REI Outdoor Adventures 2020

REI Outdoor Adventures 2020 Featured Image

I’ve never been one to use vacation time to sip Mai-tais and work on my tan. I prefer to use that time to explore new places and push my physical limits. If you’re like me and you feel like your vacation time is best spent pushing yourself to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience, check out these ten options for REI Outdoor Adventures 2020. 

Superstition Mountains Backpacking

REI Outdoor Adventures 2020 - Superstition Mountains Backpacking PC REI
PC REI

Trip Length: 4 Days

Group Size: 4 to 12

Difficulty: Moderate Plus

This four-day trip starts and ends in Phoenix, Arizona. Your guides will walk you through a pre-trip gear check on the first night before the group enjoys a chance to get to know each other over dinner. Over the course of the next three hiking days, you’ll experience panoramic views of Arizona’s desert landscape. You’ll explore narrow canyons, swim in alpine lakes (if you’re feeling really adventurous), and learn the legend of the Lost Dutchman gold mine claim. 

Each hiking day averages about six miles or less and you’ll have professional guides by your side throughout the trip. Meals as indicated and transportation from the host hotel to the trailhead are included. Participants are expected to carry their own backpacks weighing between 35 and 40 pounds, on average. 


Pacific Crest Trail Backpacking

Northern California

REI Outdoor Adventures 2020 - Pacific Crest Trail Backpacking PC REI
PC REI

Trip Length: 3 Days

Group Size: 4 to 10

Difficulty: Moderate

The Pacific Crest Trail runs north-south all the way from the U.S.-Mexico border to the U.S.-Canada border. On this three-day backpacking trip, you’ll experience about 17 miles of what’s arguably America’s most iconic long-distance hiking trail. You’ll experience numerous alpine lakes, stunning mountain views, and chances at spotting some of Northern California’s beautiful wildlife species. 

The trip starts and ends at Mt. Shasta, California. The largest hiking distance you’ll cover in a day is just over six miles and the highest elevation you’ll reach on this trip is just over 9,000 feet at the summit of Mt. Eddy. This trip includes professional instruction and guide services, two-person tents, group cooking gear, first aid kits, water filters, campsite, permit fees, and transportation between trailheads and lodging at Cold Creek Inn. 


Canadian Rockies Hiking

Banff, Jasper, and More

REI Outdoor Adventures 2020 - Canadian Rockies Hiking PC REI
PC REI

Trip Length: 8 Days

Group Size: 4 to 12

Difficulty: Moderate

This trip gives you an incredible opportunity to explore the amazing scenery of the Canadian Rockies. You’ll experience the famous destinations of Lake Louise, Banff, and Jasper while following expert guides and spending five nights at a gorgeous basecamp at the Lake Louse Campground. You’ll also hike to views of epic glaciers, raft down Kicking Horse Canyon, and canoe on the clear waters of Emerald Lake. 

Before signing up for this trip, you should be comfortable hiking up to 12 miles with elevation gains and/or losses of 2,000 feet. The trip starts and ends in Calgary. Other highlights include the famed view of the valley of Ten Peaks and a visit to the Lake Agnes Tea House. The trip includes professional guide services, double occupancy accommodations, meals as noted in itinerary, all camping equipment (excluding sleeping bags), park entrance fees, and transportation as noted in the itinerary. 


Australia Outback Hiking

REI Outdoor Adventures 2020 - Australia Outback Hiking PC REI
PC REI

Trip Length: 9 days

Group Size: 4 to 16

Difficulty: Moderate

Make your way down to Australia to get your own experience hiking in the outback. You’ll spend nine days in the unique physical and cultural landscape of the Australian Outback with experienced guides. You’ll hike in the Standley Chasm, experience scenic views of Serpentine Gorge, hunt for black-footed rock wallaby, and watch the sunset from the top of Mount Sonder. 

This trip begins in Alice Springs and finishes with a visit to Uluru, a sandstone monolith formerly known as Ayers Rock. You should be comfortable hiking up to eight miles in a day over terrain that features several steep grades.

This trip also features Australian BBQ on the final night and includes a professional hiking guide, camp and cook staff, double occupancy accommodations, meals as noted in the itinerary, park entrance fees, group transport to and from the airport, all group camping gear, individual bedding, first aid, private coaster vehicles, and all taxes and tolls applicable. 


