Love the movie, WILD? Then these treks are for you!
by Stefanie Michaels
Have you seen the movie, WILD, starring Reese Witherspoon? If you haven’t, go! It’s a remarkable story based on the memoir by Cheryl Strayed, on her 93-day trek on the Pacific Crest Trail.
The story is about an emotionally broken Strayed played by Witherspoon, who sets out on a 1,100 mile trek to heal her spirit after the loss of her mom at 45 years old to cancer. She reckons with her past demons, making peace with poor life choices; choices that took her into heroin use, a divorce due to infidelity, and inevitably a spiral into other negative behaviors.
Not everyone comes from Strayed’s place to hit the “PCT”, which runs from Mexico to Canada in search of something. Some do of course, but many are adventure enthusiasts, while others are looking for an epic life challenge. Some do it solo as Cheryl Strayed chose to do; others manage to hike in pairs or small groups.
There are also many places around the world to feed your soul as Reece Witherspoon did in WILD, and you don’t have to go it alone, either.
I searched for a trekking company that had a bevy of options. With the recently release of the film Wild, Mountain Travel Sobek is inspiring women to get outside and experience life to its fullest in 2015 with their one-of-a-kind adventures to destinations near and far, offering 4-17 day hiking options.
Check out these WILD inspired treks to bring out the adventurous spirit in you.
17 DAYS: Hiking the John Muir Trail: Southbound to Mount Whitney: Part of the “PCT” trek, this is an itinerary that gets you on the trails that Cheryl Strayed took. There are two itineraries along the John Muir Trail. This award-winning is an exclusive trekking expedition and one of the most challenging of all!
The region in the high Sierra Nevada covers the southern half of the 212-mile-long John Muir Trail—from Lake Florence southward to the great Mount Whitney (14,505’), the highest peak in the USA. An epic journey, which National Geographic Adventure listed it as “top ten trails on the planet,” dubbing the footpath as “one of the most beautiful trails in the world!”
This MTS trek designed for a multitude of experience levels. For beginners especially, backpacks are transferred onto a team of transport mules who make the journey a lighter trekking experience. Belongings are moved camp to camp each day.
There is 24-7 expertise of professional mountaineer guides and support of a professional packer.
Highlights include camping along mountain lakes, traverse mountain passes, and walking through meadows of wildflowers.
Hiked the southern part of the trail already? MTS also offers a northern half tour! A less strenuous “Northbound” half ends at Yosemite National Park’s Tuolumne Meadows.
If you are looking for more international experiences, check out these few options.
11 DAYS: Patagonia: Trekking the Paine Circuit:
The scenic wonderland of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park is a without parallel— trekkers have said it’s a combination of Yosemite meets the Grand Tetons.
This trek that’s been around since the mid-1980s is a full circuit of the Paine massif. The famous “W” route takes hikers through less traveled terrain by expert local guides with extensive mountaineering backgrounds.
Features of the trip include a step deep into the remote wilderness of southern Chile. Travelers will see ancient glaciers at granite rock of the Cordillera Paine, craggy peaks rising 8,000 feet above the verdant grasslands, jaw-dropping vistas of monolithic rock spires, snow-capped mountains, and the Patagonia Ice Field. Throw in azure lakes and golden plains bright with wildflowers, and this makes for an unforgettable experience.
8 DAYS: Hiking Croatia’s Dalmatian Islands:
If you’re looking for a shorter trip, check out Croatia’s Dalmatian Islands. Crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic touched by sunny skies, with magical seaport towns met by rocky coastlines, fields of lavender and vineyards.
Guests who are more into soft adventures, can hike the islands with minimal elevation gains, island hop to destinations such as the waterfalls at Krka National Park, and visit Brac to visit old monasteries and ruins.
This trip allows travelers to stay each night in small, boutique hotels with a focus on foods of the region. Add-on Split and Dubrovnik, quaint towns to investigate round out this itinerary.
7 DAYS: Machu Picchu Inn-to-Inn Express Trek:
**Warning: This is not for those sensitive to altitude sickness.
A more intermediate hike, this is a high-altitude trek without camping. This lodge-to-lodge trek follows the trail through Cordillera Vilcabamba mountain range in the Andes and Machu Picchu. Dramatic landscapes— from luxuriant forests to blue lakes, snow-capped peaks, and icy glaciers, then onto the vista of Machu Picchu cap this adventure. Some lodges offer a Jacuzzi, fireplace, and first class international and Peruvian cuisine. Trek by day, shower at night!
4 DAYS: Death Valley National Park Weekend Adventure:
Ready to dip your toes into the hiking world, or simply have just 4-days to trek? Death Valley National Park offers a variety of experience levels, and weather extremes to challenge even the most experienced hiker.
It’s home to the highest temperature in America on record in the summer.
However, Fall tends to be the bet time for hiking the area.
Guides lead you through a vast landscape and introduce visitors to indigenous desert pupfish and tufted scrub brush of the Devil’s Cornfield.
Trek to salt pans, which are remains of ancient lakebeds, onto sand dunes, and traverse canyons through cliffs that rise from the valley floor. A highlight: check out the lowest point in the U.S. at Badwater Basin, and explore salt flats 282 feet below sea level. A higher place on the trek is called Dante’s View, then onto the 11,000-foot Telescope Peak. Each day’s end, guests will be put up at the oasis of Furnace Creek Ranch, where sumptuous dinners are on the menu.
Check out our 8Great WILD Movie story!