As the world starts to open up again, many of us are looking forward to getting out and exploring nature once again. And what better way to do that than by going on a solo hike? There are plenty of amazing solo hiking trails all over the world, but these ten are definitely at the top of our list for 2022.
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One of the best hiking locations for solo travelers is Zermatt. The beautiful mountain village of Zermatt is located in the south of Switzerland, on the border with Italy, and is surrounded by the most beautiful and highest peaks in the European Alps.
One of them is the world-famous Matterhorn. Zermatt is paradise for hikers and outdoor fans! There are an incredible number of outstanding hikes in this mountain region, and almost all of them have a view of the Matterhorn.
As a solo traveler, you basically have nothing to worry about in Switzerland; there is hardly a safer country. Since Zermatt is a popular hiking region, the hiking trails are always maintained, safe and well signposted.
Even if you are hiking solo, you will rarely be alone in the mountains around Zermatt. On the fantastic 5 Lakes hike, you will always find a few families with children, as this hike is beautiful and suitable for almost any fitness level. An additional plus are the lakes in which you can swim or at least bath your feet.
On the other valley side above Zermatt, there is the outstanding Matterhorn Glacier Trail, which leads through the stony world of former glaciers. This beautiful tour runs directly under the famous mountain.
If you don’t want to hike solo, you can join hiking groups or hire a private mountain guide at the tourist information office in town.
In the picturesque village of Zermatt you will find all kinds of alternative indoor and outdoor activities as well as entertainment if you do not want to spend your evenings solo.
Being able to hike solo but be with others, makes the mountain around Zermatt the perfect destination for solo hiking trips.
Written by Linda from Hiking the Alps
Crested Butte to Aspen
If you’re looking for one of the all-time best solo hiking trips then you can’t beat the hike from Crested Butte to Aspen by way of the West Maroon Pass.
After all, this picturesque, 20.9 miles round trip route is positively overflowing with stunning wildflowers that regularly inundate the area throughout the month of July.
Alternatively, you could plan your visit for late September and stand in awe of the region’s incredible fall foliage.
Plus, this is a moderately challenging trail that you can easily tackle overnight or throughout a weekend since it’s take you anywhere between 6 and 8 hours to complete (one-way).
Therefore, you won’t have to worry about safety or being in the wilderness all along for a prolonged period of time.
Plus, you’ll be so enamored with the alpine views all around you that you’ll hardly have time to notice you’re on your own.
So, if you’re a solo hiker looking for epic panoramas that comes without hardcore elevation gain then this is the hike for you.
After all, you’ll only have to conquer 3,322 feet of elevation gain throughout the entire course of this hike.
However, if you want to make the trip even easier, you can hike one section of this out-and-back trail and then bus your way back to your hotel/campsite for a shorter, 10.45-mile hike along one of the best backpacking trips Colorado has to offer.
And if you can, be sure to stay at the Nordic Inn in Crested Butte. Not only will they help you when it comes to planning your hike but they can arrange future accommodations for you in Aspen too.
Written by Meg of Fox in the Forest
One of the best hiking trips to take for a solo traveler in the UK is a coastal walk in Dover. You can catch the train in London and find yourself in less than 2 hours in the town that was important during World War II. This iconic landscape in England offers incredible views and it is a great place to learn a bit about history.
The White Cliffs of Dover are very popular among solo travelers that want to spend a bit of time with nature in the UK. During a solo hike, you can admire rare species of butterflies, flowers, and the dramatic English coast.
Moreover, Dover is also a famous movie location so if you are a fan of After Love or Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows, look no further than White Cliffs of Dover. Also, a short walk to Dover Castle will take you back in time to the Hamlet movie from 1990.
There are many amazing hikes in Dover to choose from. For instance, a trek from Dover to St Margaret’s Beach takes one hour and the path is easy to follow, so you won’t need to worry about getting lost. On the green hills, there is also a National Trust South Foreland Lighthouse, which you can only access by walk.
Another option is to hike to Abbot’s Cliff Sound Mirror which is one of the remains of World War II. There are only a few sound mirrors left in the country, so visiting Dover will be an unforgettable experience.
Written by Paulina from the UK Every Day
Madeira is a Portuguese island in the Atlantic Ocean. It has an incredible mountainous landscape and lush forest that offers incredible hiking trails.
There are over 30 incredible hikes in Madeira that you can easily do as a solo traveler. There are two types of different trails in Madeira. So-called Levada walks lead you along a water irrigation system through the Laurissilva forest and mountain trails, which are so-called ‘vereda’s’. Because the hiking trails are so well maintained and easy to follow, Madeira is a perfect destination for solo travelers.