Portugal Coastal Hiking

The Iberian Coast

REI Outdoor Adventures 2020 - Portugal Coastal Hiking PC REI
PC REI

Trip Length: 7 days

Group Size: 4 to 14

Difficulty: Moderate

How do seven days on Portugal’s beautiful southwestern Atlantic coast sound for your 2020 adventure?

This trip will take you through some of the most natural coastlines in the country and expose you to the culture and community of Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Vila Nova de Milfontes, Almograve, Odeceixe, Vila do Bispo, and Sagres. You’ll hike the most beautiful sections of the Fishermen’s Trail (also known as the Rota Vicentina) and enjoy fresh local cuisine along the way. 

The trip begins in Lisbon and ends in Sagres. Daily hiking distances range from 2.5 to 10 miles and the terrain varies from sandy beaches to forested trails. The first three days are centered around exploring the region’s culture and hiking. The final three days are devoted to hiking and nature exploration.

The trip includes professional guide services, lodging and meals as indicated on the itinerary, wine with dinner, and transportation throughout the course of the trip. 


Mount Kilimanjaro Climb

Marangu Route

REI Outdoor Adventures 2020 - Mount Kilimanjaro Climb Marangu Route PC REI
PC REI

Trip Length: 9 days

Group Size: 4 to 12

Difficulty: Strenuous

Kilimanjaro is the highest peak on the African continent and a bucket list trip for many. There are several routes to choose from when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. The Marangu Route is a hut-to-hut trip that will take you through a number of diverse ecosystems from dense rainforest to high alpine desert. You’ll join an experienced group of local African guides to ascend the mountain and then enjoy a wildlife safari after descending as a reward. 

This trip is strenuous and includes elevations up to 19,340 feet. The terrain varies, but includes uneven rocks and loose gravel. The final ascent day is the most arduous, and you should be prepared to hike for up to 16 hours. It is, however, a porter-supported trip, which allows you to focus all of your energy on getting yourself to the top. 

The trip includes skilled bilingual climbing guides, cooks and porters on the mountain, double occupancy accommodations at hotels, mountain hut accommodations on Kilimanjaro, meals as noted on the itinerary, all Tanzania park fees and taxes, limited WiFi at the hotel, cooking and eating utensils, filtered/treated drinking water, a waterproof duffel for the climb, oxygen and oximeter, Gamow bag, enrollment in Flying Doctors, transport to and from the airport, and gratuities for hotel and drivers. 


Costa Rica Escape

REI Outdoor Adventures 2020 - Costa Rica Escape PC REI
PC REI

Trip Length: 6 days

Group Size: 4 to 16

Difficulty: Moderate

This trip will take you to Costa Rica’s Guanacaste region, which is one of the warmer and more arid parts of the country. It’ll bring you through cloud forests, around active volcanoes, and under jungle waterfalls.

In six days, you’ll hit a jungle canopy zip line tour, check out the scenery of Rincon de la Vieja National Park, kayak, standup paddleboard, and snorkel in the warm Pacific Ocean, and have the option of learning how to surf with a professional instructor. 

The trip begins when you arrive in the northern city of Liberia. For the first two days, you’ll explore all that the national park has to offer before heading south to Playa Carrillo. You’ll spend two more nights on a quiet beach before heading back to Liberia. You should be comfortable in the water and know how to swim before heading to Costa Rica for this tropical escape. 

This trip includes local, bilingual guides, kayaks and related equipment, all fees related to zip line tour, all meals and accommodations as noted on the itinerary, group transport to and from the hotel at either end of the trip, transportation within the country, and all entrance fees to national parks and reserves. 


Appalachian Trail Hut-to-Hut Hiking

REI Outdoor Adventures 2020 - Appalachian Trail Hut-to-Hut Hiking PC REI
PC REI

Trip Length: 4 days

Group Size: 4 to 12

Difficulty: Vigorous

The Pemigewasset Wilderness offers rugged terrain and towering peaks. It’s one of the most beautiful stretches of the Appalachian Trail and you’ll get to enjoy hiking through it for four days on this trip.

