Every adventure traveler knows about the Inca Trail or the Annapurna Circuit. They’re amongst the best known hikes in the world, and the amount of traffic on those trails reflects that. While they both offer amazing scenery and a great travel experience, that experience can be tempered by the crowds.
Thankfully, Backpacker is here to offer us ten great unknown treks, a list of outstanding long distance hikes that are, for now, relatively unknown and off the radar for most travelers. Backpacker thinks they’re all destined to eventually become classics in their own right, and I would argue that some of them already are, so they recommend that we get there before everyone else does.
The treks stretch from Europe to New Zealand, with a number of stops in between. They also range from a few days in length to several weeks, with accommodations running the gamut from backpacking tents to comfortable inns. For instance, they Pyrenees Traverse in France is 500 miles in length, with the trail winding through quaint mountain villages. At night, hikers stay in rustic huts that offer great food and ample access to local wines.
Looking for something a bit more adventurous? Then check out the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia. This eight day trek covers roughly 83 miles and is an interesting mix of culture, wildlife, and scenery. The trail crosses through gorges and rock canyons, and up 14,000 foot peaks, with active volcano vents dotting the landscape. Along the way you’ll pass through remote Ethiopian villages, while wild baboons wander the surrounding countryside and unique birds soar over head.
Each of the treks on the list is accompanied with great information for planning your own hike, including suggestions for a guidebook and map. You’ll also find other tips such as the best time of the year to visit and what essential gear you should take with you. Backpacker even goes so far as to recommend a top guide service to hire for each of the treks as well.
So, if you’ve already hiked most of the great trails of the world, or you’re simply looking for a trek that offers up a unique experience while still providing plenty of solitude, then this is the list for you. You’ll find outdoor adventures from around the globe, and some great ideas for your next trek that you may not have thought of before. Just make sure you get there before everyone else does.