A Nature Lover’s Guide to the Best Mountain Hikes

Tackling the path less travelled is an exciting sensation, especially when you’re surrounded by the wonders of nature. With the right planning and good preparation, anyone can experience tremendous hikes in the great outdoors. For nature lovers, mountain hikes provide some of the most breathtaking views, exciting trails, and plenty of chances to take stunning photos. Read on to discover some of the best mountain hikes and how to prepare for a successful mountain hike.

Things to Consider When Planning a Mountain Hike

Mountain hikes demand a certain level of physical fitness and outdoor experience. Some of the most important considerations when planning a mountain hike are:

Difficulty Level: it is essential to pick a hike that’s appropriate for your level of fitness and experience. Generally, more demanding hikes should be left for experienced hikers and those physically fit for the challenge.

Duration: plan the duration of the hike in advance. Some hikes can take up to several days or several hours.

Equipment/Supplies: what kind of equipment and supplies will you need for the hike? Make sure to also plan for any type of natural event or bad weather, such as sudden rain or snow.

Weather: check the weather in advance and make sure your trip coincides with the most suitable conditions.

Top Mountain Hikes for Nature Lovers

Half Dome Hike – Yosemite National Park, USA

One of the most popular mountain hikes for nature lovers around the world is the Half Domehike. This 14-18-mile round trip, located in California’s Yosemite National Park, offers some of the most stunning views of the gorgeous Yosemite Valley. The hike itself is moderately strenuous, as it includes several steep uphill sections. Besides the constant uphill sections, you will encounter snow patches, steps cut into the granitestones and metal cables that serve as a guide. The cables are essential in traversing the steepest sections of the hike and the last part of the hike is an absolute steep vertical assault. Once you reach the top, you can take in the amazing views of Yosemite Valley, encompassed by lush vegetation, wild streams and jagged vast mountain peaks.


Moderately strenuous hike

14-18-mile round trip

Spectacular views of the Yosemite Valley

Granite steps and metal cable guides

Fox Glacier Hike – Westland Tai Poutini National Park, New Zealand

The Fox Glacier hike is located in the beautiful Westland Tai National Park. This low to moderately strenuous 4-mile round trip provides stunning views of the glorious Southern Alps and endless rainforest. The name of the glacier is actually the coastal river which carries the ice from the top of the mountain to the lower valley area. During the steep ascent, you will reach a lookout point from which you will be able to admire the majestic views of the alpine vegetation and the ice glacier that expands to the Southern Alps. By the end of the hike, you will feel as if you’re on top of the world and have a chance to take excellent pictures.


Low to moderately strenuous

4-mile round trip

Spectacular mountain and glacier views

Excellent photo opportunities

Kalalau Trail – Kauai, Hawaii, USA

The Kalalau Trail is one of the most entertaining and colourful hikes located on the romantic Island of Kauai. The 11-mile one-way trail passes through lush tropical rainforests, sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Nature lovers will find themselves surrounded by unique species of green vegetation, shady trees and exotic birds. As the hike progresses, the trail passes through some impressive narrow rocky ledges between high cliffs. Obviously, the hike up isn’t as exciting as the dramatic plunge down, providing amazing views of the Kapia O Puna Cliffs.


11-mile one-way trail

Tropical rainforest full of vegetation

Narrow rocky ledges between cliffs

Dramatic plunge down

Preparation Tips for a Successful Mountain Hike

Before embarking on an adventure, you must take some preventive steps to ensure your safety and make the experience truly enjoyable. Read on to discover the basics of how to prepare for a successful mountain hike.

Proper Clothing: always ensure you dress in layers and wear comfortable clothing to ensure maximum flexibility and lots of air circulation. It is wise to bring some rain gear and don’t forget a hat if you’re going to be exposed to direct sunlight for a long time.

Comfortable Footwear: depending on the terrain, the terrain and the time of year, it is essential to wear suitable footwear. For example, sturdy boots with ankle support and excellent grip are the best choice for snowy terrain.

Essential Gear: apart from food and water, don’t forget to pack extra clothing, a map, a compass and a first aid kit. You may also need to bring a headlamp and other emergency items depending on the duration and difficulty of your hike.

Spread Out your Food and Water: it is important to spread out your food and water supplies. Consume smaller amounts of food and water regularly throughout the hike instead of gorging yourself the entire time.

Other Important Considerations

It is also essential to:

Inform Someone Where You Are Going: make sure to inform one or two people of the details of your hike including the expected duration and the exact route.

Stay on the Trail: always stick to the marked trails and refrain from wandering off into unknown territory. This can not only be dangerous, but it can also damage the environment.

Respect Nature: leave nothing but footprints, meaning to always pick up your trash when hiking and be careful not to disturb any wildlife or damage the surrounding ecosystem.

Mountain hikes are some of the best experiences to be had, and they offer something different to nature lovers. While they may require a certain level of fitness and outdoor experience, anyone can enjoy the stunning views and challenging trails of popular mountain hikes. With the right planning and preparation, mountain hikes can be both safe and enjoyable, even for beginners. The best mountain hikes include the Half Dome, Fox Glacier and Kalalau Trail, each with unique and breathtaking views. With the tips in this guide, you’ll be ready to hit the trails and have an adventure of a lifetime.