Are you looking to try one of the hikes in Chiang Mai? This mountainous city is known for so much, and the beautiful peeks are definitely one of them. This list is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the markets, and nightlife. You can stock up on snacks for your hikes at any of the corner markets, 711’s or street food venders.
Be sure to bring plenty of water on your hikes in Chiang Mai Thailand. Even in the “winter season” it can get scourging hot. A quick tip! Grab a large bottle of water the day before and throw it in the freezer, it will stay cold for a few hours and leave you feeling refreshed.
There are a few local tours here to book. This is always a good idea if you have never done any hikes in Chiang Mai before. Almost all of these hikes have epic waterfalls, and some even have small villages that welcome you with open arms. If you can bring a little extra cash to donate or purchase something. It helps them out a lot.
Be sure to plan your day out accordingly most of these hikes in Chiang Mai take at least 4 hours to complete. Now, get out there and get your body moving and take in the beautiful sites of the mountainous city of Chiang Mai!!
The top 10 Hikes in Chiang Mai You have to Try!
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park has stunning views of Chiang Mai
Doi-Suthrp-Pui National Park has some of the best hikes in Chiang Mai. The park is a protected area of land up in the western mountains. The entire park is about 161 square kilometers and is home to many creatures. There are a few special species of birds that only live in these jungles. You can find the starting point here!
There are also some small villages of local Thai people that still live in the mountains. The most popular hike here is the summit of Doi Suthep. This hike is steep and challenging. Expect the hike to last 2-3 hours each way. The views from the top are stunning and you will be glad you didn’t quit. Be sure to bring plenty of water, and food, and take lots of breaks. It can get very hot in Thailand no matter what time of the year it is.
You can also do the Doi Pui Hike here. This hike will give you spectacular views of the city and valley. Another thing to note about the Doi Sutherp-Pui is that it is on the same grounds as the Queen Skirit Botanic Garden, which is one of the best botanic gardens in the whole city.
Doi Inthanon National Park Tour Guide
The 9-hour Doi Inthanon National Hike has the highest peak and is one of the best places to hike in Chiang Mai. When you book this tour you will have a private tour guide to help you along. Plus, you will also check out a local mountain market, and get to meet the local tribe known as the Karen people.
After checking out the main peak you will then take the short Angkha Natural Trail to enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch and meeting the Karen hill tribe of Mae Klang Luang the last stop is at the stunning view of the Vachiratharn Waterfall.
Of course, if you are an experienced hiker, or want to be, you could do this hike on your own. But it is always a good idea to have an experienced local with you, and it is a great way to meet friends if you are a digital nomad or solo traveler.
Find the starting point to the Doi Inthanon National Park hike here if you are going alone! Or Book Your Hike Tour: GetYourGuide.com
Mon Jam is a Hidden Gem
Up next is Mon Jam, one of the lesser-known hikes in Chiang Mai, so you may get lucky and have it all to yourself. This hike is right outside of the main city and will take you on a jungle hike to a hidden waterfall. This hike is considered moderately difficult, and will take about 5-6 hours to complete. You can expect the trail to start off gradually and get steeper as you get closer to the waterfall.
When you arrive you can jump in the refreshing crystal clear water and take a swim. This is the best spot to stop and have a picnic because it is sucuclded and you can find plenty of shade.
The trail is not very well maintained so be sure to wear proper footwear. If you are in Chiang Mai during the rainy season, this might not be the best hike to take. Try hiking a trail that is maintained, or go with a local guide. Find the address here!
Chiang Doa Mountain Hike
If you are looking for one of the best day hikes in Chiang Mai you should check out Chiang Doa. Although it is about an hour and a half away from the old town, it is worth the drive. You will start at the bottom of the mountain and climb up 830 meters. The trail is steep and can be a bit of a challenge, no matter what your fitness level is.
At the summit, you will see the temple Wat Tham Pha Long inside of the cave system. This beautiful Wat is one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in all of Thailand. Although the trail is well maintained, it can still become very slippery in the rainy season.
It is also recommended to either start the hike early in the morning or later in the evening because of the hot Thai sun. You are going to love this temple hike in Chiang Mai, it is one of the best.
This will take you to the gate of Chiang Doa, from there you got it!
