The world's tallest mountain is once again open to visitors as the trekking season begins and adventurers flock to hike up to Everest's iconic Base Camp.
Perhaps the most famous trek in the world, the Everest Base Camp route, rising up through the Himalayas to 5,364metres is tackled by tens of thousands of tourists every year. No wonder trekking companies say it is their best-seller.
But you don't have to follow the crowds - there are plenty of amazing hiking routes around the world. MailOnline Travel and World Expeditions have put together their pick of the top six awe-inspiring treks on earth.
Everest: Tackling the tallest mountain in the world is the trek climbers dream of
Pitch your tent: Everest Base Camp sits at an altitude of more than 5,000 metres
Length and ability: 18 days, moderate
This classic trek through traditional Sherpa villages to the base of the world's highest mountain and nearby peak of Kala Pattar is, of course, a showstopper. It is packed with 'grab your camera' moments as you take in vistas of Mount Everest, pass ancient monasteries and spot wildlife a-plenty en route.
But, if you're looking to get off the beaten path (the Everest route can get busy in peak season) why not try...
Length and ability: 17 days, moderate
A great alternative to Everest Base Camp trek. This tranquil trek through the Sherpa heartlands allows plenty of time to savour spectacular mountainscapes from the comfort of private permanent campsites. You'll still have your head above the clouds as you ascend Gokyo Ri (5,000m) from where you can snap superb photos of Everest, and the 8,000m peaks of Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu in Tibet. Climb high above the shimmering lakes at sundown and witness one of the most spectacular sunset displays the Himalaya has to offer.
Lose the crowds: If you're looking for an alternative to Everest, why not try a trek to Gokyo Lake
Spiritual: Many of Nepal's famed Himalaya peaks are decorated with Buddhis prayer flags
Length and ability: 17 days, moderate to challenging
The Simien Mountains of Ethiopia are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and with good reason. Offering superb wilderness trekking and camping, surreal rocky outcrops and rare wildlife, the peaks are a must-see for any mountain lover. Combine this with an overland journey, across this ancient land infused with 3,000 years of history and dotted with rock-hewn churches, medieval castles and ancient obelisks and you have an unforgettable glimpse into the heart of Eastern Africa. Make sure you summit Ras Dashen (4,550m), marvel at the Blue Nile Falls, and explore bustling Addis Ababa.
Go east: Head to Ethiopia and the Simien Mountains to see spectacular scenery and meet locals living in remote communities
Length and ability: 12 days, challenging
If you're fit and healthy and looking for a challenge, this has to be one of the finest hikes in North America. Starting at Tuolumne in Yosemite National Park, the trek covers 200 miles, heading south across the Sierra mountain range to the summit of Mount Whitney (4,418m). Ascend high mountain passes, and traverse glacier gouged canyons, lush alpine pastures, and thick pine forests, dotted with crystal clear lakes. All this plus balmy Californian weather to look forward to! If you don't fancy tackling 200 miles on foot, then opt for a shorter 11-day trek with a pack mule for extra support.
Length and ability: 19 days, moderate to challenging
Most people head to Peru to tackle Machu Picchu, but there are so many other amazing routes to follow, without any of the crowds that flock to the famous Inca ruins. The Huayhuash Circuit has the dubious fame of featuring in Joe Simpson's best-seller 'Touching the Void', one the the most astounding mountaineering tales of all time.
This challenging 100-mile circuit around the Cordillera Huayhuash is considered by many to offer some of the best trekking in South America. Explore Huaraz and the Cordillera Blanca, as you trek amongst towering 6,000m peaks, flanked by cascading glaciers, azure blue lakes, and alpine meadows. Take ample time for acclimatisation, overnight in wilderness locations and explore remote indigenous communities and the fragile ecosystem of the Peruvian Andes.
Length and ability: Five days, moderate
Western Australia is famed for its remote and dramatic scenery and nowhere moreso than the Kimberley region, right up in the north of the state. This fly-in/fly-out bushwalking adventure delves deep into the natural wonder that is the Bungle Bungles, the strange rounded sandstone domes that rise up from the grassland. Hike spectacular canyons and explore remote World Heritage wilderness following the winding Picaninny Gorge, flanked by red and black beehive peaks, punctuated by dramatic caves and refreshingly cool waterholes. There is plenty of opportunity for rock-hopping, sun-soaking, and star-gazing along the way.
Length and ability: 8 days, moderate
You don't have to travel far to find spectacular mountain treks. In the Swiss Alps, surround yourself with the mighty Wetterhorn, Monch, Jungfrau, Eiger and Matterhorn peaks - you'll feel like you landed in picture postcard. And you don't have to do the whole things on foot. Combine days trekking with the chance to criss-cross the spectacular mountainscapes by tram and cable car. Then head to Reichenbach Falls, where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes nearly meets a watery end fighting his arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty in his book The Final Problem.
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