In this latest top 10 series, I will be covering the top 10 hikes and treks I’ve done during my 380 days of travel around the world and my entire lifetime.
Here is a list of Ten Top 10 I will be covering in this series:
- Horrible Experiences
- Favourite Experiences
- Life Lessons
- Hikes and Treks
Hiking is one of the few activities that has always been special to me. When I was a fledgling traveller, I started with hiking locally. Through hiking, I was able to see the beauty of my own home city of Vancouver, Canada.
Every year, I would create a list of 5-10 hikes that I plan on completing during the summer season. Three summers later, I completed over 20 hikes in the Vancouver area!
When my thirst for adventure grew, I started looking at international destinations to do more hiking. I created a plan of action to save money and travel to many international destinations to hike and trek to all the places I’ve always wanted to visit. Despite not having hiked all the places I’ve wanted to (like Patagonia or Annapurna Circuit), I did manage to tick off a bunch off my list.
Here are my top 10 hikes and treks when I travelled for one year and my entire lifetime:
My top 10 hikes and treks during my 380 days of travel around the world and entire lifetime
#10 – Padar Island – Indonesia
When I joined the Komodo Dragon Island tour in Indonesia, the first island we visited is called Padar Island. It has a very peculiar shape and the hike is actually harder than it looks. To make matters worst, the sun is blaring and if you’re not adequately prepared, you can get a serious case of heat stroke.
While climbing up Padar Island, I felt really sickly because of the intensity of the sun’s heat. Despite the suffering, the view was absolutely breathtaking and worth the effort. Looking in hindsight, I definitely needed to wear a hat because sunglasses wasn’t going to cut it.
Because of the breathtaking view, I put Padar Island at number 10 of my top 10 hikes and treks.
#9 – Amazon Rainforest – Ecuador
During my travels to Ecuador, one of the destinations I was going to is the Amazon Rainforest. Karen and myself were going to stay overnight deep in the jungle which creep me out a little bit knowing there’s giant tarantulas in this place.
When our guide said he was going to take us hiking deep in the jungle, I felt a little bit apprehensive thinking about all the crazy wildlife this jungle houses.
To my surprise, the hike was really fun! The smell of the air was fresh, and dense as my lungs felt refreshed with oxygen. While I didn’t see much wildlife except for the mosquitoes, the hike itself felt very epic.
I definitely enjoyed my time hiking the amazon rain-forest and because of that, I put it at number 9 of my top 10 hikes and treks.
#8 – Petra Complex – Jordan
When I travelled to Jordan for the purpose of seeing the infamous Petra, little did I know how huge the complex was going to be. It took my group seven hours to hike the entire complex in order to see both the famous Treasury and Monastery.
At times, it got really hot and it was easy to feel light headed and dizzy from the sun’s heat.
There’s also tons of locals that looks like Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean going around trying to sell you donkey rides.
Despite the heat and harassment from local sales people, hiking the entire complex is a once in a lifetime epic exploration that I will never forget.
Because of the epic exploration of the entire Petra complex, I put it at number 8 of my top 10 hikes and treks.
#7 – Panorama Ridge – Whistler, Canada
Another hike in the Vancouver area, Panorama Ridge is my first true epic hike. It’s listed as one of the more difficult hikes in the Vancouver area and when I did it, it took me 12 hours to finish it. Keep in mind, I did take a detour to also see Garibaldi Lake (the lake in the picture) but it was definitely a challenging hike.
I find that hikes in Canada are severely underrated when people make a list of must see hikes and Panorama Ridge is a must do for those visiting Vancouver.
Because Panorama Ridge is a hike that rewards you with one of the best views, I put it at number 7 of my top 10 hikes and treks.
#6 – Kalalau Trail – Kauai, Hawaii, USA
The Kalalau Trail is a hike with an iconic twist to it. For a big portion of the hike, you are literally hiking at the edge of the cliff. This is especially scary when it’s raining hard and you can easily slip and fall over the edge.
To make things more interesting, there are people living at Kalalau Beach which is the end point of the hike. Many locals in Kauai decided to leave civilization behind and live in a more primitive way foraging and hunting for food in the process.
Completing the Kalalau Trail hike is no easy feat and I actually think it’s one of the hardest hikes I have ever done. It took my group and myself four days to complete this hike round trip (we stayed for two nights at Kalalau Beach and one night at a mid-point area called Hanakoa
Because the style of which you hike Kalalau Trail is quite different, I put this at top 6 of my top 10 hikes and treks.
#5 – Zion Narrows – Utah, USA
The Zion Narrows is a slot canyon located at Zion National Park in Utah.
Most people will do a day hike to see part of this slot canyon. The other option is to do the overnight hike and trek the entire stretch of the Zion Narrows.
Karen and myself chose to do the overnight option and man was it scary!
The slot canyon is known for flash floods and there are areas here that are called the “no escape” zones. If a flash flood occurs and you’re stuck in one of these “no escape” zones, you’re going to be swept and it’s game over for you.
When we did the hike, there was 50% chance of a flash flood and when we entered the “no escape” zone, it started raining really hard. We freaked out really hard and started sprinting until we found higher ground.
