6 Iconic Hikes You Should Do Before You Die

I’ve come to realize a long time ago that hiking from a fun and healthy hobby quickly transforms into a lifestyle and once you get into it, there’s no turning back. For many people, hiking seems like too much work, when in reality it helps you understand that our everyday lives seriously need a pause button from time to time and this is one of the best ways to hit it.

Throughout the years, as my passion for hiking and trekking grew, I found myself exploring new exciting trails all over the world and a bucket list started to form. I’ve had the pleasure to witness the wild beauty that numerous hikes around the planet have to offer but somehow, the list of places I want to see only grows. Here are six of the most memorable hikes that every formidable hiker should conquer if they get the chance to do it.

1.     Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

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You’ve seen it everywhere – on posters, movies, and commercials, but still, witnessing the vastness of Grand Canyon isn’t something anyone can describe, you have to live it. Even if you’re quite new in the world of hiking, there are trails in the canyon you can try out without any fear you’ll overestimate yourself – Bright Angel Point Trail that only takes about half an hour is a good example. If you’re in for more of a challenge, then give Widforss Trail a shot and be prepared to be amazed at the variety of scenery you’ll come across. This round trip trail is 10 mi. long and it takes about six hours to explore it fully, but you will definitely have stories to tell after you come back. Don’t forget to bring your camera because one thing’s for certain – Grand Canyon has nothing if not mesmerizing views and you will definitely want to capture that.

2.     Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

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I strongly believe that traveling to Africa is a life-altering experience, not just because the culture and life are so different there, but because the spirit of this continent seeps into your bones. When you become confident enough and decide to get to the highest peak of Africa, know that you will need 7-9 days for the climb, depending on which route you take, as well as your stamina and fitness. While Kilimanjaro is known as a “walk-up mountain”, you still need plenty of time to get used to different climates and ecosystems you’ll go through on your way to Uhuru Peak. You will see everything from rainforests and moorland to cultivated land and snow as you reach the summit. Wild animals, never-ending skies and pilgrimage-like feeling of the hike will stay with you long after you return to civilization.

3.     Mount Fuji, Japan

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Here’s a mountain that has inspired artists from all over the world and today it remains an incredibly famous site only 60 miles from Tokyo. This mountain is made up of three active volcanoes and surrounded by five lakes, and as you approach it, you can’t help but feel the awe. If you’ve got thirst for Japanese culture and hiking, then taking on Fuji is the best “killing two birds with one stone” moment. You can climb this sacred mountain only during July and August every year unless you want to face harsh and unwelcoming weather conditions that can easily threaten your life. Don’t take this hike for granted though, as there are some quite demanding parts, no matter which course you take. Make sure to come prepared, with plenty of hiking food and equipment, though you’ll have plenty of stops along the way, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

4.     Mont Blanc in the Alps, France and Switzerland

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They say that Mont Blanc is one of the deadliest mountains in the world and many wholeheartedly agree with this notion. There’s an unyielding allure to places that are notorious for taking lives and King of the Alps is definitely one of those spots, which is why you need to be very, very prepared before you head out into this adventure. The weather is treacherous even during the hiking season from June to September, and you need to be prepared when it comes to hiking and climbing gear. Your fitness levels and agility will also be tested because the White Mountain with its peak at almost 16,000 feet will challenge you in every way possible, but the hikes that lead you through Italy, France and Switzerland will show you the sights and astonishing beauty that can’t be found anywhere else.

5.     Mount Elbrus, Russia

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The Russian Caucasus Mountains hide the highest peak of Europe in their little-explored areas and if you want to reach it, you have to hike and climb your way through Mount Elbrus first. This inactive volcano has been the dream of many ambitious hikers for decades, though more because of the glory of conquering the tallest mountain of the Old Continent. The hike in itself isn’t very difficult, especially because there’s a cable car system that works very well and will take you to 12,500 feet. From there you can take the Standard Route that is quickest and most secure and will take you to the southern slopes of Elbrus, all the way to the top. If you want to explore Elbrus and give it your best to get to the very top, going anytime from May to September is the wisest decision.

