Kilimanjaro, Patagonia & 6 Other Epic Treks & Their Equally Epic Costs

Two Images of Hikers on the Camino de Santiago and the Appalachian Trail

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Two Images of Hikers on the Camino de Santiago and the Appalachian Trail
Cheapism/Iñigo Fdz de Pinedo/Cavan Images/Getty Images

Epic Treks, Epic Costs

Got an epic trek on your bucket list but don’t have a clue how much taking the journey will actually cost? Let’s look at some of the coolest hiking expeditions you can take and what they cost.

Related: Epic Hiking Trails Around the World

Couple Dressed in Ponchos Watching the Ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru
Marina Tobaruela/istockphoto

1. Inca Trail

For many, wandering the ancient trails of the Andes in Peru, exploring Incan ruins, listening to the sounds of animals in the cloud forest, and taking in breathtaking views is a lifelong dream. This journey starts outside Ollantaytambo and lasts four days and three nights, ending up at Machu Picchu.

So what does it cost to hike the Inca Trail?

Costs can range from $750 to $1,600 or more per person, depending on the level of luxury you require. If you want fluffy mattresses, gourmet food, and a personalized guide, budget more than $2k for your trip to Peru, not including airfare.

Related: 20 Spectacular Trails That Used to Be Railroads

Man Hiking in the Pasayten Wilderness on the Pacific Crest Trail, Washington
Modoc Stories/Getty Images

2. Pacific Crest Trail

Despite the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT if you’re cool) being a domestic trek, it’s still got a hefty price tag if you do the complete thru-hike of 2,650 miles. The full trail can take at least five months to complete as you submerge yourself in the natural beauty of California, Washington, and Oregon.

Even roughing it with a backpack and sleeping bag can get costly. People spend on average $8,000 for the complete PCT experience. If you’re buying all new gear, you may spend upwards of $12k.

Male Hiker on Summit Gazes at Mountains Rising Above the Clouds, Carrabassett Valley, Maine
Cavan Images/Getty Images

3. Appalachian Trail

The longest hiking-only trail in the world, the Appalachian Trail runs from Maine to Georgia. The entire thru-hike experience is more than 2,190 miles long and can take five to seven months to complete. You’ll want to be in excellent shape to take on the trail; many find they aren’t cut out for it once they start. In fact, 3,000 people a year attempt the entire trail, but only a fourth of them succeed.

Costwise, you’ll spend between $6,000 and $8,000 per person. The longer you stay on the trail and the more you want to spend on experiences, food, and gear, the higher your budget should be.

Related: Quaint Towns to Visit Along the Appalachian Trail

A Team of Hikers Approach the Summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro at Sunrise
R. Tyler Gross/Getty Images

4. Kilimanjaro

For many, reaching the top of Kilimanjaro’s 19,341-foot-high summit is at the top of that bucket list. You’ll want a guide to go with you, and depending on how large or intimate your group is, this will impact your costs.

Other factors that will influence your costs, which can range from $2,000 to $7,000 per person, are how long you stay on the trail and the level of service you want. This price does not take into consideration airfare.

Line of Hikers Walking to Everest Base Camp, Nepal
Kriangkrai Thitimakorn/Getty Images

5. Everest

Another bucket-list-topper is Mount Everest. Climbing the world’s tallest mountain, which is located between Nepal and Tibet, is the trip of a lifetime, especially given how much it costs. Keep in mind that this trek isn’t for beginners and comes with many health risks at such a high altitude.

If you aren’t deterred by this warning, start saving your pennies. A guided trip starting from the south side of the mountain can cost $45,000 per person, and a trip starting on the north side, $35,000.

Two Pilgrims Walk Along the Camino de Santiago to Santiago de Compostela, Pamplona, Spain
Iñigo Fdz de Pinedo/Getty Images

6. Camino de Santiago

The Camino di Santiago is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage site with several trail options in Spain, France, and Italy. Depending on the pilgrimage you choose, it can take about 30 days to complete a trek.

Costwise, this trek is remarkably cheaper than other options. After airfare, you can spend between $20 and $50 a day, making the total about $600 to $1,500 for a month-long sojourn.

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Man Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc Near Chamonix, France

7. Tour du Mont Blanc

This 170-kilometer trek around the Alps’ Mont Blanc will take you through France, Italy, and Switzerland. Spend 12 days climbing to great heights and dipping into Alpine villages in the valleys below. There are 11 stages (or sections) and many people tackle one stage per day, then stay in a refuge for the night.

With accommodations, supplies, and maybe a tour, the trip will cost about $1,000 to $1,500 per person.

Hiker Admiring the Cuernos del Paine Range, Patagonia, Dramatic Image
© Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images

8. Patagonia’s Paine Circuit

The stark peaks, glaciers, and icy lakes of Patagonia in Argentina make hiking in Torres del Paine National Park an otherworldly experience. A 12-day circuit will take you by the Torres del Paine towers, Lake Nordenskjold, and Grey Glacier.

There are a variety of tour operators offering everything from basic services to luxury experiences. The costs for the tour (and not including gear and airfare) can range from $2,000 to $6,500 per person.

If budget has been the concern holding you back from taking one of these adventures of a lifetime, now you know how much to budget for your trip and can start planning to make it a reality!

Related: World's Most Beautiful Glaciers to See Before They're Gone