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2024-01-16
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10 Best Backpacking Trips Ideas in Pacific Northwest

Welcome to the Pacific Northwest: A Backpacker's Paradise

The Pacific Northwest, an enchanting corner of the United States, beckons nature lovers with its spectacular mosaic of landscapes. From the vertiginous heights of its snow-capped mountains to the lush, verdant valleys of its temperate rainforests, every turn offers a feast for the senses and a bounty of outdoor adventures for the intrepid backpacker. The region's timeless beauty is accentuated by crystal-clear alpine lakes, roaring river gorges, and serene wilderness areas that remain untouched and pure. Embrace the call of the wild as you tread along ancient, moss-covered trails that wind through old-growth forests, and prepare yourself for awe-inspiring vistas that unfold before your very eyes. Join us on a journey through the Pacific Northwest's most breathtaking backcountry destinations, where memories are made, and the soul is replenished.

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Recommended Explorations

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    Eagle Cap Wilderness

    Offering over 360 miles of pristine trails and home to alpine lakes, jagged peaks, and abundant wildlife, the Eagle Cap Wilderness is a backpacker's haven. It's part of the Wallowa Mountains, often referred to as 'Little Switzerland of America' for its natural beauty.
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    Alpine Lakes Wilderness

    This area boasts craggy peaks, over 700 mountain lakes, and a range of ecosystems. It's a picturesque landscape that offers diverse terrains for hikers of all levels. The scenery is particularly stunning in the fall when the larch trees turn golden.
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    Mount Rainier National Park

    Dominating the landscape with the most glaciated peak in the contiguous USA, Mount Rainier presents a challenge for experienced backpackers. Its beauty is unmatched, with wildflower meadows, ancient forests, and a range of wildlife providing a world-class outdoor experience.
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    Olympic National Park

    With its incredible diversity of ecosystems, visitors can explore from rugged coastlines to temperate rainforests, and from alpine meadows to glaciated mountain peaks. It offers the unique opportunity to witness a range of habitats within a single park.
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    Three Sisters Wilderness

    This wilderness is famous for its trio of volcanic peaks, the North, Middle, and South Sisters. It provides a mix of challenging climbs and scenic trails through lava fields, forests, and past alpine lakes. Visitors can enjoy the enchanting beauty and solitude of this untouched landscape.
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    Columbia River Gorge

    Known for its breathtaking views, the Columbia River Gorge is a canyon that carves its way along the Columbia River. It's home to a multitude of waterfalls, including the famous Multnomah Falls, and offers a variety of hiking trails, windsurfing, and fishing opportunities.
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    Wonderland Trail

    This 93-mile trail encircles Mount Rainier and offers an immersive experience of the diverse wilderness. From vast wildflower meadows to dense forests and from river valleys to high mountain passes, backpackers can encounter the grandeur of the Pacific Northwest up close.
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    North Cascades National Park

    Often called the 'American Alps', North Cascades National Park offers rugged mountain scenery that is among the most dramatic in the United States. It's a lesser-trafficked gem with pristine alpine landscapes, glaciers, and over 400 miles of trails suitable for passionate hikers seeking solitude.
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    Hoh Rain Forest

    This temperate rainforest is one of the largest in the U.S., characterized by lush, green canopies and a rich biodiversity. A visit here immerses travelers in its tranquility, with moss-laden trees and a symphony of forest sounds. It provides an almost magical experience found few places on earth.
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    Enchantment Lakes

    The Enchantment Lakes area is a high alpine wonderland of pristine lakes, granite basins, and rugged peaks. It's one of the most sought-after backpacking destinations in the Pacific Northwest, offering surreal beauty that is often compared to scenes from fairy tales, especially during the golden larch season in the fall.
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Local Events & Happenings


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    Stay Recommendations

    • McMenamins Kennedy School

      An unconventional hotel in Portland, Oregon, that is a renovated elementary school. You can sleep in a classroom, enjoy a movie in the old auditorium, and sip local brews in the detention room.
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    • Treehouse Point

      Nestled in the forest near Issaquah, Washington, stay in a unique treehouse that offers a break from technology and an intimate connection with nature.
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    • The Dog Bark Park Inn

      Located in Cottonwood, Idaho, this bed-and-breakfast is shaped like a giant beagle, offering a quirky and memorable stay for dog lovers and fans of unusual architecture.
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    • Cave B Inn & Spa Resort

      Overlooking the Columbia River in Quincy, Washington, this hotel offers luxury accommodations including cliff houses and cavern rooms on a wine estate.
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    • The Vintages Trailer Resort

      Located in the heart of Oregon's Wine Country, guests can stay in lovingly restored vintage travel trailers complete with modern amenities and outdoor grills.
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    • Out'n'About Treehouses Treesort

      In the Siskiyou Mountains near Cave Junction, Oregon, this 'treesort' offers various treehouses for adventurous travelers looking for a unique high-up lodging experience.
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