Top 10 “out there” treks for 2019

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Want to really get away from it all in 2019 and head to places where you can find yourself, and no one else? Disconnect from the day-to-day and reconnect with the natural world on one of our top 10 remote treks for 2019.

This year’s list is one of our favourites yet. From Africa’s third highest peak to the Australian deserts, and even the world’s most southerly hike in Patagonia, it’s an exciting line-up. And just because they are remote, doesn’t mean they are all beyond your capability; there’s a remote walk for every keen trekker.

BIG treks. Small footprint. Since our first trek in Nepal in 1975, we’ve built a strong heritage in developing new treks which follow our sustainable travel philosophy. Which one will you tick off in 2019?

1. Gokyo Lakes & Renjo La in Nepal

Duration: 17 days (13 days trekking)
Grading: moderate to challenging (6)
Ideal for: active travellers who want to try a different trail to the popular Everest Base Camp trek
When to go: February to mid-May, End of September to December

Capturing the iconic turquoise waters on the trek above Gokyo Lake.

Want to avoid the busier trails in the Everest region? This 13-day trek travels through Sherpa villages to the stunning turquoise Gokyo Lakes and crosses the Renjo La (5,400m) on a rarely trodden trail.

The first few days takes you across the aqua waters of the Dudh Kosi, through the gates of Sagamartha National Park, and onto a spectacular high bridge before commencing an ascent to the village of Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa “capital” of Nepal. Here, you gain your first sight of Mount Everest, but it’s a tough climb through the pine forests.

Happy trekkers atop of Gokyo Ri in Nepal. Photo: Scott Cardwell.

Moving onto the trail towards Gokyo, you’ll see fewer trekkers and locals and the relative isolation of the trail is a pleasure. Ranked by our staff as the best trek in the Everest region, this adventure offers a grandstand view of the Himalaya’s 8,000 metre peaks. On the ascent to Gokyo Ri, get one of the best views of Everest and surrounding mountains, including Cho Oyu in Tibet.

But the trip isn’t over yet; the crossing of the Renjo La Pass will be an exhilarating challenge where you will descend into a stunning remote northern valley on an ancient trading route where there’s a chance to meet Tibetan traders with their caravans of woolly yaks laden with goods, the only “traffic” you’ll come across.

After an even more epic trek? The Great Himalaya Trail, exclusive to World Expeditions, is the world’s longest and highest alpine walking track which traverses the full length of Nepal. Conquer the full trail (152 days) or trek a section (18-34 days).

2. Larapinta Trail End to End in Australia

Duration: 14 days
Grading: moderate to challenging (6)
Ideal for: wilderness lovers and seasoned walkers after a challenge
When to go: mid-April to August

One of Australia’s most iconic walks, the complete traverse of the Larapinta follows the backbone of the West MacDonnell range, in Central Australia, over 223 kilometres. Trek through this semi-arid region on remote ridges and canyons; experience true wilderness camping under a canopy of stars in the Outback; and climb Mount Sonder, one of the Northern Territory’s highest peaks, to welcome a beautiful sunrise that’ll be etched in your memory for a lifetime.

 From 3 days through to the full 14 days, you can choose to trek along the best sections of Australia’s most celebrated desert walk (guided or self-guided) while staying at our comfortable eco campsites.

Deemed one of the greatest desert treks in the world, this trek is not for the faint-hearted, where you’ll be walking up to 30 kilometres on some days. However, our fully supported camping-based trek means that you’ll only need to carry a day pack (carrying around 5-7 litres of water, plus your own personal items), with luggage transferred between campsites for you, and all meals (that’s three hearty meals a day) are prepared fresh by our cooks. So, all you need to focus on is achieving your trekking goal.

Trek the Larapinta Trail with our experienced guides for a unique adventure in the Red Centre. Photo: Karen Moller

3. Dientes Circuit on Navarino Island in Chile

Duration: 6 days (4 days trekking)
Grading: challenging (7)
Ideal for: experienced trekkers who want to get off the beaten track in Patagonia
When to go: December to March

Trek the world’s most southerly hike through the Dientes de Navarino Massif where you’ll feel as though you’re at the edge of the world. You will rarely see any other hikers along this 42-kilometre circuit at this far end of South America.

