Best Overnight Hiking Routes For Any Skill Level

Setting off on an overnight backpacking trip is a terrific way to combat the widespread crowds at the park while also experiencing a completely different kind of outdoor adventure for adventure-seekers who don't mind going outside of their comfort zone and getting a little dirt on their shoes. Worry not because we had put together a list of our top one-night hikes in several of the most popular national parks, ideal for novice or experienced trekkers who don't want to log many kilometers.

They are both diverse and beautiful, with rough boreal woods, glistening alpine lakes, and breathtaking cliff-edge panoramas that we're sure we can all enjoy. Cheers!

Murphy Point, Canyonlands National Park

Difficulty score: Easy

Trail length: 3.4 Miles

A trek out to Murphy Point in Canyonland's famous Island in the Sky District is likely to capture the attention of sunset seekers and red rock addicts alike. It's maybe the greatest in terms of a low effort with high reward path in the National Park System. It's a great first path for novice trekkers who want to experience the ''amazing moment" of the Grand Canyon, that is without carrying a heavy load.Even though visitors must carry in water for the entirety of their journey (at least 1 gallon per day, per person), seeing the sunset beyond the juniper-speckled cliffs that drop to the Green River below is an experience we're sure one will never forget.

Rock Harbor to Three Mile, Isle Royale National Park

Difficulty score: Easy

Trail length: 7.2 Miles

The Greenstone Ridge Trail on Isle Royale frequently appears on rankings of the top thru-hikes in America, but these compilations seldom highlight the fact that the trail is completely without scenery for the first half of the journey. By taking the final section of the path from Rock Harbor to Three Mile Campground on a weekend excursion, you may avoid the forest canopy as well as the mosquitoes while still enjoying the park's rocky shoreline and boreal habitat. Enjoy some of the darkest night skies in the nation while sleeping in a bug-free wooden shelter close to the frigid shore of Lake Superior.

Leigh Lake, Grand Teton National Park

Difficulty score: Easy

Trail length: 5.4 Miles

This pleasant, five-mile walk around the eastern side of String and Leigh Lakes can satisfy your thirst for beachfront real estate if you don't mind carrying your stuff a few miles down a level dirt route to get there. Starting at the Leigh Lake Trailhead, hikers may enjoy impressive views of the Tetons as they meander in and out of the tall pine trees that line the sparkling clear lake. Set up camp by booking up your permit for site 12B that has lots of shade, bear boxes for food storage and even with a private beach. Woah! If you're up for more, you can do a two-mile round trip day trek to Trapper Lake to see the park's famed green woods where you can experience isolation and the beauty of solitude, and of course, it's awesome peaks. They say, you could even see a bald eagle if you're lucky. Fingers crossed.

Cathedral Lakes, Yosemite National Park

Difficulty score: Moderate

Trail length: 7.1 Miles

A trip up to Cathedral Lakes is an awesome place to start—without working up a sweat—but if you want to properly appreciate the full experience of Yosemite, you need to travel out of the valley and up into the high country. This well-traveled path begins in the Tuolumne Meadows area of the park and quickly gains over 1,000 feet through a cool forest of old growth lodgepole pines and mountain hemlock. Hikers have the choice of turning right and camping at the lower lake or continuing on and setting up camp at Upper Cathedral, which is just beneath the toothy summit that bears the same name. This alpine basin prohibits campfires, so cuddle up with a backcountry friend and a light camp dinner while admiring the Milky Way's starry pattern in the night sky. Cozy isn't it?

Bear Lake Trail to Odessa Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Difficulty score: Moderate

Trail length: 9.4 Miles

A great way to explore the many Rocky Mountain scenery is to backpack to Odessa Lake. At a great elevation of 9,449 feet, adventurers here start at the gorgeous shore of Bear Lake before meandering through a forest of scented spruce and fir. Before reaching the lake, which has two side-by-side campsites that is reserved in advance, an outhouse, and breathtaking views of the spectacular cathedral of granite, the route soon opens up into the glacially carved granite of Odessa Gorge.

Appalachian Trail to Charlies Bunion, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Difficulty score: Moderate

Trail length: 8 Miles

Backpackers who are quite knowledgeable refer to the Appalachian Trail as "the green tunnel." Its heavily forested, low-elevation profile keeps hikers mostly in the trees and away from the expansive views they probably came for, which is why. In order to reach the Icewater Spring Shelter, which is located 1,400 feet above sea level, you must first leave the large parking area at Newfound Gap, which is perched on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. You will then wind through a canopy of deciduous forest and emerge into thrilling views of the Smokies then continue on a one-mile day trek to the lichen-covered cliff rocks of Charlies Bunion.

Wonderland Trail to Camp Summerland, Mt. Rainier National Park

Difficulty score: Moderate

Trail length: 8.5 Miles

Buckle up, lace your boots and get ready to climb on this 8.4-mile trip along the famed Wonderland Trail if you don't have the time or stamina to finish the entire 93-mile round trek of Mt. Rainier national park. It's a journey right out of Middle Earth, if you know what we mean, and on the route, hikers travel through a lush forest and cross a softly bubbling waterfall before encountering a series of well-maintained switchbacks. Being slammed with great panoramas and gorgeous vistas of Mount Rainier's dazzling, glaciated peak will definitely pay off the effort. Set up a tent at Summerland Camp and get up early for an amazing sunrise or continue hiking for another mile to dip your toes in a gorgeous nameless tarn.


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1 comment

Wait a sec…you said any skill level, where are the difficult ones? Check out 4 pass loop in CO.


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