If you would like to experience an over-night trip in the mountains, the period from late Summer to early Autumn is the perfect moment to plan a backpacking.
In the USA the long-distance hiking trails are several, but we selected for you the 10 epic backpacking routes in USA:
Distance: 211 miles
Duration: 2-3 weeks
Defined as “America’s Most Beautiful Trail”, the John Muir Trail starts in the heart of the Yosemite Valley and it runs for 211 miles through the Sequoia National Park before ending in the Kings Canyon National Park, at the summit of Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the continental United States (14,505 feet).
By staying mostly above 9,000 feet for the two-three weeks journey, in the trail you can across alpine meadows, pristine lakes and waterfalls, sheer granite cliffs and towering peaks, mostly in the Sierra Nevada Mountains wilderness and enjoy the sunniest and mildest climate of any other mountain range in the world. The trail overlaps with the Pacific Crest Trail, as well.
Location: USA, Washington / Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park
Distance: 35 to 45 miles
Duration: 3-5 days
In Wyoming, the Teton Crest Trail, which ranges anywhere from 30-45 miles depending on the route you will choose, crosses the Teton mountain range with steep ups and downs rarely below 8,000 feet of elevation; a suggested route expects a 6-days trek for around 39-miles.
The Teton range is known for drastic temperature drops and occasional freezing temperatures mid-summer, but also for the iconic American fauna – grizzly bears, mountain lions and wolves, bisons and mooses – you can meet while hiking among granite peaks, glacier-carved canyons, ridges, mountain passes and alpine lakes.
Location: USA, Wyoming / Grand Teton National Park
Distance: 27 miles
Duration: 3-5 days
The Enchanted Valley Trail is a moderate and extremely rewarding backpacking trip in Washington State; the suggested 5-day trek is a 26-30.6 miles round trip, which follows the East Fork of the Quinault River into a valley flanked with mountains on both sides. A more intense hike will lead you up to the Anderson Glacier.
You will feel like you hike into a real life fairy-tale: the path will take you through mossy woodland, spacious meadows, a lush, old-growth and fern-filled rainforest and lots of waterfalls – the locals refer to the Enchanted Valley area as the “Valley of 10,000 Waterfalls”. When the valley opens up, you can find yourself in a magical place with a rustic chalet built in the early 1930s in the middle.
Location: USA, Washington / Olympic National Park
Distance: 42 miles
Duration: 5-6 days
Isle Royale National Park is a remote island cluster on Lake Superior, close to the coasts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario. There are different routes across the island, but the Greenstone Ridge Trail travel across a high ridge in the center of the island, ranging from 35-42 miles point-to-point for a suggested 5-day trek, from Windigo to Rock Harbor.
Due to its exposed position, temperatures will usually be around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but the weather can change 20 degrees up and down rather quickly and you can find adverse winds. More, you can glimpse different landscape of the upper Midwest, such as orchid-filled bogs, wildflowers galore and lots of lakes.
Location: USA, Michigan / Isle Royale National Park
Distance: 93 miles
Duration: 10-14 days
The Wonderland Trail is a strenuous high elevation 93-mile route, which encircles Mount Rainier offering you never-ending and incredible views at almost every turn during the whole journey. People usually complete the loop in 10 days, but they may become 14 days, depending on your experience and level.
The route passes through several zones, dipping into lowland forests and descending into valleys, climbing slopes and cresting ridges, with a cumulative elevation gain of about 23,000 feet. You won’t need mountaineering experience (this is necessary to summit Mount Rainier, though) but you should be a practiced backpacker before attempting this trip.
Location: USA, Washington / Mount Rainier National Park
Distance: 292 miles
Duration: 20-30 days
The Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont line to the Canadian border; it was built between 1910 and 1930 and it is the oldest long-distance footpath in the US. It also inspired the Appalachian Trail with which shares 100 miles in the southern part of the State.
The trail climbs rugged peaks and crosses pristine woodland ponds, hardwood forests and swift streams with some easy sections and some most rugged (and usually muddy). A thru hike will take 20 to 30 days but you may “hike your own hike”, based on how much daily mileage you can cover and how much time you plan.
Location: USA, Vermont / Green Mountains
Distance: 27 miles
Duration: 3-4 days
Extended through the Maroon Bells Mountains and into the Snowmass Wilderness, the Four Pass Loop trail traverses four mountain passes all above 12,000 above sea level: Buckskin Pass, Trail Rider Pass, Frigid Air Pass and West Maroon Pass (the highest one – 3,810 m).
With this 4-days loop trail, you can hike among rugged mountain peaks, beautiful wildflowers in alpine meadows and pristine mountain lakes. Due to the elevation, late summer or early fall are the best season and If you’re coming from sea level, remind that you might need to give yourself a few extra days ahead of time to acclimate.
Location: USA, Colorado / Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness
Distance: 70 miles
Duration: 4-6 days
The Sawtooth Wilderness Loop is a 70-miles trail can be hiked in 4-6 days (preferably from Midsummer through early fall) and brings you to explore one a remote wilderness area in on of the most underestimated states, Idaho, which is usually just crossed for the most famous Rocky Mountains or the Pacific Northwest.
With over 12,000 cumulative feet of elevation gain you can easily follow the route by jumping from lake to lake and hiking on rocky trails among through dense forests and exposed ridges; you can also find some burn areas identified by downed logs on along the way. The area is also a prime grizzly bear habitat.
Location: USA, Idaho / Sawtooth Wilderness Area
Distance: from 5 to 20+ miles
Duration: 2-14 days
The Chisos Mountains, with 7,825 feet Emory Peak as their pinnacle, are situated in the southwestern Texas and are the only mountain range in America located entirely within one national park. The numerous Big Bend National Park hiking trails offer you short loops as well as epic long-distance desert adventures.
The major miles of the trails in the area are in the desert, with complex topography and occasionally unclear trails: you may need a topographic map and compass to orient yourself. 42 backcountry campsites, divided into 14 camping areas, are available for the nights, upon payment of a backcountry permit for overnight hiking in the park.
Location: USA, Texas / Big Bend National Park
Distance: 39 miles
Duration: 2-3 days
Located in the southwestern Florida, in Myakka River State Park, near the most popular Florida Trail backpacking route, the Myakka Hiking Trail is a 39-miles trail which will surprise you for the diversity of terrains you will find, even if it is not a challenging trip due to its levelness.
You will hike among glasslands, marshlands and scrubby flatwoods and rest under the mossy oak woods; the palmetto, palm trees and lush ferns, together with alligators and owls you will find there will let you feel in a subtropical paradise. For your nightout, you can choose among the six established campsites in the park.
Location: USA, Florida / Myakka River State Park