June 30, 2022 The 9 Best Backpacking Destinations to Visit During the Construction Holidays
Quebec’s construction holiday is right around the corner. Have you booked time off during the busiest two weeks of the summer? Looking to get off the beaten path or explore new spots? Well, grab your backpack and join us as we explore 9 of the best backpacking destinations. Our list includes five amazing hiking destinations for the more adventurous and outdoorsy among us. As well as four backpacking-friendly cities/countries that offer so many things to see and do, strapping on your backpack is simply the best way to explore it all.
Going off the beaten path
If you prefer sleeping under the stars, don’t mind bugs, and are up for a serious leg workout, here are five must-visit hiking destinations for the construction holiday.
#1: The Long Range Traverse
Distance : 35 km
Duration : 3 to 4 days
Difficulty : strenuous, mandatory orientation session required
A truly breathtaking adventure, the rugged and unmarked Long Range Traverse is not for the faint of heart. Starting at Western Brook Pond, the trail leads into the Long Range Mountains, on to Gros Morne Mountain, before descending into Ferry Gulch. It takes backcountry hikers through some of Newfoundland’s most stunning and wild terrain. Backpackers will travel through pristine alpine tundra and by freshwater lakes, granite cliffs, and fjords. Maybe even running into moose, caribou, and even black bears along the way.
If you go: weather during the construction holiday is typically dryer and warmer with temperatures in the low to mid 20s during the day. As the terrain is rugged and remote, Parks Canada requires all backcountry hikers to take the mandatory orientation session, offered daily at 2:30 p.m. at the Visitor Centre.
Check out the Parks Canada website for reservations and more detailed information.
#2: International Appalachian Trail
Distance : 650 km
Duration : 30 to 40 dayss
Difficulty : moderate to strenuous
The Quebec portion of the world-famous Appalachian Trail is an incredible 650 km through farmlands, mountains, remote wilderness, and right out to the sea at the very tip of the Gaspé Peninsula. Starting in Matapédia and ending at Cap Gaspé, the trail can be divided into three sections: the valley section through farmlands with a few steep climbs; the Chic-Choc Mountains into Gaspésie National Park and the Matane Wildlife Reserve with strenuous remote terrain and steep mountains; and the coast section through small villages and into Forillon National Park.
If you go: the construction holiday can get rather warm and humid but nights are still cool. Remember to pack bug spray! Access to the trail is free but you will need to reserve camp sites and pay park dues for the Chic-Choc and coastal sections.
Visit the SIA website for more information.
#3: Kalalau Trail
Distance : 35 km
Duration : 3 days
Difficulty : moderate
The Kalalau Trail on the northwestern shore of Kauai is truly a slice of paradise. With stunning ocean views, majestic waterfalls, rushing streams, and soaring sea cliffs, it is not surprising that visitors from the world over flock to this world-famous destination. Dramatic cliffs surround Kalalau Beach and offer experienced swimmers many opportunities to take a dip or body board in one of the world’s most beautiful setting.
If you go: weather is consistently warm throughout the year but the construction holiday falls during the dry season, which is the most popular time for visiting. Reservation and fees apply even for day trips. Visit the Hāʻena State Park website for more information.
#4: The Rim-to-Rim Trail
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA
Distance : 39 km
Duration : 3 to 4 days
Difficulty : very strenuous
One of the most iconic hikes, the Rim-to-Rim Trail in Grand Canyon National Park is a one-of-a-kind experience. Starting at either the North or South Rim, this challenging trail takes backpackers down onto the canyon floor, across the mighty Colorado River, before heading back up the other side. The views from the top of the canyon are spectacular, but the canyon floor is just as mesmerizing with its red rock sandstone, sagebrush, and spectacular sunsets over the plateau. This hike is very strenuous but one you will never forget.
If you go: As some trails are closed part of the year, booking in advance is a must. Temperatures during the construction holiday can get extremely hot, so make sure to have plenty of water as dehydration is a serious concern. Be cautious if you hike this trail and consider signing up for the guided trek for a stress-free experience.
Visit the Grand Canyon Park website for all the information
#5: Inca Trail
Distance : 42 km
Duration : 3 to 5 days
Difficulty : moderate hike but high altitudes
Trekking the famous Inca Trail is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that will take you up steep cliffs, mountain passes, down into forest valleys, and finally up to the magical Machu Picchu, a seventh wonder of the world. All in the footsteps of the ancient Inca! This is a trip back in time through incredible landscapes. Explore the archeological ruins along the way and learn about this ancient civilization. No wonder this is the most sought-after trek in Peru.
If you go: during the construction holiday weather is typically dry and sunny. Temperatures vary with altitude. Permits are now required.
Visit Peru’s Ministry of Culture website or book a guided trek with a reputable adventure company.
Staying closer to the beaten paths
For those of us who prefer to stay close to civilization, here are four backpacking-friendly cities/countries to visit that offer a world of things to see and do.
#6: Bogota, Colombia
Bogota has become Colombia’s choice destination for backpackers. Most choose to stay in the La Candelaria District, which is home to cool bars and amazing street food. It also offers easy access to the capital’s many landmarks such as the Bogota Cathedral, free museums, street art, and the Montserrate pilgrimage site. The city also has a buzzing social vibe and La Candelaria is a great place to meet and socialize with other backpackers.
#7: Copenhagen, Denmark
A slightly more expensive destination, Denmark can still be backpacker friendly and offers many fun things to do for free or on a budget. For example, visit the Nyhavn Harbour with its colourful houses and cute boats for the perfect photo op. Or ride a bike through the city, heading for the large bike-friendly lanes at the Royal Palace. A must-see is the supercool Ordrupgaard Art Park. And, if you’re feeling up for it, take a dive into the sea like a true local. Climbing to Round Tower for amazing views of the city is another tourist favourite. And if you feel like splurging, reserve a table at Noma, the world’s best restaurant. Just remember to leave room for Denmark’s famous pastries.
#8: Bolivia, South America
Bolivia has become one of the most popular backpacking destinations in South America and with good reasons. Offering spectacular scenery, diverse landscapes, and a rich culture, Bolivia is a backpacker’s paradise. Explore the Uyuni Salt Flats for a few days or climb a volcano at Sajama National Park. Travel to La Paz and discover the city’s unique topography. And don’t forget a stopover at Lake Titicaca, the highest lake in the world! The construction holiday is during Bolivia’s winter, a great time to visit. As climate varies with altitude, be sure to pack warm clothes.
#9: London, UK
London is one of the most exciting cities in the world. While not the least expensive city, London has so many attractions, even a budget-conscious traveller will find plenty of ways to make the most of their visit. From taking in the sights at the London Eye to touring Buckingham Palace and Big Ben to exploring Piccadilly Circus and Notting Hill to eating fish and chips or curry at the local pub, London is a bucket list destination.
Backpacking is a great and often budget-friendly way to travel. Don’t forget to wear compression socks for those long hikes / walks to improve blood flow and reduce lactic acid build-ups.
And after a day of lugging your heavy pack around, trust Magic Bag hot and cold compresses to soothe your aches and pains. Try our Extra Large Pad to relieve back pain or our Sport Gel 2 in 1 Wrap to soothe shoulder pain. Shop our wide variety of travel-friendly Magic Bags today.
May 22, 2022 10 Post-Run Recovery Tips
Having a proper post-run recovery plan can help you prevent injuries and improve running performance. Here are 10 tips for your post-run recovery.
January 6, 2022 5 Ways To Soothe Tired Feet – Tips from The Pros
While all of us tend to get sore feet from time to time, nurses truly are the pros when it comes to soothing tired feet.