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Most Photographed Trails

We unveil the mountain ranges and walking trails that have captured the imagination of photographers worldwide, and crown where is the most picturesque walking location.

 
From the rugged peaks of the Alps to the majestic Himalayan scenery and the enchanting German Black Forest landscapes, there is no shortage of trails that offer a visual spectacle. But which ones cannot be missed for those eager to soak in the splendour of mother nature? 

We set out to discover the top trails providing unforgettable experiences that are well worth capturing through the lens of a camera.
Harnessing the expertise of our walking and trekking tours guides, we have delved into a vast dataset of over 500 popular walking locations, to uncover the world's most picturesque trails, hoping to inspire both outdoor enthusiasts and travel photographers on their explorations. 

By cross-referencing the number of photographs on stock imagery libraries tagged with   "walking trail" or "hiking trail" for over 500 locations, we found which destinations yielded the highest number of photos, thus emerging as the places in the world with the most scenic trails.
Rank Name Location Country Continent Photo Count
1 GR20 Corsica France Europe 45,187
2 Everest Base Camp Trek Himalayas Nepal Asia 13,711
3 The Westweg Black Forest Germany Europe 13,105
4 Camino de Santiago Northern Spain Spain Europe 10,738
5 Inca Trail Andes Peru South America 10,170
6 Appalachian Trail Eastern United States United States North America 9,754
7 The Jordan Trail Jordan Jordan Asia 9,343
8 West Coast Trail Vancouver Island Canada North America 8,700
9 Laugavegur Trail Iceland Iceland Europe 5,992
10 The Lycian Way Turkey Turkey Asia 5,945

1. GR20, France

The GR20 trail in Corsica, France, claims the top spot as one of the most photographed walking trails in the world. Known as one of Europe's toughest long-distance hikes, this legendary trail stretches 112 miles through the rugged and breathtaking landscapes of Corsica. Hikers will be met with snow-capped peaks, picturesque valleys, and enchanting forests, in their explorations, with many photos capturing the essence of the Mediterranean island's natural beauty.

With its diverse terrain and captivating vistas, it's no wonder that the GR20 boasts an impressive 45,187 stock image library results for hiking and walking trails, making it a favourite among outdoor enthusiasts and photography enthusiasts alike.

2. Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal

Nestled amidst the mighty Himalayan range, the Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal presents an unforgettable journey to the base of the world's highest peak, Mount Everest. This iconic trek takes adventurers through picturesque Sherpa villages, ancient monasteries, and awe-inspiring mountain views. With its sheer grandeur and unparalleled natural beauty, the Everest Base Camp Trek has garnered significant attention, boasting approximately 13,711 stock image library results for its trails, that encapsulate the spirit of this epic adventure. Many of the images offer a glimpse of what trekkers will be rewarded with as they make their way through the Khumbu Valley: unparalleled views of towering peaks, including the majestic Everest itself.

3. The Westweg , Germany

Rounding off the top three, the Westweg, a long-distance hiking trail in the Black Forest region, earns its place among the most photographed trails in the world. Its scenic beauty and cultural richness have attracted countless photographers, resulting in over 13,000 stock image library results of hiking and walking trails that capture the essence of one of Germany’s oldest routes.

Spanning approximately 280 miles, this renowned trail offers hikers a remarkable journey through dense forests, rolling meadows, and charming villages. As walkers immerse themselves in the picturesque landscapes, they are bound to encounter ancient castles, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic vistas that showcase the Black Forest's unique allure. 

4. Camino de Santiago, Spain

The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, is a historic pilgrimage route that winds its way through the stunning landscapes of northern Spain. This trail holds deep cultural and spiritual significance, attracting thousands of pilgrims each year. Get your camera ready: embarking on a journey through this path will guarantee a stunning look at the picturesque countryside, ancient villages, and charming medieval towns, capturing the essence of Spain's rich heritage. 

5. Inca Trail, Peru

Nestled amidst the Andean mountains of Peru, the Inca Trail offers a mesmerizing adventure through ancient ruins, lush cloud forests, and awe-inspiring mountain scenery. This legendary trail, which culminates at the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, closes the top five in the rankings for most photographed walking trails globally. The history of the Inca Trail and its connection to Machu Picchu have made it a popular subject for photographers, resulting in over 10,000 stock image library results that capture the magic of this extraordinary trail that follows the footsteps of the Incas.

 

Top 10 Most Photographed Mountain Ranges

Rank Mountain Range Name Country Continent Photo Count
1 The Alps Multiple Countries Europe 856,670
2 The Rockies Multiple Countries North America 441,681
3 The Dolomites Italy Europe 174,422
4 The Himalayas Multiple Countries Asia 158,606
5 The Carpathians Multiple Countries Europe 142,714
6 The Caucasus Multiple Countries Europe, Asia 108,124
7 The Tatra Mountains Slovakia, Poland Europe, 85,401
8 The Andes Multiple Countries South America 78,176
9 The Scandinavian Mountains Norway, Sweden Europe 48,789
10 The Pyrenees Multiple Countries Europe 37,473


By analysing the data from renowned image platforms Shutterstock and Unsplash, we embarked on a journey through over 60 mountain ranges to find which have been most photographed, finding that the European continent boasts seven mountain ranges in the top ten, more than any other continent.