Doi Luang Chiang Doa is an Amazing Hike
This next trek is also in the Chiang Doa district, but it is a bit easier than the Mountain hike, but not much. Here you will start at the base of the mountain and climb up 2,175 meters above sea level. Although this trail is a bit difficult, the views are incredible.
When you reach the top you will see the beautiful Wat Tham Pha Plong. There is a covered shelter and resting area where you can take in the views. The whole trip would take you about 6-8 hours round trip so save a whole day on your trip to Chiang Mai to accomplish it.
Be sure to bring enough food to last you the whole time there is nothing worse than being hungry for hours while you are trekking down the mountain. Wear your shoes with the most grip, and be prepared for a hot day. They do close the trail down during the rainy season, so check before you make the hour drive out to the trailhead.
Mae Sa Waterfall Hike
Mae Sa Waterfall may be the best hike in Chiang Mai. It is very popular and one of the easiest treks as well. The Mae Sa waterfall is a beautiful site. The water comes crashing down on the steps and rocks. You will only need to allot 2 hours for the entire hike unless you plan to stay and enjoy the waterfall with a picnic or swim, which you should.
Since this is one of the most popular hikes in Chiang Mai, it does get busy. Try going early in the morning, then check out the Elephants, or vise-versa to beat the crowds. At the trailhead, there are restaurants, bathrooms, souvenir shops, and the Mae Sa Elephant Camp.
You could easily do both of these attractions in Chiang Mai in one day! This is one of the easy hikes in Chiang Mai and you get to enjoy an epic waterfall. Start your journey here.
Doi Pui-Mae Ya is a Whole Day Hike in Chiang Mai
Bua Tony Sticky Waterfall Guided Weekend Tour to Chiang Rai
The Sticky Waterfalls hike in Chiang Mai is a unique experience worth checking out. You could easily do this hike in a day, but if you book this epic tour, you will get to make new friends while getting exercise and exploring with a local. Your two-day trip starts with a tour of the famous Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep known for the epic Golden pagoda in Chiang Mai.
Then you will head to the Sticky Waterfalls, which are a little over an hour away. The limestone rocks here have become “sticky” and you can walk up and down them with ease. There are three different levels to explore and 4 falls in total. After you spend a few hours playing like Spider-Man the tour then takes you to the town of Chiang Rai. There are a few pits stops along the way like the old bridge from WWII.
After that, you will be dropped off at your hotel and you are free to explore the town of Pai yourself or make plans with your fellow travelers. The next day starts off with a tour of the Baan Santichon Chinese Village and the Mae Yen temple, which is home to a famous Giant Buddha. After that, you will stop for coffee, lunch, and dessert. You are going to love visiting Chiang Rai and the sticky waterfalls, it is one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai.
Travel to the waterfalls yourself or Book your weekend trip: Getyourguide.com
Mon Cham – Easy Hike Chiang Mai
Up next is one of the most popular and moderate hikes in Chiang Mai, the Mon Cham. This epic will take you to the summit of Mon Cham which boasts stunning views of the city. Plan for this hike to take you about 3-4 hours and although the trail is well-maintained, you should still opt for your best hiking shoes.
You can visit a small village on this hike and learn a bit about its history. Mon Cham is a perfect way to spend your day because it offers an amazing view, and it is not too strenuous. Be sure to bring snacks, drinks, and your camera you will want to remember this epic day. Many people have done and loved this trek, making it one of the best hikes in Chiang Mai! Find the starting point here!
Whitewater Rafting and Waterfall Trekking Tour in Chiang Mai
Last but not least is this wonderful Whitewater Rafting and Waterfall Trekking Tour. This tour leaves Chiang Mai in the morning and takes you about an hour and a half outside of town. When you arrive at your base trail you will then be taken along a path for 3 hours until you reach the 10-meter waterfall.
After you get your fix in at the waterfall the real party gets started. The whitewater rafting tour lasts 10 kilometers and is a grade 3 rapid. Your tour guide takes you along the most beautiful section of the trail and river to ensure you have a remarkable and memorable day. Be sure to bring a change of clothing so you do not have to drive back wet. They do provide lunch, snacks, and coffee or tea.
Book your tour here: GetYourGuide.com