Self Guided Hiking Trips in United States & Canada

If you’re after a lot more freedom than a group tour might allow you, more flexibility to travel at your own pace or just a sense of accomplishment of achieving a goal on your own - without compromising on the security and organisation of a guided tour - you should definitely consider a self-guided hiking trip in North America..

Designed to help you see the United States or Canada at your own pace, our self-guided hiking tours operate for as little as one person on selected departures and are incredibly flexible, economical and most of all, fun.

During a self-guided hike all the hassle of trip logistics like luggage transfers and accommodation is taken care of, allowing complete freedom for you to explore fascinating landscapes rich in history, culture, and beauty.

Our detailed route notes and maps mean you’ll stay on track, while the 24/7 emergency contact number, should anything go amiss, is also comforting.

Our North American self-guided hiking tours include hand-picked accommodations that showcase the best of a town or village, your bags being transported each day to the next evening’s accommodation, clear and detailed route descriptions and maps and local sightseeing information covering the best things to see and do en route. Under your own steam you’ll have time to savour the sights and delights of the region at your pace.

Discover North America in an active way on one of our self-guided hiking tours in the United States or Canada.


 

Unrivalled Experience

North America Active is a division of the World Expeditions Travel Group, who has been operating authentic and unique active and adventure holidays with a genuine focus on the paths less travelled since 1975.

We are the pioneers in designing groundbreaking itineraries across the globe, and many say our trips start where most others end.

As the leaders in responsible travel, we offer big adventures with a small environmental footprint.

While safety is core to how we operate, we’re also focused on the fun factor and suitably challenging you to feel that great sensation of personal achievement while enjoying the camaraderie of like minded travelers.

Quality Inclusions

Expect first-class and flexible support both on and off the trail. We've sourced the highest equipment and most authentic accommodations so you can enjoy a stress free self guided walking trip in your chosen pocket of the US or Canada.


North America Active is committed to responsible travel and true sustainability. It was a commitment formed when our parent company, World Expeditions, was established in 1975, and today, in the face of a multitude of threats to global environments and cultures, our commitment is stronger than ever. Over several decades we have honed our responsible travel philosophy and are continually assessing and improving initiatives that are practiced in the field to ensure that we are mitigating our impact to the smallest possible footprint. By joining a hiking or cycling tour, you too are making a concerted effort to minimize your impact when you travel. Learn more about our Thoughtful Travel policies and practices.


Frequently Asked Questions

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries across the USA and Canada have been designed to afford you as much freedom as possible to explore what interests you, at your own pace. We take care of the logistics: we supply you with lodgings in charming inns and B&B’s, mountain huts, and 2, 3 and 4-star hotels chosen for their location and local flavour; we provide route maps and information about sites you can visit; we generally include daily breakfast, packed lunches during remote hikes, and often dinner; we organise for your luggage to be transferred daily.

Fitness is an important aspect of our trips, with each itinerary carefully-graded for ease of selecting the trip that best suits you. Detailed information, including suggested pre-trip training, can be found in the trip notes and pre-departure information. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the physical requirements of your trip and speak to our staff if you have any questions. View our trip grading system for more detail as to how we grade the activity levels on our adventures and the suggested physical preparation.

We have carefully selected a range of charming inns, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, and hotels, based on their charismatic nature and the fact that they epitomise the region in which you are travelling. Most smaller properties are family-run, so expect a healthy dose of local charm and insights while you're there.

On a number of our self-guided tours, transfer services are shared so you will meet others along the way and need only pay the cost of covering single room accommodations. On select self-guided tours which operate using private transfer services, we offer Solo Friendly departures; Solo travellers can sign up on these departure dates and we will match them up with other solo travellers. And, for those who are happy to go it alone, there is an option to pay a solo traveller supplement for private transfer services and accommodation throughout. Please check the trip notes or ask one of our agents for more details.

On a number of our self-guided tours, transfer services are shared so you will meet others along the way and need only pay the cost of covering single room accommodations. On select self-guided tours which operate using private transfer services, we offer Solo Friendly departures; Solo travellers can sign up on these departure dates and we will match them up with other solo travellers. And, for those who are happy to go it alone, there is an option to pay a solo traveller supplement for private transfer services and accommodation throughout. Please check the trip notes or ask one of our agents for more details.



