By Mila Whitman
Hiking solo is good for the soul and offers an incredible sense of freedom!
If you are a solo female traveller looking for something easy, a trail to do in a group or a real solo challenge, there is something for everyone!
We start with an awesome trek in Peru, the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
THE INCA TRAIL IN PERU
The Inca Trail is the most popular trek to the famous historical site. It’s a 45km, 4-day long trek that takes you through breathtaking forests and to some of the most incredible Incan ruins.
You’ll be reaching an altitude of around 4200m, so make sure you have a good understanding of altitude sickness. The trail is fairly challenging but if you have a good fitness level, you can make it.
Book your permit at least 6 months in advance. Tour operators get everything organized for you making planning your trip easier. If you are wary of travelling alone for the first time then this is the trail I recommend for you.
MOUNT KILIMANJARO (RONGAI ROUTE) IN TANZANIA
Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, is an awesome trek for solo female travellers!
I suggest the Rongai Route for those who love wildlife. On the trail, you’ll have a chance to see some of Africa’s incredible animals like elephants, buffalo and plenty of antelope.
It’s a 7-day trek with one of those days being spent in Mwenzi Tarn to acclimatize. The Northern side of Kilimanjaro experiences less rain making for some exceptional views!
It is also one of the quieter trails and must be accompanied by a guide and porters, or you can opt to join an organized group tour.
Consider booking your Kilimanjaro experience from June to December for the best weather, but it’s possible to climb the mountain at any time of the year.
TORRES DEL PAINE IN ARGENTINA
The Torres Del Paine trek is becoming more popular amongst hiking enthusiasts. Located in the Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile, this trail is for those travellers who love nature.
The trek is 130kms and takes around 9 days to complete. It’s very well signposted and has plenty of ranger stations and water points along the route, making it a good trek for those entry-level solo female hikers!
Summer from December to March is peak season and it is very busy on the trail, but this is when you’ll have the best weather conditions. I recommend doing the trail in Fall, from March to June. The route is quieter, the landscapes are full of vibrant colors and views are breath-taking which makes dealing with the windy weather worth every step.
There are shorter routes in Torres Del Paine for the less adventurous trekkers. Either way, the views are incredible, the ancient forests are humbling, and the lakes are pristine. This is one for the list for sure!
EVEREST BASE CAMP IN NEPAL
I’m sure you’ve heard of Mount Everest and the trek to Everest Base Camp. This trek is for the solo female traveller who is looking for a real challenge, both mentally and physically.
Trekking to Everest Base Camp takes you to an exceptional height of 5,300m above sea level! It is highly important to have prior experience trekking at high altitude, and have a very good understanding of the risks and symptoms of altitude sickness.
I must warn you. In order to get to the beginning of your trek from Kathmandu to Lukla, you will be landing at Lukla airport which has been deemed the scariest landing in the world! However, the pilots are skilled at what they do and you can rest assured that you will have a safe landing.
Hire a porter and hike independently or use a local tour operator for guided tour groups to the Everest Base Camp. If you are planning on taking on this challenge, definitely book for September to November, or March to May when the weather is dry and warm.
GOKYO LAKES TREK IN NEPAL
One trek that I am greatly fond of is the Gokyo Lakes Trek in Nepal. The emerald lakes are a beautiful sight and the trail offers amazing views of Lhoste, Makalu and the peaks of the famous Mount Everest.
An alternative trek to the classic Everest trek, but with all the highlights, and the bonus of getting to see the stunning Gokyo Lakes. The trail has fewer visitors than the EBC Trek and is a circular route, meaning no backtracking like with the EBC trek.
You’ll have the opportunity to summit Gokyo Ri, over 5,000m above sea level, which is where you will find those stunning views of the surrounding peaks. The trek takes 16 days to complete and I find the best time to go is either from March to May or September to November.
This trek also requires you to take the precarious flight into Lukla from Kathmandu, so keep this in mind when booking your trip.
KALALAU TRAIL IN HAWAII
Hawaii! What a magical place with some truly epic hiking opportunities.
The Kalalau Trail follows the beautiful Na Pali Coast, takes 2 days to complete and is 36kms long. The most popular trail in Kauai begins at Ke’e Beach and taking you to the secluded gem of Kalalau Beach. I highly suggest camping overnight. The peace and serenity is something you probably won’t find elsewhere.
There are very high cliffs dropping down to the Pacific Ocean, and unpredictable streams along the way. I only recommend this trail if you have previous hiking experience.
Some top tips for this trail, don’t leave any valuables in your car, inform people of your intention to go on the Kalalau Trail and do not attempt if any rain is predicted.
Don’t let the warnings prevent you from hiking the Kalalau Trail. If you have experience hiking solo, you won’t regret taking on this challenge. It is possibly the most beautiful hike in the world!
CHADAR TREK IN INDIA
India, a cultural paradise! The Chadar Trek takes you on a remote and unusual adventure into the Zanskar region of India.
You’ll be walking over the frozen Zanskar River and sleeping riverside in tents. It gets absolutely freezing at night as temperatures get to below -20 degrees, so be warned.
This is one of the toughest treks in India. It is very cold and icy, and you’ll need to prepare for the high altitude. You will need to have prior trekking experience to take on this challenge.
January and February is the best time to hike the Chadar Trek. It’s peak winter season so the river is frozen and is thick enough to walk on. The route is not operational at any other time of year.
Surrounded by beautiful snow-capped peaks, this is one for the bucket list!
So there you have some fabulous bucket list Hikes for Solo Female Travellers!
Travelling solo is a truly rewarding experience. I recommend attempting it at least once in your life. Any of these top trails for solo female hikers will offer an exceptional hiking experience that you’ll not soon forget!