By Michael Lanza

We all want our wilderness backpacking trips to have two sometimes conflicting qualities: mind-blowing scenery, but also few other people around. A high degree of solitude somehow makes the backcountry feel bigger and wilder and the views more breathtaking. However unrealistic the notion may be, we like to believe we have some stunning corner of nature to ourselves. But in the real world, if you head out into popular mountains in July or August or in canyon country in spring or fall, you’ll probably have company—maybe more than you prefer.

Not on these trips, though.

From lonely corners of the majestic High Sierra (including, believe it or not, Yosemite), the North Cascades region, and Utah’s High Uintas and Maze District of Canyonlands, to the Wind River Range, Idaho’s beloved Sawtooths, the Eagle Cap Wilderness and a rugged adventure in the Grand Canyon, here are 10 multi-day hikes where you’re guaranteed to enjoy a degree of solitude—at least on long stretches of the trip—that’s equal to the scenery. All of these trips meet several of my “12 Expert Tips For Finding Solitude When Backpacking.”


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.

Teenage girls backpacking in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness.
” data-image-caption=”My daughter, Alex, her friend, Adele, and my wife, Penny, backpacking in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness.
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/DSC_3430.jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/DSC_3430.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1″ width=”900″ height=”600″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/DSC_3430.jpg?resize=900%2C600&ssl=1″ alt=”Teenage girls backpacking in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness.” class=”wp-image-40461″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/DSC_3430.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/DSC_3430.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/DSC_3430.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/DSC_3430.jpg?resize=1080%2C720&ssl=1 1080w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/DSC_3430.jpg?w=1200&ssl=1 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 900px) 100vw, 900px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />My daughter, Alex, her friend, Adele, and my wife, Penny, backpacking in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness.

They also happen to be some favorite trips among countless wilderness walks I’ve taken over more than three decades (and counting) of backpacking, including the 10 years I spent as a field editor for Backpacker magazine and even longer running this blog.

Please tell me what you think of these trips—or add your own suggestions—in the comments at the bottom of this story. I try to respond to all comments.

And I can help you plan any of them (or any trip you read about at this blog). See my Custom Trip Planning page to learn how.

A hiker on Liberty Cap in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.
” data-image-caption=”Jasmine Wilhelm taking an evening hike on Liberty Cap in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington

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