Since you’re here reading this blog we can only assume that like us, you love to walk. We have our favourite local walks, we go on walking holidays and hike alone, or with friends, but have you ever thought about really challenging yourself?
We’ve listed some of the toughest walks in the world below, some of which are pretty dangerous and are certainly to be approached with caution. Do these ideas excite and motivate you or make you want to turn and run for the comfort of home?
1.Kalalau Valley, Kauai, Hawaii
This is an 11 mile trail that sits 4000 feet above the ocean and is the only land access to the No Pali Coast which is absolutely breathtaking.
As waves crash against the cliff edges you’ll wind through thick jungles, thundering waterfalls, steep inclines and declines and narrow passageways that with one slip will send you plummeting into the waters far below.
The trail is often slippery with mud and rain and so it is a really dangerous route and certainly one of the toughest walks in the world.
If you want to push yourself even further the route extends another 19 miles deep into the Kalalau Valley in endurance conditions and up the 1200m climb that only six known people have recently completed.
Along the trail the conditions are not the only danger, many predators live in this area including black bears, cougars and wolves.
You’re on your own if you take on this challenge, there are no tour guides that are going to hit this route with you.
2.The Dientes Circuit, Isla Navarino, Patagonia, Chile
If you are up for the challenge of The Dientes Circuit, one of the toughest walks in the world, then your serious hard work will give you eyes a real treat on this nature-lovers route. Expect absolutely stunning views out over the Beagle Channel, Nassau Bay and the Woolaston archipelago and archipelago of Cape Horn.
Sounds great, but this doesn’t come easily. This is a very remote, high and unsupported route on a desolate island and has harsh, extreme weather conditions that will batter you along the way as they roll in off the Southern Ocean.
3.The Snowman Trek, Bhutan
The Snowman Trek is definitely Bhutan’s toughest trek and indeed one of the toughest walks in the world.
This 20 somthing day walk starts off in Paro and ends up in Nikka Chhu and you will certainly have a few stories to tell once you reach this destination.
Altitudes along the way continually stay above 4000 meters and at highest reach 5332 along this very remote route and the weather is hugely unforgiving.
It’s actually not possible to make this challenging trek in the winter months as the mountain pass is often closed due to the amounts of snow so do your research before you make this journey.
The views of the Himalayas are simply out of this world and along the route you’ll pass through lush valley landscapes, dense forest, and snow capped mountain peaks.
It is said that there is a 50% failure rate of those who try to make this walk, so be prepared for a challenge.
Your hard work will be rewarded though with pristine, untouched wilderness surrounding you.
4.Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa
There are a few routes on offer to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, but if you want a real challenge then do the Machame route (also known as the Whiskey route). It is by far the toughest and most direct up the mountain and will challenge you the whole way.
This 36 km route takes you through incredibly beautiful landscapes from forests to waterfalls to glaciers, but if the altitude sickness gets you then you may have little will to enjoy the views. There is not much time to acclimatise to the heights as the route is so direct and so altitude sickness is a real issue.
You should be able to do this route in a week and you will definitely be rewarded for your hard, sometimes grueling work when you get to the top as you will literally feel on top of the world.
5.Kokoda Track, Papua New Guinea
This track is steeped in world war two history as is where the Japanese and Australians fought it out on the front line and links the southern and northern coast of Papua New Guinea. The walk takes anywhere from four to ten days and is hostile and remote, you won’t find much of anything but wilderness so you have to be fully prepared because if something goes wrong you are in trouble.
You’ll head deep into the heart of the Owen Stanley mountains where it is lush, green and dark as the sunshine is blocked by gorges and trees and the humidity is very high.
There are also threats from tropical diseases out here including malaria. Despite the threats making this one of the toughest walks in the world though, it is also a real adventure, with rushing streams with only single log crossings, jungles of ferns, rainforest, and stunning views all around.
You’ll also pass through little villages along the way and the people will be very welcoming and happy to see you.
If you think you’re brave enough to take on one of the toughest walks in the world then the key is in the preparation. The remoteness and the extreme and harsh climates are often what make these route so hard and also so dangerous. If things go wrong there are not many people around or even shops or houses to seek help from.
Always check the time of year you’re travelling and make sure routes are accessible and temperatures are going to be bearable.
Do as much research as you can, read about other people’s experiences that have attempted to walk these routes and learn from them.
You’ll have the trip of a lifetime if you take on one of the toughest walks in the world, good luck and please let us know how you go!
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