Where there are grand mountains, there are valleys, often overshadowed by the mountainous landscapes. However, valleys often hide many pleasant surprises like waterfalls, turquoise lakes, geological wonders and picturesque sites. Check out these ten favorite valleys of the week. Which one would you like to visit?
1. Valley of the Ten Peaks, Alberta, Canada
The world-famous valley is known not only for the ten peaks but also for, one of the most beautiful lakes in Canada, Moraine Lake. All ten peaks are a little bit above 3 km (10 000 ft) in height and the area can be explored by taking one of a few hiking trails.
Why go? The Valley of Ten Peaks with Moraine lake is one of the most beautiful sights in Banff National Park
Best time to visit: The best time to visit is from the end of August to October. At the time summer crowds are already gone and the weather is still quite warm.
2. Yosemite Valley, California, USA
A mile-deep glacial valley is surrounded by majestic granite rocks and summits like Half Dome and El Capitan. Among many streams and waterfalls, Merced River also flows here. The visitors can choose one of the several trails that lead through this gorgeous valley.
Why go? It’s one of the most adventurous attractions in the US.
How to get there? Drive Highways 41, 140, and 120. Or go by bus using Amtrak and Greyhound services.
3. Landmannalaugar, Iceland
The desolate region is among the favorite tourist destination in Iceland. The valleys sprawl between the colorful rhyolite mountains, lava fields, crater lakes and Hekla volcano. Tourists explore the terrain by hiking the comfortable trails.
Best time to visit? From June to late September – after that, the road to Landmannalaugar is closed.
4. Hongshi Valley, Jinzhai County, China
Located in the Mount Yuntaishan Global Geopark, the Hongshi Valley is strikingly beautiful. The valley is 2km long and 68 meters deep surrounded by cliffs and mountainous rocks. The valley is loved not only by tourists but also by geologists and conservationists for its significance. It’s a striking site with unusual red rocks, waterfalls, springs and pools.
How to get there? Take a guided tour. The valley is 15 minutes ride by bus from Mt. Yuntai.
5. Dolomites, Italy
A mountain range in northern Italy has countless valleys. The famous spot for skiers, hikers, mountain climbers and even base jumpers, the Dolomites provide some breathtaking views and edgy slopes. The most popular valleys are Val di Funes, Val Gardena, Val Badia and Cortina D’Ampezzo.
6. Moon Valley, Argentina
Found in the Ischigualasto Provincial Park, the valley of the Moon indeed has some unearthly landscapes. Besides the unique sites, a lot of various dinosaur fossils are found here. It is said that in the moonlight its gray sand looks white, thus the name.
Why go? The park is protected by UNESCO and provides a lot of wonderful sites.
How to get there? Get to San Juan or La Rioja by car or fly to the local airports from Buenos Aires. Then drive to the park by bus or car.
7. Waipio Valley, Big Island, Hawaii
The valley once used to be a capital and even the royal residences were settled here. A wonderful view of the ocean opens from the beach and valley, which is surrounded and locked by the steep cliffs. Moreover, a few waterfalls plunge down these walls.
Why go? Beautiful site, that can be explored by hiking the Muliwai Trail.
8. Zabriskie Point, California, USA
Found in the east of the infamous Death Valley, Zabriskie Point offers a glimpse of a landscape, exposed to millions of years of ferocious erosion. Visitors have to get to the hills, from where the spectacular view of this place opens.
When to go there? Anytime except summer, when the weather gets unbearably hot.
9. Jamison Valley, New South Wales, Australia
Found in the Blue Mountains, the valley stretches for approximately 12 km (7.5 mi) along the high sandstone cliffs. Dense eucalyptus forest covers the area, which also features countless waterfalls. Visitors come to the valley to bushwalk and camp.
How to get there? It is only 100 km from Sydney. Get there by train or bus. Get around by Blue Mountains Explorer.
10. Sabie, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Down this valley, a small town of Sabie is found. Surrounded by a forest, the town is situated on the Sabie River banks. These wonderful sites of the valley are taken from the Long Tom Pass. On the top of this mountain, you will also find The Long Tom – a silver British cannon.
Why go? A picturesque and historically prominent site, situated near the Kruger National Park, Pilgrim’s Rest, Blyde River Canyon, the Sabie waterfalls, God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Potholes.
How to get there? The Long Tom Pass connects Sabie with Lydenburg.