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The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks

04.02.18

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The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
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  • An alpine lake on the Pacific Northwest Scenic Trail.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Finishing up the West Rim Trail in Zion Canyon in the fall.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Fall colors from the Hangover in the Slickrock Wilderness.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Autumn sunrise on the Enchantments Thru-Hike.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Sunset from the Gregory Bald loop in the Smokies.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Mount Sterling Fire Tower sunrise.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Beautiful coastline on the North Country Trail in Michigan.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Fly-fishing opportunities on the Big Five Lakes loop.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Mount Olympus in the background on the High Divide.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • The wide open ridges above treeline of the Presidential Traverse. - The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Explore Upstate New York's high peaks from Mount Marcy.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Finishing the JMT with a sunrise from the Whitney Massif.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Plenty of off-trail camping options with views on the Three Sisters Loop in Oregon.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Circumnavigate Mount Hood on the Timberline Trail.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Climbing to Lillian Ridge on the Grand Pass Loop.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Catch the sunrise at Two Medicine Lake on the Dawson and Pitamakan Pass Loop.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Enjoy some of the finest Colorado scenery at Buckskin Pass with the Maroon Bells in the distance. - The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Campsite view on the Devils Thumb Loop.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Enjoy the other part of the Grand Canyon by camping down at the bottom as the walls tower above you.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Enjoy the lesser seen angles of the Tetons with a campsite sunset on Grand Teton.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
  • Pawnee Basin on the Pawnee Buchanan Pass Loop.- The Great American Backpacking Bucket List: 33 Must-Do Treks
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Pro Contributor

Your friend is going to Iceland, your coworker can’t stop talking about his trip to Peru last year, and your cousin is planning their honeymoon in the Alps for next summer. Who says you have to take two weeks off work and an international flight to explore world-class scenery? Enter the Great American Backpacker’s Bucket List, with enough homegrown adventures to keep even the most ambitious backpacker busy for years to come.

Ranging from a simple overnight to a week in the mountains to life changing thru-hikes, this list has something for everyone. See what trips might be closer to you than you think, or take this as inspiration to book that trip out West that you’ve always been wanting to do.

Northeast and Midwest

  • Lakeshore-North Country Trail: Miners Beach To Beaver Creek: Explore the rugged shores of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
  • Mount Marcy, Mount Skylight + Gray Peak Loop: Take the lesser traveled and more strenuous path to New York's highest summit.
  • The Pemigewasset Loop: Hike an amazing loop in New Hampshire's southern White Mountains.
  • Presidential Traverse: Widely considered New England's toughest hike.
  • White Rock-Shores Lake Loop: Tackle this 12-mile loop in the Ozarks over ridgelines, through old-growth hallows, with views over the Arkansas Valley.
  • Snickers Gap to Keys Gap: Travel on foot beyond the 1,000 mile mark on the AT (northbound hikers) on this 13.4-mile trip to Raven Rocks and enjoy the scenic views over the Shenandoah Valley.

Southeast

Rocky Mountains

Southwest and California

Pacific Northwest

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