Hiking is one of my favorite things to do when traveling. I’ve hiked hundreds of miles over the years, and finally decided to keep track of everything here.
Some of the best hikes are the ones where you climb to the top of a mountain. The following table shows the highest elevation hikes that I’ve completed along with the elevation gain.
|Summit||Location||Height (ft)||Gain (ft)|
|Everest Base Camp||Nepal||17,598||8,215|
Below is a chronological list of notable hikes I’ve done. My definition of notable is a hike with high elevation, long distance, and/or a fond memory.
Note: I initially created this page in July 2022, so older hikes prior to that are based on memory. Some hikes beginning in 2021 will have Garmin data associated with them.
|Location||NY, PA, MD, WV, and VA|
|Hiked||2008 to 2016|
My love for hiking probably started around 2008 during my first section hike on the Appalachian Trail from Port Clinton, PA which was not too far from where we grew up in Reading. Over the course of 3 days, my friends and I hiked just 14.4 miles. By the end of the hike, we realized that having the right gear was very important… no more wearing work boots and carrying duffle bags.
This first hike was just one of nearly a dozen sections hikes that we did over the next few years. To date, I’ve section hiked 321 miles of the Appalachian Trail including the eternity of PA, MD, WV as well as sections of VA and NY.
I have an outlandish goal to hike the entire AT one day. Whether that will be in sections or all the way through from Georgia to Maine, only time will tell.
This hike is not too far from Honolulu on the island of Oahu. I did this hike with my best friend back in 2014 and remember it being very muddy, steep, but totally worthwhile.
This hike not too far from Hilo on the Big Island was a wet and muddy one. See the picture above of my. friend Nick standing knee deep in mud. Putting that aside, we got to poke real flowing lava with a stick as promised.
Read more about my Big Island lava tour here.
My sister got engaged on Whitaker Point in June 2017. My family and I flew into Arkansas for the long weekend and did the round trip hike to the lookout. I was the designated photographer of the proposal, and I got some really good shots of the moment.
A few fellow hostel-mates and I took a day trip from Naples down to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. I have detailed information on this trip here.
I’m not sure what the name of this particular hiking trail is, but I’ve linked the route above. Check out the Rishikesh Day Hike section to learn more about the waterfalls, cave, and other points of interest along the route.
After slow boating down the Amazon River for a few days, some fellow travelers and I hired a local to take us to what is currently labeled on Google Maps as the Chullachaqui Eco Lodge which is only accessible by boat. We stayed there overnight and ate delicious local food. According to my notes, the trip from Iquitos was $54.11 which included food, lodging, and transportation.
Part of this journey was a trek through the rainforest which I captured in the vlog above. Not sure exactly how far we hiked through the jungle.
To date, the Salkantay Trek is the longest hike and highest elevation hike I’ve ever done. Over the course of 5 days, I hiked over 45 miles to Machu Picchu. The maximum elevation on this hike was going over the Salkantay Pass at an elevation of 15,090 feet.
While I participated in the Salkantay Trekking group tour, this hike can most certainly be done on your own since the route is popular and well-established.
|Location||Bondi Beach, Australia|
While this is more of a walk than a hike, I’m including this in my list because of the uniqueness of the walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach. It’s not commercialized or touristy. My local friend Olivia took me on the Bondi to Coogee walk in January 2019.
11. Tarn Shelf Track
When I was traveling around Tasmania in a car camper, I met some fellow car campers and the group of us hiked some of the Tarn Shelf Track. This hike offers awesome views of a series of lakes below.
|Location||Tongariro National Park, New Zealand|
As part of another highly recommended guided tour of New Zealand, we hiked the 12+ miles one-way in Tongariro National Park on the north island. A shuttle is available to take you back to the starting point as long as you make it there before the last one leaves.
As you can see in the picture above, this is a very popular hike with hundreds of people participating in it every day.
|Location||Phong Nha, Vietnam|
|Distance||5 miles hiking, 4.3 miles caving|
As part of a 2 day guided trek, Oxalis Adventure took us deep into the Vietnam jungle and even deeper into a cave.
The hike itself is moderate and contains some steep sections and lots of mosquitos, but the extensive 4.3 miles of caving was intense at times, but a truly epic experience.
