GPS: 47°03'N 122°07'W
Escape the gravitational pull of Mount Rainier's wildly popular Wonderland Trail to backpack the 36.6-mile (59-kilometer) Northern Loop, where you'll find a side of the eponymous national park that few even know exists. Here, dark old-growth forest gives way to an alpine zone where views stretch to far-off Mount Baker and Mount St. Helens. Elk graze the broad meadow at Grand Park, and the headwaters of the White River gather steam.
Vitals: A wilderness camping permit is required; www.nps.gov/mora.
For maps, visit maps.nationalgeographic.com/maps.