From New Hampshire to California, seven weekend-worthy trails to inspire your next backpacking trip…
Looking to ditch the day pack and load up for an epic night in the backcountry? A weekend trip is the perfect way to get outside for a couple days, but still be back in time to punch the clock on Monday morning. If you’re JUST GETTING STARTED, be prepared for the challenge of carrying extra gear—your Big Three (pack, shelter, sleep system) will comprise the majority of your base weight, and the addition of a cookset, extra layers, and food/water means your pack might be heavier than you expect.
Proper layering and clothing systems are crucial for spending the night outside. Remember that gear and clothing will change based on destination—if you’re hitting a trail with less shade and more exposure, you’ll need sun protection and careful water consideration. Heading to a region known for surprise rainstorms? Don’t forget a WATERPROOF LAYER, and be sure to protect your down-insulated items. Are sections of trail above treeline? A windproof layer is a must. And of course, carefully consider what you wear on your feet. The FC 4.1 is an eco-friendly, waterproof hiking boot whose flexibility and ankle stability make it incredibly versatile and suitable for any of the trails below.
Here are our favorite weekend-length trails:
SOUTH RIM TRAIL, TEXAS
•Elevation Gain: 2,300ft
•Trail Type: Loop
Experience the must-see South Rim in BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK via this accessible, scenic trail. The most popular option is to head up Laguna Meadows Trail, then take Boot Canyon back to the Pinnacles Trail. This direction is significantly less steep than the other way around, and brings you right back to Chisos Lodge.
BACKCOUNTRY PERMITS are required for overnights, and taking the time to do this hike over two days is worth it to take in the views and appreciate the variety of terrain. This trail is incredibly varied, including canyons, open meadows, cliffs, and rocky outcroppings. Campsites at Laguna Meadow are always a good choice, but there are plenty of other CAMPING OPTIONS as well. backpacking,backpacking,backpacking