The trip heads into the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, which boast some of the most magnificent scenery in the Northeast. You’ll stay overnight at the most remote hut in the White Mountains, ascend to the peak of South Twin Mountain, and stay in comfortable backcountry huts each night. 

You should be comfortable hiking up to eight miles a day over varying terrain for this trip. It includes elevation gain and loss of about 3,000 feet and you should prepare to carry a backpack weighing between 15 and 25 pounds every day. There’s a lot of rare plant and animal life to be seen along the trail, so you might want to bring along a field guide! 

This trip includes professional guide services, all meals and accommodations as noted on the itinerary, three wool blankets and one pillow at the huts, and transportation to and from trailheads as required. 


Patagonia Hiking and Camping

REI Outdoor Adventures 2020 - Patagonia Hiking and Camping PC REI
PC REI

Trip Length: 13 days

Group Size: 4 to 14

Difficulty: Vigorous

There are few places that truly earn the distinction of being “otherworldly.” I don’t think that claim is too far-fetched when you’re talking about Patagonia. You’ll experience breathtaking vista and dramatic landscapes as you hike to the base of Mt. Fitz Roy, explore the road less traveled through Los Glaciares National Park, and follow the famed “W” route through Torres Del Paine National Park.

The trip starts in El Calafate and ends in Punta Arenas. It is classified as a “remote trip” and you should be ready for long days of hiking broken up by jaw-dropping views of the Patagonian Andes. You should also be prepared for numerous stream crossings and the possibility of muddy trails. Bring your spirit of adventure on this 13-day Patagonia expedition! 

This trip includes guide leadership and a support staff, group camping equipment including tents, cooking equipment, and sleeping pads (bring your own sleeping bag), camping permits and park fees, all meals and accommodations as noted in the itinerary, all transportation and excursions within Argentina and Chile, and transfers to and from the airport at either end of the trip. 


Vietnam and Laos Highlands Hiking

REI Outdoor Adventures 2020 - Vietnam and Laos Highlands Hiking PC REI
PC REI

Trip Length: 10 days

Group Size: 4 to 14

Difficulty: Vigorous

Spend ten days immersing yourself and the communities and traditions of the highlands of Vietnam and Laos on this trip. You’ll experience the terraced highlands of Vietnam’s Sapa region in stark contrast to the dense jungles in the mountains of Laos.

You’ll hike local trails, visit remote villages, and get a chance to sample egg coffee ( a local favorite!) at a charming cafe. This trip begins in Hanoi and finishes in Luang Prabang. You’ll stay in comfortable eco-lodges throughout and have the chance to shop at Luang Prabang’s lively night market.

You’ll also get to interact with elephants at the MandaLao Elephant Conservation Sanctuary and swim in turquoise waterfall pools at Kuang Si Waterfall. You should be prepared to hike between 5 and 8 miles per day and the terrain includes several uneven, steep, and rocky sections. 

This trip includes bilingual guides, private ground transportation within Vietnam and Laos, double occupancy accommodations and meals as noted in the itinerary, entrance fees to parks and temples, transportation to and from the airport at either end of the trip, and gratuities for trekking porters and drivers.


About The Backpack Guide

the backpack guide - rei adventures 2020
The Backpack Guide on the John Muir Trail

As The Backpack Guide, I’m on a mission to explore the wilderness, create learning opportunities, and connect with nature. These are the objectives that underline all the content I create on this site. I want to inspire others to recreate in their respective wildernesses and to do so in the safest, most enjoyable manner possible. I’m also very interested in the experiences of others in the wild and I want to create a community of people that share those experiences and the lessons they’ve learned as a result.

If my mission resonates with you, you think we may have an awesome opportunity to collaborate, or you simply want to connect, I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to reach out to me directly (email below), or share your adventure by tagging @thebackpackguide on Instagram, which is where I’m most active. You can also find me on FacebookPinterestTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Other Resources From The Backpack Guide

I’d also like to kindly invite you to check out the other content on my site. That includes Hiking Tips and Trails and my Outdoor Gear page with reviews on water filters, tents, hiking shoes, trekking poles, and more. Also, you might enjoy my Backpack Reviews if you’re in need of a new pack, which includes brands like Kelty, REI, and Gregory. 

