By Michael Lanza

We can all remember specific places that we consider the best days of hiking we’ve ever had. I’ve been exceptionally fortunate: I have hiked many trails in America and around the world that would probably make anyone’s list of most-scenic hikes. From numerous trips in iconic national parks like Yosemite, Zion, Grand Canyon, and Glacier to the John Muir Trail and Teton Crest Trail and some of the world’s great treks, including the Alta Via 2 in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains, the Tour du Mont Blanc, New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park, Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail, and the icy and jagged mountains of Norway and Patagonia, here’s a list of the 30 hands-down prettiest days I’ve ever spent walking dirt and rock footpaths.

I think you’ll find some places in here to add to your must-do list.

I’ve taken these adventures over the course of three decades working as an outdoor writer and photographer, formerly as Northwest Editor of Backpacking magazine for 10 years and now even longer running this blog. Many of the photos in this story are from adventures widely recognized as classics, while others are from places you may not have heard of before.

Scroll through the photos and short anecdotes from each trip. They include links to stories at The Big Outside about those places, with my tips and information on how to plan those trips. Those stories require a paid subscription to The Big Outside to read in full.


Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

And I can help you plan any of these trips or any other you read about at this blog—giving you the benefit of my many years of professional experience identifying, planning, and successfully pulling off great adventures. See my Custom Trip Planning page to learn how I can help you, and my downloadable e-guides to some of America’s and the world’s best backpacking trips and treks.

I’d love to hear what you think of any of my photos or the places shown in them, or upcoming plans you have or are contemplating. Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments section at the bottom of this story. I try to respond to all comments.

Happy trails.

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A hiker atop Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.
” data-image-caption=”Mark Fenton on The Visor or Half Dome, high above Yosemite Valley, in Yosemite National Park. Click photo to read about this backpacking trip.
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Yos11-041-Mark-summit-of-Half-Dome-Yosemite-N.P.-CA-2.jpg?fit=300%2C199&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Yos11-041-Mark-summit-of-Half-Dome-Yosemite-N.P.-CA-2.jpg?fit=900%2C598&ssl=1″ width=”900″ height=”598″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Yos11-041-Mark-summit-of-Half-Dome-Yosemite-N.P.-CA-2.jpg?resize=900%2C598&ssl=1″ alt=”A hiker atop Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.” class=”wp-image-35446″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Yos11-041-Mark-summit-of-Half-Dome-Yosemite-N.P.-CA-2.jpg?resize=1024%2C680&ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp

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