The hike itself is incredible but it can also be deadly so it’s important to listen to the park ranger’s weather condition update.
Because the Zion Narrows trek was incredibly thrilling, I put it at number 5 of my top 10 hikes and treks.
#4 – Komodo Dragon Island – Indonesia
Hiking through the jungle in Komodo Dragon Island was one of the most adventurous things I have ever done. You basically go deep in the jungle and go through dense vegetation in search of the aggressive Komodo Dragons – the world’s biggest lizard.
It felt like I was in that movie Predator with Arnold Schwarzenegger as we hunt for the large lizard predator.
My heart was racing in excitement when we found several Komodo Dragons both inside the jungle and right along the Komodo Dragon Island.
Because of this adventurous search for Komodo Dragons, I put this hike at number 4 of my top 10 hikes and treks.
#3 – Mount Roraima – Venezuela
Have you seen the movie “Up”? You know, the movie with the house with balloons taking the old man and this boy to Paradise Falls and table mountains? Well regardless if you’re familiar with the movie or not, this hike is spectacular!
I’ve been obsessing trekking Mount Roraima for years. However, safety conditions in Venezuela where it’s located is questionable. I spent several years researching to find the safest way to cross over to Venezuela from Brazil.
Thankfully, there is a safe border crossing between Venezuela and Brazil which allowed me to join a local tour to do this amazing trek. It took us 6 days to complete the entire trek and it was definitely worth it! The amazing view of the highest table mountain in Canaima National Park as well as the weird alien landscape atop of this magnificent place was well worth the effort.
Trekking Mount Roraima is a dream come true and for that reason, I put this trek at number 3 of my top 10 hikes and treks.
#2 – Angel Falls – Venezuela
The hike to reach Angel Falls was a massive surprise to me. When I planned to travel to Venezuela, I wanted to go to Angel Falls because it’s the world’s highest waterfalls. Truth be told, I was actually more excited to see Mount Roraima. While I wanted to Angel Falls, it was more of a bucket list thing than a dream destination like Mount Roraima.
This is one of those moments in my life when I am glad I was wrong. The four hour canoe ride to reach the Angel Falls trail head followed by the one hour hike to reach the base of Angel Falls is one of the greatest journey I have ever done in my life.
It’s not often I feel emotionally moved. But, the moment our canoe was navigating closer and closer to Angel Falls and I can see it from a distance, I felt this sudden rush of emotion well up in me. After the hour long hike reaching the base of Angel Falls, and staring at the world’s highest water falls right in front of me, I was in awe. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude as I stared at the world’s highest waterfall.
I’ll probably never go back here again to see this amazing waterfalls but the memory will always linger in my head. I can still remember the smell of the water, the jungle, and the sight of seeing a true wonder of nature.
Because of the unforgettable journey to see Angel Falls, I place this hike at number 2 of my top 10 hikes and treks.
#1 – Black Tusk – Whistler, Canada
Another hike located in the Vancouver area, Black Tusk is one hike that blew me away. I can’t believe such hike exist and not many people outside our city knows about it. The pictures online just doesn’t do justice at this epic hike to top of this massive volcanic rock that landed on top of a mountain.
The final part of this long 12 hour round trip hike involves rock climbing up loose volcanic rocks to reach the top. It was nerve wrecking and I was shaking in fear the entire time.
It’s one of those few moments in life that I questioned why I chose to do this hike. However, upon reaching the top, I felt victorious and was rewarded with an amazing view of the Garibaldi landscape.
But, the part that really blew me away in this hike wasn’t actually reaching the top of Black Tusk. It was when I was scrambling on the last part to reach the base of this massive volcanic rock. I was dead tired and exhausted because the final scramble is quite difficult. For some reason, I decided to turn my head around to see where my friends where at and that’s when I saw it: the most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen in Canada.
I actually stopped moving at that point and was in awe as I admired the landscape behind me.
Black Tusk is a severely underrated and unknown hike to most people and because of how amazing it was, I place it at number 1 of my top 10 hikes and treks.
Conclusion to my top 10 hikes and treks
What I really like about hiking is what it teaches you about life. Whenever you go hiking, you’re actually just suffering for 95% of the journey until you reach your destination and get that “wow!” reaction from seeing the amazing view.
It’s exactly like life where we spend many days just grinding away at work and once in awhile, we get to enjoy the fruits of our labour. Hiking teaches you to finish what you started because there’s no pay off until you reach your destination and see the that spectacular view. Many times in life, we don’t finish what we start and as a result, we don’t get rewarded that thing that we really want. It’s only when we persevere, and never give up that we’ll finally reach that final destination and enjoy the reward of our hard work.
Hiking also gives you a chance to connect with nature and to spend time inside your head. This is easy if you like yourself but for those people that don’t, it can be a painful experience. Because when you’re hiking, it’s just you reflecting back on your life as you take one step after another. The good news is, if you really get into hiking, soon enough, you will enjoy your own company and accept whatever thoughts are floating inside your head.
Hiking and trekking is an amazing way to see our world and to get to know ourselves better. And for that very reason, I am a big advocate for people to do more hiking and trekking.
What are your top 10 hikes and treks you’ve done in your lifetime?