The Best Hiking Trails for Adventure Seekers in Chiang Mai

Beautiful hiking vistas | © Jeremy Eades / Flickr
Beautiful hiking vistas | © Jeremy Eades / Flickr
Photo of Iona Proebst
10 August 2017

Chiang Mai is an adventure lover’s playground with plenty of fun and exciting outdoor activities from which to choose. The lush hills and mountains surrounding the city provide excellent hiking options of varying difficulties. Local hiking trails will take you through stunning nature, alongside hidden waterfalls, beneath jungle canopies and to diverse hill-tribe villages. Check out our selection of hikes in and around Chiang Mai. To fulfil everyone’s desires, we’ve included both circular and point A-to-point B hikes.

Wat Pha Lat to Wat Doi Suthep

This hike is likely one of the most popular hikes in Chiang Mai and is perfect for those who want to mix adventure with cultural immersion. The first section of the trek to Wat Pha Lat is relatively easy, while the second section is on the more difficult side. Rest assured that you’ll have earned the stunning views over the city from Wat Doi Suthep.

Wat Doi Suthep | © Adam Jones/Flickr

Doi Pui to Doi Suthep Hike

This hike is great for cultural enthusiasts; start near the top of Doi Pui mountain and end near the temple of Doi Suthep. You’ll be walking through the lush evergreen forest, through hill-tribe villages and have the chance to sample the earthy flavours of hill-tribe coffee en route.

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park | © oliver.dodd/Flickr

Huay Tung Tao Circular Hike

As the title suggests, this hike takes you around the picturesque Huay Tung Tao Lake. Hike along the slopes of Doi Suthep Mountain and pass the beautiful Dtaat Mook Waterfall. Stop at one of the many bamboo huts on the edge of the lake for a post-hike refreshment or perhaps even tuck into the local speciality, ‘jumping shrimp’.

Huay Tung Tao | © Stefan Fussan/Flickr

Doi Inthanon Nature Trail

This trek takes you up the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon. In order to get to the summit, it is best that you use a local guide who will also provide helpful and engaging information along the way. The hike will lead you through dense forest, over mountain ridges and into stunning valleys.

Doi Inthanon National Park | © Beam Borwonputtikun/Flickr

Doi Luang Chiang Dao Hike

This trek is the one that super adventure seekers have been waiting for. Climbing Doi Luang Chiang Dao in the breathtakingly beautiful Chiang Dao area is definitely a huge tick off any avid hiker’s Thailand bucket list. Approximately a 1.5-hour drive north of Chiang Mai city is Doi Luang Chiang Dao, the third highest peak in Thailand. Once you arrive, it is hard to miss the close to vertical 2,225-metre (7,300-foot) limestone cliffs. The trail has limited facilities along the way, and it is recommended that you bring camping gear as it is likely to be a two-day adventure. Once your feet are firmly back on even ground, reward yourself with a delicious meal at the world-famous Chiang Dao Nest. There are also caves, hot springs and a jungle temple in the surrounding area that you can explore.

Doi Luang Chiang Dao | © Doug Mulvaney / Flickr

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