Snowdonia, Wales: Snowdonia is the highest mountain in Wales and England (just over 3,550 feet). Although the mountain is a huge draw for hikers in the summer, it fortunately has six spread-out routes to the top, which means that crowds are dispersed. Edmund Hillary trained here before he went on to become one of the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, so you may feel inspired to start saving up for that Everest trip after all ...
Mauna Kea, Hawaii: Mauna Kea claims the title of the world’s tallest mountain on a technicality — from base to summit, this inactive volcano is about 33,500 feet. More than half of it is submerged below sea level, though, which is why Everest is the tallest mountain above sea level. So you can technically reach the summit of the world’s tallest mountain in about four hours of hiking, although you won’t be starting from anywhere near the actual base.
Mount Temple, Canada: If you’re visiting Banff National Park, it’s impossible to miss the 11,600-foot Mount Temple, which towers over Lake Louise. Be warned that even in July and August, the upper slopes of this behemoth might still be snowy.
Kilimanjaro, Tanzania: Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, so if you’re looking for some serious bragging rights, this is a good summit to aim for. Although the hike is by no means easy (you’ll be contending with breath-stealing high-altitude and grueling days), it doesn’t require any technical knowledge or rock-climbing experience, which makes it one of the most accessible famous mountains — an estimated 30,000 people attempt the summit every year.
Mount Fuji, Japan: Mount Fuji is a picture-perfect vision of a mountain with a snow-capped standalone peak that’s inspired millions of photographers and artists (and nearly as many hikers). Early July through mid-September is considered the official climbing season due to a lack of snow on the mountain and relatively good weather.
Mount Whitney, Calif.: Mount Whitney is the tallest summit in the contiguous United States, standing more than 14,500 feet tall. (America’s highest mountain, Denali, is in Alaska and requires some serious mountaineering skills to climb.) The most popular route, called the Mount Whitney Trail, is 22 miles round-trip. Some people opt to do it in a day, but you can split it into two days by camping. Imcomparable views of lakes and the Sierras await you around every switchback.
Cerro Chirripo, Costa Rica: On a clear day, the summit of Cerro Chirripo, Costa Rica’s highest mountain, rewards tired hikers with views of the Atlantic, the Pacific and Panama. The views aren’t the only diverse part of this climb: The trails wind through distinct ecological zones, taking you from tundra to rainforest. The 12.4-mile trail to the summit can be done in a day if you’re a motivated and strong hiker, or you can spend the night at one of the basic mountain “refugios” (climbers’ huts) along the way. (Reservations are required.)
Mount Katahdin, Maine: If you want to feel inadequate after hiking eight to 12 hours, tackle Maine’s highest point in September, when you’re likely to be joined at the peak of Mount Katahdin by jubilant thru-hikers for whom this summit represents the end of a 2,200-mile journey: the Appalachian Trail. Those without a fear of heights can opt to hike the aptly named Knife Edge trail for just over a mile along the way. It’s a narrow path with lose rocks and steep drop-offs.
Mount Kosciuszko, Australia: Relatively flat Australia is more known for its deserts than its mountains, and so its highest peak is a fairly easy hike — and your best chance to say you summited the tallest mountain on an entire continent. Mount Kosciuszko stands 7,310 feet above New South Wales and is used as a ski slope in the winter — which means you can take a shortcut and ride the year-round chairlift partway up to make the hike a mere four or five hours round-trip. (If you think that’s cheating, you can take the longer Charlotte Pass summit walk, which takes around seven hours).
Mount Toubkal, Morocco: Morocco is an under-the-radar hiking destination, but Mount Toubkal, the country’s highest peak, deserves a spot on any trekking bucket list. You’ll pass through Berber villages and up rocky gorges, all while enjoying unparalleled views of the Atlas Mountains and even the Sahara.