Explore Backpacking - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Backpacking Map
7 days ago

Second year completed in a row, did the trail in June both years I did it in two days next year will be doing it in three days

Four of us attempted counter clockwise last week of Sept. Got to Heaven Lake ~10 miles in but one of our party partially separated an achilles. We backed him out out slowly. I think the moderate rating is misleading. Parts are definitely difficult. Moderate is kind of an average. From the Crack through Hansen is constant up and down on a lot of irregular surface. If the quartzite gets wet it's slippery.
That said, what a beautiful place. We all intend to go back.

I DID IT! Woohoo!

Hike of a lifetime! My best backpacking experience so far.
We didn't resupply during our trip and it made the first few days extremely difficult, until our packs got a bit lighter - think about it twice before you commit to the fully autonomous mode! Also make sure you have a plan B in case your water filter breaks on day 2... but we were lucky and none of us got sick even after drinking unfiltered water from rivers and lakes for two weeks.

15 days ago

I finished this trail yesterday in 4 days/3nights with three friends and myself. This was our first time on the trail and despite finishing on time, we were a bit ambitious with our pace and had 4 long days of hiking. The scenery was very rewarding. I’ll definitely be doing the loop again, although will be adding one or two nights and including the hike up to silver peak. “The Crack,” which is located about 5 hours from the trailhead travelling counterclockwise, was not very enjoyable as we were inundated with a tour bus of day hikers who were not very trail savvy. The next time I do this loop I’ll be travelling counterclockwise and aiming to pass through the crack earlier in the day on a weekday. Otherwise, great trail overall. However, I would certainly rate this trail as difficult and not moderate.

Just finished 7 nights on the trail. Arrived back at George Lake yesterday. Trail was both challenging and rewarding. Beautiful scenery and weather was very agreeable. Think I would be more inclined to rate the trail as difficult. Maybe I’m just out of shape...lol. Am definitely looking forward to going again!!

Check out our trip video at Trail Perspective on YouTube:
& https://youtu.be/GLPpZOIsYAg

Did a section of the JMT from Happy Isles to Rush Creek (Near Reds Meadow) in September. Crazy gorgeous section of the trail, wish we could've had the time to go all the way to Whitney. My favorite part of this section was the last part of Donahue Pass to Thousand Island Lake.

17 days ago

Spent 9 days on the trails with my wife and had an awesome time. There was SO much to see. Every stop and every camp site offered a wonderful memory. Looking forward to making the trip with my son next.

Amazing trip!! A must for every hiker!

24 days ago

Beautiful views, especially on the first day hike out of the gorge. You get lots of beautiful highlands after that. Aside from the very beginning and end, the elevations are fairly mild.

I can't overstate how wet it was. The entire landscape is boggy and absorbs the frequent rain like a sponge. You will constantly be in ankle-deep water. As such, lots of bugs. It also get quite cold (like 4°C in August at night).

Navigation is the real challenge. As they tell you, don't rely on foot paths to show you the trail, you'll need to be on your GPS pretty frequently. Note that there are multiple routes: I had the official route, the one from here, and another on my garmin. They're all somewhat different (a fact I didn't appreciate at first, to my own detriment).

The official trial is the black-track in AllTrails. It tends to go over hills, whereas the AllTrails route goes around those hills, making for a longer, flatter, and wetter trail.

I would STRONGLY suggest following the official trail on the route between Harding's Pond and Green Island Pond. We started with the AllTrails route then turned back and did the official one for this section. The two routes split right as you leave Harding's Pond, with the official trail taking you more northward into the hills. You'll get much nicer views on the official trail; the AllTrails route will be flatter, but will take you through difficult tuckamore and over a cliff right before Green Island Pond that's quite dangerous if its wet.

I would also follow the official trail on the last day's descent. The trails are a bit confusing here. I didn't see the AllTrails descent, but given the cliff it took me down the previous day, I wasn't gonna trust it.

In any event, this was a challenging hike. Not so much physically, but more because of the wetness and navigation issues. It's well worth it, though. Gorgeous.

I did this trail in August with my best friend and it was awesome! It was hard of course, but the weather was almost perfect the whole time. There were a couple rain/hail storms but that was about it. Mosquitos only bothered us a few times, and it wasn't that bad. We did 21 days with three resupplies at Red's Meadow, Muir Trail Ranch, and Independence. Muir Trail Ranch was a disappointment with no services other than picking up our buckets, and we realized later that we should have done Vermillion Valley instead as many hikers said they had an awesome experience.

Amazing trail

perfect views awesome

Really nice hike. I would recommend taking 12 days for relaxed hiking and one spare day. No need to pack a lot of food as there are many possibilities to buy food along the way. A lot of elevation sets this trail apart from other hikes in Europe (unsurprisingly, it's in the alps). It's exhausting but worth the effort. Beautiful alpine scenery, some snow and cozy refuges. Great hike!

1 month ago

As good as it gets. Amazing views everywhere you look. Would do again in a heartbeat.