It’s a tough hike even for experienced trekkers, mainly due to the remoteness and the ever changing weather conditions in Patagonia and you’ll be trekking with a full pack (up to 15kg).

Few people have undertaken this adventure, making this circuit on Navarino Island both a challenging yet rewarding expedition. Take in stunning views of jagged mountain peaks, the Beagle Channel, the town of Puerto Williams in Chile and Ushuaia in Argentina, Nassau Bay, the Wollaston archipelago and the mythical archipelago of Cape Horn.

This trek has been described by Lonely Planet as one of Patagonia’s best treks and is one of the few very remote places left on earth.

4. K2 Basecamp, Concordia & Gondogora La in Pakistan

Duration: 24 days (16 days trekking)
Grading: entry level mountaineering/ exploratory trekking (8)
Ideal for: those who are looking to get into mountaineering, or who are looking to take on a challenging trek
When to go: June to August

Trekkers at Concordia on our K2 & Gondogoro La trek.

One of our finest high-altitude scenic treks, our Ultimate K2 expedition traverses from the famous Baltoro Glacier, to the “Throne Room of the Mountain Gods” and to the foot of the world’s second highest mountain.

Pakistan’s legendary trek has captured the imagination of trekkers and mountaineers for decades, with a 360-degree panorama of 7,000 metre and 8,000 metre peaks, including the impressive K2.

5. The Southern Alps in New Zealand

Duration: 6 days
Grading: moderate (5)
Ideal for: anyone looking to head for heights
When to go: November to April

Trekking in remote alpine tarns with unspoiled views from above, this adventure has even been undertaken as a warm up for a walking trip in the Himalayas.

Trekkers on Buchanan peak with Mount Aspiring behind, walking above Matukituki valley, near Lake Wanaka.

Taking travellers on paths where everyone else stops, our exhilarating 6-day hike boasts dramatic backdrops of New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook, travelling in some of the most secluded ridges in the Southern Alps. Stay overnight in a backcountry hut with stunning views of the Mackenzie Basin and enjoy panoramic views from Lake Ohau Lodge overlooking the glistening alpine lake.

The highlight of the trip? A helicopter flight that drops you within the mighty Southern Alps with sweeping views of Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring.

6. Mountains of the Moon in Uganda

Duration: 13 days (10 days trekking)
Grading: entry level mountaineering/ exploratory trekking (8)
Ideal for: those who’ve ticked off Mt Kilimanjaro from their bucket list and are looking for their next summit challenge
When to go: December to February, June to September

Rarely visited and isolated, the Rwenzori Mountains (or Mountains of the Moon) are Africa’s best kept secret.

We take a more remote and specially developed trail through the Rwenzori mountain range on the Kilembe Trail – we are one of the very few that have permits for this route. Traversing the Stanley range, we take in the most beautiful scenery of the national park with diverse climactic zones starting in montane rainforest home to plenty of monkeys, into the bamboo forest, then towards moorland with giant lobelias, and finally into the alpine zone, going higher than other groups.

The 10-day trek includes a challenging ascent of Margherita Peak (5,109m), Africa’s third highest peak, where muddy terrain, difficult summit conditions with snow and ice, and variable weather are to be anticipated.

From tropical rainforests to glaciers, trekking in Uganda’s spectacular Mountains of the Moon is the perfect trip for those after a challenge with varied scenery and is guaranteed to go with a minimum of two travellers.

7. West Coast Trail in Canada

Duration: 8 days (7-day full pack trek)
Grading: moderate to challenging (6)
Ideal for: active walkers who love coastal walks and want to combine it with an exhilarating forest trek and wildlife spotting
When to go: August

Cross the Orca-filled Strait of Georgia by ferry and travel to the northern trailhead of Vancouver Island where your hike commences, with a real possibility of whale, sea lion, eagle, and bear sightings along the shoreline.

Camp, swim and trek along isolated beaches and over narrow surge channels, building up to some heart-pumping southern trail sections on our 8-day trek. The trail encompasses numerous suspension bridges, ladders, shelf walks and cable crossings for an impressive trek in the west coast rainforest – you could say it’s a bit of an outdoor adult playground!

