Originally Posted By Glenn
Now that Mouse has broached the subject, I'd gladly put a plug in for staying in the East. I think our backcountry might be less intimidating for a beginner, quite honestly. And, if your parents are willing, it could simplify your logistics issues and give them a bit more peace of mind.

If you want a month on the trail, then you could do the first leg of the Appalachian Trail (and finish section-hiking the whole trail by the time you finish college.)

For a first trip, these will be plenty intimidating without being overwhelming. You'll gain great experience, and then be ready to take a big bite out of Big Mountains in the West next year.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but I think Mouse has given you a realistic and achievable alternative for a first trip.

This would get my vote as well.

Appalachian backcountry is beautiful and plenty challenging, especially for a beginner.

And no grizzlies to worry about. Ha.