Welcome to Backpackers Review! On this site you will find backpacking and camping trip guides that provide detailed information on routes, scenery, and general tips. You also can find gear lists and short product reviews for all of the gear that I used while on these trips.
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Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River – Yosemite National Park (33 mile point-to-point)
Cooling down in the Tuolumne River with a view of Colby Mountain, in Yosemite National Park
After setting up camp we cooled off in a large swimming hole at the base of California Falls
There was another nice fishing hole with a view not far from our campsite.
A falls shortly after Return Creek along on the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne trek in Yosemite National Park
View looking back at the Hetch Hetchy Reservior.
Lembert Dome viewed from near the Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers Campground in Yosemite National Park
The 33 mile Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River backpacking trip is considered one of the highlights within Yosemite National Park. This route follows the Tuolumne River through a deep canyon that leads from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to Tuolumne Meadows. Much of the canyon is only accessible via backpacking or very long day hikes, so you are likely to get away from the crowds during this trek (a rarity in Yosemite!).
Lake Aloha via Rockbound Pass – Desolation Wilderness (38 mile loop)
Sunset view from our campsite on Fontanillis Lake in Desolation Wilderness
Susie Lake in Desolation Wilderness
Sunrise at Lake Aloha in Desolation Wilderness
View looking north from Dicks Pass, Dicks Lake, Fontanillis Lake, and Velma Lakes
Lake Doris with Rockbound Pass in the background
A ~38 mile backpacking trip in Desolation Wilderness near South Lake Tahoe. This loop traverses over Rockbound Pass and Dicks Pass on its way to the beautiful Lake Aloha. Along the route you are treated to amazing scenery with highlights including: alpine lakes, granite peaks, meadows, waterfalls, and expansive views of El Dorado National Forest.
Loowit Trail – Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (30 mile loop)
Lava flow and view of Mount St. Helens as seen from the Loowit Trail (credit: John Strother)
Mount Adams, seen while descending from Windy Pass along the Loowit Trail (credit: John Strother)
Harrys Ridge and Spirit Lake seen from the Loowit Trail (credit: John Strother)
View along the Loowit Trail in Mount St. Helen Volcanic National Monument (credit: John Strother)
Loowit Falls in the Mount St. Helens Volcanic National Monument (credit: John Strother)
Loowit Trail as it traverse along the southeast face of Mount St. Helens (credit: John Strother)
The 30 mile Loowit Trail Loop is a backpacking route that circumnavigates Mount St. Helens in Washington state. This unique route provides great views of the volcanic scenery and blast zone around the most famous volcano in the continental United States. Other highlights include wildflowers, waterfalls, and epic views of Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, and Mount Hood. What truly sets this hike apart from others though is the unique landscape created by the 1980 volcanic eruption.
Timberline Trail – Mount Hood Wilderness, OR (40 mile loop)
Along the Timberline Trail
View of Ramona Falls in the Mt. Hood Wilderness
Shortly after the 5 mile mark, there is a short trail that leads to Split Rock. This area makes for a nice lunch spot (or campsite if you want a short first day). There is a good view of Mount Hood
Hiking along the Paradise Park Trail
Gnarl Ridge, Mt. Hood, and Newton Creek
The 40 mile Timberline Trail Loop in the Mount Hood Wilderness is a classic route that circumnavigates Oregon’s highest peak, Mount Hood. Located just outside of Portland, this route features alpine vistas, waterfalls, countless views of Mt. Hood, alpine meadows, and views of cascade forest.
Gunsight Pass and Lake McDonald – Glacier National Park (22 miles point to point)
A mountain goat taking in the view of Lake Ellen Wilson as seen from the Gunsight Pass Trail (credit: John Strother)
Passing one of several waterfalls along the Gunsight Pass Trail in Glacier National Park (credit: John Strother)
View from the Gunsight Pass Trail looking towards Gunsight Pass and Mount Jackson (credit: John Strother)
Looking across Gunsight Lake at the many waterfalls that flow from the snow peaked mountains, seen from along the Gunsight Trail in Glacier National Park (credit: John Strother)
View looking back east from Gunsight Pass Trail with Gunsight Lake in view (credit: John Strother)
A 22 mile route that crosses the Continental Divide within Glacier National Park. Highlights in alpine lakes, two mountain passes, and several epic views.