6.     Laugavegur Trail, Iceland

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Iceland has been tucked away on the edge of the world map for a very long time, but more and more tourists discover its unexpected and completely unique beauty all the time. Laugavegur Trail is one of the most popular things to in Iceland, which is why hikers from all over the world come here. This scenic trail has it all, including ice caves, hot springs and a lavish waterfall at the end of your hiking experience as a reward. Very few places on Earth have such astounding variety of landscapes on such a small distance, which is why Laugavegur is so attractive even to non-hikers. You can either camp out or book accommodation, which is quite affordable, but no matter what you decide, while you’re exploring Laugavegur Trail, you will feel like you’re in another world.

There are many other iconic hikes to talk about and only a book would suffice to write about them, but this list is a good start. Depending on your preferences and hiking experience, you can pick and choose where you want to go and make memories. The sky is not the limit, and that is never as clear as the moment you get to a mountain’s peak and reach for the clouds. – Tyler Michaelson

 

Tyler is a man of adventure. Loves spending time outside, and “luring” others to do so as well. Besides that, his main hobbies are writing, working out, photography and movie nights. He is also one of the main contributors to prosurvivalist.com.

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Hipmunk Hotels: Cozy and Unique Places to Stay in the West From Flagstaff to Beverly Hills

This post was originally published on “Non Stop Destination” on May 1, 2016 by Lies.

 

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Each time I peruse the internet for a few hours of holiday planning, I make sure to look for a hotel that sets itself apart from other ones in the area. I love quirky, cozy, and unique hotels that will make my holiday just a little bit more special. Luckily, there’s no shortage of unique and cozy hotels in the US. The following hotels in the West of the US have thrown the ordinary out of the window and offer you a different but relaxing experience during your stay.

 

Haunted Hotel in Flagstaff
Flagstaff in Arizona is a popular stopover on the famous Route 66. Road trippers can explore the lush national forests around the area as well as experience outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and in winter, skiing. The historic Hotel Weatherford is located downtown and is hard to miss. Built in 1900, the hotel has an imposing façade and quaint turn-of-the-century decorated rooms where you can rest after an active day outdoors. Be warned though, the hotel is supposedly haunted!
Modern Sophistication in Bakersfield
The Californian city of Bakersfield has plenty on offer for the outdoor enthusiast (especially whitewater rafting fans), and what better place to rest those tired feet than at the Padre Hotel. Unwind in this historic hotel, which first opened its doors in 1928. The themed rooms have been meticulously decorated with great attention to detail. From swanky chic to modern sophistication, you’re bound to find a room to your taste.
Historic Haven in Glenwood Springs
Situated in a river valley with steep hills surrounding the city, Glenwood Springs is a mecca for nature lovers. Apart from skiing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and cave exploring, Glenwood Springs is known for its natural hot springs. Head over to Hotel Denver for a genuine historic experience close to everything the city has to offer. Each room is unique and features authentic touches transforming your sleeping quarters to a cozy haven.
Quirky Adobe Villas in Sedona

AGV” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by  BrownGuacamole

If you’re looking for an active getaway, Sedona in Arizona is the place to be. Hailed as the most beautiful place in America, Sedona offers great outdoor activities with the typical red rock canyons as a backdrop. For a truly unique stay, book a villa at the quirky Adobe Grand Villas. The adobe style rooms all have an individual design, with wooden features throughout. A country garden villa interior or a wagon wheel bed? You’ll find it here.

 

1950’s Style in Beverly Hills

Loved staying at the Avalon in Beverly H” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  designmilk

A chic neighborhood needs a chic hotel, and 1950’s style Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills is the perfect place for indulging. The modern retro style and color block designs with soft natural colors can be found throughout the hotel, radiating a sense of calmness and serenity during your stay. After a day of shopping on the famous Rodeo Drive, treat yourself to an in-room spa treatment. When your pampering session is over, lounge in a private cabana by the poolside while sipping an exquisite 1950’s inspired cocktail.