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There are many travel backpack destinations. "Which is the best?"
This is a hard question to answer since there are so many terrific travel hiking trails. I will talk about several backpack destinations for different reasons and you can decide which one you like the best!
I traveled to the Big Island because I wanted to see an island that has it all:
I started at Volcanoes National Park, a 330,000 acre park ranging from the peak of Maunaloa to the sea and home to Kilauea, one of the most active Volcanoes on the globe.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
A ranger directed me to a rim trail by the Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku). I hiked around the crater on the rim and then backpacked through the crater from the other side. The crater still had steam coming out of the ground as I walked by.
The trail led me to the Thurston Lava Tube which is about five hundred years old. I hiked through and was amazed by how Lava can form these caves.
Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku)
My favorite place on the island is Waipio Valley Lookout. I enjoyed this location so much I came back to hike it a second time and hiked down to the river and crossed it.
Waipio Valley Overlook
I backpacked along the beach where I saw huts made out of whatever materials the residents could find. I discovered that camping on the island is allowed but long time squatting is not permitted. These people obviously were not following the rules.
If you plan on travel backpacking here, come prepared. I had a rental car and you can't drive down into the valley unless you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle. I discovered the walk down the very steep road is about a mile in length and walking back up the road is extremely difficult. There are outfitters close by that for a small fee will take you down and back out.
I purchased some rubber shoes for the river so I could travel backpack through without getting my shoes wet. I also had my trekking poles so I could balance myself against the strong current in the stream which flowed into the sea from the mountains.
I had watched earlier from my base camp tent other backpackers, who attempted to cross the stream and rocks barefooted without hiking poles, fall into the water and get their gear wet. It pays to have the right equipment!
The Valley walls here are about 2,000 feet high. The trail goes for many miles to the north to Pololu Valley Overlook which can be reached by driving around to the other side.
Pololu Valley Overlook
I hiked across and up the other side of the valley. The ascent is a lot harder and higher than I had imagined earlier. I went a ways past the Queens Bathtub which was formed from a stream flowing between two mountains.
Queens Bath Tub
I came back and as I was crossing the stream in the valley floor, wild horses came down and crossed the same stream close by me. I had to pull out my camera while crossing which made it difficult to stand up. I was concerned about dropping the camera into the water or falling over into the water getting my gear wet. I later learned that there are about one hundred wild horses roaming freely around the valley.
The day I was to fly back home I returned to the Waipio Valley Lookout for one last view. While I was there, native Hawaiians formed a line facing the valley and all of a sudden they began to sing to the valley!
Line of Hawaiians
The people of Hawaii are very spiritual and you see these things happen often here. Along many of my hikes, I often saw offerings of flowers and fruit. Hawaii is a special place. I hope to return one day. I will never forget the Big Island!
Offering to the Gods
Colorado Mountain in Pass
People told me for a long time to see Colorado because of the beautiful mountains there and they were right! I found Colorado Backpacking to be an amazing experience. Places I hiked with gorgeous mountain views:
Rocky Mountain National Park
Colorado National Monument
Mountains from Telluride
Monarch Pass by Ouray
Mt. Crested Butte
The Samaria Gorge is beautiful with many trees and plants. There are Agrimi Goats at Old Samaria that sometimes can be hand fed. I don't recommend this because it is never a good idea to feed wild animals. They lose their fear of people which can lead to them getting hurt or killed.
The village was abandoned after the area was declared a National Park but there are park employees here and a trail register.
The stream is called the Dictynna River at the top in the Gorge, Britomartis at the bottom of the Gorge, and goes underground in the middle and is called Aphaia (hidden one). The best time to view the stream is in spring.
The bottom is the easiest part of the Gorge to hike in, except for the many rocks and stones, so it's best to have good trekking poles and sturdy hikng shoes.
The Neroutsiko rest area is the place to unwind and relax. There are tables and a natural spring.
The taverna, at the edge of the Gorge, is where you have to get a photo or video. It has the most spectacular view!
I recommend you go very easy here since the Omalos Plain is at high altitude which can make it hard to breath.
Samaria Gorge In Greece
There are many magnificent travel backpack spots in Europe and It's hard to pick just one. But for now, I just wanted to give an example of what is off the beaten path by backpacking in greece.
Travel Backpacking is fun! Find the right travel backpack destination for you and you too will have many memories that will last you a lifetime! Don't forget to bring your travel backpacks. Mahalo!
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