Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures: USA Edition

As an outdoor explorer, you likely make it a point to avoid crowds and take in nature’s beauty without the public in your way. Easier said than done, as beautiful vistas, landscapes and beaches attract people with varying interest and ability.

Still, there are plenty of remote and rugged places throughout the U.S. that aren’t — at least yet — on everyone and their mother’s bucket list. Here’s a look at some of the most beautiful and remote places across the country and how to get there.

Supai, Arizona

Few people have heard of Supai, and fewer people take the time to visit. Why’s that? Because it’s a town at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. As the capital of the Havasupai Native Reservation, mail and supplies are either airlifted in by helicopter or packed in by mule train.

There are no roads into Supai, and only 400 residents call it home. Tourists who do visit Supai, however, are often surprised by the difficulty of hiking up and down the Grand Canyon and, more often than not, aren’t adequately prepared. While many tourists visit the Havasu Falls each year, few go so far as to visit the native community of Supai, despite the rich culture and of the Havasupai people.

A sturdy backpack and a pair of comfortable, dependable hiking boots will be required to make the trek up and down the Grand Canyon. You may also consider bringing a pair of trail runners. Finally, a first-aid kit should always be considered for hikes, as well as a plenty of water.

North Cascades

The North Cascades in Washington state are well known for stunning vistas and wilderness, but most people opt for short day hikes from trailheads that are easily accessible. In spite of that, backcountry expeditions are permitted with the proper paperwork, training and gear.

First, you’ll need the right vehicle and set of tires, as many of the roads can be treacherous and washouts are common, even though the North Cascade Loop is a breeze. With that in mind, consider investing in mud tires if you plan to partake in any backcountry hikes outside of the warm summer months. That’s because these roads are often littered with potholes and mud pits deep enough that even the most heavy-duty truck can get stuck without the proper tires.

Once you’re at the trailhead, you’ll want to make sure you have appropriate footwear and weather gear in the form of waterproof hiking boots and Gortex upper and lower shells. Additionally, make sure to apportion food, fuel for your camp stove and water for your first day until you can pump your own with a filter.

If you expect to leave the trail completely, consider a backcountry GPS device as well.

Kane Creek, Pritchett Canyon Loop

This doubletrack trail is a favorite amongst bikepackers. In particular, Moab, Utah, is well known for its desert beauty, and while this trail loop can be conquered on foot, it will take you and your group several days to complete. However, on a bicycle, this 53-mile loop can be done in just two days.

Bikepacking, however, isn’t for the novice cyclist. As such, you’ll need a sturdy mountain bike and bike frame bags. The highlights of this ride include the lush vegetation of Kane Creek and the epic views atop Pritchett Canyon before a swift and steep descent.

Adventure On

Whether it’s the backcountry of the North Cascades or the deep canyons of Arizona and Utah calling you, investing in and bringing the proper equipment with you is a must.

This doesn’t only mean hiking boots and a backpack, but also the correct tires for your vehicle, as well as the technical know-how to achieve your goals. Ultimately, it’s all about having the right gear and feeling prepared in order to conquer any and all outdoor adventures.