A backpacking trip is one of the greatest outdoor adventures you can partake in. A true backpacking trip provides you with absolute solitude from the outside world, bringing you up close and personal with nature. There are many different options when it comes to backpacking, from day trips to weekend explorations to thru-hikes from state to state. If you are looking to escape from your normal life and explore the breathtaking views and unspoiled wilderness, then grab your bag and hit one of the trails below.
The Appalachian Trail is nearly 2,180 miles long, spanning 14 different states. While most of us probably don’t have the ability to take six months to hike the entire thing, you can create your own custom journey along the trail. There is the 14-mile hike through Georgia’s Blood Mountain Wilderness, leading hikers to the top of the trail’s highest point in the state. In New Hampshire’s White Mountains you can climb 20 miles above the tree line for optimal views of surrounding peaks. If you are looking for complete isolation, Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness section never crosses a single paved road.
Continental Divide Trail
The Continental Divide Trail is 3,100-miles long, cutting right down the middle of the United States. The more advanced hikers can be found at the Knife Edge, a 25-mile loop through the extreme Weminuche Wilderness area in southwestern Colorado. For a more tame experience, explore the trails where the Continental Divide Trail meets Glacier National Park. If you decide to hit the CDT then remember to pack cold-weather gear, as ice and snow are a possibility at any time of the year.
Uinta Highline Trail
This is one of the more difficult trails, with hikers often facing rough and rocky stretches throughout the trail. Uinta Highline is also extremely remote, and you can expect to have the trail all to yourself for long stretches. If you have a week free to explore, go conquer the Highline Trail, which is nearly 75 miles of paths that pass serene lakes along the peaks of Utah’s Uinta Mountains.
Pacific Crest Trail
The Pacific Crest Trail will bring you through some of the most diverse ecosystems that the West Coast has to offer, including dry desert land and high arctic-alpine country. The incredible 2,650-mile journey attracts around 300 die-hard hikers each year. Thousands of others can be found embarking on some of the shorter expeditions. In California, you will find a 270-mile stretch from Mount Whitney to Sonora Pass, offering a monthlong journey through the Sierra NEvada range with amazing views of deep canyons, enormous granite peaks, and rocky lakes. Oregon’s section of the PCT is much more level, with few elevation shifts, making it a great place for beginners.
Information courtesy of Travel Channel