Finally, my YouTube Channel is full of informative video content if you’re not really into reading! I do receive a commission on purchases made through the affiliate links on this website. Those earnings go directly back into my efforts to produce more informative content for my readers!

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

– Helen Keller

The Backpack Guide

tucker@thebackpackguide.com

Comments

  1. Nadia

    Hi,

    Super interesting post for those who love to explore and discover the beauty of nature. And even if not an experienced traveller, backpacking is a great way to start seeing some beautiful places. The place that really caught my eyes is the highlands of Vietnam and Laos. I’ve personally never been but there is something in the way you describe this experience that is making me want to go and visit in person. I’m adding it to my to do list 🙂 

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      Tucker Ballister

      Love to hear that Nadia! Do you have any other places that weren’t on this list that you plan to travel to in 2020?

  2. Rob

    Oh there are some bucket list hikes there for me!  My dream is to do the whole PCT one of these days.  I’ve been to the northern terminus of the PCT, it’s only a few hours drive to the trailhead on the Canadian side from where I live.  It’s in Manning Park which is one of my favourite places in the world.  I hike there fairly frequently.

    I wish I had the time to head down to do Superstition Mountains, I’ve read so much about the Lost Dutchman when I was a kid that it would be so neat to see it all with my own eyes.

    I’ve done some hikes in both Banff and Jasper but never done the hike between the two – that is also on my bucket list.  I think you’ve spurred me on – 2020 I’ll get out more!

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      Tucker Ballister

      Right on Rob! Glad to hear you’ve found some motivation in this post, so I have just one question: Where are you off to in 2020?!

  3. Benson

    I have not really gone on vacation with hiking as the main aim of it but looking at these hiking centres and good explanation on how the weather condition gives me so much interest in it. I am particularly interested in the Canadian Rockies Hiking i would find time to go on such vacation with a group of friends. Cheers.

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      Author
      Tucker Ballister

      Hi Benson! That trip was one of my favorites from this list as well. Growing up in Northern California, we have beautiful mountainscapes here. But every new mountain range offers something different and I’ve heard (and seen) amazing things about the Canadian Rockies. Cheers to your next trip in 2020! 

  4. Henderson

    Oh my! There are a number of very good trips here that I think I will enjoy going on for next year. Although some are hard, some are also very moderate as well. I have to bookmark this post for when I am ready to go on my next good trip. I am just knowing though about the REI Outdoor Adventures 2020. I fell like it will be very nice to enjoy. Thanks for sharing.

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      Tucker Ballister

      You’re absolutely welcome Henderson! May I ask, which of the trips on the list sounded most appealing to you?

  5. KingAndrea

    I’m definitely like you. I always love to use my time as scheduled. I have to understand that it is necessary to take some time off work to relax. I love the list of adventures that you have here. They are all filled with interesting activities. I’ll select a trip to embark on from this list but that’ll be next year. Thanks.

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  6. David ben

    Super interesting post, especially for those that are looking to explore all that nature has to offer. As for me, my family has a little history with Vietnam and Laos Highlands Hiking. We have been doing it for some time and it really has been fun, but I have been looking to change things a little bit so I would suggest this article for them to choose another one. 

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      Tucker Ballister

      Hey David! I’m glad you found some inspiration to change things up and explore a new place in the coming year! 

  7. Renea

    I Loved reading about everyone of these locations! How Beautiful each one are, even though I haven’t got to go in person yet to experience them, the way you explained everything made me feel as though I was there. Hiking is one of my favorite activities. Have you been to all of these locations or still planning on going to some of them? I would love to go to Portugal Coastal Hiking, Patagonia Hiking and Camping, Vietnam and Laos Highlands Hiking. When my health returns these are a must!! Thank you for sharing.

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      Author
      Tucker Ballister

      Hey Renea! The spots on this list that I’ve hit include the Pacific Crest Trail and some of the locations on the Costa Rica Escape! But that was part of the fun of putting the list together! It gave me further inspiration to keep traveling and exploring. Cheers! 

  8. John

    Wow. There are a number of adventures that one can enjoy here and I have to say that it is very good of you to share the details with me. I didn’t know most of what you have sent here and I will be thinking of going with a group of friends I have. The best thing about this is that apart from the information about the travel, there is still an info on how difficult it can be. That’s beautiful. Thank you.

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