Although it is a ‘full pack’ trek, guides will make sure you don’t overpack, carrying the majority of the group camping gear, safety gear and food, and your load is lessened by a food drop midway through the hike (so you’ll likely only carry around 15 kilograms).

Considered one of the world’s top 10 treks, this adventure is timed with the tides, so you can take advantage of amazing shoreline walks on the shelf.

8. Snowman Trek in Bhutan

Duration: 27 days (23 days trekking)
Grading: exploratory trekking (8)
Ideal for: anyone looking for a very challenging trek that ventures far off the beaten track
When to go: September to November

Take on the ultimate traverse of Bhutan crossing 11 high passes over 4,500 metres through the secluded Lunana region.

World-Expeditions-guide-and-trekker-on-Bhutan-Snowman-Trek

Taking in amazing views on the Snowman Trek in Bhutan. Photo: Matt Brazier.

Following trails past yak herders’ encampments and isolated farming settlements, you’ll trek the mountainous spine of Bhutan amid a constant backdrop of 7,000 metre peaks. It’s our toughest and remotest trek in Bhutan and ranks among the very finest anywhere in the Himalaya, making it one to add to your adventure list.

This trek of a lifetime also travels to the beautiful Paro Valley where you’ll discover a region of tiny Buddhist monasteries and secluded villages that are isolated from the rest of the country for many months of the year.

9. Pamir Fann Mountains in Tajikstan

Duration: 14 days (5 days trekking)
Grading: moderate (5)
Ideal for: those wanting to take their bushwalking adventures up a notch while incorporating historical and architectural sightseeing 
When to go: June to September

This remote mountain adventure combines an impressive trek in the Pamir Fann Mountains with historical and cultural sightseeing in the Silk Road cities of Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara.

Renowned for its unique mountain landscapes and its strikingly beautiful alpine lakes, this rugged trek in the untouched areas of Pamir enters deep valleys with crystal clear lakes and flowering meadows. You might even see the summer camps of the Tijiki shepherds.

Breathtaking views at the beautiful Alauddin Lakes and the surrounding valley.

Crossing a string of passes linking isolated valleys, including the Alauddin Pass (3,530m), you are rewarded with views of the ranges that stretch far into Central Asia and the south.

Completing your trek, you’ll return to Tashkent before transferring to Samarkand to marvel at the intricate mosques and palaces of the great Tamerlane rule, as well as visit the 2,500-year-old desert city of Bukhara which boasts amazing archaeological site, intriguing museums and vibrant bazaars. You’ll also travel through the Kyzylkum Desert where more than 4,000 petroglyphs dot the slopes of the Sarmysh River before arriving to a traditional yurt campsite.

10. Tavan Bogd in Mongolia

Duration: 11 days (4 days trekking)
Grading: moderate (5)
Ideal for: anyone seeking to explore untracked wilderness and authentic nomadic culture
When to go: June to August

Geographically, this is the remotest part of Mongolia with true pristine nature, abundant wildlife and fascinating cultural heritage. Witness a treasure trove of human history with many ancient burials and rock art to explore. You’ll also encounter local herders, bactrian camels, Kazakh eagle hunters and throat-singing Tuvan people, and learn about the nomadic culture which calls it home.

Trekking towards the Most Pass in the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. Photo: Alan and Julie Marshall.

Trek beneath snowy peaks and discover the remote reaches of the Tavan Bogd massif (or “The Five Holy”) with vistas of West Mongolia’s highest peaks. This stunning trek remains virtually unexplored, travelling along enormous V-shaped mountain valleys with small rivers streaming from glaciers that cover the mountain tops.

The vast, remote and rugged landscapes of Western Mongolia is an adventure seeker’s paradise where you’ll experience true wilderness as you comfortably camp under a star-filled sky that will feel infinite.

Our remote wilderness expertise has been honed over 40+ years of seeking out and developing unique experiences in remote places. Discover more ‘off the beaten track’ treks and hikes to suit different levels of fitness and experiences.

What’s your bucket list adventure for 2019? Let us know in the comments below.

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