Seven Best Bucket List Hikes For Solo Female Travelers

December 19, 2019

Hiking solo is good for the soul and offers an incredible sense of freedom and achievement! 

If you are a solo female traveler looking for an easy hiking trail or if you are looking for something a little more challenging, there is a trail for you on this list. 

We start with a well-known trek in the beautiful landscapes of Peru — the Inca Trail, which takes you to the famous ‘Lost City in the Clouds’. 

THE INCA TRAIL IN PERU

The Inca Trail is the most popular trek to the historical archeological site of Machu Picchu. It is a 45km, 4-day long trek that takes you through breathtaking forests and to some of the most incredible Incan ruins

You will be reaching an altitude of around 420m, so make sure you have a good understanding of the symptoms of altitude sickness and know what to look out for. The trail is fairly challenging, but if you have a good fitness level, you can definitely make it! 

The Inca Trail requires a permit. Book your permit at least 6 months in advance. Tour operators will get everything organized for you making planning that much easier for you. If you are wary of traveling alone for the first time then this is the trail I recommend. You will have little to worry about and a lot to explore.

machu-picchu-with-huayna-picchu-in-the-background

MOUNT KILIMANJARO (RONGAI ROUTE) IN TANZANIA

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, is an amazing trek for solo female travelers!

I suggest the Rongai Route for those who love wildlife. While on the trail, you will have the opportunity to see some of Africa’s incredible animals like elephants, buffalo, and herds of antelope. 

It is a 7-day trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, with one of those days being spent in Mwenzi Tarn to acclimatize. The Northern side of Kilimanjaro experiences less rain making for some exceptional unspoiled views and easier trekking.

The Rongai Route is also one of the quieter trails and must be accompanied by a guide and porters, or you could opt to join an organized group tour. 

Consider booking your Kilimanjaro experience from June to December for the best weather!

Kilimanjaro-from-the-foothills

TORRES DEL PAINE IN ARGENTINA

The Torres Del Paine trek is becoming more and more popular amongst hiking enthusiasts. Located in the Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile, this trail is for those solo travelers who love being immersed in nature.

The trek is 130kms and takes around 9 days to complete. It is 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 will 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 the views are breathtaking, 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 am sure you have heard of Mount Everest and the trek to Everest Base Camp. This trek is for the solo female traveler 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 altitudes such as this, and to 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 be 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.

Everest-Base-Camp-Crossing-the-C-La-Pass

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 you would find on the trek to Everest Base Camp.  

You will have the opportunity to summit Gokyo Ri, over 5,000m above sea level, which is where you will find stunning views of the surrounding peaks. The Gokyo Lakes 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 that you 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, it 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, do not 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. 

Do not let the warnings prevent you from hiking the Kalalau Trail. If you have experience hiking solo, you will not 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 will be walking over the frozen Zanskar River and be 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 will 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 is 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!

Traveling solo is a truly rewarding experience. I recommend giving it a try at least once in your lifetime. These top trails offer some of the most exceptional hiking experiences in the world and are the perfect hiking trails for solo female travelers. Where will your solo adventure begin?

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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