25 Most Incredible Trips For True Backpackers

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What do you think when you hear about camping? Perhaps, this is your most favorite plan to do during the holiday. Will you camp in the wilderness? We mean that you are really far away from your comforts; no Internet, no modern technology, and only have a tough journey. If this is the real camping that you are dreaming about, we are sure that you will love these incredible trips under the stars.
Of course, you can enjoy hundreds of trips and treks. Now, you can enjoy your time and skip researching the trip ideas. With this list, you should have a plan for your next trips to backpack:

1. From Onion Valley To Mt. Whitney

Location in California, the distance from this trip is about 47.5 miles. If you love to have a wild trip, this is a must place to visit in a lifetime. The High Sierra will amaze you with the highest summit, especially in the continental U.S.

PACK LIST

  • Navigational aids
  • Topographical map
  • Sturdy boots
  • Daypack
  • Warm layers
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Water filtration
  • Permit if camping
RT Distance 20 Miles
Elevation Gain 5300 Feet
Activities Photography, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features ForestLake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

2. Basin’s Ouzel and Ogallala Peak

Do you love hiking? With the distance about 20 miles and located in Colorado, you will love the rugged wilderness as long as you high this isolated basin. Enjoy the beautiful view of the basin, the Indian Peaks Wilderness, and Paradise Park.

RT Distance 20 Miles
Elevation Gain 5300 Feet
Activities Photography, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features ForestLake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

PACK LIST

  • Navigational aids
  • Topographical map
  • Sturdy boots
  • Daypack
  • Warm layers
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Water filtration
  • Permit if camping

3. The Swiss Alps

Have a plan to visit Switzerland? Take this trip that will make your 68 miles in your life is unforgettable. The iconic landscape is a must to explore, especially with the alpine lakes, snowcapped peaks, and waterfalls. What you can do is to hike the North Face of the Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau, and Wetterhorn.

RT Distance 68 Miles
Activities Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features Adult BeveragesLake
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Things to know:

  • Length: entire route is 68 miles and allow 8-12 days depending on side trips & hut/hostel stays. With the plethora of trails, cogwheel trains, and ski lifts, this can easily be customized and shortened to fit your plans.
  • When to go: Late June-September. July and August are the busiest time of year but may also offer best weather. September allows you to beat the crowds.
  • Getting there: likely easiest to fly into Zurich, Geneva or Bern and take a train to Interlaken. From there, hop on the local train to Wilderswil and take a cog train to the start of your trek at Schynige Platte.
  • Language: German is regional language but English is well understood
  • Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF). Check exchange rate prior to departure. Many credit cards are accepted in hotels in area but cash is required in mountain huts.

PACK LIST

  • Passport & Insurance
  • Framepack
  • Hiking boots
  • Camelback
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Headlamp
  • Local topo map
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Clothing: bring layers and be prepared for anything but keep the weight light; hat and gloves; waterproof layers
  • Sleeping bag for huts and hostels
  • FirstAid
  • AC adapter if you are taking lots of photos
  • Journal
  • Mountaineering/alpine gear if climbing as well

4. Kings Peak

Backpacking to Kings Peak means you will visit Utah with the distance is 28.8 miles. Hike to the tallest mountain, 13,527 feet and spend your time to view every 13er in Utah.

RT Distance 28.8 Miles
Elevation Gain 4100 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Lake
Scenic

PACK LIST

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag & Pad
  • Cookware
  • Stove
  • Food
  • Water filter
  • Headlamp
  • Good hiking boots
  • Map & Compass
  • Camera

5. The Continental Divide Trail

Make an agenda to backpack to Montana, 33.4 miles of the distance. The Glacier’s backcountry, lakes, waterfalls and mountain peaks are everything.

RT Distance 33.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 5257 Feet
Activities Camping, Fishing, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

PACK LIST

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Cookware
  • Water filtration
  • Backcountry permit from the National Park Service to camp overnight
  • Container for food and rope to hang
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Food
  • Lighter
  • Hiking shoes
  • Hiking socks (and extra socks)
  • Zip-off pants
  • Down jacket or fleece
  • Waterproof / rain jacket
  • Beanie
  • Gloves
  • Knife
  • Map
  • First Aid Kit

6. The Barker Hut

New Zealand, 29.8 miles of distance will never make you regret to spend overnight. There are more than 1,000 alpine hut, amazing views of the peak, lakes, and glaciers.

