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16 Easy Hikes with Stunning Views You’ll Never Forget

16 Easy Hikes with Stunning Views You’ll Never Forget

If you’re finding yourself sinking in daily monotony, just imagine, breathing in that fresh, crisp air, trekking along a magnificent trail, and capturing soul-stirring panoramas you’ll remember for a lifetime. These 16 hikes will give you each picturesque route providing more awe-inspiring vistas than the last.

The Wave in Arizona/Utah

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Straddling the border between Arizona and Utah, the Wave is a stunning sandstone formation that boasts deep shades of red, yellow, and orange. The tri-rusted rocky trove is remarkably delicate, so tourists are placed in a lottery system to pick out their turn. Although the rocky enclave looks relatively simple, it can be a challenging hike, but it is perfectly manageable if you’re careful. The trail makes roughly 6.5 miles round trip with about 1500 feet of elevation, making it the perfect one for beginners.

Rainbow Mountain, Peru

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Situated in the Andes, the Vinicunca is named so for its layers of bright color, ranging from splashes of red, yellow, orange, green, and even purple, streaked across the mountain range. The Rainbow Mountain trek spans about 2-7 miles, depending on where you stop. The hike naturally gets more challenging with each step, but the view of the colorful streaks from the top makes every drop of sweat worth it. Tourists can learn about Andean communities if their hike guide is willing.

Stairways to Heaven, Madeira

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One of Portugal’s most spectacular hikes, the Stairways to Heaven, connects Pico Ruivo and Vereda do Areeiro, two of Madeira’s highest peaks. The trail is initially easier because it’s literally carved into stairs, but progressively becomes challenging. Despite its severe elevation, Stairways to Heaven is relatively more accessible for those with moderate fitness. It spans roughly 7 miles roundtrip, but there are paved sections and safety rails along the way, so travelers won’t have to worry a lot. Naturally, the stunning view at the trail’s end makes everything fall in place.

Rio Celeste Waterfall Trail, Costa Rica

Waterfall with turquoise water and steps leading to it on the side.
Photo credit: Emese Maczko.

Rio Celeste Waterfall is located in the Tenorio National Park 2-3 hours away to the North from Costa Rica’s capital, San José. It is a 3-mile long trail that is easy to do in 1.5-2 hours. The trail has a daily and hourly cap, so book your tickets in advance and be on time. The gorgeous turquoise color is due to mie scattering, which you can explore in this step-by-step guide to Rio Celeste Waterfall Trail.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand

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Crossing the Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing overlooks stunning alpine lakes, jarring cliffs, and the dramatic backdrop of volcanic craters. This is also what makes this destination one of the most popular ones in the area. Naturally, the crossing’s stunning landscapes make it a bit more challenging than the rest, but you’ll manage just fine if you stick to the path and are prepared well enough.

The Fairy Pools, Scotland

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On the Isle of Skye, you’ll find a gorgeous gravel hike leading to stunning waterfalls cascading into the pools of water below. The Fairy Pools is one of the most accessible and spectacular hikes in Scotland, making it the perfect spot for a family-friendly adventure. The gushing waterfall isn’t the only attraction here; the Fairy Pools boast a breathtaking backdrop of the Black Cuillin mountains, making it an ideal destination for naturalists.

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

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Imagine 16 terraced lakes majestically falling into a large pool thanks to a connecting waterfall. This beautiful sight becomes a reality at Plitvice Lakes National Park, where wooden walkways overlook a stunning limestone canyon. Despite its intimidating beauty, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a relatively easy hike, and you can even customize the distance. This and the trail’s geological attractions make it a great family-friendly place.

Pulpit Rock, Norway

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Standing 604 meters above Lysefjord, Pulpit Rock is a marvelous Norway hike that covers about 4-5 miles roundtrip. Pulpit Rock towers over the area but is remarkably marked, paving the way for beginner hikers. Once at the top, you’re blessed with panoramic views of the fjords below and a sky that would put Leonardo da Vinci to shame. Couple that with the jagged peaks, and you’ve got yourself the perfect adventure jam-packed with thrills.

