What are you to do when you want to get to a destination that is extremely difficult to reach? You start reaching- literally. The proper term is climbing, actually, and there are some pretty incredible places only climbers will be able to see from the summit. It takes intense training, patience, and confidence but most who have reached the tops of these places will tell you it is well worth the effort. Here are the 10 places you should put the effort into climbing whether by hiking, 4x4, or even helicopter. These are the places that will make great stories and memories that will last a lifetime.
1. Yosemite Valley, California
The Valley of Yosemite was originally carved by glaciers and over time has been shaped by a river called Merced. It is one of the world's greatest climbing areas that has a variety of climbs for both beginners and professional climbers. It most renowned feature is called Half Dome, and there are multiple ways of reaching its peak.
2. Scottish Highlands, Scotland
The Scottish Highlands have some of the most extraordinary views on the planet. You can expect to climb beautiful mountains, take trails through forests and/or hike along the coast. There is also a range of difficulty levels here so whether you are looking for a scenic walk or a challenging hike there is something for everyone.
3. Volcan Licancabur, Bolivia
Bolivia's Volcan Licancabur is not the most challenging climb out there but that can be a good thing if you don't have tons of experience and are looking for unparalleled views. Hiking this volcano does put you at high-altitude so if you are looking to make improvements in your climbing, this will do it for you. And who doesn't want to hike to the top of a volcano?!
4. Baining Mountains, Papua New Guinea
This is a mountain range on the Gazelle Peninsula in northern Papua New Guinea. The mountains rise above a beautiful beach town called Kokopo. There is a tribe called the Baining Tribe (named after the mountain range) and after driving uphill for about an hour and a half, you can see them perform the traditional fire dance they are famous for in their village.
5. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest peak in Africa rising 19,340 feet above sea-level. About 35,000 people try to get to the peak of Kilimanjaro every year but only half of them end up succeeding. Proper training will serve you well here.
6. Mount Sinai, Egypt
Mount Sinai is known by some as Moses Mountain and is located near the city of Saint Catherine. If you are a history buff you may have fun learning about this place before climbing it as it is rich in both historical and religious significance.
7. Fox Glacier, New Zealand
If you want to try ice climbing (or already enjoy it) consider heading out to Fox Glacier in New Zealand. In the upper part of the glacier, there are huge walls of ice to be climbed and if you don't feel ready for it, you can opt for a hike on the glacier. A bonus about Fox Glacier is that it is less populated so you don't have to worry about long lines of tourists. For a more quiet experience in nature, this is the way to go.
8. Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal
Annapurna is the 10th highest mountain in the world and the hike to base camp is one of the most sought-after hikes on earth. You can expect to see some of the most beautiful high altitude landscapes some people don't even realize exist. There are trecks that usually last about 8 days that just about anyone can do with some preparation. Beware, temperatures can drop below zero after the sun goes down!
9. Mauna Kea, Hawaii
The scenic hiking trail to the summit of Mauna Kea is about 6 miles, very doable for a hiker with less experience. At 13,800 feet it is the highest mountain in the Pacific Rim, making it the tallest sea mountain in the world. If you crave the tropics, you will want to make it out to this mountain. Iron poles will mark your trail about every 500 feet so you won't have to worry about getting lost.
10. Base of Everest, Tibet
Everest, as you may know, is the world's highest mountain. These hikes are very challenging but if you want a glimpse of the world's highest peak, you will need to train hard and make the treck. Most walking will be done in the morning and the afternoons will be slower and more restful. More and more people flood to hike to Base Camp each year and are successful but this treck is not in any way geared towards the tourist crowd.
If you decide to climb any one of these destinations, get ready to see the world in a completely new way. The combination of a satisfying climb and a view only few will ever lay eyes on will produce a feeling like no other.