Craving a nature-induced nirvana? Immerse yourself in the unbelievable beauty of Utah by taking a backpacking trip. It may sound daunting, but a single trip will probably have you hooked for life. Here are our favorite spots for backpack camping in the state.
1. COYOTE GULCH
When people think of backpacking in Utah, Coyote Gulch likely comes to mind. For many, it is the quintessential Southern Utah backpacking trip. Located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, it is a backpacking trip of average length (three days, two nights—the hike spans 10 to 25 miles, depending on how long you want to hike). There are plenty of camping spots along the trail, so depending on how much you want to hike in one day, the campsites you choose will likely vary. The hike is known for its arches, a natural bridge, a series of waterfalls, Fremont Indian pictographs, and smooth sandstone canyon walls. If you choose to complete this trip, make sure you also explore the trail’s side canyons and ledges. The hike itself is only moderate in difficulty, so depending on your fitness level, you may even have some energy for extra exploration.
2. WHITE PINE TRAIL AT LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON
Utahans thank their lucky stars for the beautiful mountains just 30 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City. So, while many think of backpacking as something that takes loads of planning and requires a hefty drive to the desired backpacking location, that doesn’t always have to be the case in Utah. Backpacking to White Pine Lake is a great example of a quick backpacking trip that is close to Utah’s major cities. Showcasing a very different landscape than that of Coyote Gulch (think alpine forests, wildflowers, and Rocky Mountain goodness) the 10-mile roundtrip trail starts out wide and easy, but increases in incline as the trail continues. White Pine Lake itself is the trail’s final destination and a beautiful place to camp in preparation for your descent the next day.