14. Pha Daeng Peak
|Location||Nong Khiaw, Laos|
I hiked to the top of Pha Daeng Peak in Laos with my friend. The ascent and descent are steep in places. To get to the top of Pha Daeng, there is a 1,532 feet elevation gain to a maximum altitude of 4,137 feet above sea level.
15. Mt. Fuji
While it’s only 4.7 miles out-and-back from the 5th station to the summit, hiking Mt. Fuji is tough because of the 4,300+ feet elevation gain and a very high maximum altitude of 12,388 feet. This is the second highest summit I’ve done, but I don’t recall as bad of altitude sickness here as I felt on the Salkantay Trek.
16. Xiaozishan Trail
During my week in Taipei, I’m so happy I took a day trip out of the city to see the natural beauty of Taiwan. A super nice worker from Formosa 101 Hostel took a group of us on public transportation to Pingxi where we got to hike and also set off paper lanterns. Also part of that trip were some awesome hot springs.
17. Tucson Trails
|Hiked||August 2020 to January 2022|
I hiked various local trails during my time living in Tucson, Arizona. Some of those trails include:
- Tumamoc Hill: very popular paved walk with great views of Tucson
- Hidden Canyon Bowen Loop Trail: secluded trail with lots of saguaros behind the JW Marriott resort
Additionally, I’ve done numerous lesser-known hikes in and around Tucson Mountain Park between S San Joaquin Road and Starr Pass.
|Location||Grand Canyon, Arizona|
I hiked 3 miles down into the Grand Canyon with my sister and brother in law. We then had to hike back up which was much harder!
One day I would love to do the rim to rim hike.
19. Angels Landing
|Location||Zion National Park, Utah|
Angels Landing is often considered one of the most dangerous hikes in the US. While the first part of this hike is relatively easy (although there is a good amount of elevation gain), the final part consists of a series of chain sections next to steep cliffs. One wrong move could result in a fall to you death.
In March 2021, we did not need a permit to do Angles Landing, but it’s my understanding that permits are now required.
20. Devil’s Bridge
Another must-do hike in Arizona is Devil’s Bridge. The natural beauty is unmatched. Because of this, it is a very popular hike so expect to see lots of other people on the trail with you. There will most likely be a line to get your picture taken on the bridge.
21. Mt. Lemmon Hike
While we technically didn’t hike all the way to the summit of Mount Lemmon, we did hike from Sabino Canyon to Summerhaven. Again, technically we didn’t actually walk all the way to Summerhaven, but hitched a ride once we got out to Mt Lemmon Highway.
Read about my entire Mt. Lemmon Hike here.
|Location||Olympic National Forest, Washington|
During our 2022 RV road trip, my friend and I combined a few hikes near Lake Quinault including the Quinault Loop and the Quinault Rainforest Nature Trail. We walk back to our overnight RV parking spot at the junction of National Forest Roads 93400 and 38560.
Also interesting in this area are a collection of the world’s largest trees including the above pictured world’s largest spruce tree.
23. Mt. Baldy
On Canada Day 2022, my friend and I hiked up and over Mount Baldy pass until we cross a stream where we enjoy lunch. Unfortunately I did not take any photos during this hike.
|Location||Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta|
We made it the 3 miles and 2,500 feet up to the chains section which was totally worth it. While many people continued past the chains on this day that called for afternoon rain, my hiking partner and I agreed that the risk of passing the chains was too great, so we decided turn back down the mountain.
The maximum altitude on this hike was just over 7,000 feet.
On this completely cloudy day, we hike to what I believe is the start of the 7th peak on the Wasootch Ridge trail. By this time, it had started to rain and the trail becomes very rocky and steep. Because of the conditions, we decided to turn back.
The maximum elevation for this hike was just under 7,000 feet.
|Location||Banff National Park, Alberta|
I joined 8 guests of the Moraine Lake Lodge as part of an interpretive hike lead by Elliott. I learned so much about nature on this walk. We used all of our senses and even got to taste multiple varieties of pine needles and smell various types of sap.
|Location||Bighorn Backcountry, Alberta|
During my week of camping on crown land on the shores of Lake Abraham, I hiked up to Allstones Lake. The hike is pretty much all uphill (2,300 feet elevation gain), but totally worth it. I went swimming in the lake as a reward for making it to the top.
