As any late riser will tell you, there are few things on this earth that are worth unravelling that duvet cocoon before the sun is shining. Unless, of course, Ryan Reynolds magically appears on your doorstep. Short of that though, there is something else worth luring you out into the cold, dark, early morning — a cracking sunrise. But not just any ol' sunrise, we're talking seriously breathtaking locations that are best experienced at dawn. With these seven heavenly hikes from around the globe, you won't regret setting the alarm extra early, even without Ryan Reynolds...
Mount Batur, Bali
Length: 1 mile
Hiking up an active volcano may seem dicey at best, but Mount Batur is totally worth it. Though it will be chilly, it’s best to start at the base of the mountain around 2am for this two-hour hike. We suggest hiring a guide as navigating in the dark can be tricky and the cost is minimal ($50ish). The first half of the trek is fairly mild, but it does get steeper. Close to the top you'll come across a viewing platform, but don’t stop there. Another 30 minutes or so up a sandy trail will lead to you to the actual peak, where fewer visitors tend to venture. As the sun rises, views span from the gorgeous Late Batur below to volcanoes on neighboring Lombok Island. If you have time, take the scenic route down — with the sun shining you can loop around the crater for a better view of the volcanic activity.
Masada Snake Path, Israel
Length: 1.5 miles
A sunrise hike doesn’t get much more epic than at Masada. An ancient fortress on top of an isolated rock plateau, this place is unmissable for anyone exploring southern Israel. While there is a selection of hikes to choose from here, we suggest the aptly named Snake Path, encompassing over 700 steps (hear us out...). The agony is well worth it when you see the expansive desert views from the top. As the sun begins to peek out, the soft orange glow takes this surreal rocky landscape to the next level. Better yet, you beat many of the tourist crowds. Make sure you rug up before venturing out though, as it can be pretty windy at the top. For some extra fun, head over to Echo Balcony where you can yell into the abyss and hear yourself echo back, while the surreal Dead Sea salt lake is also nearby and worth checking out.
Bruce Canyon Rim Trail, US
Length: 5.2 miles
You don’t always have to roam far from home to catch a great sunrise, and Bryce Canyon in southern Utah is testament to that. Take the canyon's Rim Trail as it tends to be less crowded and isn’t as easily accessible by car as Sunrise Point. The trail runs between Fairyland Point and Bryce Point, which boasts many super Insta-worthy lookouts. Additionally, you can hike as much or as little of the trail as you like, as a free shuttle bus is available for any tired trekkers. Since most of the canyon faces east, it’s difficult not to get an amazing view of the sun as it rises above the sandstone cliffs, turning them a vibrant orange and red. As a bonus for non-morning folk, sunrise usually isn’t until after 6am!
Pulpit Rock, Norway
Length: 2.4 miles
Better known locally as Preikestolen, a sunrise hike up to Pulpit Rock is the most incredible way to see Norway's postcard-perfect fjords. Situated atop a steep cliff, the rock is only accessible via a fairly short hiking trail. Though the hike is not strenuous, it does take between two and three hours to reach the summit. However your efforts will be well rewarded since few tourists tend to meander up this far quite so early. Be warned though: if you go in the summer months, sunrise is quite early (we're talking 4am). That being said, the rock provides one of the best vantage points to see the mountains that surround the fjords, all while watching the first rays of light sparkle over the crystal clear water.
Mount Fitz Roy, Argentina
Length: 10 miles
For those looking for a more remote hiking destination, few can compare with Patagonia. Mount Fitz Roy is right on the border of Chile and Argentina and is one of the most technically difficult mountains to climb in the world. But luckily, you can take the (kinda) easy route and just hike to the base for a sunrise view. Starting from the nearby town of El Chalten, you'll need to begin hiking around midnight or so as it'll take four or five hours. Most of the hike is pretty easy, until the very end where you may encounter some steeper areas as well as other hikers. At the top you'll reach a huge glacial lake, Laguna de los Tres, which reflects Fitz Roy in golden sunlight . The mix of colors the sunrise brings to this landscape is next level.
Uluru Base Trail, Australia
Length: 8 miles
Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of Australia's outback, which is sacred to the Indigenous people. An iconic sight for Aussies and travelers alike, it's color is as impressive as its sheer size — it's especially red at sunrise and sunset. For the best hike, we suggest getting an Aboriginal guide to take you around the base trail so you can see all the intricate nooks and crannies, as well as spot ancient rock art and secret waterfalls (yep, waterfalls!). Awe-inspiring stuff.
Length: 3.5 miles
You may think that sunrise over the Great Wall of China sounds a bit cliché, but then again you haven’t seen Jinshanling. This portion of the Great Wall lies in the mountains and is known for its hiking trails and as the best preserved portion of the wall. You’ll need to head out early though as it's about three hours from Beijing's smoggy centre. Hikers can enter the Jinshanling Terrace, where you then embark on three hours of winding and rugged inclines. However, as the sun begins to rise, climb up one of the many ancient watchtowers to get the most spectacular view. From here the epic, undisturbed landscapes will make you feel as if you've stepped back in time to when the Great Wall was first built.