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Hikers in Utah travel paths through alpine forests, red rock lands, jagged peaks and lush waterways in search of the great reward around the next bend — sometimes over the course of multiple turns and several days. If you're packing your bag with enough food and gear for the long haul, then adjust your compass for Utah's magnetic declination and check the battery in your GPS.

Utah is filled with opportunities to push yourself deep into backcountry of national parks and monuments or wilderness areas of forest and BLM lands. Here are three backpacking destinations to get you started:

Where to Backpack in Utah

Wasatch Range Backpacking

Find trailheads to beautiful multiday hikes within minutes of downtown, then find solitude in the mountains.

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Uinta Mountains Backpacking

Explore deep into Utah's highest mountain range with these popular multiday hike options.

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Backpacking Utah's Red Rock Country

Backcountry trails fill Southern Utah's vast canyon country. Here are six of the best multiday hikes.

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Backpacking Tips and Tricks

There is no more varied place in the world than Utah to backpack. Here are a few tips to help get you in the right mindset for backpacking in Utah.

  • The season can determine the destination, whether you choose to head for the mountains, make a pilgrimage to the desert, or both.
  • Two-thirds of Utah is public land: Five national parks, nine million acres of national forest, millions of acres within national monuments and national recreation areas, and vast areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
  • Regardless of where you choose to hike, keep safety in mind and be cautious.
  • Never hike alone, always tell your friends and family where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Always carry plenty of water in both the deserts and mountains, no matter the season, no matter the outside temperature. You are hiking at high elevation.
  • Bring a first-aid kit and a water filter. It's a good idea to take more food and water than you think you'll need in the event you become stranded.
  • Be prepared to be truly self-reliant.
  • Most importantly, have a safe, fun, and rewarding experience.

The Seven Leave No Trace Principles

  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire).
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.


Backpacking Resources

REI's Introduction to Backpacking blog series, to get you started and get you going

U.S. Forest Service "Know Before You Go" Hiking and Camping

U.S. Forest Service Backpacking (PDF)

Leave No Trace 7 Principles for enjoying the natural world, for monitoring conditions on peaks

BasecampMD with important information about hiking at altitude for stories, resources and gear review

Permit Information

Bureau of Land Management

U.S. Forest Service