By Michael Lanza

So you didn’t plan months in advance to reserve a permit for backpacking this summer in Glacier, Yosemite, on the Teton Crest Trail, Wonderland Trail, or John Muir Trail or in another popular national park? Or you applied for a permit but got rejected. Now what? Where can you still go this year?

You’re in luck. This story describes 15 backpacking trips you can still plan and take in 2021—either because they don’t require a permit reservation or, in the case of Yosemite, North Cascades, Sequoia, Yellowstone, and Olympic national parks, there are ways to still obtain a permit, even at this late date.

Eight of them are in top-tier national parks, and the others are all multi-day wilderness hikes with national park-caliber scenery. They all possess qualities that make them stand out in personal memory among the countless adventures I’ve enjoyed over the past three decades, including the 10 years I spent as Northwest Editor of Backpacker magazine and even longer running this blog.


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 backpacker hiking the Timberline Trail around Oregon’s Mount Hood.
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If you long more than ever to get back into the wilderness this year, scroll through this list and start the gears turning to make one of these trips happen. You know that you’ll be glad you did.

And I can help you plan any of them. See my Custom Trip Planning page to learn how.

Please share your thoughts on any of these trips in the comments at the bottom of this story. I
Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.mansbrand.com/zhurong-is-rolling-on-mars/

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