4. The Narrows, Zion National Park, southwest Utah
If you’re looking for a hike to take your breath away, venturing into The Narrows of Zion National Park will do it — though perhaps because being surrounded by thousand-foot canyon walls can bring out the claustrophobia in anyone.
There’s no real trail through the Narrows — and it involves wading through the waters of the Virgin River — but the views are unparalleled. If hiking directly through the canyon, visitors should do so in the late spring or summer. The temperature will likely be almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but that makes for warmer river waters. For the somewhat less adventurous, you can admire the natural beauty of The Narrows from afar via a paved walkway.
5. The Huashan Hiking Trail, Xi’an, China
You must have to really like tea to brave this hike. Not for the faint of heart, the beginning of this harrowing Chinese trail has walkers ascending a set of stairs that takes roughly six hours to climb.
But that’s not even the most daunting part about the trail: after a gondola ride to Mt. Hua Shan, you’ll scale the mountainside along some rickety-looking planks with only a chain to cling to. The plank road is two-way, which means you’ll be required to pass people on the outside. At the top of the mountain sits an old Taoist temple that has been converted into a teahouse.
6. Wales Coast Path, Wales, United Kingdom
You likely won’t travel the entire 870-mile path that nearly runs the entirety of the Welsh coastline, but if you did you’d pass through eleven National Nature Reserves, stroll by several medieval castles, and saunter through lots of sleepy coastal towns.
Running from Chepstow in the southeast to near Queensferry in the north, the entire path is open to walkers, but some areas are also suitable for horseback riding, cycling, and wheelchairs. A few landowners don’t allow the path to cross onto their property, which means that about 20 percent of the Wales Coast Path is diverted onto roads with no view of the water.