Adventure Hiking Vacation Ideas

Joshua Tree National Park is an excellent idea for an adventure hiking vacation. The park is in the remote high desert area of Southern California. Tight restrictions keep the park pristine making it popular with daytrippers, and campers. But hiking Joshua Tree is the best way to truly appreciate the wild and beautiful backcountry. There are many hiking trails. The shortest is the Oasis of Mara Trail. It takes about 15 minutes.

One of the longest is the 35 mile California Riding and Hiking Trail. Plan on 3 days for this one. Check with the visitors center for info on the trails. Quail Mountain Trail is a day hike up the highest peak in the park.

Lost Palms Oasis Trail takes you to one of the cooler spots in the park, a steep canyon oasis shaded by palm trees. No matter which trail you choose, hiking Joshua Tree National Park is an adventure with many dangers. Dehydration, flash floods, harsh weather are just a few of the things that you need to plan for.

While hiking the park you may want to take advantage of the many great opportunities for rock climbing and bouldering.

Great Basin National Park - Experienced hikers looking looking to bushwack their way through the wilderness should consider the southern end of Nevada’s Great Basin National Park.

Sharpen up your map and compass skills and bring your GPS because there are no maintained trails south of the Snake River.

There is a marked trail (well, most of it is marked) that winds around both Baker Lake and Johnson Lake. It’s a 2 or 3 day adventure that features some great scenic camping spots and excellent panoramic views.

Another popular trek climbs the 12,000 foot high Baker Peak and then takes you along the sharp ridgeline to Wheeler Peak.

For the less adventurous, head to the Baker Creek Trailhead which is north of the Snake River. From here you can take off on several trails maintained by the park service. They range from the 30 minute Mountain View Nature Trail to the 9 hour round trip Baker Lake Trail.

mountain hiking in the snow
High Uinta Wilderness Area - In northeastern Utah near the Wyoming border, the High Uinta Wilderness Area offers adventure hiking opportunities for those looking to get away from the crowded more popular trails.

The glacier sculpted terrain is spectacular and is some the most pristine backpacking areas anywhere. Utah’s highest peak, King’s Peak is locate here along with some 500 lakes spread across the 460,000 acres.

The Mirror Lake Scenic Byway offers access to some of the trailheads in the western sector. To the northeast, the Henry Fork/Kings Peak is a popular hiking area. For many, the gateway to the scenic western wilderness is the small town of Kamas. Here you can find lodging, gas and supplies for your hiking adventure vacation in the High Uinta Wilderness Area.

Atlantic Canada is a great place to plan an adventure hiking vacation. Atlantic Canada covers Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. The locals know and love this area for its plethora of excellent hiking trails. And great news, it’s free!

The best time to hike in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (Maritime Provinces) are springtime all the way through autumn. Newfoundland and Labrador are a little north so their hiking season is more limited to the summer months.

Of course, more experienced hikers seeking a real adventure may test their skills in all seasons. The protected park areas are the best for enjoying the dramatic natural scenery while hiking. One of the best is the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.  

British Columbia Scenery
Adventure Hiking Vacation Ideas #5: The Kootenays - is a mountain region in southeastern British Columbia, Canada where you will find thousands of miles of hiking trails. This is a spectacular wilderness area and requires experience and planning to safely enjoy a hiking adventure vacation here. One of the popular trails in the western Kootenays is the 1,000 foot elevation Great Glacier Trail.

The Valhalla Wilderness Park, beside Slocan Lake, has a rugged terrain that attracts the more serious adventure hikers. You can also head to Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, also near Slocan Lake, where you can hike and explore the Selkrik high country at the Kokanee Glacier.

The Earl Grey Pass Trail is located here and offers a challenge for the more experienced wilderness backpacking hikers. In the eastern Kootenays you can find some great backcountry hiking on the Yoho National Park trails. The Kootenays offers plenty of opportunities for a real hiking adventure vacation.

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