Wild trails

Devil’s Path, New York State, USA This hike in the Catskill Forest Preserve is a true roller coaster: you walk up and down through seven different peaks. The path does not follow the morphology of the terrain, but continues straight through the mountains: hikers do not face hairpin bends but friable rock, vertical climbs, and overhangs. Often, the roots act as emergency holds. Devil’s Path has a reputation for being the toughest trail on the east coast of the United States. However, the effort is rewarded by the breathtaking views, which make climbers forget that they are only three hours from downtown Manhattan. The Lenape natives call this place Onteora, “the land in the sky”. Huntington Ravine, New Hampshire, the USA In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Mount Washington is very popular. But few climbers go there who dare to walk the Huntington Ravine, a short but almost vertical path: in just three kilometers the difference in altitude is more than 600 meters. Hikers walk above the tree line, scaling a series of lichen-covered granite ledges and blocks, exposed to the elements (here, in 1934, the wind reached 370 kilometers per hour). Also not to be forgotten is the rugged ice face of Pinnacle Gully, which forms in winter. The summit, at 1,917 meters, is the highest point in New England. It is often invaded by people who enjoy taking a selfie: they are not climbers, but people who have come by car to the summit. Kokoda Trail, Papua New Guinea The Kokoda Trail, on the Owen Stanley Range, is not for the faint of heart: it involves steep climbs and descents, totaling 6,000 meters in elevation, and crosses several rivers in the Papua New Guinea jungle. The excursion lasts from three to 12 days (although the record is 16 hours and 25 minutes). The place is extremely isolated, prey to the whims of the tropical climate and mosquitoes. But, if you want to contact with wild nature, it’s worth it. Today the government is investing millions of dollars to improve the track. Fifteen years ago there weren’t many hikers on the trail, but now it is traveled by 3,000 people every year. Most are Australians, reminiscent of the World War II battle fought along the track in 1942. At that time, Japanese forces attempted to take the island’s capital, Port Moresby, to invade Australia. The Australians, however, fought valiantly, managing to maintain control of Papua New Guinea. White Canyon Black Hole, Utah, USA The Black Hole is a man-made channel for swimming. It is deep and dark, and cold water flows through it all year round, which requires a molt even when temperatures are very high. Explorers can immerse themselves in the muddy stream and swim three kilometers, observing the sandstone walls hundreds of meters high plunging above them. Sometimes there are also uprooted trees stuck in the cracks 15 meters high, carried there by the torrential water. Floods are always lurking, so much so that in 1990 they caused the death of a girl. But if the weather is good, going down to the valley presents no technical obstacles. Dry Fork Coyote Gulch, Utah, USA A long hike into the sandstone walls of this Utah canyon is short but unforgettable. The Dry Gulch is a marvel in itself: its rock walls were formed from ancient long-buried dunes, which turned to stone before being unearthed by the tectonic uplift. Today it is the cracks that make this place an irresistible attraction for visitors to the Grand Staircase-Escalante park. The first of these side crevices is called Peek-a-Boo and consists of large round windows and arches in the sandstone and water-filled cavities. The second is Spooky, a narrow crevice 10 meters deep, no wider than half a meter and over 800 meters long: ideal for children. The latest is Brimstone, dark and somber, deeper and narrower than Spooky. Avoid if you are claustrophobic.   Granite Peak, Montana, USA
Granite Peak, 3,900 meters high, is the most isolated and difficult to reach Montana peak, mainly due to the weather conditions: the weather can change rapidly and there is little protection from storms. In 1923, it was the last of the highest peaks in the United States to be climbed. Once they reach the top, however, hikers can still enjoy the view of the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness and Yellowstone National Park on the horizon. Crypt Lake Trail, Alberta, Canada The Crypt Lake Trail, while relatively short, guarantees enthusiasts an adventurous journey: a ferry crossing, lakes, waterfalls over 180 meters, and a stretch of via Ferrata. The route has an elevation gain of 700 meters in just 9 kilometers and is located on the border between Canada and the United States in the Waterton-Glacier International Park, created in 1932, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main attraction is a narrow natural tunnel, which forces hikers to crawl on their knees to cross it. Despite these difficulties, most travelers can complete the route without problems: the more complicated sections are protected by steel cables. Before setting off, however, it is advisable to pay attention to the weather conditions. Huayna Picchu, Peru
Located in the Andes, in Peru, Machu Picchu is one of the most important archaeological sites on the planet. Despite being perched on the “backbone” of the continent, the excursion on the Inca path that characterizes it is accessible to most. The only difficult point to reach is Huayna Picchu, a peak that rises over 300 meters above Machu Picchu: at an altitude of 2,720 meters, the climb requires special attention and caution. But the view of the ruins and the surrounding Andes is worth all the effort. Mount Huashan, China Mount Huashan, in Shaanxi province, is one of the sacred mountains of China and has been a pilgrimage destination for centuries. Made up of five peaks, the highest being the South Peak (2,160 meters), it is crossed by a multitude of trails, which can be very complicated to walk. The Chang Kong Zhan Dao, for example, is often included in the rankings of the most dangerous trails in the world. But even inexperienced hikers can enjoy the park: in 2013, a record of over 45,000 visitors was recorded in a single day. Click the link now to see our trekking trips in China! Mount Kinabalu Via Ferrata, Malaysia Emerging from the Borneo rainforest, Mount Kinabalu, approximately 4,095 meters high, is the highest point in Malaysia. The granite massif presents a pleasant surprise for explorers: here it is possible to observe an alpine ecosystem near the equator. In fact, a very high variety of endemic floral species coexists in this area and there is the highest concentration in the world of wild orchids. The park of Mount Kinabalu also offers the highest altitude via Ferrata on earth: between cliffs, cliffs, and suspension bridges, it leads daredevil visitors to the top, in a fascinating path made of metal steps suspended in the void. Via Chadar, India When winter takes hold of distant Ladakh, a region of the Indian Himalayas, there is only one way to travel between the towns of the Zanskar valley to the regional capital, Leh: along the Chadar road, which in the local dialect means “frozen white blanket”. The trail winds along a deep dark gorge above the frozen Zanskar River, amidst snow, brittle ice, and slippery rock. Average temperatures are always below freezing and during the night they can drop to -34 ° C. Along the way, hikers sleep in the caves, as porters carrying goods along this road have done for centuries. The changing beauty of the snow cover, the frozen waterfalls, and the absolute silence of the gorges, however, is a reward for the daredevils who decide to tackle the route. Click the link now to see our trekking trips in India!

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