Backpacking is one of the most rewarding hobbies that almost anyone can pick up.
Sure, it can get dirty, tiring and sometimes painful, but nothing beats looking up at the mountains, sipping on a thermos of lukewarm coffee and dipping your blistered toes in a crystal clear lake.
America especially has some of the best backpacking trails in the world that are as challenging as they are rewarding.
Three top hiking trails in USA:
Pacific Crest Trail
Made popular by the book and now film, ‘Wild’, this trail has boomed in popularity, but there are still little more than 200 people finishing it per year. This route is positively brutal, over 2,600 miles through California, Oregon and Washington. Experienced backpackers prepare for this journey months in advance and it takes an average of roughly six to eight months to complete the trail from start to finish. Finding backpacking destinations is the challenge it poses. So few people dare to really push themselves and dive headfirst into the wilderness, which is exactly what this trail will ask of you. Although, if you don’t feel as though you could backpack the entire way there is also a bicycle trail that follows right next to the hiking trail. So, if you want to test yourself and finish the hike of a lifetime, then start training now for the Pacific Crest Trail.
Ozark Highlands Trail
One of the great things about this particular trail is that you can use it any time of year. You won’t find it buried under snow in the winter and you’ll find some pleasantly mild weather for most of the year. For 15 miles of the journey the trail follows the White river, which is famous for its fishing. If you can find a place to carry a fishing rod, it would be a great idea to add an extra day to the trip and enjoy some fly-fishing. Discover some of the most remote and beautiful places in Arkansas and explore the Ozark National Forest. There are several camping grounds that can be found along the 218 mile trail but regrettably no shelters, so you can set up for the night in a tent or simply sleep under the stars if you would prefer.
Simply describing this trail gives you an idea of just how beautiful it is. Along this trail you will pass by and follow more than a few beautiful rivers, creeks and lakes, including Paradise River, Pearl Creek, Devils Dream Creek, Aurora Lake, Mowich Lake, and the appropriately named Mystic Lake. The 93 mile loop around Mount Rainier is certainly not easy, but it is worth the effort. You’ll be trekking down into the green valleys and climbing up into high alpine areas. Be sure to plan ahead before you attempt this trail, as there can be quite a distance between campsites and it’s not permitted to camp where you walk. The experienced backpacker might need only a week to complete the trail, while the casual hiker will probably be looking at around two weeks. It is a beautiful trail that takes you through a variety of natural scenery and presents you with new challenges at every turn.