1
Discovery & Cruising

These are our least demanding trips. These journeys of discovery and cruises involve little or no extended activity and are suitable for people with a basic level of fitness and good health. The itinerary may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and may involve long travel days on various types of transport. Sightseeing may be conducted on foot and all participants should be capable of carrying their own luggage from vehicle to hotel rooms. These adventures rarely involve camping.

2
Adventure Touring

These adventure tours may visit remote areas where facilities are often basic. Some of these trips involve camping or basic lodging. These adventure tours will sometimes involve long journeys and rough roads. Sightseeing and optional day walks are often included and these days may involve up to 5 hours of physical activity.

3
Introductory

These trips involve trekking or walking, cycling, or paddling for up to five or six hours a day at a slow but steady pace and should never be misinterpreted to mean they are easy trips. Hikes are mainly on well-defined trails with undulating terrain and cycling is on mostly flat surfaces.

4
Introductory to Moderate

These trips involve a combination of what is described in our Introductory and Moderate levels. The emphasis is on introductory activity with some moderate components. Hiking trips typically require carrying a daypack only, but could involve carrying a pack of up to 20 pounds (9kg), depending on personal gear.

5
Moderate

These adventures involve trekking, cycling, or paddling for up to 6 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace. Many moderately graded hiking trips involve the carrying of a daypack only, though some may involve carrying a backpack of up to 30 pounds (14kg), depending on personal gear. Hikers should be prepared for plenty of roots, rocks, significant elevation gain, wilderness camping, and potential variable weather conditions. Cyclists should be prepared for undulating terrain and some steep hills.

6
Moderate to Challenging

These trips involve a combination of what is described in our Moderate and Challenging levels. The emphasis is on moderate activity with some challenging components. Hikers should be prepared for very rugged off-trail hiking, significant elevation gain, wilderness camping, and to carry a pack weighing up 45 pounds (20kg), depending on personal gear.

7
Challenging

These adventures involve trekking, cycling or paddling in remote areas in variable weather conditions for up to 8 to 10 hours a day (possibly more subject to weather conditions and altitude). Hikers should be prepared for very rugged off-trail hiking, significant elevation gain, wilderness camping, and to carry a pack weighing up to 45 pounds (20kg), depending on personal gear.

1
Discovery & Cruising

These journeys of discovery and cruises are suitable for people with a basic level of fitness and good health.

Suggested preparation: Once or twice a week, we recommend you walk on undulating terrain for an hour, for at least 2-3 months prior to departure.

2
Adventure Touring

To enjoy these adventures, we suggest you are reasonably fit, healthy, have a moderately active lifestyle and have a positive attitude.

Suggested preparation: Two or three times a week, we recommend you walk on undulating terrain for an hour or more, for at least 3 months prior to departure.

3
Introductory

Our introductory trips are not ‘easy’ trips and you will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health.

Suggested preparation: 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (either cycling or jogging) three times a week for 3 months leading up to your trip.

4
Introductory to Moderate

On these adventures you will need a good level of fitness and be in good health.

Suggested preparation: We recommend 45 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week from a minimum of 3 months leading up to your trip. This can include swimming, jogging, hard walking or cycling. For hiking trips, hill or stair walking with a 15lb daypack is highly recommended at least once per week.

5
Moderate

These adventures require a good level of fitness and be in good health.

Suggested preparation: 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week and extended periods of exercise during the weekend. This can include swimming, jogging, hard walking or cycling. For hiking trips, hill or stair walking with a full day pack is strongly recommended at least once per week (or a 30lb pack for backpacking trips).

6
Moderate to Challenging

These trips require an excellent level of fitness and be in good health.

Suggested preparation: 1 hour of aerobic exercise, four to five times per week for three to six months leading up to departure. Hill walking with a full pack in variable weather conditions or on/off road cycling is essential.

7
Challenging

On these adventures, you will need to be completely comfortable in adverse weather conditions, have an excellent level of fitness and be in good health.

Suggested preparation: 1 hour of aerobic exercise, four to five times per week for three to six months leading up to departure. Hill walking with a full pack in variable weather conditions or on/off road cycling is essential.

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