Top 14 Backpacking Trips in Idaho

The 14 Best Idaho Backpacking Trips: Exploring the Gem State’s Natural Beauty

Idaho, known as the Gem State, is a hidden outdoor paradise filled with breathtaking landscapes, pristine wilderness, and awe-inspiring mountain ranges. For adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers, backpacking in Idaho offers an unparalleled experience. From alpine lakes to rugged peaks, this diverse state has something for every backpacker. In this article, we will explore the 14 best backpacking trips in Idaho, taking you on a journey through its natural wonders.

1. Sawtooth Wilderness

The Sawtooth Wilderness, located in central Idaho, is a backpacker’s dream. With over 700 miles of trails and stunning alpine lakes, this area offers endless exploration opportunities. One notable trail is the Alice-Toxaway Loop, a 19-mile trek that takes you through breathtaking landscapes, including the soothing shores of Toxaway Lake and the towering Sawtooth peaks.

2. City of Rocks National Reserve

If you’re a history buff and a backpacker, the City of Rocks National Reserve is a must-visit destination. This unique geological area offers stunning rock formations and fantastic climbing opportunities. Backpackers can explore the diverse trails and camp under the stars, surrounded by towering granite spires that create a surreal atmosphere.

3. Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness

The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, the largest wilderness area in the lower 48 states, is an adventurer’s dream. With its vast expanse of rugged mountains, deep canyons, and picturesque rivers, this wilderness area offers limitless backpacking opportunities. The Middle Fork Salmon River Trail is a popular choice, leading backpackers through breathtaking landscapes and historic sites.

4. Salmon River Mountains

The Salmon River Mountains, part of the Idaho Batholith, provide backpackers with stunning panoramic views and extraordinary hiking experiences. The Big Horn Crags, located in this range, offer challenging yet rewarding trails through granite peaks and alpine meadows. The hike to Born Lakes is a favorite, allowing backpackers to witness the beauty of this remote wilderness.

5. Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, straddling the borders of Idaho and Montana, offers backpackers a chance to explore pristine landscapes and rugged terrain. The Magruder Corridor, a historic wagon road, offers an unforgettable backpacking experience. The trail runs through dense forests and opens up to vast meadows, providing a sense of solitude and immersion in nature.

6. Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America, is an adventurer’s playground. Backpackers can hike along the Snake River, surrounded by towering cliffs and breathtaking views. The Seven Devils Loop is a challenging yet rewarding trail that takes you through this dramatic landscape, offering stunning vistas and a chance to spot wildlife along the way.


Idaho’s natural beauty and diverse landscapes make it a backpacker’s paradise. Whether you seek the solitude of alpine lakes, the thrill of rugged mountains, or the history embedded in its trails, Idaho has something to offer every adventurer. From the rugged peaks of the Sawtooth Wilderness to the serenity of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, these 14 backpacking trips provide a glimpse into the natural wonders that make Idaho truly special. So, grab your backpack and embark on an unforgettable journey through Idaho’s awe-inspiring wilderness.


Avi Adkins

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

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