With the potential costs involved, taking a breather from the stress of city life is but a dream for some. However, there are plenty of ways to go on an adventure without breaking the bank, and backpacking is a great example. The United States is a vast mass of land featuring everything from sweltering deserts to frozen peaks.
This makes for some great backpacking trips. All you need is a large enough bag to pack the essentials, a good camera to capture your experience and most importantly, the right location. Listed below are five of the best in the country.
Situated in Colorado, this iconic mountain range is home to some of the most jaw-dropping views the North has to offer. This one-week route goes through some of the most scenic and remote areas. A popular way of getting around it is the 45-mile Grand Loop, which starts on the east at Bear Lake, moving through Flattop Mountain before taking a break at Grand Lake.
While California’s vast desert flat may be aptly named for its inhospitable conditions, certain parts of it make for an unforgettable backpacking adventure. The Cottonwood to Marble Canyon loop is a 32-mile, five-day trek through a unique desert environment that’s home to wild horses and ancient rock art. Due to the harsh desert conditions, it’s advised to go during the winter season when the days are cooler.
Moving away from the desert is the Mount Sterling Loop, which is a 28-mile trek along the borders of North Carolina and Tennessee. Great Smoky’s variety of microclimates has given it World Heritage site status, which has helped the park become one of the most visited in the US. Featuring a plethora of hidden valleys and endless mountains, this diverse environment is the perfect four-day adventure for beginners and avid backpackers alike.
Gates of the Arctic
This 30-mile, one-way trek takes you through the Alatna and Noatak rivers, deep in the Brooks Range where no humans reside. With little to no roads or trails, this journey is better suited for those with more experience. Alaska is home to numerous predators, from massive brown bears to packs of menacing wolves. Picking up a rifle from a reputable store such as woodburyoutfitters.com may pay off.
That said, this seven-day journey is one like no other. With beautiful mountains and a multitude of flora and fauna, the Gates of the Arctic is sure to be an unforgettable trip.
Montana’s Brown Pass route takes you on a three-day, one-way route from Kintla to Bowman Lake. Along the way you’ll be spoiled with elegant snow-capped mountains, glistering lakes and colorful meadows of wild flowers. There’s also the 800-foot waterfall known as Hole in the Wall, which is explained by visitors as a sight like no other.
A sad reality is that our glaciers are quickly melting and its predicted that by 2030, these amazing sights will have completed disappeared. So be sure to see and appreciate them while you still have the chance.