THIS SUMMER, think beyond your local trails and turn backpacking into your main vehicle for adventure. Few things are better than the overwhelming sense of accomplishment after completing a multi-day backpacking trip and hitching a ride into a new town, clothes covered in trail, to find a guesthouse to shower in, or even just arriving back at the trailhead to a cooler stocked with canned beer floating in melted ice and an old pair of flip-flops. Here are seven backpacking trips that offer not only that feeling, but the perfect chance to get away from the crowds and enjoy some solace on the trail. Before heading out on any of these treks, get yourself prepared by checking out our ultimate summer backpacking gear guide to be sure you have the gear situation under control.
1. Great Baikal Trail, Russia
Length: 31 miles (50 km)
Time: 3 days
Siberia might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of trekking. That’s a good thing in this case, as your experience on the Great Baikal Trail will be devoid of touristy day hikers, and there’s a solid chance that once get a few miles out you won’t run into anyone at all. Southern Siberia has a remoteness that is all but lost in the world’s popular trekking regions, and no, it isn’t a freezing, snow-covered tundra.
The biggest draw to the area is Lake Baikal itself, but getting out on the trail provides views and adventure that those staying down at the lake miss out on. The trail takes trekkers up to 2,500 ft in elevation and moves right along the lakefront at other points in the journey. Lake Baikal is the world’s largest freshwater lake by volume, surpassing even the Great Lakes in the northern US. This 3-day trek takes you and your crew to the summit of Mount Listvyanka.