The beginning of the year is a time for lists and there’s none more important than where you’re going to hike in 2024. If you’re looking for inspiration on where to hike in 2024, then check out our ideas for mountain hiking around the world for every month of the year.
In North America, various US states are ideal to hike in January. Hike in Big Bend National Park, in Texas; Palm Springs in California, and in the Sante Fe mountains in New Mexico. There are many Caribbean islands that offer up great hiking in addition to world-class beaches, such as Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Saba and Saint Lucia. Central America is perfect in January, so head out to hike the volcanoes of Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.
It is also high season in New Zealand, one of the world’s premier hiking destinations where trampers are spoilt for choice in terms of trails. Whether it is one of the spectacular Great Tracks (such as the Milford Track) or awe-inspiring day hikes, such as the Tongariro Circuit, there are thousands of trails to explore on this two-island nation.
In Asia, the Philippines archipelago has plenty of hiking opportunities on its many islands, such as up Mount Apo and Mount Batulao, or hiking through rice terraces. Mountainous Laos offers up trails in the Annamese Cordillera in the north of the country and the lush hills of Sri Lanka beckon hikers to its trails, particularly the new Pekoe Trail, a 300 km route through the Central Highlands.
For more inspiration on where to hike in January go to: Where to Hike in January
In North America, the southwestern US states of Nevada, Arizona and Utah are perfect in February to hike in the Grand Canyon of Arizona, the famous national parks of Utah and the many hiking spots around Sin City in Nevada. Costa Rica and Dominica are both at the top of many travelers’ wish lists and for great reason: Both have wonderful hiking through their lush landscapes, including the long distance Waitukubuli Trail in Dominica.
In Asia, the desert landscapes of Oman and United Arab Emirates are best hiked in the winter months where one can explore the Hajjar Mountains and trails on the Musandam peninsula. If you’re looking for more green, parts of Taiwan are ideal for hiking in February such as in Yangmingshan National Park close to Taipei. Malaysia is also in its dry season and has lots of hiking opportunities such as in the Cameron Highlands.
Australia is in full summer in February and has plenty of hiking on offer, particularly on the eastern side of the country such as in the Blue Mountains, and on the beautiful island of Tasmania.
For more inspiration on where to hike in February go to: Where to Hike in February
In North America, Mexico and its many volcanoes, including the popular Nevado de Toluca, are great to hike in March. As well, the Copper Canyon and mountains on Baja California beckon hikers looking for lesser known but equally awesome trails.
While most of mountainous Europe is still under snow in March, there are a few areas of Spain that are ideal to hike this month, such as on one of the beautiful Canary Islands, on the island of Mallorca and along the Costa Blanca in the Serra d’Aitana.
March is the beginning of prime trekking season in Nepal, one of the world’s premier Himalayan trekking destinations, where one can take on the Everest Base Camp trek and so many more. There are stunning treks to embark on in the neighbouring country of Bhutan, such as the very challenging Snowman Trek.
Head to Kenya during March as it is still the dry season there in many parts of the country, and summit up Africa’s second highest peak, Mount Kenya, or go south on the African continent to enjoy the many hiking splendours of South Africa, such as along the Garden Route and in the Drakensburg.
In South America, March is a great month to hike in Venezuela’s Sierra Nevada, close to Merida, Venezuela’s adventure capital. As well, Colombia’s beautiful Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a coastal range laced with hiking trails.
For more inspiration on where to hike in March go to: Where to Hike in March
Spring has arrived in many parts of the world. In North America, hike the Kalalau Trail on the stunning island of Kauai in Hawaii. Or start on one of the epic long distance trails in the US, the Appalachian Trail, at the southern terminus in Georgia. In the Caribbean, Grenada and Martinique are great islands to hike on, including on Mont Pelée, the highest peak in Martinique.
Southern Italy, such as the gorgeous Amalfi Coast, are perfect to hike in April where temperatures are pleasant along coastal mountain trails. The many islands of Greece offer up endless trails to explore, not only on the larger, popular islands of Crete and Corfu but on the smaller, under-the-radar islands such as on Hydra, Karpathos and Andros. The beautiful Andalucia region of Spain is ideal to hike in April such as around Malaga and Marbella.
