8 of the World’s Hardest (But Breathtakingly Beautiful) Hikes

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2. Everest’s Base Camp, Nepal

A bucket-list item for the most intrepid travelers, Everest’s daunting 17,590-foot summit is one of the most challenging, and rewarding, hikes on the planet. Depending on the tour you choose, the hike can take anywhere from 13 – 16 days – starting in Lukla, Nepal and ending at base camp. The trek winds through challenging terrain that includes icy trails, snow-packed mountains, rushing river rapids, avalanches, and up steep and uneven climbs. Luckily, there’s ample downtime and overnight stays in quaint Nepalese villages, like Kathmandu, where you can gaze up at the stars above the stunning Himalayan peaks to take in the unique Sherpa culture. The view of Mount Everest from the top is astounding, and leaves even the most seasoned travelers at a loss for words.

Go with: Intrepid Travel. The 15-day tour fully immerses you in the culture of the people and the sherpas. You’ll stay in local villages, take guided walks to other landmarks (like Gokyo lake) and have the unique opportunity to talk with people who live near the base year-round. * Continue reading on the next page.

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