Imagine you could buy an all-inclusive trip to anywhere in the world, with all the amenities you can imagine, for the same price as an overpriced hotel room. Welcome to backpacking! Backpacking is an outdoorsy camping trip where you pack all your gear in a backpack and sleep in a tent.
Instead of booking expensive chauffeur-driven vehicles, backpacking trips often involve renting out a cozy camper van (check this company website) using which any country can be explored on-road. Sometimes, backpacking can even mean hitchhiking through the country! Unlike camping, where you usually reserve a campsite, backpacking allows you to go where you please. You can walk from one end of the country to the other without having to reserve a campsite every night.
If you’re planning a backpacking trip across America, there are many places to go and many ways to enjoy it. But where are the best places? While backpacking across the country, many well-known spots are worth checking out, many other places are not so well known, but if you do a little research, you’ll find that these spots are also worth a visit.
- The Wonderland Trail – Mount Rainier National Park
Though many of the trails in the Wonderland Trail are durable and well-travelled, they are also relatively short and easy. The trail was designed to be accessible to all hikers, young and old, and can be completed in a day and a half. If you live in the United States, you’ve probably heard the phrase “backpacking across America” and how amazingly beautiful it is. The problem is, it sounds like it would be incredibly hard to get to and even harder to get to from other states. Luckily for anyone who lives in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, you don’t have to go far to find this magical place. After all, you’re already here, in the middle of the Pacific Northwest.
- The Narrows – Zion National Park
The Narrows is a short but spectacular slot canyon in Zion National Park in Utah. There are about a hundred miles of slots in this beautiful canyon, but it is only about a half-mile long. The canyon is formed from the confluence of a small stream and the Virgin River, which has cut down through the Coconino Sandstone that underlies the park. Many slot canyons are called “oracles,” or passages where water flows through the rock. Still, Zion’s oracle is called the Narrows because the two rock walls are only six feet apart, and the canyon is so narrow that you can touch the walls.
- Enchanted Valley – Olympic National Park
The Olympic Peninsula spans the north-western corner of Washington State. Its rugged coastline is dotted by a number of small towns and villages, as well as ancient forests, mountains, and streams that drain into the Pacific Ocean. Enchanted Valley is one of these places. It’s a small, remote community tucked away in the forested mountains of the Olympic National Park. Enchanted Valley is home to a collection of interesting attractions. It’s a great place to spend the night, but it’s also a very popular place to hike.
- Thunder Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park
The first thing you notice about Thunder Lake, in and of itself, is how enormous it is. Its sheer size is intimidating, especially if you’re not accustomed to seeing such vast stretches of water. The lake is located in the Rocky Mountain National Park, just outside Grand Lake, Colorado. The lake is the largest in Colorado, and it’s the third-largest in the contiguous United States. It covers an area of 2,088.5 square miles, and its long, winding shoreline stretches a total of 1,527 miles. The lake is also known to have a deep blue color due to the lake’s shallow waters and the natural reflective qualities of the water.
- Rim To Rim – Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is a natural wonder of the world. It lies on the Arizona-Utah border and is carved by the Colorado River, carved out over the past 1.5 million years. The canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and 6,000 feet deep in places. It is a must-see for anyone who has ever had the good fortune to visit the United States and has been a popular subject for artists, photographers, scientists, and poets.
Backpacking is one of those things that sounds easier than it is. You may think it’s just a matter of packing up, hitting the road, and hitting the trail, and when you get there, setting up camp and relaxing. However, backpacking isn’t quite that simple, and there are quite a few things you’ll want to be prepared for once you get out there.