World's Best Hikes: 15 Classic Trails

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Tonquin Valley, Canadian Rockies, Alberta, Canada

Watching the sunrise light up the enormous broadside of the Ramparts, throwing golden reflections into the waters of Amethyst Lake, is an experience worthy of any effort expended to get into this wild valley.

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Tonquin Valley, Canadian Rockies, Alberta, Canada
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Bay of Fires, Tasmania, Australia

From the start in Mount William National Park to the finish at the impressive Bay of Fires Lodge, the route never deviates from seemingly endless beaches of blinding white sand and surreal rock formations lapped by a turquoise Tasman Sea.

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Bay of Fires, Tasmania, Australia
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Long Range Traverse, Newfoundland, Canada

This off-trail traverse takes you from inland fjords lined with 2,000-foot-high granite cliffs draped with wispy waterfalls deep into Gros Morne National Park. The rugged seaside plateau is just one reason Newfoundland is the new mecca for adventure. The landscape here is as dramatic as it is remote: It was carved by glaciers from massive, uplifted blocks of granite that form the expansive plateau, a wild place still loaded with moose and caribou.

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Long Range Traverse, Newfoundland, Canada
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Queen Charlotte Track, New Zealand

A unique journey through the sunny hills of the Marlborough Sounds, the Queen Charlotte follows the dragon’s back ridge that separates the blue waters of Queen Charlotte Sound from those of Kenepuru Sound. Water taxis take you from the town of Picton to the start, at Ship’s Cove.

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Queen Charlotte Track, New Zealand
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Mountains of the Moon, Uganda

Looming on the Uganda-Congo border, these peaks make up the highest range in Africa. You’ll hike three days through two 14,000-foot passes and mind-bending forests of giant groundsel and giant lobelias to get to the Bujuku Hut, base camp for those wanting to climb Mount Speke.

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Mountains of the Moon, Uganda
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Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii, United States

The finest coastal hike in the world, this rugged route through Kauai’s impressive Nā Pali Coast will challenge you physically with tropical heat and steep trails, and scare you with exposure on muddy slopes. But after a day of slogging 11 miles through the fluted cliffs above surf that crashes like howitzer fire on the coast below, you are rewarded with a view of the impossibly serene mile-long arc of golden Kalalau Beach along the shimmering Pacific.

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Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii, United States
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