If you love hiking and mountaineering, then you have a lot to discover in Europe and the United States. These two places provide epic hikes and mountaineering experience that attracts thousands of hikers and mountaineers every year.
In this article, we have rounded up some of the most epic hikes and mountaineering trails in both the US and Europe.
Best Hiking and Mountaineering Travel Destinations In Europe
1. Matterhorn, Alps in Switzerland
The Matterhorn mountain offers one of the most exciting hiking and mountaineering trail in Europe. The mountain is part of the Swiss Alps and a perfect place for people who love nature. It’s a perfect picture mountain with its breathtaking Alpine panorama. You will be wowed by Matterhorn’s steep faces, snow and incredible scenes. As a mountaineer, the Matterhorn is a must but be warned, it’s essential to have reasonable climbing experience before attempting it’s peak.
The Matterhorn offers a range of moderate hiking experiences of around 6 to 12 hours. You can choose from dozens of routes with the easiest being the “Hornligrat” route. And summer is the recommended time for hikers.
2. Mont Blanc, Alps
Standing at 15,774 feet high (4810 metres), Mont Blanc is the highest mountains in the Alps. The scenic view at the peak of this mountain will provide you with an unforgettable memories.
Like most of the Alps’ trails, summer season provides perfect hiking and mountaineering experience in and around Mont Blanc. There is less snowand the scenery provide an incredible hiking experience.
For mountaineers, Mont Blanc has tons of routesbut most of them are quite difficult so you must be in good physical condition. You must also be well equipped with crampons and ice picks, especially for those trying to get to the peak. Mont Blanc can be dangerous,so it’s well advised to hire a local guide.
3. Dolomites, Italy
The third hiking and mountaineering destination you should consider is the Italian Dolomitesmountain range.
It is also part of the Alpsmountain range but is best known for its good weather as it receives less rain so it provides for wider opportunities for hikers compared to most of the Alpine trails.
The Dolomites provide one of the best scenic views of the Alps, especially as you go higher. There are many trails to select from depending on the days you want to spend. In addition, there many hotels and restaurants along these trails located in beautiful traditional small towns.
NOTE: US citizensdon’t need a visa to travel to Switzerland (even though it’s not part of the European “Schengen” zone) nor France, Austria and Italy. But from 1 January 2021, all US citizens will need to apply for an ETIAS visa exemption to enter Europe (see the ETIAS guide here).
Best Hiking and Mountaineering Travel Destinations In the US
1. Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite National Park is one of the top destinations for most hikers and mountaineers from Europe. The park is home to some of the thrilling hiking trails and spectacular peaks in the US. Located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, Yosemite National Parkis undoubtedly the most popular destination for hikers and mountaineers alike.
The most famous (and most demanding) hiking trailin Yosemite is the Half Dome which is around 16 miles long and will take you around 10 – 14 hours to complete (round trip). The trail offers a breathtaking view of the Vernal and the famous Nevada Falls. You will also get a view of Yosemite Valley.
2. Angel’s Landing
Located in the Zion National Park, Utah, Angel’s Landing is another hiking trail that should feature in your US list. The 5-mile hike takes you to dizzying heights as you’ve never experienced before. However and thankfully, they have installed chains that you hold on to as you climb.
The hike is one of the most strenuous you might find during your trip to the US since it is pretty much uphill all the way to the top. While at the peak, you will be presented by the amazing view of the valley. March to October is the best time to experience Angel’s Landing.
3. Rocky Mountains, Colorado
The Rocky Mountains, also known to many as the Rockies, stretchesto around 3,000 km through Colorado and other states. West Maroon Creek Trail near Aspen is one of the most popular routes for hikers travelling to the US. This 10-mile trailwill take through the lush glacial Maroon Pass, which is definitely a thrill.
July is the best time to hike the West Maroon Creek Trail. At this time, Colorado’s wildflower season is at its peak, giving the trail breathtaking scenery.
NOTE for travelers from the UK and the EU: providing your trip is less than 90 days, a visa is not required to enter the US but you will have to apply for an ESTA visa waiver before you travel. If you’re an avid mountaineer, make sure you haven’t travelled to one of several countries when applying for your ESTA and which the US consider to be special cases (for full details, please refer to this ESTA guide for more information).