The 6 Best Winter Thru-Hiking Trails in the U.S.

Winter could be a chilly albeit magical time to go backpacking. The crowds are minimal, the air is contemporary, and the views are unparalleled. While cozying up subsequent to the fireplace with a superb ebook is engaging, getting outdoors and experiencing the fantastic thing about the pure world is price it each time. With somewhat further planning and the correct gear, wintertime thru-hiking might be the journey of a lifetime. And it’s not only a shift in angle that’s needed; typically a shift in latitude helps as effectively, rethinking the wilder choices in southern climes with milder winter temps. Here, we’ve rounded up six missed, but engaging long-distance mountain climbing and backpacking routes to unplug, escape the depths of winter and go trek in the contiguous United States.

A cascade on Spirit’s Creek off the Ozark Highlands Trail. Shutterstock

Ozark Highlands Trail

Winslow, Arkansas

Located in Northwest Arkansas, the Ozark Highlands Trail begins at Lake Fort Smith State Park and ends at Buffalo National River, showcasing a few of the greatest views the Ozarks have to supply. Over the course of the point-to-point path, hikers are handled to views of vistas, waterfalls, rivers, forests, and the well-known Ozark Mountains. Prime time to go to is between fall and early spring, as the summer season months can get fairly toasty. The 160-mile, dog-friendly path consists of roughly 23,622 of elevation acquire and usually takes hikers 10 to 14 days to finish.

 

Florida Trail

Putman County, Florida

A preferred backpacking vacation spot since 1966, the statewide National Scenic Trail runs from Pensacola Beach to the fringe of the Everglades. Most hikers navigate the path from south to north, permitting them to finish the most troublesome portion of the path first. Along the approach, hikers can anticipate to come across quite a lot of terrain and ecosystems together with wetlands, lakes, floodplains, sand pine-scrub forest, rural farmland, timberland, and coastal views. The Florida mountain climbing season runs from October to April, with January, February, and March being the greatest months for prolonged backpacking journeys. The point-to-point path spans 1,400 miles and takes anyplace type 60-90 days to finish.

 

Sunset in Dominguez Canyon in Western ColoradoSunset in Dominguez Canyon in Western Colorado. Shutterstock

Dominguez Canyon Loop

Whitewater, Colorado

Situated on the outskirts of the Colorado Plateau, the Big and Little Dominguez Canyon loop is a stable winter backpacking choice. While there are a selection of scenic day-hikes, for a distance thru-hike, head up Big Dominguez Canyon from the Gunnison River earlier than traversing sagebrush flats and returning down Little Dominguez Canyon. The dog-friendly hike gives beautiful views of the river, waterfalls, towering cliffs, and historic petroglyphs. Although the journey is barely 40 miles, it’s best fitted to skilled hikers, because it requires stable navigational expertise to traverse the poorly marked trails. The hike consists of roughly four,500 ft of elevation acquire and might be prolonged as a Three- to 5-day journey.

Black Canyon Trail

Spring Valley, Arizona

Frequented by hikers, bikers, and equestrians, the Black Canyon Trail is a point-to-point hike that begins at Prescott National Forest and finishes at the Carefree Highway. The singletrack path is usually hiked north to south and the excessive desert views embody saguaro forests, rugged canyons, and the Bradshaw Mountains to the west. Temperatures stay reasonable year-round, falling between 40-70 levels in the winter months. The path is someplace in the ballpark of 70-80 miles, consists of 5,885 ft of elevation acquire, and usually takes seven days to finish at a leisurely tempo.

 

Lone Star Hiking Trail

Anderson, Texas

Ringing in at 96 miles, the Lone Star Hiking Trail is the longest steady path in Texas, with 32-miles of extra loops and path add-ons. Located an hour outdoors of Houston in the Sam Houston National Forest, the path begins simply south of Richards and finishes simply northwest of Cleveland. The well-marked path winds via pine and hardwood forests, alongside creeks, and previous bayous. Due to Texas’ gentle local weather, the hike is hottest in winter and spring however is ideally conquered starting in January when searching season is over. The reasonable path consists of Three,576 ft of elevation acquire and often takes hikers 10 days to finish.

Pinhoti Trail

Weogufka, Alabama

Snaking its approach via Georgia and Alabama, the Pinhoti Trail is a difficult 350-mile trek. The hike begins at Flagg Mountain close to Weogufka, Arizona and finishes at the intersection of the Pinhot Trail and the Benton Mackaye Trail at Mile 72.2. Often in comparison with the Appalachian Trail, the Pinhoti Trail gives views of inexperienced tunnels and rocky outcrops, in addition to secluded wildness areas coupled with easy accessibility to civilization. Peak season to go to is between October and April as the climate is cooler and bugs are minimal. The journey consists of 47,930 ft of ascent and may take hikers anyplace from three to 5 weeks to finish.


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