Backpacking & Camping

My Backpacking Bucket List

October 27, 2014
John Muir Trail

My day-to-day life is pretty ordinary: I wake up, go to work and come home. If I had it my way, however, I would be in an exotic land, way up in the mountains, hiking to my hearts content. While I can’t be backpacking every day, I can always dream and add more backpacking adventures to my bucket list. If you’re like me and dream of backpacking the world, but you don’t know which destinations to put on your bucket list, here are 10 of the most amazing backpacking treks around the world.


John Muir Trail, CA
Pictured above, image credit: hatoun
Length: 210 miles

If you feel much like the namesake of this trek that, “the mountains are calling…” then the John Muir trail won’t dare disappoint. This 210-mile trek will lead you through Kings Canyon, Sequoia and Yosemite national parks, constantly providing you with breath-taking views.


The Long Trail, Vermont

The Long Trail

Image credit: Scott McCracken
Length: 273 miles

This appropriately named backpacking trail is any mountain-loving adventure seeker’s dream. This 273-mile trail covers a lot of ground as it winds through the green mountain state. I can’t think of a more spectacular time to hike the Long Trail than the month of October, as the vibrancy of autumn will make every vista and wooded trail even more spectacular.


The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Image credit: funkz
Length: 30 miles

Hiking to Machu Picchu, has always been a top contender on my bucket list not only for its beauty, but the mystery of this trail as well. Taking this ancient trail in the Andes created by Incas would not only lead hikers to the mystery shrouded Machu Picchu ruins, but it will also transport hikers away from everyday life to another time period.


Jomolhari Trek, Bhutan

Jomolhari Trek Bhutan

Image credit: John Briggs
Length: 66 miles

This astounding hike will provide backpackers not only with the opportunity to surround themselves with amazing views of the Himalayas but to glimpse into a completely different world and way of life as well. Along this 66-mile trek through the Bhutan wilderness, hikers will experience aspects of the Buddhist culture, including Bhutanese fortresses – Dzongs – and even hike past yak herders in action.


Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy and Switzerland


Image credit: Robat Williams
Length: 105 miles

For me, the allure of this trek comes not only from backpacking through the Alps, but also doing so through three different countries. This famous European hiking trail is home to astounding views of glaciers, mountains and hillsides dotted with wildflowers and mountain goats. Backpackers attempting this trail can also expect to visit many quaint mountainside villages along the trail, making this trek as charming as it is gorgeous.


Four Pass Loop, Colorado

Four Pass Loop

Image source: Alan Cordova
Length: 26 miles

Known for its unsurpassed panoramas of the Rockies, along with views of crystal blue lakes and plains sprinkled with countless wildflowers, the Four Pass Loop is any hiker’s dream and no-doubt has it’s place on my backpacking bucket list. This hike is also reportedly as strenuous as it is stunning – reaching heights of over 12,400 feet – making both athletic and altitude training a necessity before attempting this trail.


Queen Charlotte Track, New Zealand

Queen Charlotte Track

Image credit: Paul
Length: 44 miles

This 44-mile island trek along New Zealand’s picturesque Dragon’s Back ridge gives hikers awe-inspiring scenes of the Marlborough Sounds. As an added bonus, this trek is located in New Zealand’s wine region, providing you with ample opportunities to celebrate with local libations after your trek.


Tonquin Valley, Canada

Tonquin Valley Trail

Image credit: Steffen Sauder
Length: 27 miles

If like myself, you can imagine no better way to spend a vacation than trekking through the Canadian Rockies, backpacking through the Tonquin Valley will no doubt be a life-changing experience. Every step of this 27-mile hike through the valley will give you an eyeful of the enormous Rocky Mountains and the glistening Amethyst Lake. Once you are there, you’ll likely never want to leave.


Fitz Roy Trail, Argentina

Fitz Roy Trail Argentina

Image credit: Pierre Stachurska
Length: 36 miles

When I’m feeling ambitious, Argentina’s Fitz Roy Trail comes to the forefront of my future vacation daydreams. This challenging 36-mile hike is packed with gorgeous views of South America, including the Perito Moreno Glacier, the Paine Towers and of course the massive Fitz Roy Peaks.


Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal

Everest Base Camp Trek

Image source: James C Farmer
Length: 70 miles

While reaching the summit of Mount Everest may be a little out of my league, trekking to the base camp is more my pace – and undoubtedly rewarding. Embarking on this Himalayan hike will surely treat backpackers to spectacular views of Everest and Lhoste mountains, some of the highest peaks in the world. That experience alone, in combination with being immersed in the beautiful and vibrant Nepal culture, put this at the top of my backpacking bucket list.


While I may not be able to go on a backpacking adventure as often as I’d like, I certainly can patrol the Internet for amazing hikes, and update my bucket list constantly. Until I can finally accomplish some of my dream treks, I’ll be filled with wanderlust planning my adventure and waiting for the day I can buy my plane ticket, fill up my backpack and embark on a bucket-list-worthy trek of a lifetime.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Michelle Dunner November 26, 2014 at 5:02 am

    There’s plenty here on my bucket list too. Have Machu Picchu earmarked for 2018 (nothing like forward planning) to coincide with a milestone wedding anniversary. Would dearly love to go to Bhutan too. Great list.

  • Avatar
    Reply Mary Beth December 1, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks, Michelle! How exciting, that’s the beauty of forward planning — I bet it’s so great having that to look forward to. I have a few friends that traveled to Bhutan and they absolutely loved it, hopefully we’ll both make it there one day!

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