RT Distance 29.8 Miles
Elevation Gain 3018.4 Feet
Activities Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

PACK LIST

  • Backpacking gear
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Rain gear
  • Spare shoes to ford rivers
  • Map and navigation experience

7. Treton Crest Trail

With 38 miles of distance, this is the best spot to backpack in Wyoming. Experience the amazing trail that will bring you overpasses, canyons, and the mountain scenery. The famous mountains will never make you forget the trip.

RT Distance 38 Miles
Elevation Gain 9681 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

PACK LIST

  • Permit (visit Grand Teton National Park website)
  • Map
  • Water filter
  • Camp stove
  • Bear can
  • Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad
  • Hiking boots
  • Warm clothes for cool nights
  • Headlamp
  • Camera

8. Nantahala National Forest

The Appalachian trail will bring you to the location, North Carolina after spending 28 miles of distance. The trail is the most popular way to hike in the country.

RT Distance 28 Miles
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Forest
Scenic

PACK LIST

  • Backpack
  • Sleeping pad
  • Tent/shelter
  • Food and trail snacks
  • Sturdy shoes or hiking boots
  • Camera
  • Sleeping bag

9. Desolation’s Primitive Western Edge

The trip distance is 26 miles with no many hikers to see around. Therefore, this can be the new experience to enjoy the adventure.

RT Distance 26 Miles
Elevation Gain 1700 Feet
Activities Camping, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers

PACK LIST

  • Tent
  • Overnight wilderness permit (can be attained online or at Forest Service Stations)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Camera
  • Food
  • Bear bags/boxes
  • Warm clothes for cold Sierra nights
  • Map

10. The Grand Canyon

Unlike the previous backpack trip, it makes you visit to Arizona, 47 miles of distance. This is one of the brutal hikes for you because there are more than 10,000 feet of the elevation gain. What can you do there? Catching the sunrise.

RT Distance 47 Miles
Elevation Gain 10141 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Spring, Autumn, Winter
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

PACK LIST

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Tent (for privacy and gear)
  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Cookware
  • Backcountry permit from the NP Service to camp overnight
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Food
  • Lighter
  • Hiking shoes
  • Hiking socks (and extra socks)
  • Zip-off pants
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Knife
  • Daypack
  • Trekking poles

11. The Full John Muir Trail

So far, this is the longest journey with 221 miles of distance to reach in California. The greatest challenge will be the JMT and the beautiful scenery makes you love your trip.

RT Distance 221 Miles
Activities Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic

PACK LIST

  • Backpacking gear (ultralight whenever possible)
  • Backpack
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Cookstove
  • Fuel
  • Water purifying system
  • Snacks
  • Food
  • Maps
  • Layers
  • Headlamp
  • First aid kit
  • Trekking poles
  • Camera

12. Spade and Venus Lakes

If you are in Washington, do not regret. You can still plan your backpack trip with 28 miles of distance by visiting the most remote lakes.

RT Distance 28 Miles
Elevation Gain 2300 Feet
Activities Camping, Fishing, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Lake
Scenic

PACK LIST

  • Backpacking gear
  • Water filter
  • Comfortable hiking boots (did I mention this is 28 miles?)
  • A USGA map of the area is highly recommended, as the trail can be difficult to follow at times, although a Green Trails map may suffice
  • Fishing Pole – there’s fish in that there lake!
  • Camera

13. The Lost Coast

With the distance of the trip only 24 miles, this is a good offer for you, especially if you are in California. It seems unbelievable to spend a few days to hike and camp around the rugged and the rocky coast.

RT Distance 24 Miles
Activities Camping, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Beach
Family Friendly
Groups
Scenic
Things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you keep an eye out for the areas that are impassible at high tide
  • Check tide charts and weather reports before heading out on the trail
  • If rain is forecasted, bring your rain gear and rain cover for your pack

PACK LIST

  • Map from the ranger station
  • Pack
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Tent
  • Water bottle
  • Water filtration system
  • Backpacking stove
  • 3 days worth of meals
  • Hiking Clothes
  • Hiking Boots
  • Bear Canister
  • Sunscreen

14. The Big Sur

Located in California, the distance is 23 miles with 5,155 ft of the summit. It only 3 miles from the ocean but the views of the area is unbeatable.

