Crossing mountainous passes, bare bones backcountry or black deserts, all five of these hut-to-hut hikes will seriously test your stamina, hiking skills and walking shoes.
1. ALTA VIA UNO, ITALY
Sweden’s best known hike is 440km long |Gösta Fries
This 150km path is one of eight Alta Vias (high routes) crossing the Dolomites. The route takes between 10-12 days with a high point of 2750m at Monte Lagazuoi, and plenty of refuges to stop off on the way.
2. DUSKY TRACK, NEW ZEALAND
Loch Maree, on the Dusky Track, Fiordland National Park.|Andrew Purdam via Creative Commons
A true backcountry hike far from roads and towns, deep in New Zealand’s Fiordland. The 84km track takes 8-10 days to complete and involves river crossings and rough terrain, plus bare bones backcountry huts.
3. KUNGSLEDEN, SWEDEN
Expect views like this | Giuseppe Ghedina
Translated as the King’s Trails, this 440km route passes through four national parks and Sweden’s highest mountains, including Kebnekaise, the highest. It’s well-served by a series of basic Swedish Tourist Board huts.
4. LAUGAVEGUR, ICELAND
Explore Iceland’s landscape on this iconic hike | Aurélien Coillet via Creative Commons
Iceland’s famous 55km-long trek takes in the best of the country’s scenery including volcanic mountains, hot springs, glaciers and black deserts. It takes 3-5 days and offers four mountain hut stays on the way
5. THE NAHUEL HUAPI TRAVERSE, ARGENTINA
Rifugios are hard to find in South America, but views like this aren’t | Mariano Mantel via Creative Commons
Crossing the Nahuel Huapi National Park in the foothill of the Patagonian Andes, this is one of the few areas in South America served by high mountain rifugios. Starting in Villa Catedral, it’s 40km long and takes about four days to reach the far trailhead at Puente Lopez.