Into the Wild: Backcountry Camping and Hiking in the Pacific Northwest

Glacier National Park - National Park Service - Montana

To make this description simple, this is what the world might have looked like if humans had never existed. This beautiful and pristine wilderness extends across the Rocky Mountains of Montana and into the vast wilderness of Canada. You could take extended trips that can take you miles and miles away from civilization. Cascading waterfalls, white-water rivers, clear blue lakes, endless mountains, and gorgeous valleys will make this trip worth the effort to get there. Moose, elk, deer, mountain lions, grizzly bears, and wolves will be surrounding you. This park is only open in the summer months due to the snowfall in the winter, which makes getting out there nearly impossible. “The Road to the Sun” that you’ll take to enter the park will make you feel as if you are driving into another time and place. Also, since part of the park is in Canada, be sure to bring your passport. You won’t want to miss any of the beauty this park has to offer.

Mount Rainer National Park - National Park Service - Washington

This is probably one of the most iconic peaks in the Pacific Northwest. It is host to a whole world of backcountry hiking trails that will take you on some incredible journeys through some of the most beautiful landscapes on this earth. In the spring you can walk through grassy meadows full of colorful flowers in full bloom. In the fall, as the season changes and colors change, you are sure to get a masterpiece in any photograph you take. You can also ascend the mountain and find many scenic vistas and overlooks to see the rain clouds formed below. It is a rain forest so be prepared. What is really amazing about this area is how diverse the ecosystem is. On the opposite side of the mountains, there is a dry and vast desert.

The Three Sisters Wilderness - United States Forest Service - Oregon

This is definitely a must see and experience location. Covering an area of almost 450 square miles but also being somewhat close to civilization makes this area not only accessible, but a good trip to add to your list. This park has over twenty trails that take you miles off the beaten path and into the true wilderness. Some of these trails might even take weeks if you include all of the stops you’ll have to make to take in all of the scenery. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the moments and make everyone jealous of your trip. One of the benefits of this region is that you will experience the wild without having to be too far from the rest of civilization. The best advice I can give you is to slow down and take in all of the amazing experiences this park offers. Also, each season at this park is vastly different, so make time to experience each one.

Yellowstone National Park - National Park Service - Wyoming/Montana/Idaho

Yellowstone was the first national park in the United States and really the entire world. It has more wonders and natural beauty than any other location in the country. This park is right on top of a massive volcano, so there are paint pots, geysers, mud volcanoes, and deep holes that seem to be filled with very hot crystal clear water. Once you enter Yellowstone, you will be able to hike, fish, camp, and you can visit many of the gorgeous scenic locations. You can also visit Old Faithful and experience a very iconic spectacle! In this park, there is an abundance of wildlife that thrives within the borders. There are herds of bison, elk, deer, coyotes, wolves, and eagles. It is definitely a well populated ecosystem. There is so much to see, you’ll for sure need to visit for a few days.

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