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

    By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

    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

    We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

    Do you love the outdoors?

    Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.