Trekking across the National Parks is one of life’s greatest joys, and greatest challenges. Treks in and of themselves are notoriously difficult journeys, lasting from between a few days and a few months. What makes the arduous terrain worth navigating then?
Well, the breathtaking scenery and sense of adventure are what keeps trekkers coming back for more. When it comes to natural surroundings, what better setting for trekking than a National Park? Not only are the parks peaceful and far from most of society, but you may also spot some wildlife too!
Trekking National Parks:
- Overland Track – Australia
- The Narrows – United States of America
- The Long Range Traverse – Canada
- Larapinta Trail – Australia
- John Muir Trail – United States of America
The United States of America, Australia, and Canada are home to some of the world’s best National Parks. In this guide to trekking across National parks, we will take you through the ins and outs of these famous treks, so you can figure out which one is for you.
OVERLAND TRACK – AUSTRALIA
The Overland Track in Australia takes trekkers on an 80km walk through Tasmania’s rugged outback. The trek takes between five and six days to complete, with approximately six to seven hours of walking a day.
It is advised to train for this intermediate-level trek, as the trail is known to be challenging. Trekkers will walk through mud, dense forests, along boardwalks, and on steep staircases.
The trail weaves between Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair – the famous deep freshwater lake. As a result, the scenic journey takes trekkers through craggy mountains, forests and moorlands.
There are multiple sidewalks leading to various valleys, waterfalls, and summits such as Mount Ossa – at 1617 m. Fitness for the trek would require intense hour-long training sessions, three to four times a week. Training should also include carrying a weighted pack of between five and seven kilograms.
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THE NARROWS – UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Narrows is a 26km trek through deep canyons, worn by the Virgin River over millennia. Although the distance is so short that the term “trek” seems debatable, the terrain on The Narrows is no joke.
Trekkers must wade, and at times swim, through the Virgin River – which essentially forms the trail for the route. That being said, the trek is more of a hike, as it only takes one day to complete. But terminology aside, The Narrows in America is one beautiful adventure.
The trail, following along (and sometimes merging with) the Virgin River, passes between dramatic rockfaces of awe-inspiring heights. The Narrows earned its name for being the narrowest segment of Zion Canyon in the Zion National Park.
Located upstream from the main canyon, The Narrows is among the most well-known trails in the USA. Training for the trek-hike involves cardio of any nature, done twice a week for one hour.
THE LONG RANGE TRAVERSE – CANADA
The Long Range Traverse is revered as Canada’s favorite trek, taking trekkers through unmarked natural surroundings. While the duration suggests this trek might be suitable for beginners, the terrain is rugged, and trekkers must navigate their way along the route without a trail.
The route weaves through the Long Range mountains, from Western Brook Pond all the way to Ferry Gulch. Trailing between 1000m granite cliffs, the trek passes through gorges, alongside waterfalls and through thick forestation.
With the area’s thick fog and ever-transient weather, solo-trekkers are required to pass a navigation test before embarking on the trek.
The four to six day trailless trek is situated in the heart of the Gros Morne National Park – a Unesco World Heritage site. Training for the trek should include daily cardio, as well as weighted cardio to prepare for carrying a pack.
LARAPINTA TRAIL – AUSTRALIA
One of the other treks in National Parks is Larapinta Trail. The Larapinta Trail is an advanced trek spanning 223 km. Located in the West MacDonnell Range of the Northern Territory, the trek takes between sixteen and twenty days to complete.
While the walk offers trekkers plenty of glimpses into untouched landscapes, the track is accessible via adjoining roads and infrastructure. It is recommended to trek during the colder months, from April to September.
Rare sightings along the trail include Gosse Bluff, a circle of hills situated above a 142 million-year-old crater.
The West MacDonnell National Park is home to a number of sights, including Ormiston Gorge, Glen Helen, Mount Sonder, and Ellery Creek Big Hole.
Training for the trek involves months of regular cardio, whether it is cycling, running, walking, or spinning. But no matter the challenge of the training, Larapinta Trail is worth putting on your bucket list.
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JOHN MUIR TRAIL – UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The John Muir Trail runs through the High Sierras all the way from Yosemite National Park to the summit of Mount Whitney. Named after the wilderness activist John Muir, the 340km trail weaves between some of the most pristine countrysides in all of America.
A tent is mandatory, as there is no form of shelter along the trail. Trekkers can stockpile food in selected villages on the Northern section of the trail.
However, a 160 km stretch demands unscrupulous meal planning – in order to fit more than ten-days-worth-of-food into a small bear-proof canister. The trek takes around fourteen days to complete, with an average of 24km per day.
This advanced-level trek requires dedicated training, seven days a week, for a period of at least one month. That being said, achieving such a feat is worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So there you have it, five of the best treks through National Parks in Australia, The USA and Canada. From wading through rivers to traveling over 340 km, there is a trek out there for everyone.
If you’re just starting out, you can train for these treks and work your way toward them. But no matter which trek you choose (or whether it’s your first trek ever) rest assured that these routes are among the most beautiful and challenging around.
These were the most famous treks in National Parks, do you have other information about other parks that are used for trekking?
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