16 Astounding Backpacking Trips To Add To Your Bucket List

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1. Tour du Mont Blanc — France, Italy, Switzerland

Length: 105 miles (170 km), seven to eleven days

Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous

When to go: July–September

The TMB is considered Europe’s classic long-distance walk, and therefore also one of its most popular ones. The loop circles Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps, and passes through sections of exposed rock, wildflower plains, and views of awesome glaciers. The distance covered every day can be relatively low, but the significant climbs and drops (when combined, roughly 33,000 feet) can make those days pretty strenuous. Camping is permitted, but the route offers plentiful accommodation — and according to experienced hikers, exploring the villages along the way is part of the fun.

2. Torres del Paine — Chile

Length: 62 miles (100 km), eight days

Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous

When to go: November–April

The Torres del Paine (aka “the towers”) refers to the twisting granite monoliths that reach 10,000 feet into the sky and around which this circuit loops. These towers are just part of the surreal landscape this Patagonian trail offers, alongside vast blue glaciers, jagged cliffs, subpolar forests, wildflower fields, and exotic wildlife including condors, guanacos, and sometimes even pumas. Huts are available, but usually crowded (especially during summer months, when the sun sets at 10 p.m.), and camping is generally considered the better option.

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