Best Hiking Vacations in the World

Come summer, winter resort destinations transform into mountain escapes painted with wild flowers and crawling with wildlife. Resorts known for their skiing and snowboarding in the winter offer everything from day hikes to multi-day treks in the summer, with scenic vistas, waterfalls and crystal blue lakes sure to please every level of hiker. From the European Alps to Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks, the following seven mountain towns are home to some of the best hiking in the world.

Chamonix, France

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A vacation to Chamonix in the summer offers some of the best in the Alps. Hiking in Chamonix ranges from day hikes to multi-day treks. Hikers can access trails either from the valley floor or by lift, which operate in the summer starting in mid-July. Hikes in the area lead to rocky peaks, alpine lakes and glacier fields – all surrounded by the jagged and beautiful Alps. Tour Du Mont Blanc is a well-known multi-day trek that circumnavigates the highest peak in the Alps and crosses through Italy, Switzerland and France. Hikers can stay at a variety of accommodations, luxury or affordable, along the way. Lac Blanc is one of the most popular hikes in the area, offering beautiful lake views and a panorama of Mont Blanc. On the other side of the valley, hikers can hike from the top of the Flégère lift, or take an additional lift, the Index.

Tignes, France

More than half of the village of Tignes, France is located in the Vanoise National Park. Here, wildlife like ibex, marmots, and chamois are abundant. Three lifts run for free in the summertime, giving hikers a leg up on higher trails. Aiguille Percée is a popular destination, leading hikers high up over the town of TIgnes, to a scenic natural rock arch overlooking the valley and lake below. Tignes also offers guides to make the most of adventures in the high alpine.

Banff Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

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Banff National Park is widely considered to be the hiking capital of Canada, and offers hikers over 1,600 kilometers of trails to explore. From snowy peaks, glaciers, wooded forests and turquoise lakes, hiking in Banff is not to miss. Take in the scenic vistas from the top of Cory Pass or hike to Lake Agnes to the historic teahouse on shore, and soak in the sounds of the nearby waterfall while enjoying a warm cup of tea. The area also offers heli hiking tours, allowing hikers a leg up on high alpine adventures, to remote and far-reaching destinations.

Aspen, Colorado

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True to its namesake, Aspen, Colorado is home to massive groves of beautiful aspen trees, which come fall, lend to some of the best foliage-peeping hikes in the country. Although the hiking is incredible all summer long, September and October are prime months to watch the leaves change from green to a bright orange and red. In addition, Aspen is also home to two 14,000’ peaks named the Maroon Bells, the most photographed peaks in North America. Surrounding hikes in the valley offer some of the most quintessential Colorado vistas.

Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

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Located in the Fitzsimmons Range of the Coast Mountains and within close proximity to Garibaldi Provincial Park, hiking options in Whistler are endless. Hikers can ride the PEAK 2 PEAK gondola for easy access to nearby trails on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Or, the adventurous can take a guided tour with a naturalist guide, or explore the Whistler Glacier with crampons, ice axes and learn mountaineering skills! Other hiking options include overnight camping and multi-day treks to access high alpine lakes, old growth forests and wildflower meadows.

Telluride, Colorado

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Telluride is nestled in the stunning San Juan Mountain Range, home to some of the most picturesque peaks in the country. Peaks so iconic, that a well-known beer company named Coors uses the peaks to brand their bottles and cans. From day hikes to overnight mountaineering trips, adventures of every nature can be found in Telluride. Bridal Veil Falls, the tallest free-falling falls in Colorado, is one of the more popular hikes, while those 14,000’ peaks that adorn popular beer cans (their names are Mt. Wilson, Wilson Peak and El Diente) beckon more aggressive mountaineers.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

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Well-known as a skier's paradise, Jackson Hole will also delight hikers with some of the best hiking in the country. Clear lakes and the jagged peaks of the Tetons dominate the landscape surrounding Jackson Hole. Grand Teton National Park and nearby Yellowstone National Park entice hikers with everything from emerald-green lakes, rugged peaks, waterfalls and a plethora of wildlife like moose, bears and elk. The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort tram also runs in the summer, allowing hikers to start at 10,450’ in the Southern Tetons and work their way down through a vast network of trails.