As we all know, we can only hike to the same places most of the time. But that doesn’t mean we can’t go on adventures outside those confines. If you’ve ever wondered what the inside of a submarine looks like, we’ve got a tip for you: go out and do it. Submarine tours are an increasingly popular way to explore the depths of the waterways and wreck sites below the waves. Although not everyone wants to dive below the waves, those who do can take advantage of the more unusual areas. It’s important to have this same attitude towards hiking and ensure you explore new areas!
Here are some of the most unusual places to hike:
- Socotra Island, Yemen
It’s in southern Yemen, a small rocky island off the southern section of the Arabian Peninsula that is considered an occasional birding destination (for those who have an interest in such things). Socotra Island is an island in the Indian Ocean located east of the Horn of Africa and south of the Arabian Peninsula. It is one of the few islands in the world that has been able to survive off the land, and in recent years, it has also become one of the best places to see the rare and extraordinary Socotran Desert.
- Badab-e Surt, Iran
The Badab-e Surt region is a particularly beautiful and remote spot in the middle of Iran. It is known for its incredible sand dunes and scenic views and for being a great location for desert hiking and camping. With an area of over 6,000 square kilometers, Badab-e Surt is one of the largest sand deserts in the world and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. At Badab-e Surt (4,200 meters), located in the Alborz mountain range of northern Iran, the snow melts leaving behind a barren landscape punctuated by round fish-shaped dolmens (cistes) of volcanic ash and stone pillars that dot the hillsides. A former refuge of the ancient Aryan people, Badab-e Surt became a sacred site to the Zoroastrian Persian empire and is now home to a Zoroastrian Fire Temple (Mayan-e Azar) that is dedicated to the Zoroastrian afterlife.
- The Tianzi Mountains, China
The Tianzi Mountains, also known as the Tianzishan, are a group of mountains located in southern China. They are also home to numerous temples that are built into the surrounding cliffs. The peaks of the Tianzi Mountains run along the borders of Hunan, Guangdong, and Guangxi. The closest major city is Guangzhou. The Tianzi Mountains are located in the northern portion of the Yili valley and are the highest mountain range in the Tarim Basin. The Tianzi Mountains are home to several rare and endangered species, such as the golden snub-nosed monkey, the giant panda, and the endangered red panda.
- Spotted Lake, British Columbia, Canada
One of the most popular hikes in the Canadian Rockies, Spotted Lake is a popular trail worldwide. Located in the Jasper National Park, it is just 7 miles (11 km) long and covers around 4000 feet (1200 m) in elevation, though you can add an extra mile or two if you’re feeling adventurous. The scenery is absolutely stunning, and the trail is a perfect introduction to the untouched beauty of the Canadian Rockies. If you want to get an out-of-the-box experience, then Spotted Lake, British Columbia, Canada, should be right up your alley. Here, you can hike through a crystal-clear lake with an underwater trail of pebbles. Don’t let the lake’s name fool you, though, as the hike is not exactly around the lake. Instead, it crosses a bridge over the outlet of the lake and continues through a tundra-like forest. If you are looking for a hike out of the ordinary, this should fit the bill.
We all like to escape our own homes, and if we happen to be in the great outdoors, it can be a great way to do so. So why not take off on a hike? Don’t worry if you don’t have a heavy backpack, a pair of hiking boots, and a water bottle: all you need is a pair of sneakers, a hat, and a pair of sunglasses, and you’re ready to go.