If you’re anything like me, you have a bucket list of treks that you can’t wait to hike.
The issue is trying to choose the right trek for you and choosing the one that will make the best use of your time. There are a lot of factors to consider, from the difficulty to the landscape, to one that includes cultural and culinary stops. After having done several treks, I now look for treks that offer something unique. Something that sets them apart from other treks that I’ve done.
As part of doing my own research, I’ve compiled five unique trekking experiences that are bucket list worthy. Each of these treks can be done through World Expeditions. This makes your planning easier and literally lightens your load, as they have porters to help carry your gear on every trip.
Kanchenjunga Base Camp – Nepal, 23 Days
Many hikers debate doing Everest Base Camp or Annapurna, but few consider the much less crowded Kanchenjunga Base Camp in Eastern Nepal. On this trek, you’ll follow the Tamur and Ghunsa Rivers to their source at Kanchenjunga. This is alpine grandeur at its finest that takes you through remote villages. The circular route provides constant mountain splendour, which unlike when you trek to Everest Base Camp you return the same way.
Why It’s On My Bucket List of Unique Treks: As proud as I was of myself for hiking to Everest Base Camp, it felt like less of an accomplishment when I saw how many people were doing it. Kanchenjunga is far less popular. Many trekkers have never heard of it. That makes it even more attractive to me. You still hike through dramatic Himalaya scenery but without the crowds. Sign me up!
Long Range Traverse – Canada, 6 Days
Named by National Geographic as one of the World’s Best Hikes, the Long Range Traverse rewards you with stunning views from towering cliffs of fjords and the sea beyond. This hike is so remote that you’re not walking on trails. Instead, you’re finding your way with a map and compass through Gros Morne National Park. It’s so navigationally challenging that Parks Canada requires independent hikers to pass a navigation test! Your hiking companions are the four-legged kind, mainly caribou and moose. They far outnumber the two-legged kind that you’ll encounter on this trip.
Why It’s On My Bucket List of Unique Treks: Confession time. While I’ve hiked extensively in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, my hiking experience outside the Rockies in Canada is embarrassingly limited. This trek would change that. Besides, it’s appealing to rely on your navigational skills – knowing that your guide won’t let you get too lost.
Trek Inca Trail Open Challenge – Peru, 10 Days
Not only will you be hiking in the Andes to one of the most iconic trekker destinations – hello Machu Picchu, you’ll also be raising funds for the charity of your choice.
Why It’s On My Bucket List of Unique Treks: To-date I’ve only hiked because I thoroughly enjoy it and because I think that hiking trips can change your life. I also truly believe that the more extended time we spend in nature, the more likely we are to take steps to protect our planet. But, having said that, I’ve never done a fundraising hike. It would be incredibly rewarding and an excellent way to build comradery with your fellow hikers and fundraisers. World Expeditions has several other fundraising treks. I choose this one as I’d love to hike the historic Inca Trail.
Classic Larapinta Trek – Australia, 6 Days
The Larapinta Trek is one of Australia’s most spectacular bushwalks. It’s also one of the newest trails in the country. And it’s attracting international attention. You’ll hike ridges for vast views over seemingly never-ending flood plains and see for yourself why this is Big Sky Country. The enormity of Ormiston and Serpentine Gorges and their waterholes will provide a lasting impression. And the always changing colour of the Rock Formations will provide endless entertainment.
Why It’s On My Bucket List of Unique Treks: When I think of treks, I typically think of mountains, not desserts. That in itself is unique, and an opportunity that I would relish. Besides, there’s something about endless views that reminds me of the prairies back in Alberta. I love discovering new places that feel like home.
Great Wall Trek – China, 8 days
Is there anything more epic than hiking along one of the great wonders of the world and having it as a constant backdrop for your trek? I think not! You’ll hike between villages and visit remote sections of the wall staying away from the crowds. In the evenings, you’ll camp in nearby local villages providing a rare opportunity to interact with locals outside of a city. You’ll also enjoy delicious Chinese cuisine – this isn’t what you’ll find in your typical Chinese Restaurant outside of China.
Why It’s On My Bucket List of Unique Treks: I love treks that combine culture and culinary treats – hiking works up an appetite. China is one of those places that I’d be unlikely to venture off the tourist path on my own for fear of being unable to communicate and getting lost. This trek offers a fantastic way to do just that it with the comfort of a guide to make it easier.
Which unique treks are on your bucket list?
Photo Credits: Ashinpt, eliudrosales, Geraint Rowland, Deb Etheredge and Alan Ward under the Creative Commons Licence
Disclosure: Thank you to World Expeditions for making this post possible as part of their #bestmountaintrek campaign. As always, all opinions are my own.