Trailblazing! Your Guide to Wild Women’s Most Popular Hiking Trips
Are you eager to experience another country on foot? Want to know which hiking trip is right for you? We’ve done the legwork for you–whether you are seeking low-impact but super scenic walks interspersed with other activities or ready for a hardcore commitment. You can’t go from couch to Camino, that’s for sure, but with a little planning, you can find your perfect stride.
By signing up for one of our hiking trips in advance, you’ll have plenty of time to develop and stick to a training program, break in new trail runners or hiking boots. Booking early means you’ll have months to prepare for all sorts of terrain and experiment with your gear and how it performs in changing weather. Don’t forget about elevation too! A treadmill can help in a pinch if you’re in a flat region!
Now, let’s figure out where you need to take a hike! You can also refer to our “Is This Trip Right for Me” tab on our trip pages for more details about what to expect in regards to altitude, terrain and distances. Let’s compare field notes on a few of our trips, the skill ratings and the overall experience from backcountry camping to pilgrimages.
Do you want to be completely immersed in nature?
Let’s compare Yellowstone and Yosemite…
Ranking: No-sweat-easy/intermediate and scenery-soaked.
Hikes are an average 8km (5 miles) with a maximum elevation change of 152m (500ft). Depending on the group’s comfort level and pace, the itinerary can be tailored to include longer hikes around 10km (6.5 miles) long with 457m (1,500 feet) elevation change. Yellowstone’s average elevation is 2,438m (8000ft), so this dynamic change is important to keep in mind for women coming from lower elevations. The hikes in Yellowstone are on established trails with no technical aspects and there will be plenty of time for breaks and to absorb the views (with a few snacks, Yogi Bear-style).
The trails curl through lodgepole forests, backcountry thermal features, hug along cascading waterfalls and wind up the mountains. If a longer trail option is chosen, the elevation gain will be spread out gradually with no intensely steep sections.
Ranking: Hardcore! Carrying the additional weight of a pack is a game-changer!
This is the only Wild Women Expedition trip that includes the rigour and reward of both backpacking and camping! Frontcountry hiking days cover 10-13km (6-8 miles) with an elevation change of about 305m (1,000 feet).
The backcountry element of this trip covers 32km (20 miles) over three days with approximately 914m (3,000 feet) of elevation gain in total. Note: Most of the elevation is gained on the first day and though the trails are well-established with no technical aspects, there may be occasional scrambling.
Hikes are at an elevation level of 2,438 to 2,971m (8,000-9,750ft). Hiking with a full pack also demands more effort than hiking without weight and you should be prepared to carry 9–11 kilos (20-25lbs) comfortably.
Other totally wild, flora and fauna-filled options for confident hikers: Highlands Hiking Adventure (Scotland), Canadian Rockies Hiking Hiking Adventure and Aotearoa Alpine Adventure (New Zealand), and our newest trip Switzerland Hiking Adventure.
Are you seeking a mystical pilgrimage dense with history and folklore?
Let’s compare the Camino and Inca Trail…
Wild Women offers three options that allow you to experience the fabled Way in Spain and Portugal. The Camino Way (108km/67 miles), Camino to the Coast (118km/73 miles) and Camino Portuguese(114km/71 miles) are easily navigated routes spread out over 7 or 9 days. Expect to walk an average of 17km (10.5 miles) with stops for cafe con leches, lunch and visits to local churches. You may choose to walk in the company of your fellow Wild Women or safely enjoy some “me” time at your own pace. Your group will have a private driver and van (or bus) support for the entire hike so you can walk with just a daypack!
Ranking: Intermediate and doable with dedicated training
Dreamers and wanderers also love the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Trek and the Salkantay Lodge to Lodge Trek to Machu Picchu. The big difference between these two treks is where you sleep at night! On the Inca Trail there are three nights of camping (at 3,100m/10,170ft!).
While Salkantay is a more pampered choice with outdoor jacuzzis and optional massages (not included but available) at day’s end. Inca days on the trail are longer (6-10 hours) while Salkantay daily hikes range (on average) from 3 to 6 hours. You will have porters on the Inca Trail to help with your load and on Salkantay you can take advantage of baggage support and transfer between lodges.
Ranking: Intermediate (*don’t forget the hidden challenge of elevation!)
Are you ready to impress yourself and take things to the next level?
The pinnacle is a no-brainer: Trek to Everest Base Camp. This ain’t no walk in the park, gals. Over the span of 13 days you will hike 62km (36 miles) over rough, unpredictable and steep terrain. The elevation gains are huge in the first eight days (200-900m or 656-2,953ft) and then the uphill becomes downhill, with a drop in reverse. Expect to carry a 20 to 30L backpack weighing 5kg (10lbs) for those 13 days. There’s no van shuttle to flag down for a ride or to toss your bag in! BUT, for a truly hardcore, unbelievably rewarding trek and major life accomplishment, this one is the summit.
Ranking: Holy cow hardcore! You gotta work, girl!
You can always reach out to our Adventure Experts if you’re still unsure of what hiking direction to take. But first, explore our Hiking activity tab for a comprehensive list of all our trips that involve long walks!
If you want to read more about Carolyn Ray’s (JourneyWoman’s CEO and owner) experience with Wild Women on the Camino? She shares her story here. Jules Torti (yes, I’m writing in the third person here) is WWE’s blogger and content writer—you can read about her experience on the Camino too–especially if you’re thinking about the Camino to the Coast!
For more information about our trips or to book, please contact one of our Adventure Experts at email@example.com or call us at 1-888-993-1222.