Besides that, Madeira is a very safe and welcoming island for solo travelers. The locals are proud of their clean and safe home, and you will mostly be greeted with a smile. There are also no dangerous wild animals on the island that you can encounter during hiking. But when solo hiking on Madeira, you should be aware of the weather forecast to not get stuck in the mountains during heavy rain or storm.
The best way to get around in Madeira is with a rental car or scooter because the public transport doesn’t go to most of the trailheads. Luckily, there are groups on Facebook that want to share cars, as solo travelers visit Madeira on a regular basis.
Some of the best hikes on Madeira are:
- Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo mountain hike
- Vereda Ponta de Sao Lourenco coastal hike
- Levada do Caldeirão Verde waterfall hike
- Vereda do Larano coastal hike
- Levada das 25 Fontes
Written by The Digital Travel Couple
The Reinebringen Mountain, Norway
Did you ever scroll through your Instagram feed and find a well-known picture of a soccer field surrounded by stunning mountains, crystal clear waters, and with the northern lights bursting out in all colors? Well, you have just witnessed one of the many beauties that the Lofoten Islands have to offer.
The Lofoten Islands are well known for their sub-polar oceanic climate. This results in mild winters that offer great opportunities for outdoor activities year-round, including hiking. For a solo hiker, the Reinebringen mountain is the perfect opportunity to get introduced to some breathtaking views over the small fishing town of Reine and its local fjords and seas. If you are lucky and it is a clear day and you are visiting in the right season, you can even spot some wildlife like whales and birds during your hike.
The hike up takes about 1.5 hours, is 1 kilometer long, and the mountain itself is 450 meters high. Now, this is not a novice hike, and if you have never hiked before, it is highly recommended that you find a guide to help you navigate through the path of slippery and loose rocks. The hike down goes a bit quicker and will take about 1 hour in total. When planning a solo hike make sure you always let a close family member, friend, or the receptionist of your accommodation know where you are going, how long it will take, and what time you expect to be back.
Written by Niels from The Road Trip Guy
Five Lakes Valley
Located near the town of Zakopane in Southern Poland, the Five Lakes Valley (or Dolina Pięciu Stawów in Polish) is argued to be the most scenic valley in the Polish Tatra Mountains.
It takes approximately two hours to reach the valley from the starting point, and the scenery along the way is stunning. One of the hikes’ highlights is the Skilawa waterfall, which is the highest waterfall in the country. This is also the perfect spot for a break or a quick snack. And wait until you reach the Five Lakes Valley – it’s magnificent!
Not only is the Five Lakes Valley stunning, but it’s also a perfect hike for solo travelers because you’ll encounter other hikers along the way and you can make the hike as short or as long as you want to.
Once you reach the valley, the shortest option is to head back from where you came from and hike down, which will take a minimum of 1 to 1.5 hours.
However, you could also make a loop and head to Morskie Oko, the highest lake in the High Tatras, instead. If you’re courageous, you could even add Czarny Staw Lake, which is a 30-minute hike from Morskie Oko, to your itinerary.
All in all, the hike to the Five Lakes Valley is an amazing hiking experience that any nature lover will love!
Written by Laure from Laure Wanders
The Fishermen’s Trail is a multi-day hiking route along the beautiful coast of Southern Portugal. The total distance of the trail is 230 km, you need 14 days to complete it. The route crosses two Portuguese regions; Alentejo and Algarve. It starts in the small town of Porto Covo and finishes in the popular holiday town of Lagos. Most of the hike is through the protected area of the Costa Vicentina Nature Reserve. Any stage of the Fishermen’s Trail can be walked as a separate day hike. If you don’t have two weeks to complete the entire route you can walk just a part of it starting and finishing at any place along the trail.
The trail is considered one of the most scenic hiking routes in Europe. The scenery on the Fishermen’s Trail is truly spectacular: unspoiled sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, natural caves and arches, dramatic drops, and the turquoise colour sea. The spring months are the best time to hike the trail when the fields along the coast are covered in flowers and hundreds of storks nest on the edges of the cliffs.
The Fishermen’s Trail is a perfect route for a solo traveller. First of all, because it’s safe to walk along. The route goes through a quiet area far away from big cities. The trail is well-marked; you don’t have to worry about getting lost. Every stage of the trail starts and ends in a small town where you can find hotels and restaurants. You don’t need to carry camping gear, pitch your tent, cook food, etc. Every night you can stay indoors. The trail is quite social and it’s easy to meet people.
