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The West Coast's Top 20 Backpacking Trips

Explore some of America's wildest places.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

There is no better way to see what you're made of and test your outdoor skills than in the backcountry and - this part is up for debate - there is no better place to explore the backcountry than the West Coast. Between California, Oregon, and Washington, the amount of jaw-dropping wilderness is enough to keep you on the trail for several lifetimes. Since you've only got the one, we did you a favor and put together this list of some of our favorite backpacking trips up and down the coast. From the towering Sierra Nevada to the rugged rocky beaches in the PNW, you've got plenty of options for an epic backpacking trip.  


1. Backpack along Rialto Beach

Photo: Greg Balkin

2. Backpack the Olympic Coast

Photo: Angela Anderson

3. Backpack to Spade and Venus Lakes

Photo: Jason Zabriskie

4. Backpack Park Butte

Photo: Derek Cook

5. Backpack to Tank Lakes

Photo: Mitch Pittman

6. Backpack to Tuck and Robin Lakes

Photo: Jason Zabriskie

7. Backpack the High Divide and Seven Lakes Basin

Photo: Nick Lake


8. Backpack to Russell Lake

Photo: Erik Sanders

9. Backpack to the Wallowas Mirror Lake

Photo: Roark Nelson

10. Backpack around Broken Top

Photo: Michael Graw

11. Backpack the Painted Canyon Loop Honeycombs Wilderness

Photo: Dusty Klein

12. Backpack the Hurricane Creek Trail

Photo: Roark Nelson


13. Backpack Redwood National and State Parks

Photo: Austin Trigg

14. Backpack to the Waterfall Camp in Desolation Wilderness

Photo: Jake Young

15. Backpack to the Ventana Wilderness’ Sykes Hot Springs

Photo: Blake Maitoza

16. Backpack the Lost Coast

Photo: Whitney Whitehouse

17. Backpack to Little Yosemite Valley and Hike Half Dome

Photo: Eddie Jo

18. Backpack the Rae Lakes Loop

Photo: Kevin Kaminski

19. Backpack the Ansel Adams Wilderness

Photo: Greg Owens

20. Backpack the Trans-Catalina Trail

Photo: Drew Robinson

Cover photo: Austin Trigg

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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