By Michael Lanza

Solitude has always reigned as one of the holy grails of backpacking: We all dream of finding that lonely campsite deep in the wilderness with an amazing vista, or hiking for miles or days encountering few or even no other people on the trail. Unfortunately, reality often conflicts with expectations for many backpackers when they discover that the dream trip they’ve been anticipating for months was apparently a dream trip for an awful lot of other people, too.

But the truth is that there are many ways to find backcountry solitude because the odds work in your favor: Most wilderness trails have few or no people on them most of the time. The search for solitude is less a needle-in-a-haystack conundrum and more a matter of thinking outside the box: You simply have to understand where and when to look for it.


Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

A campsite in Painter Basin, below 13,538-foot Kings Peak (right) in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness.
” data-image-caption=”Our campsite in Painter Basin, below 13,538-foot Kings Peak (right) in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness.
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Uinta1-038-Campsite-in-Painter-Basin-below-13538-foot-Kings-Peak-right-High-Uintas-Wilderness-Utah.jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Uinta1-038-Campsite-in-Painter-Basin-below-13538-foot-Kings-Peak-right-High-Uintas-Wilderness-Utah.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1″ width=”900″ height=”600″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Uinta1-038-Campsite-in-Painter-Basin-below-13538-foot-Kings-Peak-right-High-Uintas-Wilderness-Utah.jpg?resize=900%2C600&ssl=1″ alt=”A campsite in Painter Basin, below 13,538-foot Kings Peak (right) in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness.” class=”wp-image-46623″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Uinta1-038-Campsite-in-Painter-Basin-below-13538-foot-Kings-Peak-right-High-Uintas-Wilderness-Utah.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Uinta1-038-Campsite-in-Painter-Basin-below-13538-foot-Kings-Peak-right-High-Uintas-Wilderness-Utah.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Uinta1-038-Campsite-in-Painter-Basin-below-13538-foot-Kings-Peak-right-High-Uintas-Wilderness-Utah.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Uinta1-038-Campsite-in-Painter-Basin-below-13538-foot-Kings-Peak-right-High-Uintas-Wilderness-Utah.jpg?resize=150%2C100&ssl=1 150w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Uinta1-038-Campsite-in-Painter-Basin-below-13538-foot-Kings-Peak-right-High-Uintas-Wilderness-Utah.jpg?w=1200&ssl=1 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 900px) 100vw, 900px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />Our campsite in Painter Basin, below 13,538-foot Kings Peak (right) in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness.

I’ve learned the tricks for finding solitude described in this story over more than three decades (and counting) and countless thousands of miles of backpacking, including the 10 years I spent as Northwest Editor of Backpacker magazine and even longer
Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.mansbrand.com/how-to-know-how-hard-a-hike-will-be/

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