There are thousands of miles of trails and paths for hikers to explore that could be closer than you think. Whether you want to go camping or simply take a short walk, these routes will surely satisfy your wanderlust.
Here are our top picks for the best hiking spots in the US, that you can easily get lost in or spend time backpacking. Backpacking can be an incredibly rewarding experience that allows you to spend more time surrounded by the natural world and travel off the beaten path.
These are five of the best backpacking destinations which are certainly worth paying a visit to on your next adventure. Check out Backpacking for Beginners for more information.
The Wonderland Trail – Mount Rainier National Park
Firstly, Mount Rainier has some of the most breathtaking views and varied terrains that are worth exploring. You can get lost in the forests and surround yourself with mother nature. If you want to go round the complete loop around the mountain, it can take anywhere from five to ten days.
Luckily, there are plenty of campsites nearby that you can rest at along the way. However, it is definitely worth preparing ahead of time and bringing plenty of essentials for your trip. Make sure you do your research before heading out, because you may need to apply for a permit during busier seasons.
It is also recommended that you plan each day’s hiking according to the next campsite. This way, you will have a reachable goal in mind every day. Not only is this satisfying to do and encourage you to keep going, but this is ideal for larger groups who are backpacking together.
Make sure you have shared the itinerary with all members of your group, so they know where you will be at the end of a day’s hiking. This is useful in case anybody gets lost along the way, too.
Rim To Rim – Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is a bucket list item for many who want to explore the natural wonders that mother nature has created. The route can be around four days long, or you can choose to hike rim to rim, which takes a little longer.
Depending on the area that you want to move to after the hike, it is worth deciding where you want to begin and finish. Some people go from north to south of the canyon, while others do it the other way around. Make sure you have arranged necessary transport for the start and end of your trail.
Lost Coast Trail – Northern California
This is a favorite among many backpackers, because it is easy to land in San Francisco and planning transport to the Lost Coast Trail. Located in the Southern Bay Area, there are many places that you can spend hours appreciating.
These include Mattole Beach, Black Sands Beach, and the King Range National Conservation Area. This route is ideal for beginners because it takes around six days at a steady pace to complete.
Glacier National Park – Montana
Glacier National Park has some of the most popular trails to choose from. These vary in duration and difficulty levels, but demonstrate some of the most impressive views and range of native animals. These include sheep, elk, brown bears, and moose.
Many people know Glacier National Park as hiker’s paradise, and it’s not hard to understand why. There are over 700 possible routes to pick from, and it is definitely worth exploring the wonderful views of forests, lakes, and mountains. Remember that you will need to get a permit from the ranger’s office before camping on a trail.
The Narrows – Zion National Park
Another route which lasts either one day or two is the Narrows, located in Zion National Park. The Temple of Sinawava is typically seen as the end destination, and many hikers enjoy pacing themselves over the two days.
Although this is a relatively short route, it is worth noting that it is a little more challenging than other hikes. This is because the majority of the route involves walking with your feet submerged, so you should wear appropriate footwear and plan accordingly.
There are so many stunning routes that are worth exploring in every state, that it is difficult to choose one to start your backpacking journey with. Make sure you are choosing a trail that is suitable for beginners if you have less experience backpacking, and that you find a route that is interesting and enjoyable for you.