The 5 Best Long-Distance Hikes in the USA

Long-distance hikes are a fantastic way to see the country. They're also great for testing your mettle and challenging your body.

The best part about these hikes is that they're not always difficult; some even take on a much more leisurely pace, which makes them perfect for people who want to take their time exploring beautiful areas of America. Here are the5 best long-distance hikes in the USA.

1. Appalachian Trail: 14 states from Georgia to Maine, 2,185 miles.

The Appalachian Trail is one of the most popular long-distance hiking trails in the USA. At 2,185 miles long and starting in Georgia, it is said that the AT is more than a roof over your head; it's a compass point. The trail has many different segments but all of them connect to each other, providing hikers with an infinite number of options.

If you decide to do the entire trail, it will take you almost a month on average. However, if you take on smaller sections or days trips, you can see amazing parts of the country that are otherwise unattainable.

2. Pacific Crest Trail: 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada, California

The Pacific Crest Trail is a 2,650-mile hiking trail in the United States that starts in Mexico and ends in Canada. Part of the Appalachian Trail can be broken up into segments that are easy to hike or connected segments that make up the 'whole' hike. There are many different trails; however, all trace back to just over a third of the total trail's length. The PCT is heavily trafficked, which means you'll probably encounter a lot of foot traffic.

3. Oregon Desert Trail

The Oregon Desert Trail is an Arizona state segment of the PCT. It is widely known to be one of the most difficult hiking trails in the country and is known for its few water sources. To complete the trail you have to walk over 6,000 miles. This hike can take anywhere from a month to two years depending on your level of commitment.

4. Continental Divide: 2,850 miles, Mexico to Canada

The Continental Divide is the highest point of elevation in the United States, connecting Canada and the United States with nearly 2000 miles in between. This means that you'll be trekking through some beautiful wilderness areas. You'll be spending a lot of time alone on this trail; you're not supposed to have anyone else except family members with you. This is a long trail and you'll need to be prepared with the gear you will need.

The Continental Divide Trail is unlike the other trails above. With a shorter length and ending in Canada, it's a relatively short hike that traces the very prominent mountain range known for its continental divide. The CDT has many amazing sights that you're not likely to see on other long-distance trails but it also has sections of high elevation and steep climbs.

5. The Long Trail

The Long Trail is a trail that runs from Connecticut to New Hampshire. It is only about half as long as the PCT but it takes nearly twice as long. The trail has many different campgrounds and accommodations that you can find along the way. With many well-known parts of the country and paths through beautiful forests, The Long Trail will give you a sense of what it is like to be out in the wild living off of your own energy and helping nature stay in balance.

What You Need to Make Your Hiking Journey Perfect

There are many things to consider when planning a long-distance hike. Most of the time you will have to carry everything that you need on your back, which means that you need to be sure that the gear you use is right for the job. The following list will help you figure out what gear you need and how to get it.

Purevave travel bags

  • Lightweight Backpack

The lightweight backpack is the most important piece of gear on any backpacking trip. Without it, you can't carry any of your supplies. Fortunately, there is a pretty simple way to choose the right one. You'll need to visit an online store like Purevave which specializes in outdoor brands and helps you choose the right backpack for your hike. You'll look at the weight, the size and all of the other components of this pack to ensure that it's as lightweight as possible for you to carry comfortably.

The weight will vary depending on what kind of terrain you'll be hiking through and how many supplies you need to carry. Tell them that you are planning on doing a long-distance hike and they'll show you several different options based on your body weight and the type of terrain you'll be hiking.

  • Light & Comfortable Shoes

If your shoes aren't comfortable, then neither will your hike be. Make sure that you have a pair of shoes that are sturdy and supportive but also lightweight. You want shoes that are designed for long distance walking so that you can go on all day adventures without injuring yourself with too much weight on your feet.

  • Packing System

You need to make sure that everything is going to fit and it's not too bulky. If you have too much gear then it's going to be harder to walk, it will also be very heavy to carry. You should try on a lot of different packs until you find one that fits well in your back and so that the load is evenly distributed.

  • Clothes/Accessories

You need to make sure that your clothes are suitable for everything that you will be doing. Hiking through the wilderness is hot, so make sure that you are prepared with clothes that are lightweight and are weatherproof. You'll also need comfortable clothes for sleeping. If you're planning on hiking in the winter, then bring a pair of nice boots that will keep your feet warm and dry.

  • First Aid Kit

No matter what kind of hike you are going on, it is important that you always have a first aid kit with you. You'll need to protect yourself from things like blisters, cuts and scrapes or even bugs and snakes.  

Is a Lightweight Backpack Important

Yes, if you are planning on hiking a long-distance trail, then you need to make sure that you have a great lightweight backpack. If you try to use any old bag or box, then it will be difficult for you to transport all your supplies. You don't want your gear to get crushed, so having a special travel bag is essential. You can even buy kits like this online that are designed specifically for long-distance hiking and are able to hold everything.

5 Reasons Why a Good Travel Bag Can Make a Difference

1. It keeps your gear safe and organized.

The best lightweight backpack that you can buy are made of durable materials. These materials will keep your gear completely waterproof and help to protect it from any kind of moisture. The handle on the bag is also ergonomic so that you won't have a hard time carrying it along with everything else that you're lugging around with you.

2. It protects your equipment from damage

Your equipment needs to be protected when you are traveling through the woods. You don't want to have to worry about losing anything or having it get ruined because of the distance that you are carrying it.

3. It keeps everything together so that you can find it easier

When you are hiking there are a lot of different things that you need to keep track of. That is why your bag needs to be able to be organized. If you don't have enough compartments, then it will be difficult for you to find the things that you need when they're needed most.

4. It's easy to travel light/easy to carry

You can choose a bag that is designed for hiking or even one that you can use for all your outdoor activities. It will hold everything that you need and can be adjusted to fit your gear perfectly. The best lightweight backpack also has excellent durability so that they will last many years with all of your adventures.

5. It's comfortable to use

You want to choose a lightweight backpack that will be very functional but still be comfortable to use. It should have a padded interior so that your gear is protected and won't get damaged. There is no point in carrying around heavy bags and dragging them around if they're not comfortable either.

Where to Get A Quality Lightweight Backpack?

When it comes to finding the right travel lightweight backpack, you need to look for something that is sturdy and truly made with quality in mind. You can also find all of these features online on websites such as Purevave and others.


Whether you are going on a weekend trip or an ambitious long-distance hike, you will want to make sure that you are prepared for any obstacles that come your way. Don't be afraid to pack up your gear and step out into the wilderness.

If you are going on a long trail, don't forget that having a good travel light backpack is one of the most important things to have when you go hiking.

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