top of page

Twelve of the best day hikes in the world

If you are an avid hiker like me you are always looking for another thrill, another epic hike, a walk to a viewpoint or a challenging trek. Here are twelve of the best day hikes in the world!

Along the  Angel's Landing trail, Zion NP, USA

1. Angel's Landing, Zion NP, USA

One of Zion’s most iconic walks, the hike to Angels Landing will get you some of the best views of the soaring red-and-white cliffs of Zion Canyon.

It's 270-million-year-old rock layers will take you back in time to the Triassic period when this section of the Colorado Plateau was just a flat basin at sea level.

The trail was cut out of the rock in 1926 and continues to impress hikers to this day.

While the hike is only 9 kms long and climbs no more than 450 metres, it is a vertigo-inducing trail and not for the faint-hearted. To reduce crowding the last 800 metres of the trail is subject to a lottery system.

Hiker on Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

2. Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

Yes, you can take a cable car and yes, that would be a whole lot easier. But nothing quite compares to hiking up Table Mountain seeing the view get better with every turn. After two hours to steep climbing you get to the top where you can find a quiet spot for a picnic. After a well-deserved rest continue your hike across the plateau, then descend throught the Skeleton Gorge to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

Hike to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Dolomites, Italy

3. Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Dolomites, Italy

One of my all-time favourite hiking regions in the world is the Dolomites area in northern Italy. Craggy peaks tower up to the sky, while wooden farmhouses dot the orchard-clad valleys. Hiking trails lead you from mountain huts to spa resorts to glorious vistas and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo is one of the best hikes in the region. Start early to beat the crowds as especially during peak summer the trail gets busy.

Hiker admiring view  Mirador del Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

4. Mirador del Torres, Patagonia, Chile

There are no views like it on earth - the towering granite pillars of Paine, reflected in the waters of Lago Nordenskjöld. Combine it with the expanse of Glaciar Grey, the azure lakes, the hiking and trekking routes meandering through forests and over mountain passes, the large herds of guanacos and the overwhelming sense of being in the wilderness, and you begin to understand why UNESCO protected Torres del Paine is a must-see for every visitor to Patagonia. The day hike to the famous Mirador is one of the best hikes I have had the pleasure to do.

along the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, North Island, New Zealand

5. Tongariro Alpine Crossing, North Island, New Zealand

Another one of my favourites and one that I have told all my peeps who travel to New Zealand about. I regard it as hands-down the best one-day trek in New Zealand. At 20 kilometres and with steep climbs this is not a walk in the park but every step is worth your while. Amazing views and stunning volcanic landscapes formed by Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu volcanoes, await the intrepid hiker.

Half Dome, Yosemite National Park,California,  USA

6. Half Dome, Yosemite NP, USA

While I have hiked some stunning trails in Yosemite, time eluded me to do the best hike of them all - Half Dome Rock. Half Dome is of course one of Yosemite’s most recognizable landmarks but at nearly 25 kilometers, an ascent of a mile and with some cables to negotiate, the 10-14 hour trail is one for experienced hikers only. but the effort is worth it - waterfalls and amazing viewpoints are but some of the highlights of this spectacular trail.

View across laguna de los Tres, Patagonia, argentina

7. Laguna de los Tres, Patagonia, Argentina

Call it the lesser-known cousin of the Mirador del Torres in Torres del Paine. The Laguna de los Tres hike gives you equally spectacular views in far less-visited Los Glaciares park in Argentine Patagonia.

View of Gun Point, Lion's Head, Ontario, Canada

8. Gun Point, Lion's Head, Ontario, Canada

This one is for those who don't to travel too far! When I put an image on-line for a "where in the world is this" contest, guesses had the location as far away as Croatia. And indeed, the scenery is that beautiful, what with white cliffs rising out of the azure blue waters of Georgian Bay. Be sure to avoid summer weekends as the trail gets very busy but at other times of the year you will enjoy the spectacular scenery in peace. Bring water, navigational tools and sturdy shoes - this hike is harder than it appears.

View of the Lauterbrunnen valley, Switzerland

9. Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First, Switzerland

One of my favourite hikes in the Swiss Alps is the hike from Schynige Platte to Faulhorn to First, offering spectacular views of Jungfrau. While the hike can be done in either direction, walking up from Schynige Platte gives you the better views. Start your hike with a train ride from Wilderswil to Schynige Platte and end it with a descent by gondola from First to Grindelwald.

Desert scnery King's Canyon, Northern Territory, Australia

10. King's Canyon, Northern Territory, Australia

It's hard to imagine a more magical spot than the soaring cliffs and otherwordly rock formations of King's Canyon. It's a 500-step slog to the top of the canyon but once there you are rewarded with incredible views. From here descent through the weathered sandstone domes of the Lost City and the contrasting lush greenery of the Garden of Eden, a hidden gem with a sacred waterhole.

Hiker viewing  Vikos Gorge, Zagorohoria, Greece

11. Vikos Gorge, Zagorohoria, Greece

Ever since reading an article in Lonely Planet Magazine, the hike through Vikos Gorge has been on my bucket list. With it's jaw-dropping scenery - the 12 km long, 900 metre deep gorge it has been nicknamed the Grand Canyon of Greece - this is one of the best hike in Greece. Best of all, it remains almost undiscovered by outsiders.

Cliff-side trail, El Caminito del Rey, Spain

12. El Caminito del Rey, Andalucia, Spain

The narrow cliffside path of the Caminito del Rey follows a series of walkways suspended 100 metres above the Guadalhorce river. After it was built at the start of the 20th century as an access route to a hydroelectric dam it fell into disrepair, earning it the moniker the ‘walk of death’. The route was reopened in 2015 replicating as much as possible the old route but with much higher safety standards. As you hike through the gorge you may be lucky enough to spot Egyptian and griffon vultures, golden eagles or Iberian ibex.

Did I miss your favourite day hike? Or are you interested in joining a tour that incorporates one of these hikes Contact me!

bottom of page