There’s no doubt that there are certain places in the US that are just destined for backpackers. If you’re from a place where you need a car to go anywhere or there’s no room for a car because you live in a city, then you can understand. If you’re one of those people wondering what it would be like to live somewhere in the States where the options for adventure are endless, then consider one of these amazing American cities where the lack of hiking trails will never be an issue:
Boulder, Colorado has been ranked one of the best cities in categories like quality of life and vibrant culture. It sits right between the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains, and just minutes away from the Flatirons. Everywhere you look is a different hiking trail, whether you prefer something more difficult or something more relaxed. Boulder Creek runs through the city, which is also a groovy place for those who like to chill after a long day on the trails.
All you can say when you hear about Tucson is, “Wow”. Lying on the Mexican-US border and the Santa Cruz River, you’ll be so close to amazing valleys and vistas that are just stunning. Tucson is at the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Tucson Mountains, providing those who live here with opportunities to hike, rock climb, ski, explore, or just admire the scenery. You’ll also find the Saguaro National Park, where you can do beautiful hikes through the desert.
Portland is a happening place for everyone, especially outdoorsy people. The city lies at the foothills of the Tualatin Mountains and is surrounded by the Cascades. The Willamette River runs through the city, which flows right into the Columbia River, an area where you can find gorgeous falls and perfect scenery, where trails are plentiful. The city itself is a great place to hang out, priding itself on beautiful parks and gardens as well as a bustling art and food scene.
Nevada City, California
California has tons of great hiking communities, but this one is its best kept secret. Many people move out here for a better quality of life, and backpackers would love it. Tahoe National Forest is the city’s backyard, and within it are hundreds of gorgeous hiking trails, including part of the PNT Trail. Nearby is the South Yuba River State Park. Nevada City also has tons of things to do all the time, from museums and galleries, to wineries and interesting history. However, all the hiking will surely take up most of your time.
If you don’t mind the rain, then Seattle is the place to be. The city has recently welcomed more and more new residents, due to the convenience, activities, and location near tons of outdoor opportunities everywhere you look. Whether you hit the Cascades or the long trails leading into Canada, there’s hikes everywhere, especially in Bellevue. Of course, the city of Seattle has it’s own fair share of things to do when you’re not backpacking.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The capital of New Mexico, Santa Fe, is no doubt a bustling place if you like always having something to do. The city has a rich influence from Mexican culture, which will certainly make you feel like you’re in a new place. For those who love the outdoors, this city lies on the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. You can hike up the Crestones, which is one of the peaks of the ‘Fourteeners’. Enjoy the views, the long mountain trails, and the vast ranges.
Near to Los Angeles, many people would think this is the last place that there would be outdoorsy stuff to do. However, once you get away from the congestion of the city, you’ll find tons of national parks with hiking trails, waterfalls, cliffs, canyons, and so much more. Head to the Santa Monica Mountains or the famous Bridge to Nowhere hike. For backpackers, this city is a dream. It’s no wonder they call it ‘The Hills’.
Rapid City, South Dakota
South Dakota itself is definitely off the beaten path, but the second-largest city after Sioux Falls is none other than Rapid City, which is a breath of fresh air for those looking for a more natural lifestyle. The city lies on Rapid Creek, and it’s very close to the Badlands, Black Hills National Forest, Custer State Park, and of course Mt. Rushmore. It’s a rather quaint area, but will be perfect for what you’re looking for.
Montana overall is one of the best states for enjoying the outdoors. It lies close to Yellowstone National Park as well as Glacier National Park. The city, though small, is full of a diverse group of people just looking for a better take on life. Everyone here loves doing outdoor activities, from hiking and rock-climbing, to rafting, skiing…you name it. It’s quite easy; after all, the Rattlesnake Wilderness Area of Lolo National Forest is right here for your enjoyment.
If you’re a backpacker ready for a change, now you know where to look!