Oh, January. You came round oh so fast, but not to fear with the new year comes new resolutions. So instead of buying an overpriced gym membership, put that money towards savings and turn these day hikes into a 2020 reality. Here’s your hiking bucket list for the new year (and don’t worry it’s nothing you can’t achieve!).
MOUNT SALEVE, FRANCE
This hike is so easy to achieve it hardly counts as a hike, more of a leisurely walk with great surrounding views. Mount Saleve is found just across the border from Switzerland in France, so if you are spending a weekend in Geneva or flying out pre-ski week then make sure to add this half day to your itinerary.
From Geneva, hop on a bus to the foot of the mountain, jump in the cable car and then begin your walk amongst the peaks. If you go in the Spring you will be met with green grass, cowbells and views over Lake Geneva – picture the filming locations of The Sound of Music!
LION’S ROCK, HONG KONG
The view over Hong Kong is worth the effort put in navigating to the start point of this hike. The hike itself is easily achieved in a half day, taking roughly 4 hours to complete. Novice hikers shouldn’t fret, as it is all signposted once you get started and doesn’t require fancy footwear – trainers will do!
Throughout the hike, you will be met by countless views over the city. Once at the top, you are rewarded with an incredible 360 view of Hong Kong and its neighbouring islands. Make sure you hike on a clear day, as Hong Kong is notorious for hazy days. For a detailed guide see this post on hiking Lion’s Rock.
MOUNT SNOWDON, WALES
Mount Snowdon requires zero training, zero specialist gear and can be achieved easily in a day. There are plenty of route options up Mount Snowdon so depending on your fitness level you can further challenge yourself.
I would suggest taking the PYG track up which is a gentle incline with picturesque views above two lakes and taking the Miners track back down. As it’s so achievable, the hike itself is popular so be sure to set off early on a summer’s weekend. For a detailed guide see this post on hiking Mount Snowdon.
ANGEL’S LANDING, USA
If you’ve ever hiked in the USA, you will have no doubt heard of the infamous Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, Utah. Whilst this hike is achievable in a day, it does require concentration and a semi-average fitness level.
The majority of the hike is an easy to follow path that slowly ascends into and up a valley. However, the last bit is the extreme part (which you can totally opt out of if you are happy with the beautiful views from the top of the valley). You will be clambering up, using rope chains to assist you even higher onto Utah’s famous red rock. This part of the hike isn’t for the faint-hearted and reaching the top of the valley is an achievement in itself!
GROS PITON, ST LUCIA
Nestled in the Caribbean, St Lucia hosts two pointy mountains that you will have no doubt seen on adverts and travel brochures before. These two devilish peaks are the Pitons; Petite Piton and Gros Piton. Gros Piton can be conquered in a morning, whilst Petite Piton is not legally sanctioned by the government of St Lucia.
Whilst on a week-long holiday in St Lucia, we opted for an active morning clambering up Gros Piton and it couldn’t have been easier to organise. It is mandatory for every hike up Gros Piton to have an accompanying local guide – this makes you feel 100% more at ease with the climb as every step of the way someone is looking out for you, offering you footing advice and cheering you on the climb. The view overlooking the Caribbean Sea and surrounding forest is totally worth skipping a morning on a sun lounger!
MONARCH LAKES, USA
The hike to Monarch Lakes in Sequoia National Park, California is for those who dreamt of peace on the Yosemite trails but instead were met with countless other tourists. This area of the park is trickier to navigate too and so hikers are rewarded with empty trailheads.
The hike takes the best part of a day and can be steep at points, but as long as you give yourself lots of breaks it’s certainly achievable for most. We met a family with two children under 7 on the trail so if they can handle it, I’m sure you can! Read the full guide on how to hike Monarch Lake, which you will most definitely need.
TONGARIRO ALPINE CROSSING, NEW ZEALAND
Arguably the most well-known hike in New Zealand, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing can be found on the North Island, just South of Lake Taupo. This hike takes a full day and should be started early to ensure you fit in enough rest and food stops. I hiked this in my old trainers which by the end of the day were falling apart, so be sure to wear sturdier footwear than me!
This hike is on the more challenging end of ‘achievable,’ but I’ve recommended it to my parents to do with the attitude that they just stop for a break whenever they need to. There are all sorts of abilities on the trail so don’t be put off just yet! Read this in-depth review to hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing here.
THE INCA TRAIL
But isn’t this hike is a strenuous 4-day affair battling camping, altitude sickness and mosquitos? Why did The Inca Trail make it onto the ‘achievable hikes list,’? Ready? It can be hiked in one day. This hike is not only achievable but means you will avoid the crowds on the train to Machu Picchu and also opt out of camping for 4-days.
Simply jump off the train early – at kilometre 104 to be exact. What’s more, you will be treated to ruins dotted along the trail from the get-go. Doing the one-day hike means you get to tick off clambering up the steps to the Sun Gate and do not cheat in any way for that view over Machu Picchu – you’re earned it!
The even better news is that by the time you reach Machu Picchu the crowds from morning sunrise will have departed leaving you to enjoy the ancient ruins in the afternoon. Short on time or simply don’t fancy roughing it for 4-days? This is the day hike for you.
PADAR ISLAND, INDONESIA
If you have been here at We Are Travel Girls before you will have no doubt seen the image from the viewpoint on Padar Island. Nestled in Komodo National Park, Padar Island hosts East Nusa Tenggara which has become a popular spot for photographers to hike and we can see why!
The hike itself is relatively short but steep, depending on your fitness level and how many times you stop to catch your breath it may take 20 – 40 minutes. Boat tours to the island can be easily arranged from the main street Labuan Bajo. Whilst you may see girls in floaty dresses on Instagram at the top, be sure to wear trainers for the hike as coming back down can be slippery.
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA
Lesser of a hike more of a rite of passage for travellers, the Great Wall of China is iconic and can be easily hiked in whatever time frame you have. The wall is split into sections but beware, some parts can be a hotspot for crowds of tourists so best to avoid this. Jiankou to Mutianyu is lesser walked and further out of the city so ideal if you want the wall to yourself. Parts of the hike can be steep at times but who wants to take the cable car with the other tourists?
So there are my top 10 achievable hikes for your 2019 bucket list but which hikes do you think I’ve missed off? Let me know in the comments below and best of luck on your 2019 New Year’s Resolutions!
What are your hiking recommendations for 2019? If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.
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Read More About Hiking
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