1. The Alps, Europe

From the iconic Mont Blanc in France to the stunning Matterhorn in Switzerland, the Alps attract adventurers, hikers, and photographers from around the world, taking it to the top spot on our list with an impressive 856,670 stock image library results for walking and hiking trails. The iconic mountain range offers idyllic views of the snowy peaks and charming alpine villages and with a range of hiking trails suitable for all skill levels, it makes it a popular destination for both seasoned mountaineers and leisurely hikers. 

2. The Rockies, North America

Stretching across multiple countries in North America, the Rockies claim the second spot on our list with a visual feast of over 400,000 stock image library results specifically around hiking and walking trails. Home to dramatic peaks, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife, the Rockies supply endless opportunities for stunning photographs. Simultaneously, hikers of all levels can explore numerous trails, from leisurely walks to challenging multi-day treks, allowing them to capture the grandeur of this awe-inspiring mountain range, from the towering peaks of Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park to the glacier-carved valleys of Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada.

3. The Dolomites, Italy

Nestled in Italy's landscape, the Dolomites secure the third position on our list of most picturesque mountain ranges with 174,422 stock image library results for its hiking and walking trails. Known for their distinctive jagged peaks, vibrant colours, and picture-perfect valleys, the Dolomites offer a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. This UNESCO World Heritage Site easily attracts photographers and hikers alike. Hiking trails wind through the enchanting landscapes, allowing photographers to capture the Dolomites' captivating beauty in every frame. While some routes require further levels of experience and skill, there are also easier paths for those eager to take it slow and indulge in exploration at a leisurely pace.

 

Top 10 Most Picturesque Trail Destinations

Rank Location Name Country Continent Photo Count
1 California  USA North America 123,036
2 Utah  USA North America 118,769
3 Colorado  USA North America 89,966
4 Arizona  USA North America 85,127
5 England  UK Europe 63,407
6 Canary Islands  Spain Europe 51,126
7 Scotland  UK Europe 48,048
8 Patagonia Chile South America 44,364
9 Nevada USA North America 39,158
10 Washingston State USA North America 39,131

Diving into over 400 countries, regions, cities and states, whose locations were tagged with "walking trail" or "hiking trail", we found that the USA has more picturesque trails than any other country across the globe, with all the top four locations in the rankings being states located in the western region of the United States. England is the country that manages to break the US dominance, with over 60,000 images dedicated to the rugged coastlines of Cornwall, the timeless charm of the Cotswolds or the natural splendour of the Lake District National Park.

1. California, USA

California's sun-kissed trails provide a paradise to photographers, boasting an impressive 123,036 stock image library results for hiking and walking trails. Prepare to be captivated as diverse landscapes unfold before your eyes. Lose yourself in the enchanting redwood forests of Northern California or witness the vibrant hues of wildflowers blooming in Antelope Valley. These are just a few of the countless photogenic opportunities awaiting you in the state. From the rugged coastline of Big Sur to the majestic peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the dramatic beauty of Yosemite National Park's granite cliffs, California offers an abundance of wonders for explorers. It's clear why California is crowned as the most picturesque trail destination worldwide.

2. Utah, USA

With nearly 120,000 stock image library results for hiking and walking trails, Utah puts forward endless photographic possibilities as you explore its numerous routes. Known for its "Mighty 5" National Parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion), Utah beckons adventurers to explore its mesmerizing landscapes carved by nature's artistry. Get your cameras ready and be prepared to capture the otherworldly beauty of Arches National Park, where delicate sandstone arches stretch across the horizon, the iconic rock formations of Zion National Park and Monument Valley, with its towering buttes and vast desertscapes.

3. Colorado, USA

In the heart of the American West, the Rocky Mountain National Park is home to towering summits and alpine tundra that create a breathtaking photographic stage. But it isn’t the only reason Colorado takes a top three spot for most picturesque trails. In fact, Colorado offers a wealth of photographic treasures as its 89,966 stock image library results of trails reveal. The Maroon Bells, reflected in Maroon Lake, form one of the most iconic scenes in the state, while Mesa Verde National Park delivers a sight that transports you back in time as it reveals the ancient cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloans. 

 

Methodology

To find which destinations are tagged the most in pictures of trails, we recorded the number of results returned when [location + walking trail] or [location + hiking trail] is searched for on the Shutterstock and Unsplash platforms. We then compared those results for over 414 countries, regions, cities, states, 63 mountain ranges and 33 walking trails – over 500 locations in total. The places which returned the highest number of stock image library results were named as the most picturesque trails. Data sources: shutterstock.com, unsplash.com. All data correct as of July 2023.

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