In Asia, South Korea is one of the best countries for hiking and South Koreans take the pastime very seriously. Trails abound in one of the many national parks, including on Jeju Island, home to the country’s highest peak. April is a good month to hike along the stunning Turquoise Coast in Turkey, such as on the famous Lycian Way.
South America’s country, Brazil, has a plethora of hiking trails across its varied terrain, from urban trails such as Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, to the beautiful, flat-topped peaks of Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina.
For more inspiration on where to hike in April go to: Where to Hike in April
More US states are great to hike in May, such as in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, or the Allegheny Mountains of Kentucky. While known for beach resorts, Dominican Republic has several mountain ranges to explore, including the chance to hike Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s highest peak.
The trails crisscrossing the countries of the United Kingdom, such as Scotland, Wales and England are perfect to hike in May, from hiking Ben Nevis to Snowdonia to the Lake District. As well, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have many mountain landscapes to explore in May, including along the Wicklow Way and in the Mourne Mountains. Head south to Portugal for some sun while hiking in the Algarve region.
Head to Rwanda, in Africa, to combine hiking with gorilla tracking where you can watch these wonderful primates in the mist covered mountains of their natural habitat. For more off the beaten track, the mountains of Eritrea beckon hikers, particularly around Keren and Asmara.
For high altitude hiking, Bolivia (known as the Tibet of South America), has some stunning treks to explore during their dry period of May – October. It is also the ideal time to visit Peru, where you have your choice of awe-inspiring treks if you’re looking for an alternative to the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
China is a huge country with such diversity of landscapes that one can hike year round here, but in May, you pretty much have your pick: whether it be hiking in Tibet, the iconic Yellow Mountains, Taoism’s sacred peaks to the awesome Great Wall of China, there are trails for everyone here. The vast archipelago of Indonesia has a multitude of volcanoes to hike, including Mount Rinjani and the Ijen Crater.
For more inspiration on where to hike in May go to: Where to Hike in May
Summer is beginning (in many parts of the world) and hikers are spoiled for choice in terms of where to hike this month. In North America, trails in Oregon lead you through misty mountains and spectacular waterfalls, the rocky coastline and Acadia National Park of Maine, and the Green Mountains of Vermont. Canada is also waking from its slumber, and one can go from hiking in the mountains around Vancouver at one end of the country, to Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland at the other end.
In Europe, the Portuguese islands of Madeira and Azores offer up spectacular hiking while the Beiras region of Portugal boasts the tallest peak on the mainland. Other European destinations with fantastic hiking include Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Slovenia, and Montenegro.
June is a great time to hike in Japan; from Shiretoko National Park in Hokkaido to the mountains around Kyoto and the Japan Alps in between, there are plenty of amazing hiking options on the many islands that make up the Land of the Rising Sun. Elsewhere in Asia, explore the mighty Tien Shan mountains, on Almaty’s backdoor in Kazakhstan.
For more inspiration on where to hike in June go to: Where to Hike in June
July is a great month to explore the Chugach Mountains and Denali National Park of Alaska, Glacier National Park in Montana and Olympic National Park in Washington. As well, the many national parks of Canada such as Banff National Park and Kluane National Park boast trails that are ideal to hike this month.
Most mountainous European countries are perfect to hike in July – the Alps of France, Switzerland, and Austria are a hiker’s paradise and see many visitors on the thousands of km of trails in these countries. Head to the Scandinavian countries of Norway or Sweden, where the hiking season is short to explore the fantastic fjords and mountains. Swing by the Faroe Islands or Iceland for hiking across rocky, volcanic landscapes.
In Africa, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are great to visit in July for gorilla trekking, as well as hiking up volcanoes. Or travel south to Namibia where it’s the ideal time to hike in the country’s wild, desert landscapes.
New Caledonia, a group of islands in the South Pacific close to Australia, has beautiful hiking trails on the main island of Grande Terre. Further east, the Cook Islands offer up trails on its main island of Rarotonga.
For more inspiration on where to hike in July go to: Where to Hike in July
The mountains are calling throughout the US in August and it’s a great month to hike in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, or the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, or Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.
