Some of the best hiking destinations are up in the air, in the mountains. They all offer plenty of fresh air, great exercise and amazing scenery from their lofty vantage points. These five hiking destinations get progressively higher in attitude although it depends on the actual trails you chose for your own up in the air experience.
Five great mountain hiking destinations:
Haystacks – Lake District, England
Starting from the town of Gatesgarth you have a steep climb of 1,775 feet (541 meters) with some easy scrambling to Haystacks, one of the most popular hikes in the northern Lake District and final resting place of famed English author Alfred Wainwright. While you are up in the air you have a commanding view of the picturesque Buttermere Valley and lake. There is a great pub in the town to enjoy after your hike.
Sulphur Skyline – Canadian Rockies
This trail is located in Jasper National Park with 2,296 feet (700 meters) of steady climbing. Close to the top and above the tree line the trail become very steep with a path of loose stones. Up in the air from the top the view is spectacular with the valley of the Fiddle River below and the Miette Mountain range is the distance. The area is known for afternoon thunderstorms and bears (we saw one during our visit).
The Eiger – Swiss Bernese Alps
Start from Grindelwald and hike up the mountain for 1,027 meters (3,369 feet) to Mannlichen, located at the top of a ridge with views of the valleys in both directions. Then continue along the ridge to Kleine Scheiedgg as it provides excellent views of the Eiger in distance. Continue up the well maintained path for an additional 259 meters (849 feet) to Eigergletscher station. Your up in the air experience offers views of the Swiss Alps and Grindelwald deep in the valley below. Use the mountain railway for the return.
Machu Picchu – Peru
The Inca Trail will take you 3 or 4 days starting near Cuzco 3,352 meters (11,000 feet) above sea level. Dead Women’s Pass is the highest on the trail and you continue through gateway of the sun before arriving in Machu Picchu. The ruins of this former Inca city sit up in the air mountainside with views of the mountains and a tributary of the Amazon in the jungle below.
Everest Base Camp – Nepal
A strenuous climb of 2,700 meters (8,858 feet) which takes several days. This is the ultimate up in the air experience with incredible scenery, small Himalayan villages surrounded by terraced rice fields.
Any of these five up in the air mountain hikes will all be worth the effort for the views.