A Backpacker’s Guide to America’s Boldest Treks

Backpackers Guide to Americas Boldest Treks

If your only intent is backpacking, partying, then collapsing wherever there’s open beach space, this guide isn’t for you. For the serious backpacker that values the hike, this guide outlines backpacker treks you’ll never forget.

If you’ve considered setting out on a backpacking pilgrimage, you’re in luck. While there are seemingly infinite places in the world to explore, America has no shortage of wonderful backpacker-friendly trails waiting for savvy outdoorsy types like yourself. We’ve scoured miles of terrain to bring these bold backpacking excursions guaranteed to bring exciting times.

Denali, AK (all of it)

A breathtaking walk along every path in Alaska’s Denali resonates on the minds of vacation goers, long before they arrive to our county’s northernmost wildlife extravaganza. Accessibility is only limited by one’s desire to explore; unlike other signed-and-lit pathways, Denali’s better hiking trails are well off every beaten path.

Explorers can head to Denali National Park’s office to pick up specific backcountry permits by zone, with Mt Eielson Loop being the marquee adventure spot. As you’ll be walking amongst glaciers and grizzly bears, plan accordingly. It may behoove you to pack fishing gear (at least a small emergency kit) that won’t encumber your hike for purposes of feeding yourself if planning to stay overnight.

Or, skip the permit brouhaha and simply head over to Kesugi Ridge, which offers backpackers, 27 miles of grueling fun. This area is an established trail, making your skittish newbie backpacker pals, more relaxed.

Zion Narrows, UT (Too. Much. Fun)

If Disneyland, rafting, and hiking collided into one fun adventure, the product would be Zion Narrows. An awesome adventure in deep backcountry Utah, backpacking the Narrows will bring unfathomable excitement if stretched over several days.

Technically, one could shoot through these massive Narrows in one day – but why? Starting out at Chamberlain Ranch, backpack along the majestic Virginia River until it’s wadeable. Just over six miles into your journey, you’ll begin noticing the monstrous canyon narrows to 20 feet. Take a few lefts, rights, zigs and zags, and you’ll gallop towards 3,000 foot canyon walls which locals call the Temple of Sinawawa.

The Needles, CO (Forge your path)

Those seeking an equal dose of altitude, attitude and solitude should head towards Needle Mountains soon. Sprawling wilderness carefully carved in and around the mountains, which comprise Colorado’s largest woodsy wonder (Weminuche), create a backpacking excursion for those wanting true off-grid hiking. In other words, beginners should prepare for everything.

Those willing to exude strength and tenacity will reap the rewards of mining ruins, get close to several Fourteeners (including Sunlight Peak, the ruggedest of rugged) and roam carelessly through wildflower fields city folks only see in movies. You’ll be 25 miles outside of Durango, and enter at Endlich Mesa.

Teton Crest Trail, WV (For the photographic trekker)

Forget what you’ve learned about West Virginia. Perhaps the greatest hiking trail west of the mighty Mississippi, backpackers can fully immerse themselves in camping, hiking, incredible scenery that sparks the mind, and accessibility to many of nature’s amenities. This elevated trail rarely dips below 8,000 feet, which means you’ll be nearly two miles above your technologically-driven life.

Backpacking fanatics can bring their favorite SLR camera and shoot National Geographic-worthy photos while perched upon Death Canyon Shelf, then head down to Fox Creek Pass where the Grand Teton awaits. Take the time to study Teton Crest’s environment while traversing – backpacking here is truly something that few people will ever experience.

FWIW (for what it’s worth…)

Literally hundreds of backpacking adventures exist in America that were left off this exclusive list. If you’re planning trips involving lots of woods, water and encampments, remember to plan accordingly. Survival fishing kits, or even full-blown tackle boxes filled with baits, hooks and sinkers could help you catch something to eat while moving through these mighty passes, or even just have some fun practicing your survival skills!

Trek on, friends!

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