RT Distance 23 Miles
Elevation Gain 5300 Feet
Activities Camping, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

PACK LIST

Cone Peak is in the Los Padres National Forest, so do check their website for restrictions and regulations.

  • Map
  • Water
  • Food
  • Rain Protection if it’s not the summer
  • Sunscreen all seasons
  • Camping gear
  • Good foot gear

15. The Zion National Park Traverse

Another spot to visit in Utah with 48.3 miles of distance, in which you can see the narrow canyons, the lush valleys, the red rock, and the park is the best.

RT Distance 48.3 Miles
Elevation Gain 8200 Feet
Activities Running, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Autumn
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Scenic
This is an out-and-back hike. Commercial shuttles are available. Backcountry permits are needed from Zion National Park.

PACK LIST

Necessary gear:

  • The 10 essentials
  • Including water! (check with ranger station for status of springs ahead of time)
  • Tent/sleeping pad/sleeping bag
  • Layers
  • Hiking poles (nice for the elevation of the trail)
  • Sunglasses/sunscreen

16. The Havasu Falls and The Colorado

Arizona also has a great place to visit for the true backpacker with 20 to 36 miles of distance you have to take. The refreshing pools and the waterfalls are the best awards after the long hike to explore this desert.

RT Distance 10 Miles
Elevation Gain -2000 Feet
Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

PACK LIST

  • Backpack
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Tent
  • Water shoes or Sandles
  • Food & Water
  • Camera & Lens
  • Batteries & Memory Card
  • Sun Protection
  • Water filter
  • Headlamp

17. Torres Del Paine’s O Circuit

Have you already visited Chile? Along with 70 miles of distance, this is the iconic trip for the real backpacker in the world. It seems interesting to meet other backpackers all over the world.

RT Distance 70 Miles
Elevation Gain 3900 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer
Trail Type Loop
Features
Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Forest
Groups
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

PACK LIST

  • Tent (best if designed to stand against high wind)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Dry bags
  • Camp stove
  • Extra stove gas
  • 9 days of meals
  • 9 days of snacks
  • Water bottles
  • Breathable base-layers
  • Wind/rain pants and jacket
  • Warm layers
  • Warm jacket (puffy)
  • Sun hat
  • Sun glasses
  • Warm hand
  • Gloves
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Map (optional)
  • Extra cash (just in case)
  • Return bus ticket
  • Camera
  • Camp shoes (optional… but Chacos and wool socks are awesome)

18. The Pacific Crest Trail

Located in Washington with 70 miles of distance, you should take this section. It is the ideal choice if you have no much time to a trek but want to take a challenge for five days.

RT Distance 70 Miles
Activities Camping, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Summer
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers

PACK LIST

  • Tent
  • Backpack
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Enough food for trip
  • Water filter
  • Hiking boots
  • Trekking poles
  • Hiking clothes and extra layers for evening
  • First aid kit

19. The Broken Top

In Oregon, trek for 22.6 miles of distance for hiking in few days. The Central Oregon Cascades and Three Sisters Wilderness are waiting you.

PACK LIST

  • NW Forest Pass (or Interagency pass)
  • 3-season backpacking gear
  • Map (Geo-Graphics Three Sisters Wilderness map)
  • Compass
  • Food
  • Water
  • Water treatment
  • Bug spray
  • Camera

PACK LIST

  • NW Forest Pass (or Interagency pass)
  • 3-season backpacking gear
  • Map (Geo-Graphics Three Sisters Wilderness map)
  • Compass
  • Food
  • Water
  • Water treatment
  • Bug spray
  • Camera

20. The Beartooths

Montana offers 21 miles of a trek with fishing gear you should bring and prepare to hike the highest point, Granite Peak with 12,808 ft.

