When you’re looking for a backpacking trip, you’re typically looking for a handful of attributes: solitude, long distances, access to backcountry camping, and big, dramatic terrain. Idaho fits the bill, and within its borders are rugged mountain peaks and sapphire alpine lakes in backcountry wilderness that is as beautiful as anything in the West. It contains the largest federally managed and contiguous wilderness area in the Lower 48, the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, which protects the wild Salmon River and several mountain ranges, not to mention one of the West’s premier recreation areas in the Sawtooth Mountains. These wide-open expanses are ideal for backpacking, and our contributors at the Outdoor Project have mapped a wide array of multi-day backpacking adventures in the Gem State.
Explore some of the best multi-day backpacking trips Idaho has to offer!
The Payette River is a central feature in the Sawtooth Mountain wilderness and boasts several fantastic multi-day backpacking trips.
Other highlights in the Sawtooth Mountains:
The Selkirk Crest Trail: Part of the Pacific Northwest Trail, this section offers challenging off-trail bushwhacks with views of the Selkirk Mountains.
One of Idaho’s best backcountry trails in one of its wildest regions, the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, the trail parallels the Middle Fork of the Salmon River for a 100-mile stretch.
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