Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker with a long list of long-distance treks under your belt or you’re completely new to the concept of carrying everything you need on your back into the wilderness for days, the point is that backpacking is accessible for everyone. All you have to do now is find the ideal trail for you.
Maybe you’re bringing the kids and hiking one or two miles a day, or maybe you’re going fast and light, writing off a handful of miles before the sun goes down. All of that isn’t relevant. Here’s a rundown of some of our favourite classic backpacking routes in the United States.
Other than the beautiful places in the US, if you’re planning a trip to England, there’s a lot of incredible places to visit.
Kalalau Trail, Kauai
The Kalalau Trail, a 22-mile round-trip hike in Kauai’s Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, is not for the faint of heart: it involves hundreds of feet of elevation gain on rugged trails with steep, precipitous cliffs above the ocean. You’ll be rewarded when you arrive at Kalalau Beach, a secluded stretch of sand at the trail’s end, where you’ll camp in an oceanside forest next to a waterfall.
Swimming at the beach is not recommended due to strong currents, and be sure to check current trail, weather, stream, and ocean conditions before you go. Most people complete this hike in two days, but you can extend your stay at Kalalau by one or two days.
Tahoe Rim Trail, California and Nevada
The Tahoe Rim Trail, at 165 miles, is a beautiful long-distance route around the ridgeline of the Lake Tahoe Basin that most hikers complete in 10 to 14 days. Or just tackle a section of it. The 32-mile section along the lake’s west shore from Echo Lakes to Barker Pass passes through the stunning Desolation Wilderness and is ideal for a two- or three-day trip.
The best time to visit is from July to September. A place to unwind and let go of all worries and hassles. Sit back and relax by the lake with Delta 8 edibles to complement your laid-back attitude. The Tahoe Rim Trail Association organises multi-day guided hikes.
Three Sisters Loop, Oregon
The Three Sisters Loop is about 47 miles long and passes through alpine lakes and wildflower meadows before ending on volcanic peaks in the Cascade Range. The Three Sisters are one of Oregon’s top five tallest peaks. Crowds can be found on popular day-hike sections of the trail during the summer, but for the most part, you’ll have the spectacular views to yourself.
With a few loop variations, you can tailor the route to your specific requirements. The hike intersects with sections of the Pacific Crest Trail and provides spectacular views of Mount Bachelor. Hike Oregon will create a personalised itinerary for you, complete with a detailed map and route as well as where to camp each night.
Greenstone Ridge Trail, Michigan
The longest trail in Isle Royale National Park, the 41-mile Greenstone Ridge Trail, runs from the southwest tip of the island to the northeast corner and culminates at 1,394-foot Mount Desort, the park’s highest point. You’ll need a free permit for all overnight backcountry stays within the park, but you don’t have to reserve one ahead of time; you can get one when you arrive.
Hikers who are quick can complete the trail in three days, or they can take their time and look for moose and enjoy the views of Lake Superior. Most years, the Sierra Club leads guided seven-day treks on this trail.
Long Trail, Vermont
The Long Trail, the country’s oldest long-distance trail, runs for over 272 miles along the spine of the Green Mountains, with 70 designated backcountry campsites. The 20-mile stretch from Mad Tom Notch Road in Peru, Vermont, to Route 140 in Wallingford is relatively uncrowded. It has beautiful views of Little Rock Pond and Griffith Lake and can be completed in a weekend.
Early fall is the best time of year to avoid the crowds of summer and see the colourful foliage. You don’t want to sleep in a tent every night? Inn to Inn organises self-guided hikes that include overnight stays at boutique hotels near the trail, and Wildland Trekking hosts guided hikes in the fall that include B&B stays.