One of the best ways to experience the beauty of nature firsthand is by backpacking through it. Not only do you get a vigorous walk in, you get to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of all that nature has to offer.
Getting out of your car and feeling the ground beneath your feet opens you up to a whole other experience. Here in the United States, there are waterfalls, canyons, forests and mountains to explore. Here are seven of the best backpacking destinations, and don’t forget to take a portable QuikShade instant canopy to help make the outdoors that more enjoyable.
1. Pacific Coast Trail
This hike will give you the opportunity to cover a lot of ground and see most of the western coastline. The trail itself is 2,650 miles long and spans three states. Because the Pacific Coast Trail is so long, it passes through a variety of terrain. Six of the seven ecozones are covered by the trail, ranging from desert terrain to arctic forest.
It’s easy to choose where you want to begin your backpacking adventure on this trail. There are starting points in every major western city, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle.
The Pacific Coast Trail offers so many options for backpacking exploration. It’s up to you to decide how you want to shape your course.
2. Appalachian Trail
This trail is something like the eastern version of the Pacific Coast Trail. Spanning 2,178 miles and passing through 12 states, the Appalachian Trails offers numerous unique opportunities to take in beautiful scenery and experience different terrains.
It is the longest trail in the United States, beginning in Georgia and winding all the way up to Maine. Preparation is important when planning a hike along the Appalachian. The trail takes you through some rough terrain that may not be the most appropriate for beginning hikers.
3. Grand Canyon National Park
One of the most well known of the national parks is also one of the best places to hike. Grand Canyon National Park has more than 5 million visitors each year who come to see the famous vistas that are unique to the region. Hikers on the trails need to be careful about the distance they cover.
Descending into the canyon can be fun, but hikers must remember that they will need to go back up. It can be easy to get caught up in the easy part of the hike and go a little too far. Temperatures in the park can soar during summer months, so it’s important to bring along plenty of water and snacks if you plan on staying long.
4. Yosemite National Park
This may be the most impressive of the national parks. Yosemite National Park covers about 750,00 acres and contain 800 miles of hiking trails so there are more than enough opportunities to soak in the beautiful scenery.
It may be overwhelming to decide which trail to go on first, but no matter which one you choose you’ll get breathtaking views and interesting terrain. Yosemite contains ancient forests, glaciers, mountains, lakes, and plenty of wildlife sightings. It’s up to you which one you want to explore first.
5. Glacier National Park
This Montana national park is a popular destination for hikers. Be sure to see the park’s well known mountain peaks, lakes, and abundant wildlife.
6. John Muir Trail
Named after the naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club, this trail begins in Yosemite and stay mostly in high terrain.
7. Zion National Park
The trails in Utah’s Zion Park offer desert canyons and vistas to explore. Some of the canyon trails take you through narrow passages that eventually open up to waterfall and river views.