1 month ago

The food, the views, the people and the culture made this trip one I would do every year if I could. I highly recommend doing it anti-clockwise, and if you have the gear, camp it instead of staying in refuges. Camping offers you more privacy, better sleep and a more flexible schedule. If you do camp, map out the official campgrounds to stay at, especially in Italy.

Amazing experience. I highly recommend it! I didn’t want to come home after completing the hike.

1 month ago

SPECTACULAR. There are no words to describe how much I loved this trail. We got caught in some weather, so ended up completing the trail in 3 days. It was a grind, but it was stunning. We hiked from North to South, which I would definitely recommend.

Pretty awesome east coast hike. A group of us did it in 2 night and 3 days. We stayed at refugee cove the first night, and Carey Brook Cabin the second night. The cabins are very nice compared to a campsite, but comes at a cost (Id recommend them if you are struggling to do distance, or if its cold). There are plenty of rivers to get fresh water from so just bring a water filter. The last part of the trail on the north side past eatonville road is rather dull as it is a walk in a forest with moderate elevation gain. In our group of 4, on the last day I left from Carey Brook Cabin and hiked back to the car at the HQ (20.7KM), while the other 3 waited for me on Eatonville road for a ride. Eatonville road is a gravel road, would recommend a SUV, Jeep, or a truck to drive back there our 2010 corolla did fine though.

Most of the trail is inside the forest, but some times popes out to rock beaches, and once to an open field area. There are some cliff jumping spots near the middle of the trail (10', 40' and probably ~60') jumps, but you have to time the tide just right so you dont get sucked out into the bay. During late August the mosquitos were fairly bad. There were plenty of people on the trail, and there is no sense of danger. Just follow Leave No Trace procedures and you should be fine.

Tricky track. Pristine. Filter water well. I had stomach issues both times I did this trail.

Not that difficult. The challenge is the rockfall area to the pass from Sheep Camp to Happy Camp but is short lived. The challenge for me was the weather. Torrential rain and wind hitting me sideways. Streams on the CANADIAN side were challenging as water level did get high but doable. High winds blew me into a few creeks.
Will come back to do the Canadian side as the scenery is simply breathtaking. Beauty beyond belief. Clean toilets and Lindeman Camp had their two cabins heated with the wood stoves going. Three days of rain and soaked to the bone. Lindeman gave us a chance to dry out things.
Love love love the Canadian side and travel thru that terrain was simply awe inspiring.

1 month ago

Well maintained trail. Thumbs up to both the USA and Canada. Beautiful and scenic! I recommend this trail to anyone. The push over the pass is strenuous but doable for most hikers.

1 month ago

Super pretty and fun hike! Did it in 2 days, 3 nights (Seal Cove and Refugee Cove). Hike to refugee cove was beautiful and challenging. Between the two camp sites was a lot more flat than day 1, a long but steady hike. Seal cove to the trailhead is a bit boring, you follow along an old road. Found out later if you ask, there is a shuttle you can pay for and skip the less scenic part of the hike.

1 month ago

Gorgeous and strenuous. Have done this one several times in both directions and the hill ascents going west to east are steeper than the other way. Recommend 3-4 days depending on where you plan to start and finish. Strongly recommend buying the guide booklet. Recommend spending one night in Little Salmon River and doing the side trail to Walton Glen Gorge / Eye of the Needle. Avoid camping at Martin Head especially on weekends as it's a bit of a local party spot.

1 month ago

Wonderful hike! The amazing views, fascinating history and super variable terrain was the highlight of our 3 week Alaska and Yukon vacation! The rating of "difficult" is certainly accurate though and I would suggest some serious training for anyone planning to hike this trail!

1 month ago

Overall it was an amazing hike. We did the loop backwards. Extremely rewarding. Amazing views. Loads of looks offs.

After reading reviews and talking to folks we expected the hike to be far more challenging.
We would recommend this trail as a pre cursor to the Fundy foot path (friends we did the loop with us and said the footpath is far more challenging)

Amazing trail with great views. It is a challenging hike but well worth the time and effort. Will be back to hike this again in the near future.

This was my first backpacking trip ever lol. Completed this trail in 7 days/6 nights with my dog. Last week of July. Managed a trip up to silver peak too! Absolutely loved it! I underestimated the difficulty though. If your dog isn’t trail hardened, which mine wasn’t, bring boots and paw moisturizer. The rocks are sharp and will shred the paws without them.

1 month ago

This was an amazing hike! The views every day were fabulous. Our Trek was an REI Adventure. We had two guides and a driver. Our support team took care of all the logistics so all we had to do was enjoy the hike. We hiked 8 to 10 miles a day. Elevation gain was in the 2500 to 3000 ft range each day with one 4000 ft day. The climbs were very steep at times so be sure to be in shape if you plan to try this trek! It is an adventure of a lifetime!

2 months ago

Amazing 4 - 6 day back-country hike (5 days recommended) that truly leaves civilization behind. The choice to make, though, is to deal with mosquitoes, deer flies, horse flies, ticks, and dead-fall / avalanche debris at the start of the season, or risk snow and views spoiled somewhat by BC wildfire smoke near the end.

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