9 of the Most Stunning Hiking Trails in the World

John Muir once wrote, "The mountains are calling and I must go." In the age of technology, the need to unplug and disconnect is greater than ever—and there is no better way to do so than in nature where there are no distractions, no cell phone signal and no vehicles.

CUL_Map_The HiddenTracks_Book
Courtesy of Gestalten

Such breathtaking scenes are captured in photos from Cam Honan's book, The Hidden Tracks: Wanderlust Off the Beaten Path, published by Gestalten, which guides readers along scenic trails, on adventures off the beaten track and through pristine hiking destinations around the world, from forests of giant trees to the world's highest sand dunes in Mongolia.

There's no limit to the number of better-known paths or out-of-the-way gems ready to be explored—be it an expedition on the other side of the world or a day's hike just a few hours from your hometown.

So go. Answer the call of the mountains, hills, valleys and dales found along these scenic hikes.

Kluane National Park and Reserve, Canada

Kluane National Park and Reserve Canada
One of the most extraordinary environments on the planet, Kluane is home to Canada’s highest mountain, one of North America’s densest concentrations of grizzly bears and the largest non-polar ice field in the world. The Slim’s River West trail is a great option—a 40-mile out-and-back hike to the top of Observation Mountain. Dan Arnold/The Hidden Tracks/Gestalten

Continental Divide Trail, U.S.

Continental Divide Trail United States
The “Backbone of America” extends approximately 3,100 miles from Canada to Mexico and passes through Yellowstone National Park and five states, traversing a variety of ecosystems from desert to alpine tundra. On this trail, it is often just you, the wide open landscape and a seemingly endless sky. Viktor Posnov/The Hidden Tracks/Gestalten

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni Bolivia
This trek takes you across the world’s largest salt flat which is 20 times bigger than America’s Death Valley. It is arid and flat and, at just over 50 miles, takes two days to complete. But be warned: Take a GPS and a compass, as it is easy to get disoriented in the midst of the sea of white salt and blue sky nothingness. Mateusz Waligora/The Hidden Tracks/Gestalten

Skye Trail, Scotland

Skye Trail, Scotland
Skye is an island steeped in legend and natural beauty. This trail is 80 miles long from Broadford in the south to Rubha Hunish in the north. It is unmarked, remote and follows a diverse course along rugged coasts and exposed mountain ridges. Lukas Petereit/The Hidden Tracks/Gestalten

Pyrenean Haute Route, France & Spain

Pyrenean Haute Route France & Spain
This route is a 497-mile traverse of one of western Europe’s most beautiful mountain ranges, crisscrossing the natural boundary between Spain and France. An ideal destination for hikers in search of gorgeous mountain scenery and solitude, it offers an off-the-beaten track feel that is hard to come by in other parts of western Europe. Jack Brauer/The Hidden Tracks/Gestalten

Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda

Rwenzori Mountains Uganda
Also known as “Mountains of the Moon,” these are Africa’s best-kept secret and constitute a natural barrier between the savannah of east Africa and the Congolese rainforests in the west. The central circuit, which can only be done in guided tours, is a 38.5-mile loop that passes through multiple ecosystems and takes from seven to nine days to complete. Matteo Leoni/The Hidden Tracks/Gestalten

Tiger Leaping Gorge, China

Tiger Leaping Gorge China
Located in the Yunnan Province of southwestern China, this site has one of the deepest canyons in the world at a maximum depth 12,434 feet. With its jaw-dropping vistas and welcoming Himalayan-style guesthouses, this 18.6-mile trail is one of China’s premiere trekking adventures. Paula R. Labine/The Hidden Tracks/Gestalten

Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia

Kamchatka Peninsula Russia
Long shrouded in mystery and mythology, the Kamchatka is an untamed land in the far east of Russia—with the geysers of Yellowstone, the volcanoes of Hawaii and the untamed landscapes and abundant wildlife of Alaska. Bystrinsky Nature Park, located within the Sredinny Range, has a system of well-mapped pathways stretching from 1.2 to 26 miles. Vladimir Kirillov/The Hidden Tracks/Gestalten

Taranaki Volcano, New Zealand

Taranaki Volcano New Zealand
Rising 8,261 feet above sea level, the lonely mountain of Taranaki exercises a magnet-like pull over those fortunate enough to behold it. The area boasts more than 185 miles of trails, the longest and most challenging of which is the Around the Mountain Circuit that passes through a combination of lush forests and spectacular alpine peaks. Jonasvon Rotz/The Hidden Tracks/Gestalten
9 of the Most Stunning Hiking Trails in the World | Culture
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