Five More Great Backpacking Hikes in the Western United States

Today we’re going to explore five more great backpacking trips. Some of these are more difficult than others, and we urge each hiker to consider his/her condition, experience, and of course, time’s a-wastin’!
So put on those hiking boots and let’s go!

№ 6:Royal Arch Loop in the Grand Canyon

This is 34.5-miles with a difficulty rating of 5.

There can be few more irresistible allure to a satisfying day out than what Grand Canyon National Park website features. Many consider this to be a most difficult established hike. Hiking over the South Rim is indeed probably more hazardous than many other canyon trails. This includes one required rappel and hikers have to remember to tote plenty of water while out on its Tonto Trail. Since there’s no water. Lack of water could be a big problem.

The website does, however, remindvisitors thatRoyal Arch Loop is “a top-drawer canyon adventure filled with more natural beauty than most humans can absorb.”

Leaving aside all poetic prose, it has to be told how three friends and did this hike. Extremely rugged hiking experience for sure. We found this to be much more demanding than we had expected plus hazardous as well thanks to a required rappel that is definitely not for amateurs. This demanded all our skills and gear to manage this in a safe manner.

Below, however, we bedded down in a most spectacular campsite. Our wildest expectations were exceeded.

№ 7: Southern Olympic Coast

A 17.5-miler with a difficulty of 3.

This leads you from Hoh River to La Push road through our fabulous Olympic National Park in Washington’s rain forest. My kids still remember this as one of their most memorable— this because they (one nine and one seven, got such a great time splashing about in tide pools.

Giant trees in one of earth’s largest virgin rainforests make this a particularly gorgeous place. Enlivening this areoccasional misty views of scores of sea stacks rising up some two hundred feet. Sea stars, mussels, and anemones wallpaper boulders make this rugged and extremely muddy over trailsskirting impassable headlands, sightings of wildlife such as seals, sea otters, even whales — and to my kids’ delight, plenty of slugs. Rope ladders permitted a climb and steep descent alongoften cliff-like terrain.

№ 8:Wilderness of Spider Gap

Rating: a 44-mile difficulty of 4.

Twenty years have flown by since our arrival in firstWashington ‘s Cascade Region — breathtakingly beautiful mountain ranges. When you get ready to raise your sights and take an extra notch higher on your backpacking adventures, be sure to go for this one.

№ 9: The Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho

While at nearly fifty miles, this isn’t to be recommended for beginners. Difficulty rating of 3 isn’t so bad…it’s distance that can be a real problem for those not quite prepared for such an extended hike.

But for those with experience and stamina, Idaho’s Sawtooth mountain ranges. presents a real challenge. Gorgeous scenery along its length offers you a lot more privacy alongthan in many other areas.

The word is out, however, as more and more hikers learn about this region.

I’ve visited most of this since moving herealmost twenty years ago.

My recommendation would be to spend a few exciting and interesting days poking about. You won’t regret it. That includes some five-star campsites.

№ 10:Oregon’s Mt. Hood

At forty-one miles thisrequires a bit of stamina with only a difficulty of three.

But make no mistake, Mt. Hood has all the bells and whistles of any mountain.

 

 

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