Zambia Safari – South Luangwa National Park (8 day trip)
Crayshaw’s Zebra in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Great White Egret in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
African buffalo in the Salt Pans region of South Luangwa National Park
Large male lion from the Nsefu Pride in South Luangwa National PArk
Elephant in the Nsefu region of South Luangwa National Park
Leopard with a Puku kill in South Luangwa National Park
We had our drinks and snack in with a great view of the Stork Colony at sunset
8 day safari trip in South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. This itinerary included stays at three different safari camps and 2 nights camping in mobile bush camps. During the trip we had both guided game drives (day and night) and traditional Zambian walking safaris. South Luangwa NP is a well-known safari destination because of its extremely high density of mammals and birds as well as its beautiful scenery along the Luangwa River.
South Africa Safari – Greater Kruger National Park (5 day trip)
Wildebeest in the Timbavati Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park
Young elephant in the Klaserie Nature Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park
Mating pair of lions in the Klaserie Nature Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park
Pack of wild dogs eating an impala in the Klaserie Nature Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park
Lioness in the Timbavati Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park
Rhinos in the Klaserie Nature Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park
5 day safari trip in the Timbavati Game Reserve and Klaserie Nature Reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park in South Africa. This itinerary included stays at two different safari camps (two nights at each camp). During the trip we had several day and evening game drives and were able to see a variety of large mammals and birds. The game reserves are connected to Kruger National Park are known for their populations of Big Five safari animals.
Sedona, Arizona Hiking Highlights (Devils Bridge, Brins Mesa, Bell Rock, Hangover Trail)
The Hangover Trail heads east towards the Flying Buttress rock structure. This part of the part is in the shade and was quite icy in January.
After that choke point, there is a nice view point with a good view of The Fin rock structure.
Devils Bridge in Sedona, AZ
View looking north from the rock outcrop along the Brins Mesa Trail
On the Hangover Trail hiking towards the Cow Pies Trail in Sedona, AZ
We went on four of the signature hikes within in Sedona, Arizona. These hikes ranged from 5 to 10 miles in length, are moderate in difficulty, and explore several of the famous rock structures surrounding Sedona: Brins Mesa, Devils Bridge, Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, etc. Highlights include up close views of towering red rock structures, pine forests, and sweeping views of Sedona and the surrounding landscape.
Yosemite Highlights Loop – Yosemite National Park (40 mile loop)
Along the way down the trail you get some awesome views of Nevada Falls, Liberty Cap, Mount Broderick, and Half Dome.
The trail then continues southwest over the summit of Clouds Rest and down towards Half Dome and the Quarter Domes
Closer view of the Merced River and the Lost Valley
There is a great vista point along the connector trail that allows you to see Vernal Falls from above.
View of Half Dome from the Snow Creek vista point
The vista is only a few minute hike from the junction and is well worth the effort. This is the view looking northwest at Tenaya Creek cascades through the canyon with snow peaks in the background.
This 40 mile backpacking loop includes up-close views of several of the most beautiful areas of Yosemite National Park. Starting and ending in Yosemite Valley, this itinerary circumnavigates Half Dome and provides awesome views of Yosemite Valley, Tenaya Canyon, Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, the Merced River, the Lost Valley, Little Yosemite Valley, and Nevada and Vernal Falls.
Titcomb Basin – Wind River Range, WY (40 mile route)
Final view of Island Lake and Fremont Peak before heading south along the Seneca Lake Trail to the Elkhart Park Trailhead.
One of many great views in the Titcomb Basin in the Wind River Range.
There is a small lake near the 1.3 mile mark along the Titcomb Basin Trail. This is shortly before the trail reaches Lake 10,548.
One of many great views in the Titcomb Basin in the Wind River Range.
View of one of the lakes in the Indian Basin in the Wind River Range.
The ~40 mile Titcomb Basin and Indian Basin backpacking trek goes through the spectacular and popular Wind River Range in the Bridger Wilderness area of Wyoming.