Corsica’s beautiful long distance trails, such as the famous GR20, are best explored in the summer months. As well, August is a good month to hike Georgia’s stunning peaks and Romania’s Transylvania region.
For more inspiration on where to hike in August go to: Where to Hike in August
The weather is still pleasant for hiking in the tiny principality of Andorra, nestled in the Pyrenees, the Accursed Alps in Albania, the beautiful national parks of Croatia, and the Tatras of Poland and Slovakia.
Heading to Asia and South Pacific, daring trekkers take on the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea or for more relaxing hiking, get onto one of the many trails of the Vanuatu islands. If you want to take in Silk Road monuments and get some hiking in, then Uzbekistan has trails in the Turkestan and Chatkal Mountains.
The mountainous island of Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) has trails to hike, including up Mount Ramelau, in the Matebean Mountains and south of the capital of Dili. Another island adventure in Oceania can be found on the Solomon Islands, a group of islands located south of Papua New Guinea.
For more inspiration on where to hike in September go to: Where to Hike in September
Fall is a great time to visit the many US states that put on stunning displays of fall colour, including the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Adirondacks of New York , and the Berkshires of Massachusetts.
Many of the Balkan countries have fantastic hiking in the Dinaric Alps, such as in Sutjeska National Park in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Sharr Mountains of Kosovo, and in Tara National Park in Serbia. If you’re looking for something long distance through these mountains, try the Via Dinarica, going through several countries.
October is the perfect time to hike along the Lebanon Mountain Trail, a trail traversing Lebanon, and similarly the Jordan Trail, a long distance trail across Jordan, including the beautiful Wadi Rum desert and the famed site of Petra. If you’re looking for greenery, head to Sapa (or Sa Pa), a popular trekking base in Vietnam. As well, some of India’s best treks are accessible in October, such as the Roopkund trek in Himachal Pradesh and the Markha Valley trek in Ladakh.
For more inspiration on where to hike in October go to: Where to Hike in October
Start the month off with a hike in one of the four main mountain ranges of Cuba, such as the Sierra Maestra near Santiago de Cuba or the Valle de Vinales.
In Cambodia, November to April is the dry season and a great time to hike the Cardamom Mountains. The desert landscapes of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates offer more than towering skyscrapers and opulent malls – hiking through the Hejaz Mountains is becoming quite popular in Saudi Arabia and the emirates of Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Sharjah in particular have beautiful hiking trails such as the Stairway to Heaven hike.
It is chilly in many parts of Europe, but Cyprus is sunny in November and has many mountainous areas with wonderful hiking, particularly in the Troodos Mountains.
In Africa, Tunisia contains the end of the Atlas Mountains chain which stretches from Morocco and is ideal for hiking in November. There are low mountains to hike around the city of Man in Ivory Coast, in western Africa.
You could easily spend the whole year in Chile and not visit the same place twice. While we’ve mentioned hiking in the famed Patagonia region in the south, other places include the Maipo and Mapacho Valleys around Santiago, and around the town of Pucon, such as Huerquehue National Park and Villarica National Park.
For more inspiration on where to hike in November go to: Where to Hike in November
The winter season begins and for many, a time to head to the Caribbean. Jamaica and its Blue Mountains are ideal to hike in December. Sint Eustatius (or Statia) has mountains in the north and south ends of the island, and hiking trails in both areas. Explore Virgin Islands National Park in the US Virgin Islands, which is laced with hiking trails.
China is a year-round destination, and in December, some of the best hiking places include Yangshuo and its karst peaks; the Longji Rice Terraces; and Tiger Leaping Gorge, a very popular 2 day trek through one of the world’s deepest gorges.
The Mendoza area and the Argentine Lakes regions of Argentina are huge draws for hikers in this South American country and perfect to visit in December. Off the coast of southern Argentina are the Falkland Islands which have low mountains to hike through its wild, barren landscapes.
Equatorial Guinea has mountain hiking in all three separate regions that make up this country, including up the highest peak of Pico Basile on the island of Bioko. Hike in the mountains on the Freetown peninsula of Sierra Leone or in the Loma Mountains in the north of the country.
For more inspiration on where to hike in December go to: Where to Hike in December
There are so many places to discover this year, so lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails! Happy hiking!