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Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka

Stairs leading to sunrise magic 
Start/end at Dalhousie; 9 miles (14km) round trip; more info

In world terms, this conical Sri Lankan mountain isn’t all that high at only 7360ft (2243m) – but don’t let its size fool you. It’s a punishing climb, favored by pilgrims who come to see the Sri Pada, or sacred footprint, said to have been left by either Buddha, Shiva or Adam, depending on which religion you happen to belong to.

There are six possible routes to the top, and the one most often used by trekkers is the Hatton Trail, a steep uphill slog involving numerous stairs cut into the mountain. To get there in time for sunrise requires both an early start and a hand from the weather gods: Sri Lanka’s jungly terrain means the peak is (unfortunately) often enveloped in clouds. Yet with luck, at the top you’ll have a memorable view encompassing the island’s westsouth and east coasts.