The Escalante Route – Grand Canyon National Park (32 mile trek)
View looking north from the beach at the outlet of Seventyfive Mile Canyon (credit: John Strother)
View looking back towards Comanche Point from the Tanner Trail (credit: John Strother)
After hiking along the river shore for a little ways, you reach the outlet of Hance Creek where you can set up camp for the 2nd night. This is one of the views from the beach (credit: John Strother)
View of the Basalt Cliffs and Apollo Temple from the Escalante Trail in Grand Canyon National Park (credit: John Strother)
View from the Grandview Trail in Grand Canyon National Park (credit: John Strother)
The ~32 mile Escalante Route in Grand Canyon National Park provides epic views as it traverses nearly 10 miles along the Colorado River in the heart of the Grand Canyon. Along the way you are treated to epic views of the Colorado River, Grand Canyon, and many unique rock structures.
Spider Gap, Buck Creek Pass – Glacier Peak Wilderness (40 mile loop)
View looking back at Spider Gap and Lyman Lake (credit: John Strother)
The trail leading from Cloudy Pass to Suiattle Pass (credit: John Strother)
Lyman Lake and Bonanza Peak (credit: John Strother)
View of Image Lake with Glacier Peak in the background (credit: John Strother)
View from Spider Gap looking down at Upper Lyman Lakes. The trail down from the gap to the lakes is undefined (credit: John Strother)
The ~40 mile Spider Gap – Buck Creek Pass backpacking loop sits within a beautiful section of Glacier Peak Wilderness in the northern Cascade Mountains of Washington state.
Zion Traverse – Zion National Park (51 mile point-to-point)
View of Phantom Valley from the West Rim Trail (credit: John Strother)
View of the Kolob Arch from side trail during the Zion Traverse backpacking trip in Zion National Park (credit: John Strother)
View from atop Deertrap Mountain (credit: John Strother)
View of Phantom Valley from the West Rim Trail (credit: John Strother)
View of Zion Canyon from the top of Angel’s Landing (credit: Bryan Chan)
The 51 mile Zion Traverse (aka Trans Zion Trek) backpacking trip combines several different trails to span the entirety of Zion National Park from northwest to southeast. Along this route you hike through several different regions of the park (Kolob Canyons, Wildcat Canyon, West Rim, Zion Canyon, and East Rim) and pass through narrow canyons, high deserts, plateaus, and ponderosa forests.
Cirque of the Towers Loop – Wind River Range, WY (45 mile loop)
Cirque Lake is a modest scramble from the campsite. Here is the view from shore showing the prominent peaks of Overhang Tower, Sharks Nose, and Block Tower (credit: Mark Henn)
Pingora Peak and the Cirque of the Towers from the east shore of Lonesome Lake. From this point, you hike east on the Big Sandy Trail towards the Lizard Head Trail (credit: John Strother)
Around the 3.5 mile mark you reach a short junction that leads to Bear Lake and the unnamed lake next to it. This is the view from the first lake with Lizard Head Peak in the background (credit: John Strother)
View from the shore of Grave Lake with the Pilot Knob and Mount Hooker in the background (credit: John Strother)
Zoomed view of the lakes to the northwest as seen from the Lizard Head Trail (credit: John Strother)
The 45 mile Cirque of the Towers backpacking loop goes through the spectacular and popular Wind River Range of the Pop Agie and Bridger Wilderness areas of Wyoming.
The Enchantments – Alpine Lakes Wilderness (18 mile point-to-point)
View of the entire Upper Enchantments region which you hike through after Aasgard Pass (on left). In view are Tranquil and (credit: Randy T)
View of the Gnome Tarn and Prusik Peak near the pass (credit: Jedd P)
Near the top of Aasgard Pass there is a small lake below the steep Dragontail Peaks (credit: Chris Rapp)
View of Prusik Peak and Shield Lake from near the top of Prusik Pass (credit: Will Thomas)
View from the Southeast end of Perfection Lake (near the outlet) with Little Annapurna peak in the background (credit: Brian Holsclaw)
The Enchantments in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness are one of the premiere backpacking destinations in Washington State. This region boasts rugged granite peaks, pristine alpine lakes, and everything that the Cascade Mountain Range has to offer.
