The Best Hiking Trails for Adventure Seekers in Chiang Mai

Sunset at Doi Luang Chiang Dao in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Sunset at Doi Luang Chiang Dao in Chiang Mai, Thailand | © Ratthawit Prommajan / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Iona Proebst
4 September 2021

Chiang Mai is an adventure lover’s playground with plenty of fun and exciting outdoor activities on offer. The lush hills and mountains surrounding the city provide excellent hiking options of varying difficulties, with local trails leading you past hidden waterfalls, beneath jungle canopies and to diverse hill-tribe villages.

You can now travel to Chiang Mai with Culture Trip as part of our 10-day trip to Northern Thailand – carefully planned by our team of travel experts and led by trusted local insiders to bring you a hassle-free, 100% authentic experience.

Wat Pha Lat to Wat Doi Suthep

Chiang Mai is home to some of the most ornate and important temples in all of Thailand | © RJT Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

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. The stunning views over the city from Wat Doi Suthep will stay with you long after you descend.

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.

Huay Tung Tao Circular Hike

Picturesque lakeside escape at Huay Tung Tao | © Dave Stamboulis / Alamy Stock Photo

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 of “jumping shrimp”.

Doi Inthanon Nature Trail

Doi Inthanon offers sprawling views to hikers | © Jordan Zhelev / Alamy Stock Photo

This trek takes you up the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon. In order to reach the summit, it’s best to use a local insider who will be able to guide you to the top and enlighten you about local history. The travel team at Culture Trip have curated this action-packed tour of Northern Thailand, which includes a guided hike through Doi Inthanon National Park. The hike will lead you through dense forest, over mountain ridges and into stunning valleys.

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. 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 2,225m (7,300ft) 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.

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