Adventure Travel

Inspirational travel ideas for lovers of adventure travel and activity holidays, embracing everything from hiking, climbing, skiing, backpacking, camping and more.


Vital Outdoors' Top Backpacking Trails

Already starting to plan your backpacking trips for 2020? You aren’t alone. Everyone here is starting to plan their backpacking trips for next year, and we know how hard it can be to find a good trail. Take a look at some of our favorites here at Vital Outdoors, and get some inspiration for your next trip. 

Reflection Canyon, Utah: Danielle
One of Danielle’s favorite backpacking trips is down in the Southwest region of Utah. It requires a 50 mile drive down a 4WD dirt road before even getting to the starting point, and once there, it takes decent navigating skills and route finding skills as there is no true trail. It’s around eight miles of walking the desert and avoiding the crypto before getting to another couple miles of navigating slick rock. She loves it due to the amazing views at sunrise and the clarity of the stars at night. Danielle recommends doing this particular trip in spring to avoid the summer desert heat.

Canyon de Chelly, Arizona : Madison
Madison recommends backpacking through the Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. To do this canyon backpacking trip, you will need a permit and a guide, which helps to preserve the natural and cultural landmarks of the park. While these restrictions may deter some, you are guaranteed to see some amazing things while learning about the history of the region. She loved being able to see some of the cave systems in the park as well as Navajo and Ancestral Puebloan ruins. Since this trail requires a permit, very few people are seen throughout the trail, making it feel isolated.
Appalachian Trail, Georgia - Maine: Miles
Miles can’t recommend thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail enough. He hiked the entirety of the trail from March 29th to September 20th in 2011. He loved being able to walk to New England from Georgia, while seeing really cool mountain tops and views from above treeline. The ability to see many parts of the wilderness in the U.S. is one of the main draws to the trail. If you can’t do the whole trail, he recommends backpacking the Maine section due to its remoteness and the beauty of the forests. Once finished, pop by Acadia National Park for more nature.

Death Canyon, Wyoming : Justine
For Justine, one of her favorite backpacking trips was down Death Canyon in Wyoming. She enjoyed the amazing views and scenery on the trail. Justine recommends it during the summer and loves that it wasn’t very crowded despite being in Grand Teton National Park. She did it as a short overnight with 12 miles roundtrip, but it can be doubled if you want to stay out longer. It is a great way to spend time in one of the more popular National Parks without the crowds.