Our challenging hiking tours are selected based on effort and terrain. Challenging hikes are scored between 3-4 in a combination of our effort and terrain categories. The trails are steep and rarely maintained mountain paths exceeding 4,000 feet in elevation with mesmerizing vistas. Browse our challenging tours below.
Trip Rating System
- Primarily simple accommodations including, berghauses, huts and inns.
- A mix of simple accommodations and charming country inns or first class inns.
- Primarily charming country inns and first-class inns with best accommodations available in remote locations.
- All superior country inns and first-class accommodations.
- Gentle hikes up to 8 miles with 1500 feet of elevation gain.
- Moderate hikes up to 10 miles with up to 2700 feet of elevation gain.
- Moderately strenuous hikes up to 12 miles with up to 4000 feet of elevation gain.
- Strenuous hikes exceeding 4000 feet of elevation gain.
- Well maintained and graded mountain paths.
- Steeper, well-maintained mountain paths possibly with rough footing.
- Steeper, occasionally maintained mountain paths possibly with rough footing and/or exposure.
- Steep, rarely maintained mountain paths with exposure and rough footing.
The highest mountains in Western Europe, the Pennine Alps, offer hikers an opportunity to explore a spectacular alpine world. This hike begins in Italy beneath the Matterhorn, one of the most iconic peaks in the world. The tour also partially circumnavigates the Monte Rosa, the highest mountain in Switzerland and the second highest peak in Western Europe. The Tour de...View trip details
The Bernese Oberland in central Switzerland is one of the most stunning mountain ranges on earth. High, glaciated peaks and vertical rock walls ascend thousands of feet above tumbling waterfalls, pristine valleys, and flower-filled meadows sporting the world’s happiest cows. Our nine-day hiking tour begins on the west side of the Berner Oberland in the fashionable resort village of Gstaad....View trip details
Enchanting, or perhaps intoxicating, might be the best word to appropriately characterize the Julian alps of Slovenia. Ryder-Walker’s route through this unique landscape begins in the picturesque village of Kranjska Gora. This gorgeous little village is only four miles from the Italian border and two from Austria. It sits on the northern border of Triglav National Park, Slovenia’s only land...View trip details
Escape from the crowds as you as you explore the Lofoten archipelago, a rugged island chain lying 122 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Bathed by the light of the midnight sun, and rising out of the Norwegian Sea like a fortress wall, the 4,000-foot granite peaks of Lofoten will mesmerize you with their craggy summits, lovely jade meadows, and...View trip details
Mustang, an isolated kingdom in Nepal, forbidden to outsiders for centuries, faces a crossroads. The recent completion of a motorable road along the historic caravan route threatens to change this remarkable area, for good and bad, but also forever. Now is your chance to step back in time and follow the ancient caravan route through summer nomad camps and isolated...View trip details
Journey to the summit of the world, Ladakh, India-—the Himalaya's last frontier. Unlike its neighbors, Ladakh has a long history of peace and prosperity. Its Monasteries, temples, villages and customs remain intact, and await and invite our exploration. Ladakh translates into "Land of High Passes", and the region is part of the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It...View trip details
Immense glaciers and endless fjords, unspoiled wilderness areas waiting to be explored, clean icy seas where whales surface, volcanic cliffs with one of the biggest bird colonies in the northern hemisphere, geysers, active volcanoes and ancient fishing villages – Iceland’s cinematic beauty is simply overwhelming. Beginning in Iceland’s progressive capital, Reykjavík, our trip leaders will whisk you away to Hellnar,...View trip details
Chomolhari (24,035 feet) rises like a lofty pyramid on the border between Bhutan and Tibet. Known as Jomolhari “Mountain of the Goddess” by the Tibetan people, Chomolhari is the region’s most sacred mountain, and it’s also the highlight of our fully supported, 16-day hiking tour through the wild, undiscovered Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Beginning in the vibrant cultural center of...View trip details
The highest mountains in western Europe, the Pennine Alps, offer a sensational opportunity for hikers to explore a spectacular alpine world. This itinerary starts and finishes beneath the Matterhorn, the most iconic peak in the world, and circumnavigates the Monte Rosa, the Alps’ second highest peak. The Tour Monte Rosa has become a much sought after achievement in recent years,...View trip details
Lose yourself in Appenzell, a unique corner of Switzerland where airy mountain trails, punctuated by steel cables and iron pegs to aid the hiker, lead you through a world of striking landforms, traditional Swiss hamlets, and well-appointed mountain houses that are never more than a day’s walk apart. Beginning in the quirky and colorful village of Appenzell, this 6-day point-to-point...View trip details
While crossing the mighty Berner Oberland range you traverse high ridges, follow valleys, and climb to a number of high, remote passes. The Berner Oberland Traverse offers glaciers, iconic mountains, and quintessential Swiss scenery. Views of the world famous trio of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau make for an unforgettable adventure in the Swiss Alps. Our self-guided traverse through Switzerland's most...View trip details
Classic scenery is the hallmark of the Eiger Trail trek that begins in Gstaad and ends in the heart of the beautiful Bernese Oberland, where the famous trio, the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, dominates not only the landscape, but also the imagination of the traveler. Most feel this is the Alps’ most classic route. Charming glimpses of the active Bernese...View trip details
This self-guided trek links the Swiss villages of the Hiker's Haute Route, but with simpler logistics, a shorter hiking time, and a grand finish along a high level route into Saas Fee. You will cross the Valais by a number of high passes between small villages with blackened timber houses and slate roofs while enjoying outstanding views of the Pennine...View trip details