Backpacker Names This Southern Location “The Best June Hiking Destination” in 2024

Backpacker named the best hiking location for every month of the year, and this Southeastern park was named the best for June!

Backpacker Names This Southern Location "The Best June Hiking Destination" in 2024

The winner for June? Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee

June marks the start of the busy season in the Smokies: Wildlife, waterfalls, and wildflowers reach their peak in early summer, creating a breathtaking natural spectacle. The temperate weather during this time is ideal for dry and cool hiking adventures.

One such adventure is thru-hiking the 300-mile Benton MacKaye Trail, affectionately known as the Appalachian Trail’s little sibling.

Like the AT, it begins at Springer Mountain in Georgia, but this trail offers a less crowded experience, perfect for those looking to escape the summer crowds.

As the trail weaves its way across the Smokies, hikers can explore 93 miles extending through the national park, making it the longest trail within the park. This journey provides an unparalleled opportunity to immerse in the beauty and tranquility of the Smoky Mountains while enjoying a more solitary and serene hiking experience.

Don’t want to take the entire thru-hike?

Here are the BMT trail head locations within GSMNP:

  • Noland Creek Trail Jct, ‘Road to Nowhere’ at the Road to Nowhere Tunnel trail head
  • US 441, Smokemont CG at the Smokemont Campground Trailhead
  • Straight Fork Rd. at the Round Bottom Trailhead
  • Big Creek Campground at the Big Creek Trailhead

Here are all the hikes raniked by Backpacker:

  • January: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
  • February: Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park, Hawaii
  • March: Arizona National Scenic Trail, Arizona
  • April: San Luis Obispo, California
  • May: Zion National Park, Utah
  • June: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee
  • July: Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho
  • August: Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
  • September: Superior Hiking Trail, Minnesota
  • October: White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
  • November: Doi Suthep–Pui National Park, Thailand
  • December: Southwest National Park, Australia

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Backpacker Names This Southern Location "The Best June Hiking Destination" in 2024