With the new year on the horizon, it’s time to start planning for the next season of camping. For most of us, winter has just arrived, but that doesn’t mean the countdown to spring camping hasn’t begun. It’s time to take a look at my top destinations for 2015.
Bend, Oregon – Repeatedly ranked as one of “the nicest places to live,” as well as renowned for the tight knit outdoor community, Bend, OR is at the top of my list. There are a number of outdoor activities in bend, from mountaineering to rock climbing to mountain biking, even some rafting and paddling.
Grand Tetons National Park – I was fortunate enough to spend a couple weeks in the Tetons in 2011. We spent time hiking around inspiration point and doing the tourist thing before making an attempt at summiting The Grand. Unfortunately due to inclement weather and some poor time management, we had to turn around before fully summiting. I’d love to get back. In my mind, the view from The Grand is one of the prettiest, and one of my favorites.
- Isle Royale, Michigan
– If you’ve never been to Isle Royal then you’ve really missed out. Located north of Copper Harbor, MI. Isle Royale is one of the most remote and exquisite backpacking destinations in the country. Although highly regulated, Isle Royale provides access to untouched wildlife, day hiking, backpacking, fishing and kayaking. The Parks service has done an excellent job of preserving and designing the park so that backpackers have access to Moose, Fish and even the occasional Wolf.
- The Presidential Traverse, NH – Located in the north east, the presidential traverse is known for its epic hiking and intense weather. On any given day, hikers can experience winds in the 100mph range with the area holding the second place record for the fastest on land wind speeds at 231mph.
Rain and snowstorms can roll in off the coast, causing complications and challenges for even the most experienced hikers. The area encompasses 750,000 acres and is home to 7 peaks aptly named after our most distinguished presidents. The trail itself stretches 23 miles with approximately 9,000 feet of elevation gain. It’s no secret that the weather is what provides the experience, as the hiking is fairly straight forward.
- The Ozark Mountains – I love the Ozark Mountains. From the culture, to the scenic views, to the rolling hills and running rivers, the Ozark mountains are some of the most unappreciated mountains in the country. The climbing, kayaking and hiking are beyond impressive, and incredibly remote. The local people are friendly and trails are beautiful. I don’t have a tremendous amount of time spend down in the Ozarks, so making a trip back is definitely on my 2015 bucket list.