Ask Me: What Are Your Favorite Places in the Northwest and Northern Rockies?


I’ve been checking out your excellent backpacking posts and think you may be the right person to help me out with my search. My partner and I have taken a year off work to travel around the U.S. We had a great time hiking and canyoneering in Escalante. So now we’re in the Northwest, and want to find a great wilderness base camp where we can set up for a few days and explore the surrounding area. I’ve heard great things about Idaho, but Washington, Montana and Wyoming are all within striking distance, too. So much choice! If you have any recommendations for us—even if it’s just a wilderness area to hone in on—they would be most gratefully received.

London, England

Hi Brian,

Thanks for writing and for following The Big Outside. Wow, that’s a sweeping question! I guess you’re asking me to suggest some of my favorite places if I had to narrow it down to a few within the states you mentioned.

In Washington, one of the best states for wilderness and mountains, I’d say Olympic National Park (lead photo, above), and start with the trails beginning from the Sol Duc campground, like the loop on the High Divide Trail. Also the Olympic coast. And North Cascades National Park is another favorite place.

In Idaho, check out all of my stories about the Sawtooth Mountains and neighboring White Cloud Mountains. In Montana, there are many options, but my first choice would be Glacier National Park. And you’ll find lots of stories at my site about Yellowstone, the Tetons, and the Wind River Range in Wyoming.

I hope that helps get you started. Good luck.


Hi Michael,

Thanks so much for the advice. We are looking at your options with much anticipation!


In Ask Me, I share and respond to a reader question. Got a question about hiking, backpacking, gear, or any topic or trip I write about at The Big Outside? Send it to me at, message me at, or tweet it to @MichaelALanza. I will answer the ones I can in a post, using only your first name and city, with your permission. I receive a high volume of questions, so I cannot always respond quickly.

—Michael Lanza



Review: Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Day Trekker 25 with Boa Daypack


Leave a Comment

1 thought on “Ask Me: What Are Your Favorite Places in the Northwest and Northern Rockies?”