Written by Alya of the Algarve Family
The Camino Portugues is an ideal introduction to multi-day hiking. For the most part it’s not too difficult, and distances between towns is fairly short so if walking the Camino de Santiago is on your bucket list it’s an excellent choice.
Although the Camino Portugues starts in Lisbon, the majority of hikers choose to start their journey to Santiago de Compostela in Porto, which is a distance of around 270 kms.
There are two main routes to choose from – the Coastal Route which mostly follows the Atlantic Ocean, or the Central Route which takes an inland path to Redondela. Here the two routes converge before the final stretch to Santiago. There’s also the Senda Litoral which joins the Coastal Route and is, by far, the most picturesque way to leave Porto.
Of course, you don’t have to stick to just one route. Many walkers start on the coast, before heading inland in order to get the best of both worlds.
Whichever route you decide to follow, you’ll find plenty to enjoy along the way – boardwalks behind sand dunes, cobbled paths through small villages with little more than a church and a few houses, dirt tracks through eucalyptus forests, ancient Roman roads flanked by grape vines, and let’s not forget the delicious cuisine of Portugal and Spain.
For solo travellers it can feel daunting to set off on a hike which takes, on average, 12 to 14 days to complete but, on the Camino, you’re only really alone if you want to be. There will always be other hikers on the route to chat to if you’re feeling lonely but if you prefer your own company there’s no expectation to join up with fellow hikers if you don’t want to. Everyone walks their own Camino.
Written by Alison from Alison on Foot
The West Coast Trail, Canada
The West Coast Trail is a tough 75 km multi-day beach and forest hiking trail on the coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. A big part of this amazing hiking trail is on extensive, white sandy beaches from where you can spot whales and orcas during the hike.
The beaches are separated by indigenous forest and plenty of wild animals can be seen hiking here, bears and deer are common.
Hiking this trail is challenging when there is a lot of rain over difficult terrain including pools of mud, ladders, bridges and cable cars. The West Coast Trail can be hiked in 6 or 7 days. Hikers have to carry a tent and all food and gear with them they will need for the duration of the hike.
There are designated campsites on the trail with toilets and bear safe containers. The West Coast trail is an excellent hike to do solo.
Only 30 people are allowed to start the trail everyday, since there are designated campsites they all camp together every night. Fires are allowed on the beach and sitting around a fire after a long day hiking is a great place to meet people.
It is possible to camp on the beach every night. The West Coast trail is open from May to September. Limited positions are available so booking ahead is important.
Written by Alya from Stingy Nomads
The Enchanted Valley Trail in Washington
The Enchanted Valley trail in Washington State’s Olympic National Park is one of the best hikes to tackle as a solo backpacker. On this incredible trail, you’ll hike approximately 14.5-miles one-way through the incredibly lush Quinault Rainforest, past enormous primeval ferns and under a cathedral of towering trees, dripping with moss.
At the end of your hike, you’ll be greeted by the Enchanted Valley itself, with a sprawling meadow, bordered by a dense forest on one side and a seemingly sheer vertical cliff of mountains, with countless waterfalls cascading down it. In the middle of this meadow, the Enchanted Valley chalet sits, a charming cabin that was built in 1931 to provide shelter and a warm meal to hikers on the trail. While the chalet has long been closed to hikers, it’s still become quite the iconic landmark along the trail.
Given the trail is kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure (quite literally!), this hike is awesome for solo hikers. While you can tackle this in a massive almost 30-mile day hike, most folks choose to break up the trail into a multi-day backpacking trip. You’ll find four primitive campgrounds spread out across the trail, so you can engineer your experience to fit exactly what you’re looking for out of your solo adventure.
Additionally, this hike is popular, with everyone from families to couples and lots of other solo hikers. If you’re hoping to meet people, just stroll around camp at the Enchanted Valley, say hello, and you’ll surely bump into a new adventure buddy!
Written by Jessica from The Uprooted Traveler
The Quilotoa Loop, Educador
The Quilotoa Loop is a 3-day hike through the Ecuadorian highlands that culminates at the spectacular Laguna de Quilotoa. The landscapes are stunning, but the hike offers so much more than the beautiful scenery. It’s affordable, you’ll have a roof over your head at night, and it’s easy to meet hikers and locals along the way.
Hiking the Quilotoa Loop requires a decent level of fitness and acclimation because there are 1000-meter ascents, and the highest point is 3,920 meters. However, there are alternate routes and detours you can take to adjust the hike to your fitness level.
