People often come to us for trail advice. We are always glad to share our local knowledge. We asked some of our guides to share their favorite itineraries for 2 day backpacking trips. Here's what they said:

Appalachian Trail, Lemon Gap to Max Patch
12 miles with 1,200ft of elevation gain, moderate
This 12-mile out-and-back hike is a great way to experience Max Patch and the AT in a single overnight.  Hike generally uphill from Lemon Gap to Max Patch to watch sunset, then camp just below the bald.  Then return to the trailhead the same way you came.  This trip is a good first backpacking trip for hikers with a high level of fitness.  Hikers should be able to complete a day hike of 10 miles, and should be able to climb 8-10 flights of stairs without taking a long break.

Deep Creek Loop
15 miles with 3,700ft of elevation gain, moderate
This 15-mile loop in the Deep Creek region of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a fantastic family- or beginner-friendly loop filled with waterfalls and seasonal wildflowers!  It features lots of water - Deep Creek, Indian Creek, Juney Whank Falls, Tom's Branch Falls, and Indian Creek Falls.  This low elevation hike gets hot in the summer, so we recommend it for April - June or September - November.  Daily mileage is around 7 miles.  This is a fantastic first backpacking trip, with the elevation trending upward the first half of the trip and downward the second half of the trip.

Pink Beds
7 miles with 600ft of elevation gain, easy
Spend 2 days hiking creekside through a mountain wetland.  This itinerary is about as flat as possible in Western NC, with beautiful wildflowers, creeks, and great bird watching opportunities.  This is a great place to learn the basics of backpacking for beginners, kids, older adults, or families!  Hikers can join this trip with no hiking experience and a low level of fitness.