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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Secret Surf Spots Around The World

In surfing, the best spot is often the new find. With that in mind, we’ve curated a list of unexpected surf spots that will get you out of the Florida-Hawaii-California routine and still give you all the waves, scenery and atmosphere you need to ride the waters.

JAPAN
Surfing in Japan

From June and all throughout October, typhoon season makes the waters swell beautifully around the 3,304 islands of Japan (4 big islands and another 3300 small islands). Such an underrated but amazing destination for surfers!
Okinawa is a place where you go for the reef breaks, while Shikoku shines for its river mouths.

Okinawa surfing spots:

If you’re looking for hard spots with big waves, Aha-Yoko and Ekie Island are good places to start, while the general audience is welcome to try Five Rocks, Suicide Cliffs (it’s only a name!) or Tengan Pier. From November to February you’ll get mild weather, while the rest of the year is hot and suitable for board shorts and nothing else.

Shikoku surfing spots:

With its cold winters and hot summers, Shikoku is a good surfing destinations from June to November during typhoon season. Experienced surfers will appreciate Kaifu Rivermouth and Monobegawakakou (Monobe), while newbies can ride the humble waves at Hirano, Irinomatsubara or Tanoura. There are many of beaches for intermediate boarding, like Ozaki and Shishikui.

CORNWALL
Surfing in Cornwall

The British Isles don’t usually come to mind when picking surfing locations but Cornwall is the exception to the rule. Situated on the southwestern shore of England, Cornwall is an historic county, famous for its beaches and the endless surfing opportunities it provides. The town of Newquay has become regarded as the surf capital of the U.K.!

The coastal path along the shore is well maintained and it is widely considered one of the most dramatic in the U.K. Boardmasters, an August music and surfing festival happening on Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay in Newquay, is a young event that makes Cornwall even more legit as a surfing spot. The town boasts some great night activities as well so you can find great nightclubs and bars to chill out after a day tackling waves. The area has become popular for stag and hen parties thanks to the great surf and lively nightlife. You can easily find packaged holidays to the town, like the Red7 weekend getaways that can plan out a whole vacation of surf and partying for you.

Cornwall surfing spots:

Newquay provides great beaches like Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay that you should definitely consider picking when you’re planning your surfing trip. Constantine Bay and Porthleven are your best choices if you’re an experienced surfer looking for tubing waves and intense reef breaks. Widemouth, Whitsan and Watergate Bay are perfect for beginners and intermediates looking for some constant conditions.

ICELAND
Surfing in Iceland

Swells coming in from every direction possible, big waves and cold breezes – this is Iceland in a nutshell. And it’s only reserved for the hardcore surfer who can invest in the best wet suit and can tackle the freezing waters with a steady and determined mind.

Iceland surfing spots:

Evan’s Reef, situated about 1 mile south of Hafnir village, is a small cove that is good for the experienced boarder, while novices can try to access Grotta Lighthouse, on the western end of Reykjavik. Another spot close to the capital is Porlackshöfn, but options are endless, with the coast adding up to 5000 kilometers of beaches, shores and surfing spots.

BANGLADESH
Surfer in Bangladesh

This South-Asian country might be known for its endless paddy fields and its splendid national animal, the bengal tiger, but its beaches are remarkable as well. In fact, Bangladesh is home to the longest beach in the world
which goes on for 140 kilometers and offers many spots for surfing, especially during winter and the start of spring.

Bangladesh surfing spots:

Head for Cox’s Bazar on Laboni Beach for a unique surfing experience which could be summed up as the exact opposite of an Australian day boarding. There is no surfing community in Bangladesh, so the ocean is yours. The waters are warm, the sand is perfect and you can get direct advice from the country’s first (and only) pro surfer, Jafar, that can guide you through the long stretch of shore to the best spots.

Whether you’re looking for a tropical scenery or the harsh climate of mysterious Iceland, there’s more to surfing than California and Hawaii, so get your board and see where the road less travel takes you. You might like it.

Amber Kingsley is a freelance writer and wannabe surfer who has contributed to several travel sites and blogs. As an avid traveler she is always looking for her next adventure and loves sharing her stories with others.
https://amberthekingsley.jux.com/