the ‘Pamir knot’, also known as ‘the roof of the world’, where three of the world’s loftiest ranges converge: The Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Pamir. All that adds up to one of the world’s most spectacular treks on ‘the roof of the world’. The Wakhan is home to around 10,000 nomadic people of the Wakhi and Kyrghiz tribes. Yaks play a major role in the nomads’ survival, providing food and transport. Wool is turned into felt for lining yurts and dung is dried for fuel. The few traders who journey here barter supplies for livestock.
Best Time To Visit: Ideal months are July—September.
5. Southern Alps, New Zealand
The main feature of scenery in the South Island is mountains. The Southern Alps mountain range is the backbone of the island, stretching for roughly 500 kilometres from Wanaka to Arthur’s Pass. The Alps have snowy tops all year round, feeding glaciers and crystal clear rivers. The highest mountain in New Zealand, Aoraki/Mount Cook, soars to 3,724 metres. Mount Cook is one of New Zealand’s greatest natural features. The pyramid-shaped peak entices both day walkers and keen climbers. To get a glimpse of New Zealand’s tallest mountain, you can visit Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park for a day walk or even an overnight trip to the famous Mueller’s Hut. The Southern Alps have great hydroelectric potential, and, since the 1930s, power stations have been built on the Waitaki river and its tributaries and at Lake Coleridge. The Alps are crossed by a rail line passing through the Otira Tunnel (5.3 miles [8.6 km] long) at Arthur’s Pass.
Best Time To Visit: December and January