North Circle Loop – Glacier National Park (52 mile loop)
Looking back at the Swiftcurrent Headwall and waterfalls the trail continues to descend towards Bullhead Lake (credit: John Strother)
Hiking along the trail with Mount Grinnell in view (credit: John Strother)
From the Granite Park Campground, you begin hiking to the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail. It is roughly 1.1 miles and 700 feet of climbing to reach the top of Swiftcurrent Pass (credit: John Strother)
Panoramic view of Sue Lake from the overlook, which is about 2.7 miles and +1,000 feet roundtrip from Fifty Mountain Campgronud (credit: John Strother)
At the ~3 mile mark, the Stoney Indian Pass Trail passes by the scenic Atsina Lake (credit: John Strother)
Morning view of Mokowanis Lake and Pyramid Peak before leaving to start the Day 3 hike (credit: John Strother)
The North Circle backpacking loop traverse across ~50 miles within the impressive Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park. Along the route you pass through the Ptarmigan Tunnel, hike over Stoney Indian Pass and Swiftcurrent Pass, and hike along 11 miles of the famous Highline Trail, which follows the Continental Divide and provides some of the best views in Glacier National Park.
Banff National Park Hiking Highlights (Peyto Lake, Moraine Lake, Bow Lake, Lake Louise)
View of the stream as it exits the canyon. The colors here are great.
Fairview Mountain and Lake Louise.
View of Peyto Lake from a viewpoint along the Bow Summit Lookout Trail.
Taking in one of many beautiful views at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park (from atop of the rock pile near the lake outlet stream)
View of Bow Lake and the Crowfoot Mountain backdrop as seen from a turn on the Icefields Parkway.
Banff National Park is home to many beautiful turquoise lakes and intimidating mountains. In this report we describe hikes starting at several of the signature lakes within Banff. The scenery in this park is hard to beat and the backdrops are truly one of a kind.
Four Pass Loop – Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness, CO (28 mile loop)
The day starts with a ~1 mile climb to the top of West Maroon Pass. As you get closer to the pass, the terrain changes and you becomes much more sparse with no trees (credit: mrubenstein01)
The famous view of the Maroon Bells framed behind Maroon Lake (credit: mrubenstein01)
Wildflowers and Snowmass Lake in the background (credit: mrubenstein01)
Hiking down into the Minnehaha Gulch, the trail follows some large sweeping switchbacks (credit: mrubenstein01)
View of Snowmass Lake and Snowmass Peak (credit: mrubenstein01)
The Four Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness near Aspen, CO is one of Colorado’s premiere backpacking trails. Along this route you cross four mountain passes over 12,000 feet high and have many different views of the Colorado Rockies.
Three Sisters Wilderness – Broken Top Loop (24 mile loop)
Sunset view from the night one camp at Golden Lake in the Three Sisters Wilderness
Near the 5 mile mark on the Broken Top Trail you get a nice view of the Cayuse Crater in the background. The trail eventually skirts around to the right of the crater.
Along this descent you keep the great view of the Three Sisters.
View looking back at No Name Lake, the Ball Butte, and Mount Bachelor from the Broken Hand Ridge
View of the South Sister from across the larger of the Green Lakes.
The Three Sisters Wilderness near Bend, Oregon offers excellent backpacking opportunities with varying terrain. Trails traverse volcanic features (craters, solidified lava flows, buttes), alpine lakes, and small glaciers. This is a truly unique area!
Yoho National Park – Iceline Trail and Takakkaw Falls (13 mile loop)
Descending from the Iceline Summit and hiking towards two more lakes along the trail.
View of Takakkaw Falls from the Yoho River Trail.
Glacial lake along the Iceline Trail. This lake sits in front of the Secretary-Treasurer sub peak.
View of Laughing Falls near the Yoho River.
On the other side of the ridge, you find another lake made of Emerald Glacier melt.
The Iceline Trail is one of the signature hikes within Yoho National Park in British Columbia. Along the trail you are treated to views of waterfalls, glaciers, and expansive alpine views.
Teton Crest Trail – Grand Teton National Park (48 mile loop)
Looking back at Marion Lake during the climb.
John Moulton barn near Grand Teton National Park
View looking forward on the trail from the base of Sunset Lake.
View along the Teton Crest Trail looking up at Fox Creek Pass and the start of the Death Canyon Shelf
The Teton Crest Trail then works its way through the South Fork Cascade Canyon. There are some truly amazing views in this section of the hike. Grand Teton and Middle Teton as viewed from the Teton Crest Trail
Mount Meek with wildflowers in the foreground.
The Teton Crest Trail is one of the most beautiful backpacking loops within the continental United States! Grand Teton National Park is full of amazing scenery and has an abundance of wildlife.