When you set out to start backpacking, you will likely have a lot of questions that need to be answered long before you begin any weekend backpacking trips. Things like, what to pack for weeklong backpacking trips, what, where, and how to eat while on the trail during a weekend hike, and finally, where to go for the best overnight backpacking trips. Whether you want to plan an epic hike in your favorite national park like The Great Smokey Mountains National Park or you are looking to stay closer to home by searching for a “hiking trip near me,” here are the best 2-3 day backpacking trips to consider for your first, or next, hiking weekend.
Choose The Right Trail
Long before you fill up your reusable water bottle and lace up your hiking boots, you need to decide which trail to traverse during your weekend backpacking trips. The best 2–3-day backpacking trips will take place over trails that meet all of your needs and wants (out and back or loop trail, flat or with elevation, a big visual payoff at the end or pleasant sights to see along the way). Check out the best U.S. Spring hiking spots as you do your research to find the best hiking getaways that are right for you, and consider these options which include some of the best 2-3 day backpacking trips in the U.S:
1. Superior Hiking Trail, Minnesota
This moderate, 310-mile footpath features a few trails that are solid gold for 2-day backing trips, including an 18-mile stretch running from Silver Bay to Country Road 6. You’ll enjoy lake views through the canopy of trees.
2. Grayson Highlands State Park, Virginia
If you want to do some bouldering during your hiking weekend, this beautiful Virginian State Park offers up one of the coolest weekend backpacking trips in the country. Just 7 miles total, but with moderate to difficult terrain and a lot of boulders to manage, you’ll find a great 1–2-day weekend hike here.
3. Timberline Trail, Oregon
This loop trail is one of the finest 5-day backpacking trips you can take in America, thanks in large part to it being a moderate loop with consistently awe-inspiring views of the iconic Mount Hood. You’ll hike through old-growth forests and past glaciers on an easily accessible trail that’s one of the all-time best overnight backpacking trips in the Pacific Northwest.
4. Pack for Your Hiking Weekend
Whether it’s a 2-day backpacking trip you are planning, weeklong backpacking trips you have in mind, or simply want to experience one of the best overnight backpacking trips near your home, packing correctly for a hiking weekend is crucial in order to have a memorable time in the great outdoors. Check out our ultimate spring camping checklist to figure out what you’ll need as you prepare for your next weekend hike.
5. National Take a Hike Day
What better way to get started on a hiking weekend than National Take a Hike Day? Of course, you don’t need to wait until November 17th to plan the best 2–3-day backpacking trips. There are many opportunities throughout spring and summer to experience hiking weekend getaways near your home or while away on vacation with your family.
If interested, you can also learn how solo backpacking trips and women’s hiking groups can help foster female empowerment.
Jeff is a dad of teen daughters, avid traveler, photographer, and freelance writer. He’s penned stories on family travel, outdoor recreation, the environment, parenting, and more for Fodor’s, Reader’s Digest, Parents Magazine, Good Housekeeping, PBS, and Esquire, among other publications. Find him on his blog, OWTK.com and on Instagram @OWTK. Jeff is also the publisher of the quarterly literary zine, Stanchion