A popular outdoorsy saying is that there's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing. This extends to more than just clothes when it comes to backpacking in the rain, but the broader intent remains. If you're prepared to get wet, backpacking in the rain can be a wonderful experience. You'll usually have a place to yourself, and if you're hiking along streams or waterfalls, the higher flows make for more spectacular scenery. Our friends at Clever Hiker have the tips and tricks you'll need to make the most of a rainy backpacking experience. Watch their video and check out these seven places to get started.
Majestic waterfalls await you on this hike on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. The trail gets slippery when wet, and has numerous high ledges (with handrails), meaning it may not be the best option for people with a fear of heights.
Old-growth forests line Opal Creek in Oregon's Willamette Foothills. This historic mining area was turned into protected wilderness in 1998. Camp under giant western redcedars, or if you can't take the rain, stay in one of the old cabins at Jawbone Flats, open for most of the year.
The short hike to Lewis River Falls in Southwest Washington has great backcountry campsites along the way. Rain feeds the Lewis River and transforms the three large waterfalls into a spectacular sight.
Also in Southwest Washington, the there-and-back hike up Siouxon Creek combines old-growth forest, backcountry camping, and many waterfalls along the trail.
With numerous trails in Enchanted Valley, the area can be explored year-round with many options for camping. The Olympic Peninsula is known for it's rainfall, making it a great place to visit in wet weather.
There are many small campsites in Mount Tamalpais State Park. They can be harder to claim when the weather is nice, but much less crowded when the weather turns. The Bay Area and Pacific Ocean vistas are still spectacular in when rain comes through.
Just to the south of San Jose, Big Basin has some of the oldest redwood groves in the world. With more than 80 miles of hiking trails in the state park, you'll find a number of great backpacking spots, most notably along the 30-mile Skyline to Sea Trail.