Are you a prospective backpacker looking to take a tour through some of the best backpacking destinations the world has to offer? Are you a first-time backpacker who has yet to conquer a trail and who would rather hike in their locale?
Then join us as we explore ten of the best and most epic backpacking destinations in the world!
1. Kamikochi-Yari-Hotaka Circuit - Northern Japanese Alps
Though this backpacking trip is short, it packs a mean punch. Traversing all the way from the low mountains to the highest peaks in the range, this is one of the more intense backpacking trips you are going to see in this list, hence why it is the first. After all, you must start as you mean to go on.
Thankfully, there is a series of mountain lodges situated high in the alpine which provide an apposite place for hikers to shelter from the elements or to stay the night.
2. Kalalau Trail - Na Pali Coast, Hawaii
This West Coast trail is a little longer but, thankfully, nowhere near as strenuous as the previous hike. This is by no means a John Muir trail or anything, nor is it in the North Cascades National Park, but it is a good time if you prefer a more tropical climb.
If you can secure a permit, you can also engage in frolicking with the gorgeous ocean, the towering waterfalls, rushing streams, and steep spires that you will repeatedly pass during the hike. Experienced swimmers are preferred as the wind river high route can be quite intense.
3. Rim to Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The world-renowned Grand Canyon is an epic landmark, one that characterizes many people's perceptions of rugged rural America, whether for better or worse. Beginning at the north rim, hikers can descend to the canyon floor and embark on a series of river crossings over the Colorado River, climbing steep switchbacks all the way to the south rim.
As backpacking trails go, this is easily one of the most epic you will ever come across, one to remember for a lifetime.
4. Long Range Traverse, Newfoundland, Canada
While this isn't quite the same type of rugged as a place like the Sequoia National Park, this cross-country route is no less rugged overall. Taking hikers deep into the East Coast through the Gros Morne National Park, those who make it far enough will encounter countless freshwater fjords, alongside various amazing wildlife.
Five days in the Long Range will change anyone. Once you make it to the various points of interest along the way, you will begin to realize why this is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Take your time and absorb as much as possible while you can, and make sure you take a bag that can handle it!
5. Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru
The Cordillera Huayhuash is actually a subrange of the Peruvian Andes, one of the most remarkable mountainous peaks in South America or even the world. This 18-mile-long collection of snow-capped mountains stands high above sumptuous turquoise alpine lakes and is simply begging to be conquered.
The entire circuit, including the wind river range, is above the tree line, so you are provided with a never-ending series of grand mountainous views, though at the risk of being battered by the exposed wind.
6. Kepler Track, South Island, New Zealand
Not far from South-East Asia, this series of mountain passes is accessible to all levels of backpackers. New Zealand has nine iconic walks, often dubbed the 'great walks', all of which are worthwhile in their own right. The Kepler Track is, though, often believed to be the best because it seems to pack the absolute best of the Fiordland National Park into one trail.
The relative gentle gradients here mix with long ridgeline miles, allowing prospective hikers plenty of time to soak in endless alpine views without the pain so often associated with a long and arduous hike.
7. Toubkal Circuit, Morocca
Eschewing more Central American country, we instead take you on a trip to an oft-neglected though incredibly ample backpacking spot. Taking prospective trekkers across high mountainous terrain and through local villages with amazing food, the local name that this section of the Atlas Mountains goes by - dubbed the 'mountain of mountains' - seems incredibly apt.
Thanks to the moderate difficulty of this route, it shouldn't require too much trip planning and since the elevation gain isn't too high, you will have plenty of time to take in what the middle east national parks have to offer.
8. Dana to Petra on the Jordan Trail, Jordan
Petra is, of course, the famous archeological site perhaps most obvious to you for being one of the locations in the third Indiana Jones movie. The grand facade is, however, entirely real, carved into the gradient of pink and red sandstone with immense care.
The civilization responsible, while not part of the Inca trail nor redolent with street food, was impressive enough to create a whole town of caves and temples threaded within sandstone labyrinths, and now you can become a part of it, however briefly.
9. Arthur Range Traverse, Tasmania, Australia
Likely the most difficult route on this list, the Arthur Range is a coarse and wild spine of mountains that stabs itself from the earth into the world about, far, far away from the capital city.
Scrambling is often required to make it through certain patches of the trail, so few people have actually undertaken this route to make a path along the way. Often vertigo-inducing and yet slow, this trail is certainly not for the faint heart or anyone likely to be afraid of great heights, nor those traveling along ideally.
10. Laugavegur-Skogar Trail, Iceland
Finally, let's end with a more comfortable hike from the holiday destination on everyone's lips: Iceland. Indeed, over the past few years, the country has greatly increased in popularity as a holiday destination, not least for its amazing scenes when undertaken for a hike or two.
Home to an incredible landscape of ice-capped mountains and moss-garbed rock faces, turbulent rivers, and sumptuous stone, this is a country not to be missed for its wealth of natural beauty. This trail in particular is long enough (9 days) that you can really begin to immerse yourself in it all as you travel from hut to hut.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to pick a destination for yourself and conquer with a bag on your pack and eyes feasting on the surrounding environs.
FAQs Best Backpacking Destinations
WHAT IS THE BEST COUNTRY FOR FIRST TIME BACKPACKERS?
A first-time backpacker is likely going to want to stay within their own country, especially if they don't yet know how invested they are in the hobby and don't want to fork out a whole bunch on a trip to a foreign country for the purposes of something they aren't entirely certain about.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES TO BACKPACK?
There are innumerable great places to backpack throughout the world. However, if you are looking to go on a backpacking holiday that tours various locations, then you can scarcely go wrong with a visit to America, even if only for the sheer range of different climes and terrains that you can encounter there. Home to some of the most famous hiking and backpacking spots in the world, there is an incredible variety to choose from.