I stayed in my RV for 5 days at the Wilcox Campground. One morning, I walked from my travel trailer to the viewpoint pictured above. An initial elevation gain leads to open meadows. A lot of people turned around at the red chairs, but keep going to the actual viewpoint.
I met a solo hiker here named Jessie who worked in housekeeping for a lodge in Yoho. We hiked Parker Ridge a couple days later. I also talked to an older lady in the red chairs for a good half hour, swapping our travel stories.
29. Parker Ridge
|Hiked||July & August 2022|
I hiked to the Parker Ridge viewpoint of the Saskatchewan Glacier with Jessie who I met on my previous hike. Came back here a few weeks later with my parents. It wasn’t easy for them to get up the 800+ ft ascent, but they both totally loved the lookout.
My parents and I walked to the other side of Lake Louise where we ate a picnic lunch on one of the benches. One day, I would like to continue on to do the Plain of Six Glaciers hike and see the teahouses.
31. M Trail
A prominent part of the Missoula skyline is the white M (known as The M) on the grassy hill next to the University of Montana. Most who ascend the 642 feet the The M stop there and turn around. A local named Ken told me that the trail goes all the way up to the top of Mount Sentinel, so that’s what I did.
I consider this a hard hike because of the nearly 2,000 feet elevation gain which is quite constant on the walk up.
After a 1.5 mile run uphill from the Lake Louise Visitor Center, my buddy and I hiked 6 miles round trip to Fairview Mountain which overlooks the lake. It was a smoky day from nearby forest fires, so the view and air quality wasn’t great.
A full day of hiking most of the trails around Lake Louise took us past Mirror Lake then up to Lake Agnes. Next was a climb up to The Beehive which overlooks Lake Louise. We descended down to The Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse and continued on to the end of the trail with an epic view of Victoria Glacier which commonly can be seen as the backdrop in most pictures of Lake Louise.
While we didn’t quite make it to the summit of Mount Temple due to unexpected snow squalls (just 589 ft short of the 11,627 ft summit !), we had quite the adventure on this 9 mile hike from Moraine Lake. At certain parts of the climb, we had to use our hand to climb up rocks. The way down was just as sketchy as there are multiple routes, so it’s easy to get lost and need to backtrack.
The Mount Rundle hike is a great hike in Banff with an epic 360° view that reveals a sea of pointy mountains including the prominent Mount Temple over by Moraine Lake. This hike is quite hard due to a relentless, uphill climb that seems to get steeper the higher you get.
On the contrary, descending is quite fun at times when you can gracefully (and safely) fall into loose scree which pads your steps under the weight of your body.
|Location||Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming|
This 3 day, 2 night hike was the only overnight hike of the year, and it surely did me in. Descending on day 3 was quite painful due to a plethora of blisters, but the experience was unforgettable.
Hiking up through Death Valley from Phelps Lake on day one was stunning, but the view from Static Peak (10,790 feet) on day two was even more impressive.
We camped 2 nights in the Alaska Basin on some nice grass near a freshwater source. I had a 2 person tent and Nick opted for a bivy.
On day three, we descended via the Static Peak Divide. In total, the hike was approximately 27 miles, but longer due to the day trip to Static Peak and back on day two.
|Location||Penang Island, Malaysia|
I did my first hike of 2023 in Penang, Malaysia as an overnight hike from the entrance to Penang National Park to Teluk Kampi (which translates from Malay as Camp Bay).
What makes this hike moderate difficulty are a pair of hills (124m and 156m) that must be hiked over. The high humidity plus an overnight pack on your back results in extreme sweat by the end of the hike.
38. Mount Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu is the highest point in Malaysia. As part of an overnight guided hike, I summited to the top of Low’s Peak at 13,435 feet. From the Timpohon Gate trailhead at 6,122 feet, there was a 7,313 feet elevation gain which is the largest for me to date.
I would have preferred to do this hike without the $345 price tag (RM 1,550) that included a bed, 4 buffet meals at Laban Rata Resthouse, a guide, and transportation from Kota Kinabalu city.
There were 165 other hikers the day I summited. The first group started at 1:30am from 10,734 feet where we spent the night, and my group started last at 3:15 am. Not to brag or anything, but I got to the top at 4:45, 15 minutes before anyone else!