Few things can beat a backpacking trip through the wilderness and experiencing nature as it was meant to be enjoyed. If you’re looking for your next backpacking destination, check out our bucket list of the hiking trips everyone should try at least once.
Appalachian Trail, Eastern US
For serious backpackers looking to go on a multi-month trip that covers long distances, it can’t get any better than experiencing the Appalachian Trail in the eastern US. Stretching from north to south and covering over 2,000 miles across 14 states, this trail is ideal for those looking to see all this country has to offer!
Backpackers hike the trail in each direction, stopping at national parks like the Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, which is also one of the best lake camping spots in the country. A complete trip from Maine to George can take half a year or longer, but many smaller routes take you through gorgeous Appalachia scenery, historic battlefields, and quaint small towns filled with character.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
You can’t call yourself an experienced and traveled backpacker if you’ve never made the trip to one of the great wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. There are plenty of ways to experience the magnificence of Grand Canyon National Park, but our pick is the incredible Rim to Rim trail.
This 24-mile route takes about four days and can be strenuous but rewarding as you experience the stunning views of the rim and canyon floor. You won’t forget the famous Ribbon Falls or hidden hanging gardens of the canyon!
Want to get out of the tent? Stop by the historic Phantom Ranch for a night under a lodge roof!
Long Range Traverse, Canada
The US doesn’t have a monopoly on incredible backpacking trails in North America. In Newfoundland, Canada, hikers can experience the rugged, challenging, but undeniably beautiful terrain of the Long Range Traverse in the Gros Morne National Park Wilderness.
This trail is unmarked, so some navigation skills are required, but it offers gorgeous freshwater fjords and stunning granite cliffs and is crawling with animal life like caribou and black bears. The Long Range Traverse is as much a mental as a physical challenge, but it will be a trip you won’t forget!
Give yourself some time to take a side trip to the summit of Gros Morne Mountain and its spectacular views!
Pacific Crest Trail, Western US
If you prefer West Coast hiking in the US over the East Coast, we got a spot for you too! The Pacific Crest Trail stretches from Mexico to Canada and winds through California, Oregon, and Washington—it’s over 2,600 miles long! It would take even the best backpackers nearly half a year to cover it all, but there are plenty of smaller circuits for casual trekkers to explore.
Along the Pacific Crest Trail, you’ll see innumerable treasures, from canyons to national landmarks and countless state and national parks. It’s an outdoor adventurer’s dream trip!
Which trip from this backpacking bucket list will you try first? Let us know which one is your favorite!