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Walking to the Edge of the Earth

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When you just need to drop off the planet for a while, these are the trails to hop onto. From hiking through a sea of sand in Namibia to trekking in the world's highest mountain range, these trails take you to places far-removed from modern civilization on what feels like a journey to the ends of the earth.
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Namib-Naukluft National Park,, Sesriem, Namibia
Wind, fire and water fashioned these dunes over millions of years, forming peaks up to 1,000 feet. Seasonal winds carried sand westward from the Kalahari desert, while the Benguela current from South Africa’s shores blew in sand off the Atlantic...
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Narchyang, Nepal

In the mountain village of Koto, Nepal, there is a path that branches off the legendary 150-mile Annapurna Circuit and passes—ceremoniously, tantalizingly—through a large stone gate. This trail is off-limits, a nearby sign reads, unless you have a...

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Flinders Ranges Way, Hawker SA 5434, Australia
I snapped this photo during a sunrise hike at Arkaba Station, a five-bedroom luxury homestead from the 1850s in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia (one of the continent’s most-ancient landscapes). That’s Kat, our Aussie guide, who helped us spot...
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Imagine yourself looking out onto an uninterrupted horizon for as far as the eye can see. Completely flat and blindingly bright in the sun with over 10,000 square kilometers of uninterrupted landscape. Welcome to the world’s largest salt flats....
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No. 18, Zhongbu Cross-island highway, Xiulin Township, Hualien County, Taiwan 972
These beautiful hot springs are located several kilometres into the gorge. To get there you must drive or cycle to the parking lot and then walk down a long wooden staircase built into the cliffside. At the bottom you'll find a quaint...
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RT 8, Morondava 619, Madagascar
Baobab trees, which grow up to 100 feet tall and 30 feet wide, carry a prehistoric grandeur worthy of their title as Madagascar’s national tree. Of the six ancient baobab species native to the African island, only the largest, the Adansonia...
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Kalahari Desert Dr, Palm Desert, CA 92211, USA
Spend the morning walking with Zu/’hoasi Bushmen trackers. Uncharted Africa Safari Co. has pioneered and passionately supported cultural tourism in Botswana since the company’s inception 13 years ago. It has long been their belief that it is a...
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Darsing Dahathum, Nepal
I don't care for maps, and I don't often ask for directions. Suffice to say, I get lost a lot. As a travel photographer, getting lost serves me well. I got quite lost along Nepal's Hyangja Kot hiking trail, a fantastic track some 40km from the...
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Costa Rica
The thermal hot springs in Rincón de La Vieja at Rio Negro (Black River) may not be as well known as those in the Arenal area, but we had the pools and surrounding forest to ourselves. From where we stayed at the Hacienda Guachipelin Rincón de La...
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Namibia
Don’t let the eerie name fool you. Namibia’s Hoanib Skeleton Coast, a 310-mile stretch of sand scattered with animal bones and shipwrecks, is home to plenty of life: the Himba bushmen, fur seals, and desert-adapted flora whose sole water source is...
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Conundrum Hot Springs, Colorado 81611, USA
Drop-dead-gorgeous 8 1/2 mile hike has a happy ending with 102-degree healing waters in a secluded setting of pure bliss.
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Latin America
A lot of the Salar de Uyuni tours include an early-morning drive out across the salt flats--largest in the world, and around 12,000 ft. high--but there's a far more satisfying way to enjoy the other-worldly light show. We stayed in a salt-block...