Updated: Sep 3, 2020
From my very first trip abroad, I was never really interested in seeing famous tourist sites. I just wanted to connect with the culture and get outside the cities to experience the natural landscape and meet local people.
I remember being in Spain and asking a local friend if she’d hike the mountain behind the town with me. She looked at me so strangely and explained that people don’t really hike there. At the risk of getting funny looks, I always try to squeeze in a hike on my adventures!
Here are 5 of my favorite hikes thus far…
1. Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
This hidden gem lies just 20 minutes away from Interlakken by train. The name means “many springs” and it’s nestled into a deep valley where it is surrounded by several waterfalls dropping from the high cliffs all around.
It is a dramatic scene, with the quaint little village and a big waterfall just steps from the town center and the Alps towering above.
2. Sedona, Arizona
As an artist, I take note everywhere I go on what the color local palette is. Sedona’s copper red, pure peach, and dusty sage is primo! My parents went backpacking and camping there as one of their first adventures together, but I’m afraid the word of the site’s unique offerings has since spread far too wide.
Slide Rock is a natural water park of sorts, which now has to be closed at times for having up to 500 times as much e. coli bacteria as is deemed generally safe. This is a result of too many tourists in the water. I made sure to swim upstream from Slide Rock, in a hidden spot where the locals go to cool off in the hot Arizona summers.