5 Best Family Backpacking Destinations
What constitutes a really amazing backpacking trip varies by personal opinion. Some enthusiasts go for distance and elevation. Others revere challenging terrain. Some enjoy the beauty of the landscape. Others favor solitude. The flora and fauna can make or break a trip. Listed below are the top five backpacking trips in America that the whole family can enjoy.
1. Keystone, Colorado
Chihuahua Lake Via Chihuahua Gulch Trail
This is a wonderful day trip and an even more wonderful single overnight backpacking trip if your aim is to camp and hike leisurely. For younger children just starting out carrying their own gear, the gentle, beautiful seven-mile round trip walk offers the family a constant stream of moving mountain water and a place to dip your feet. Wildflowers abound in summer and spring. At the top is the most exquisite turquoise alpine lake.
2. Escalante Utah
The Golden Cathedral
A moderate trip of 9.2 miles round trip, the Golden Cathedral will resonate with those who love a good rappel. A lively river runs along most of the inter-canyon trail and the oranges and reds that paint the landscape will take your breath away. Not too short or too long, this is a great hike for the whole family.
3. Aspen, Colorado
Conundrum Hot Springs, Maroon Bells Wilderness
This 17-mile round trip destination is very popular, so permits may be required at certain times of the year. The colors of the changing Aspen trees in the fall are a photographer’s dream. The hot springs are some of the few remaining that aren’t commercialized. The hike is at a high elevation, so be prepared to take extra breaks with your family if you’re not used to the elevation. Also be sure you have packed the hiking essentials, including food, water, a first aid kit.
4. Jackson, Wyoming
Teton Crest Trail
The Teton Crest itself is so remarkable that it ought to be on the checklist of every backpacking enthusiast. The Tetons themselves are known for the fierceness and steepness of their rise, reaching to heights that seem out of this world from the plain of the Snake River. Wyoming possesses an abundance of wildlife in ways that Colorado lacks. Moose, elk, grizzlies, and wolves will be your closest neighbors. Be sure to bear-proof food and carry bear spray for safety. Although these hikes can be tough on the younger ones, there are also some great shorter hike options available for the family who is merely going to enjoy the scenery.
5. Lost Creek Wilderness, Colorado
This peak is not a steep apex. It is a boulder funhouse on a sprawling plateau. Play and explore for hours on the rocks! Because it is not one of the famous 14 and reaches only to the 12,000-foot range, it is wonderfully, gloriously remote. It’s a quiet hike your family will love.