The trail passes through authentic villages where you’ll have the chance to chat with locals and marvel at the elderly who still walk the winding roads every day. Some kids will sell you fruit, and others will ask for candy. Trust me, you will see some disappointed faces when the kids find out you didn’t bring them chocolate.
The hostels along the way have very cozy vibes and offer sweeping views of the surrounding landscapes. They serve family breakfasts and dinners which are the perfect opportunities to make friends to finish the hike with.
The quality of the accommodation and food is amazing for the prices you pay. A $75 budget for the 3 days leaves enough room for a couple of drinks at sundown each night. This is one of the best hikes in South America, yet it still remains somewhat under the radar.
Written by George from Georges Backpacking Guides
If you’re looking for an excellent destination for hiking as a solo traveler, consider checking one of the world’s most famous treks off your bucket list and head to the Inca Trail. From its start in the small town of Ollantaytambo in Peru’s Sacred Valley, this four-day trek will take you along Incan roads and past hidden ruins, through valleys, and along the sides of mountains and among some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine.
Hiking the Inca Trail as a solo traveler is quite common, so you shouldn’t feel out of place here. While hiking the Inca Trail solo isn’t permitted, as the Peruvian government carefully protects the trekking path, booking a small group guided trek is an excellent option for solo travelers. You’ll be able to meet fellow travelers as you trek together, learn from the local guides and porters, and get excellent advice about travel in the process. Many travelers make plans with their trek companions later on as they visit the rest of Peru and beyond.
When preparing for the Inca Trail, make sure to pack light and take the proper hiking gear you’ll need for the trip. Think layers for warm days and cold nights, plus hiking gear like excellent hiking boots, a headlamp, and insect repellant. You can leave some of your gear at your hotel or hostel in Cusco or Ollantaytambo before starting out on the trek. Make sure to look in to the best tour companies for your trip – TreXperience is an excellent option!
Written by Carly from Home to Havana
A great destination for solo travelers is Andorra. It is a small Catalan-speaking country that is in the Pyrenees Mountains, between Spain and France. Due to its mountainous location, one of the best things to do in Andorra is a hike!
During a solo trip to Andorra, the top hiking trail to follow is the Itinerari de Fontverd in Andorra National Park’s Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley. It is a safe hike that is a total of 8 miles up the Riu Madriu in the Pyrenees. What is great about doing the Fontverd trail is that you can easily access it from Les Escaldes, which is a charming village that is a short walk from the heart of the capital city – Andorra La Vella!
Even though the Fontverd hike can be a bit of a challenge, since it is uphill the entire time, it will leave you speechless! The trail boasts incredible mountain views, peaceful waterfalls and picturesque stone huts that have been around for centuries. You will also come across horses, cows and other livestock! In addition to hiking, the primary use of this UNESCO site has always been for agriculture.
You can access the Fontverd trail by crossing over the iconic Pont de la Tosca in Les Escaldes. From that stone bridge, take the Camí de les Molleres to the main road. You can access the Camí de la Muntanya from there! After that, continue onto the Fontverd plain, all the way to the beautiful mountain hut. Overall, the Fontverd hike is straightforward, not heavily trafficked, and peaceful for you to enjoy during your unforgettable solo journey in Andorra.
Written by Taylor from Brown Eyed Flower Child
Monteverde, Costa Rica
An easy yet soul-satisfying destination for solo hikers is Monteverde in Costa Rica. Situated at a higher elevation, this mountain town is often wrapped in clouds floating over the lush vegetation. The best way to enjoy the cloud forests of Monteverde is to go hiking in the protected reserves. You can choose to hike in one or all of the reserves in Monteverde.
All the reserves have designated trails with clear signage wherever required. Remember to collect a map or take a snapshot of it before you commence your hike. Once you are on the trail, it is the closest you can come to nature. Keep an eye out for spotting birds and animals. The fresh smell of the primary and secondary forests, the sight of water droplets dripping from mosses, and the sounds of nothing but the rustling of leaves and calls of birds and animals are likely to captivate you.
The only company you will need to relish this enchanting nature is yourself. You can hire a guide or go on your own, either should be fine. However, the assistance of a guide increases the chances of spotting wildlife.
The most popular cloud forest reserve in Monteverde is the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Another beautiful reserve with dense forestation is the Santa Elena Reserve. A comparatively smaller one, Bajos del Tigre is one sector of the largest reserve in Costa Rica, the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. In addition to these three, you can also go hiking on the trails of Curi Cancha Reserve if you are a birding enthusiast.