RT Distance 21 Miles
Elevation Gain 6200 Feet
Activities Camping, Fishing, Photography, Backpacking, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Advanced
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Lake
River
Scenic

PACK LIST

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Back Packing Essentials
  • Water Filter
  • Shoes with Ankle Support
  • Rain Gear
  • Bear Spray
  • Fishing Rod
  • Photo Gear
  • GPS

21. McKitrick Ridge Campground

This hike will give you full of satisfaction in Texas.

RT Distance 20 Miles
Elevation Gain 2000 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

PACK LIST

  • Backcountry Permit
  • Tent (bugs will destroy you if you sleep on the ground exposed)
  • 15 Degree or lower rated sleeping bag + Pad (for a winter/autumn trip)
  • At least a gallon of water per person (no backcountry water sources)
  • Well broken in high top hiking boots
  • Trekking Poles
  • 2 days worth of meals
  • Bobo bag for waste
  • Bag to pack out trash
  • Camera
  • Celebration Beers

22. The Spider Gab To Buck Creek Pass

This is not the easy task in Washington but the astounding views and amazing wildlife are amazing!

RT Distance 41 Miles
Elevation Gain 7900 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

  • The start and end points of this backpack are about 3 miles apart along Chiwawa River and Phelps Creek Trailhead Roads. Either park one car at the endpoint at Trinity and the other at the trailhead, or be prepared to add 3.2 miles to the end of your hike.
  • Bears are a common sight along all sections of this backpack. Be sure to bring a bear canister or rope to tie up food each night. Suitable trees for hanging food are hard to come by at Image Lake.
  • Marmots are everywhere around Image Lake and the Upper Lyman Lakes. They love salt and will chew anything with sweat on it. Don’t leave your pack or clothing unattended as Marmots will easily chew through your pack straps, hydration hoses, shirts, pants and boots.
  • Most campsites are at higher elevations and stay cold at night through most of the year.
  • Running water is plentiful at each of these campsites, but be sure to bring a filter to take out glacial sediment and to ensure no pathogens infect your drinking water.
  • Composting toilets can be found at each of the listed campsites; the one at Image Lake has an amazing view of Glacier Peak!

PACK LIST

  • Northwest Forest Pass
  • Topo Map (Green Trail Maps No. 113)
  • Tent
  • Rain Gear and Layers
  • Sleeping bag and Sleeping Pad
  • Bear Canister or Rope
  • Headlamp
  • Camera and Tripod (plus extra batteries and memory cards)
  • Walter Filter
  • Sturdy Hiking Boots
  • Ice Axe or Hiking Poles
  • Yak Tracks (optional)
  • Campstove (fires may be prohibited later in the summer season as wildfire danger increases—check the USFS Alerts and Notices site for the latest information)

23. Scotland’s West Highland Way

Scotland offers epic trips for backpacker, especially the popular hike and the spectacular views.

RT Distance 96 Miles
Elevation Gain 2650 Feet
Activities Survival, Camping, Photography, Running, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Bathrooms
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

PACK LIST

  • Tent (Unless you plan on Lodging)
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Hiking Snacks
  • Good Boots
  • Waterproof Pants and Jacket
  • Pad
  • Lots of Water/ Water Filter

24. Alaska’s Talkeetna Mountains

Alaska makes you explore the glaciers, climb rocky passes, and sleep in alpine huts for five days.

RT Distance 31 Miles
Elevation Gain 4800 Feet
Activities Backpacking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Autumn
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Scenic

PACK LIST

Light Sleeping Bag & PadCrampons & Ice AxeTrekking PolesGPS & MapsGood Rain JacketHeadlamp & Extra BatteriesWhite Gas for Hut Stoves & LanternsFlask of BourbonGood Hiking BootsHat & Gloves

25. The Rae Lakes Loop

California has the Giant Sequoias and the spectacular views of the Sierras with four days of hiking. With 46 miles of distance, the views will pay all your efforts to hike for more than 10 miles. We promise.

RT Distance 46 Miles
Activities Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer
Trail Type Loop
Features
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

PACK LIST

Tent, Backpacking, food,Rain Gear,Stove with extra fuel, Bear bin, Hiking poles, Bug spray, Hat, Sunglasses, Camera, sunblock, Headlamp*Map
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