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!

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