To add some excitement to your nature hikes, visit the famous hanging bridges of Monteverde. Here, you do not just get to hike on trails, but also get the feeling of walking over the clouds as the bridges are at heights of up to 50 meters.
Written by Pubali and Indranil from Paradise Catchers
Mount Batur, Bali
Mount Batur is not only one of the must-visit destinations in Bali, but it also happens to be an excellent hiking experience for solo travelers in Indonesia. Located on the northwest side of the much taller Mount Agung, Mount Batur is much more beginner-friendly while still offering a remarkable view.
This active volcano stands 1,717 meters (or 5,633 feet) above sea level and will take the average person two hours to summit. While this may sound easy for experienced hikers, first-timers should not take it lightly! To ensure your safety during the hike, it’s best to hire a guide to show you the right trek or join a group hiking trip.
It’s also recommended to take enough water and some food that can keep you fueled throughout the journey. Things like energy bars and hard-boiled eggs are excellent, but there’s also a small hut on top where a local guy sells water, instant noodles, fruits, biscuits, and other snacks.
On top, the panorama is truly unmatched! On a clear morning as the sun rises, you can see two other mountains in the distance behind a sea of clouds, and it’s a remarkable sight that makes you feel as if you’re floating above the skies.
Mount Batur itself lies roughly 40 km or 1.5 hours from Ubud. Because most people like to start the hike early to catch the sunrise, you will have to leave Ubud at 2 a.m. or even earlier. Alternatively, you can stay near the foot of the mountain in the Kintamani region, which is a great way to save some time in the morning!
We recommend booking this best-selling tour HERE.
Written by Bradley from Dream Big Travel Far
Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
An excellent choice for a solo hiking trip is to complete the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. This is quite a well-known trek and is considered one of the best in the world. Here you will venture through the Annapurna Himalayas over the course of approximately 2 weeks, discovering some incredible landscapes as you also go over the highest trekking pass in the world. Starting from a small town called Bhulbhule at 820 meters, you will steadily climb to an altitude of 5416 meters, before descending back into civilization.
There are some shortcuts and side trips, so your Annapurna Circuit itinerary can honestly be as long or as short as you like. Many people also combine Annapurna Base Camp as well.
But what makes this one of the best solo hiking trips is that you can spend each night in a guesthouse, which is usually free on the condition that you purchase meals, so there is no need to lug a lot of gear, and it is super affordable. You will also meet other people on the trail, allowing you to either buddy up or enjoy the peacefulness of nature alone.
This is also the perfect opportunity to experience Nepalese culture as you have the chance to taste local dishes, witness the religion and all the stupas, as well as interact with locals as they welcome you into their guesthouses with open arms.
No doubt, doing the Annapurna Circuit is one of the best solo hiking trips you can take. You will have the most amazing time, see some incredible landscapes, and taste delicious dishes.
Written by Tasha Amy from Backpacker Wanderlust
Cocora Valley, Colombia
With the Andes mountain range running the full length of the country, it’s surprising that Colombia is rarely thought of as a hiking destination. But, this country is full of incredible and diverse hiking trails suitable for everyone from beginners to pros. And, one of the most unique is the hike through the Cocora Valley near Salento in Colombia’s central coffee region.
The Cocora Valley is home to the world’s tallest palm trees, they can reach an incredible 200 feet in height! And, as these trees only grow in this small corner of the world, it really is a hike like no other.
With the altitude providing milder weather than you may expect for a country on the equator, the hike is relatively easy to complete for all ages and abilities. In the Cocora Valley, you can hike one of two loops.
The first is a shorter 5-km route that takes you through the area where the trees grow most densely, taking around 2 hours. This means that everywhere you look, you see palm trees – great for photos!
The second option is a full 12-km loop through the valley, taking 5 hours. This option is more suited to experienced hikers and those with good levels of physical fitness.
Yet, despite the Cocora Valley being located in fairly remote Colombia countryside, it’s constantly growing in popularity. While the shorter loop is more popular, you’ll find hikers all along the trail every day. During the week, it’s mostly international tourists, backpackers and digital nomads making the trip from Salento. But, on weekends there’ll be plenty of Colombian families too. Perfect for hiking alone but never being far from others.
Written by Zoe from Zoe Goes Places
These are just some of the best solo hiking trips you can take this year. Whether you want to explore Nepal, Colombia, or another amazing location, there is sure to be a trip that is perfect for you. So get out there and start exploring.