Mountain ranges exist all across the planet, varying in size, shape, and even color. Seeing them in a picture might leave you drooling, but actually hiking them is an eye-opening experience. The sights and sounds you experience as you trek along their vast trails will speak to your very soul.
Hiking enthusiasts tend to have mountain ranges they prefer to travel to, enjoying the landscapes and sights of some better than others. We have compiled a list of some of these wonderful destinations for you to consider for your next trek across the world.
10 The Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains stretch from New Mexico all the way up into Canada. They consist of multiple sub-ranges including the Canadian Rockies, Northern Rockies, Middle Rockies, Southern Rockies, and Colorado Plateau. They are known for showcasing the past history of glacier movement, as well as volcanic deformation.
If your goal is to see some spectacular views, you should travel to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and climb to the summit of Mount Ida. The trail is rated as difficult and is a 9.2-mile hike, but the view at the end is definitely worth it.
9 The Himalayas
The Himalayas are home to the tallest peaks on the planet, including the infamous Mount Everest with an elevation of 29,035 feet. They are located in Southern Asia and form a barrier between the Tibetan Plateau and India. The effects of erosion can be seen everywhere, as well as an abundance of several species of animal and plant.
The trek recommended for those not used to high altitudes is the Hampta Pass, which will allow you to appreciate the beauty of the Himalayas as you travel to the Chandra Taal. You schedule a five-day tour, which will take you hiking and camping across the range to see all that it has to offer.
8 The Alps
The Alps stretch all the way from Italy to Slovenia, and much of the range is covered in snow and ice. You can see several species of animals, including wolves and bears, as well as a diverse cultural mix.
Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route is one of the best hikes in the Alps, but it does take 10 to 12 days to complete. You will experience snow and greenery as you pass from the French Alps and into the Swiss Alps. The sights are breathtaking and it ends in a car-free town, completing your serene adventure on a high note.
7 The Appalachian Mountains
This mountain range stretches from Alabama and up into Canada. It ranges from steep peaks to lowly hills, but the scenery is beautiful. It is also known for its heavy foliage, as the close proximity of the trees provides cover from the sun.
If you are looking for out-of-this-world views, you can hike the McAffee Knob Trail in Virginia. It takes about four hours to complete and the end gifts you with a view of the expanse of Shenandoah Valley.
6 The Karakoram Mountains
The Karakoram Mountains are a mix of high peaks and icy glaciers. They extend from Afghanistan to China, and are considered extremely rugged. If you plan on hiking this range, be sure to bring your winter gear because the temperature never rises above freezing.
You can visit the Central Karakoram National Park in Pakistan and take one of their many multi-day treks, leaving you with memories of fantastic views and frozen lakes. You will experience everything from permafrost to meadows on your journey, and if you are lucky enough, you might even glimpse a snow leopard.
5 The Ural Mountains
This range acts as a divider between Europe and Asia and is mainly located in Russia. They are well-known for their abundance of natural resources, such as lumber or precious minerals. You might glimpse a wolverine or lynx during your hike, as well as a cuckoo bird. You should plan to hike Mount Uvan as it is relatively easy and acceptable for all skill levels.
You can schedule a tour or attempt the trek on your own, but the 360-degree view will be well worth it whichever you decide to choose.
4 The Andes
The Andes extend along the coast of South America and are split into an eastern and western range. The temperature here is dependent upon your altitude, but you can expect to see plenty of plant and animal life. It is also a busy mining region dealing with several precious products, including copper and emeralds.
You should consider doing the epic Machu Picchu trek through deep snow and lush forests. Although it takes six days, the ancient ruins you end up at are worth the time and distance.
3 The Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains are located in Northwest Africa and offer plenty of clear, fresh air for you to breathe. The climate can be arid or relatively humid, depending upon the section of the range you choose to hike. It is not uncommon to see herds of goats and the trails are easily accessible for foot travelers.
Hiking to the summit of Toubkal can be difficult, and takes about two to three days . There are those who do experience altitude sickness during the climb, so it is best to take it slow rather than waste your breath rushing to the top. When you do finally reach the top of Morroco's highest mountain, you can look out and view a multitude of other peaks to consider for your next climb.
2 The Dolomites
The Dolomites are located in Italy and are filled with tourist attractions to fit even non-hikers needs. They offer biking, rafting, and skiing, as a side activity or an alternate option for visitors. The Lago Di Sorapis to Cortina hike is a must-do for any serious trekkers in the area, with two routes ranging from easy to difficult.
The easy hike only takes half a day to complete, ending at the Lago Di Sorapis pool, but for the difficult trek, you can continue on to Cortina. The longer hike adds seven kilometers to your journey through the mountain passes, but it will leave you with even more spectacular views and memories.
1 The Tian Shan
These are also known as the Celestial or Heavenly Mountains, extending into China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. A frequently-traveled attraction is the Heavenly Lake, as its water is pure and clear due to its source of melted snow.
The peaks are covered in an eternal frost, but the bases are rich in a variety of foliage. It is best to travel here with a guide, as many of the trails are unmarked, making it easy to get lost with all of the twists and turns.