Kuli’ou’ou Ridge Trail, Hawaii

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Skip Hawaii’s typical beach spots and make your way to the Kuli’ou’ou Ridge Trail, where you’ll see the best of Honolulu and its surrounding areas. The Kuli’ou’ou Ridge Trail is about 4-4.5 miles long, so you might believe it’s easy, but it’s more suitable for people with moderate fitness and agility. At the top of the Kuli’ou’ou Ridge Trail, you can see the golden coastline, the crashing waves, and, if the weather is clear enough, the islands of Lanai and Molokai.

Sete Cidades, the Azores

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A stone’s throw from Ponta Delgada, Sete Cidades is famed for its twin lakes amid a volcanic crater. If this wasn’t impressive enough, the two lakes stand out for their dual shades, one appearing blue, the other green. This alone makes it worth the hike, which curves along the crater with moderately carved paths, allowing travelers to reach their awaited destination easily.

Håen hike, Vaeroy Islands, Norway

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Located on Vaeroy Island, Håen hike is one of Nordland’s most stunning scenic destinations. The hike overlooks the summit of Haheia, the second-highest peak on Vaeroy Island. That alone would make a naturalist take a bow, but the Håen hike is quite close to the Lofoten Islands, which offer more hikes along dramatically deep fjords, stunning landscapes, and an incredible skyline. Of course, if you stick to your original hike, you’ll find equally mesmerizing views at the top.

Alcantara Gorge, Sicily, Italy

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Tourists typically ignore Sicily’s best destination, but a single hike will prove why Alcantara Gorge is the ideal spot for naturalists. The Alcantara Gorge is a natural canyon forged from lava basalt columns, leaving a stunning curved path behind. Naturally, its rather intricate design makes it a little intimidating, but the hike is relatively easy. It overlooks the Alcantara and Tiberius rivers, allowing nature lovers to soak in the best of the area.

Geochang Y-shaped Suspension Bridge, South Korea

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If you’re looking for a thrilling hike, this y-shaped suspended bridge is ideal. The suspension bridge was specially designed to offer an easy gateway to Goechang’s three mountains without needing much support. Still, it’s simultaneously exhilarating, allowing even beginner hikers to swallow their natural adrenaline. Geochang Y-shaped suspension bridge might be an exciting journey, but it leads to a peaceful destination.

Mount Batur Volcano Hike at Bali, Indonesia

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Ditch the beaches at Bali and hike your way to Mount Batur, an active volcanic strip that typically takes about two hours to conquer. Technically, you could hike the mountain alone, but it’s highly encouraged to bring a guide because of its unexpected changes in difficulty. Mount Batur volcano is accompanied by two calderas on each side, one boasting a gorgeous lake and the other offering a towering cliff. This site is worth the hike, but hikers typically stay to watch the sunset.

Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines

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A stratovolcano in the Philippines, Mount Pinatubo is most famed for its 1991 eruption, the second-largest in the 20th century. But don’t be intimidated; this tragedy paved the way for a stunning hike, leading to an eye-captivating lake. That’s not all; the hike begins with a 4×4 vehicle ride and then starts with a comparatively easy trail that switches between barren landscapes and serene views.

Phi Phi Viewpoint in Phuket

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You’ll need to take a short boat ride from Phuket to reach the Phi Phi Islands, where the scenic viewpoints highlight the best of Thailand. The Phi Phi Viewpoint hike starts with an easy climb but eventually progresses to a steeper one, but it’s still manageable, even for beginners. At the top, hikers meet breathtaking views of karst landscapes, stunning lakes, and the Loh Dalum and Tonsai Bays.

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Travel Writer | Website

Emese Maczko is a travel blogger behind Eco Lodges Anywhere. Having explored several destinations around Europe, the US, Indonesia, and Australia, and resided in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Luxembourg, Emese possesses a keen understanding of diverse cultures and an appreciation for the beauty of each destination she visits. She advocates for sustainable travel and ecotourism.

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