When it comes to choosing a backcountry destination, where can you possibly start? If you live here in the United States, there are almost too many possibilities to choose from. From the national parks and state parks, to hidden gems and secret trails, the list goes on and on. So, when it comes time for you to choose where you’re taking your vacation this year or where you’re opting to spend a few months in the outdoors, how can you decide?
Take our quiz to see where you belong.
Which sounds more appealing?
a) A view of the red and orange canyons of the desert.
b) Seeing the snowy peaks of a beautiful mountain range.
c) Catching some wildlife in a meadow or forest.
d) Meeting friends at campgrounds on the Appalachian Trail.
What is considered a reasonable challenge for you?
a) Pushing yourself on a hot-weather hike.
b) Making your way up a steep mountain.
c) Navigating your way through the wilderness.
d) Completing a generous thru-hike.
When you imagine yourself outdoors, what do you see?
a) A picture of me dominating a vast background behind me.
b) Me making it to Mt. Everest Base Camp.
c) Me standing next to one of the biggest trees in the California Redwood forest.
d) Me standing on top of the monument at the end of the Pacific Northwest Trail.
What weather is your ideal climate for spending time outdoors?
a) The hotter the better. Either way, the desert cools down at night.
b) Bring on the cold! There’s no way I could hike while I’m drowning in sweat.
c) I’m open to anything, as long as it’s not too hot or too cold.
d) Chilly is good. I like to dress in layers.
How far are you willing to go to reach your dream destination?
a) I’ll take a plane just so I can hike down to my favorite canyon!
b) All the way north in Canada, The North Pole, Antarctica…
c) If it’s close by, that’s better.
d) Just take me to the trailhead and I’ll find my way from there.
What’s your backcountry bucket list look like?
a) Reaching Angel’s Landing or taking a photo at The Wave.
b) Make your way up all the Fourteeners.
c) Catching a glimpse of a Bald Eagle or a rare California Condor.
d) Hiking from Alaska down to Mexico.
Mostly a’s: You’re a desert person! Visit the southwest of the United States and hit up the beautiful desert national park, like the Canyonlands, Joshua Tree, Bryce Canyon National Park, etc.
Mostly b’s: You’re meant for the cold weather! Head out to the cold states like Colorado, Washington, Canada, or the Midwest during the wintertime to hit up some of the best national parks, like Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Teton, or Glacier National Park for some snowy experiences!
Mostly c’s: You’re ready for the All-American experience. You can go hike the most popular trails and visit the most popular national parks in the whole country like Yosemite or Yellowstone. But, if there’s a gem in your town, you’ll go visit that, too, because you can find beauty and wilderness right in your backyard.
Mostly d’s: Your backcountry destination is anywhere on a thru-hike. Even if you can’t hike the entire thing, you’ll be more than happy to do a section of a long trail, like parts of the Continental Divide or sections the John Muir trail.
Did you have a mix of some of these answers? Then that just means you’re open to spending time at even more backcountry destinations!