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Midwest Backpacking Trip Ideas

I live in the Dallas, Texas area, and looking for trip ideas of up to 12 hours away from home in the winter.

I'm looking for backpacking 2-3 day trip ideas, where it hopefuly wouldn't be too cold during the school winter break.

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6 Replies

Look into Ozark Society...Arkansas along with their Bayou Chapter in Louisiana...several fall backpacking trips into Arkansas. Also there are several FB groups that hike, backpack again into Arkansas.


Three great trails in the NW Arkansas area (2 of them are long thru-hikes, so you can plan as long or short as you'd like):

* Butterfield Trail - Devils Den SP (link)

* Ozark Highlands Trail (link)

* Buffalo River Trail (link)


I would add Boardstand-Old Military Road Loop to the list of weekend backpacking trips.  Technically this can be done in two long days, or you can (as I have) do it in an easy 3 day loop.  I recommend starting from the north parking lot.  Watch the weather, if it rains, the area has flash flooding, and can become highly sketchy (read dangerous).


If you are after a little elevation, there is Black Fork Mountain.  Last time I was there, the thorns were overgrown, and the trail was pretty tough.  I understand the crew up there cleans it up once a year.  You might reach out if interested and see when they clear it out and go shortly after.


I tried to provide links, but they don't seem to be working.  If you google the names of the trails above, a great deal of info can be found. has maps you can order of both trails (and more).  I have had great experience with him in the past.

9 hr gets you to Big Bend. 13hrs gets you to Gila wilderness in NM, 12 hrs get you pagosa springs, co and the southern border of the weminuche wilderness, some of the most beautiful terrain in the States.

good luck!

REI Member Since 1979

@Inbar - Go west, young man!!  The wilderness in either Big Bend or the Gila is incomparable.  You will be glad you spent the extra drive time.....


Phil Reed, him speak with plenty straight tongue.

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one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

North of Houston is the Lone Star Hiking Trail.