Hiking is a wonderful way to see new places, connect with the outdoors, and get some exercise. We’ve chosen three of our favorite hikes from around the world: see all below!
~ Audrey Archer
Hands down the most enchanting and challenging hike I’ve ever been on was known as “The Death Hike” by locals on the Big Island of Hawaii. While I’m always up for a good adventure, I am by no means an extreme thrill-seeker or adrenaline junky. So I surprised myself when I agreed to go on the ominous hike led by my roommate who grew up on the Island. I pried as much information as possible out of him but with little success. He did tell me it was at Akaka Falls State Park, which I quickly googled and found a description of a “pleasant 0.4 mile uphill hike” on a “paved footpath” that takes you through a “lush rainforest filled with orchids, bamboo groves and draping ferns” to the base of a 442 foot waterfall – arguably Hawaii Island’s most famous waterfall. He laughed when I told him it sounded like a walk in the park! Turns out the 8-hour round trip hike doesn’t turn up in any google search, as it involves climbing to the top of the waterfall on an unmarked trail (and I use the term trail loosely) – not to mention it requires a bit of trespassing. I started to understand why it was called the “The Death Hike.” Read the rest of her hiking adventure here!
Cathedral Lake Trail, Yosemite National Park
~ Nikkita Mehta
I’m not really a hiker. But, while I was working in California, many of my coworkers were. For the Fourth of July, we drove to Yosemite and walked the Cathedral Lake Trail. It was tough for me, but worth it. The views were out of this world!
~ Stephanie Panlasigui
I would be hard-pressed to find a hike more surreal feeling than the Salkantay Trek, the destination of which is Machu Picchu. This five-day alternative to the more popular Inca Trail pushed my limits, hiking long distance at high altitude with extreme weather. Luckily, a local gentleman rented horses to some of us on day two to help us reach the summit of Salkantay Pass at 15,200 feet. There, while an Andean Condor soared so high above I almost missed it, I initially shed layers since it was too warm under the full sun and cloudless sky, and meandered on the rocks to admire the landscape and countless cairns stacked by previous hikers. Very suddenly the clouds rolled in, the temperature dropped, and it began to snow. The rest of the day we descended far from this frozen mountain past glaciers to rest for the night in the rainforest at 9,300 feet. It was an arduous journey, but awe-inspiring and rewarding at every step!