15 Incredible Backpacking Trips in 15 U.S. National Parks

Plan a cross-country tour of the backcountry.

The national parks are a treasure for all of us to enjoy. While you can absolutely gain a strong appreciation for the parks by driving the main roads and stopping at the most popular attractions, we think the best way to connect with these specials lands is to spend a night or two in the backcountry. Not only will you find more solitude and peace, you'll also cover more ground and get a better sense for the park's untouched landscape. You could plan an epic road trip to all 15 of these parks or start knocking them off one-by-one, but whatever you do, make sure these backpacking trips are on your adventure bucket list.  

1. Backpack Bryce Canyon’s Under the Rim Trail


Photo: Emily Goodman

2. Backpack Rocky Mountain Trail in Shenandoah National Park


Photo: Christin Healey

3. Backpack Paintbrush and Cascade Canyons, Grand Teton National Park


Photo: Rob Witt

4. Hike the Little River Trail to Backcountry Campsite #30, Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Photo: Adam Welch

5. Backpack Sunrise Lakes to Clouds Rest in Yosemite National Park


Photo: Nathaniel Polta

6. Backpack to Cracker Lake in Glacier National Park


Photo: Greg Owens

7. Summit Igloo Mountain in Denali National Park


Photo: Mike Quine

8. Backpack the High Divide and Seven Lakes Basin in Olympic National Park


Photo: Nick Lake

9. Backpack to Lake Verna in Rocky Mountain National Park


Photo: Ian Glass

10. Backpack the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park


Photo: Nick Lake

11. Backpack Redwood National and State Parks


Photo: Austin Trigg

12. Backpack Isle Royale National Park’s Greenstone Ridge Trail


Photo: Joe Whitson

13. Backpack the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim


Photo: Rob Witt

14. Backpack the Great Sand Dunes


Photo: Michael O’Keeffe

15. Backpack the Joint Trail in Canyonlands National Park's Needles District


Photo: Jonathon Reed

Cover photo: Christin Healey

Published: December 19, 2016

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