Just wondering what everyone's best backpacking trip has been. Figure maybe I'll find some new trip ideas a along the way, hehe.
I know mine was my last trip to Denali NP for four days. We saw just about every animal you can see within the park and had my first "close" encounters with brown bears(nothing too close of course). But I think the thing that made it for me was the sights. Everything just seemed to be on a grander scale than most other places I've backpacked so far. Granted, I've only just recently started getting out into the bigger trips of more than two days, but still a good one.
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.-Aristotle
My best trip was on Annette Island, AK. It was 5 nights: we spent the first 3 or 4 days marching overland across the island, then took the rest of the trip to hike the beach back to civilization. The weather was great, we saw an old airliner wreckage, watched a meteor shower, and hiked up the tallest mountain in the area. I had a good spiritual experience up there, too. Good memories.
Just about every trip I do is my "best" because I love to explore. Just when I think I'v had my best ever trip, the next one is better! I really try to plan each trip as if it has to be my best ever and much of the time, it is.
Some memorable trips:
8 days at Cirque of the Towers with good freinds - we climbed three routes on Pingora, Bollinger, Lizard Head and did the classic east ridge of Wolf's Head - my all time favorite climb.
All of my 8-10 day trips in the Wind River Mountains last summer. I have posted trip reports on all of them.
My first solo 16-day backpack when I first moved to California - It was mostly off-trail and included Evolution Basin, Ionian Basin, Enchanted Gorge, Dusy Basin, Barret Basin and a solo climbs of Mt. Fisk, Mt. Goddard, Mt. Sill and the "other peak" I mistook for Mt Sill!
About any 10-12 day off-trail route in the Sierra that includes climbing big peaks and staying high as possible. West side of the Palisades is great- Keweha Basin, all the California 14'ers, Ionian Basin, all the parts of the Sierra High Route that I have done.
I also really liked every one of the 35-day NOLS courses I worked years ago. For me it is mostly being out with good people and I prefer longer trips, off the beaten path.
Loc: Washington DC area
My "best' trip so far was a week on Resurrection Pass Trail Chugach National Forest onthe Kenai in Alaska. That's where my avatar picture was taken. Wonderful hike, easy to do in just 3 days if you're in a hurry. We weren't. We took 6 days including one day off just hanging around Swan Lake. Saw some bald eagles and some bears.
The hamburgers at Gwinn's Lodge were unbelievable after so many days eating camp chow!
I learned that I don't necessarily like long backpacking trips. Give me 2-3 nights and I'll be happy.
About six years ago, 4 of us took 2 older Scouts to Cumberland Gap to finish their backpacking merit badge: 4 nights, 50 miles. Two of us were in our 50's, two were 19, and two were looking forward to getting their driver's licenses. I never analyzed why, but by the time we were 15 minutes into the trip, we were all in sync with each other and with the trail, and never got out of sync. Weather was perfect (October), companionship great, and it was a memorable trip. Unfortunately, they've all moved to different parts of the country; while I still link up with a couple of them every so often, we never all manage to get together.
My first trip to Isle Royale, about 4 years ago, simply because it's so stunningly beautiful. Got a bad case of blisters (poorly-fitted boots), but had a great time. Saw my first 3 moose, and found a couple of wolf prints. That led to a second trip, with one of the guys from Cumberland Gap.
But my most recent trip, to Mount Rogers, VA, also makes the list of best trips, for quite different reasons. The same guy from the second trip to Isle Royale went with me - you can read a fuller report in the Almost Over the Hill forum, posted as Knowing When to Say "When."
I've had a lot of good ones in my 65 years including Canadian wilderness canoe trips in both Ontarion and Quebec. But one of my best was last summer backpacking up Yosemite's Toulmne River trail from White Wolf to Toulmne Meadows. Spectacular scenery.
Also a great backpack on the AT through the Shanandoah Nat'l Park & on north another 50 miles.
On April 15 I'm taking a 6 day backpack in the Grand Canyon. Maybe THAT will be "the best". Ya never know. Trails are like a box of chocolates... (hee,hee I love to quote Forrest "Stump"
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."
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