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Our 2024 Beginner Backpacking Trips are so popular, we've almost completely sold out! But don't worry, there will be more amazing adventures available next year! Click the button below to the join the 2025 Backpacking Waitlist, and get first access to next year's trip dates and special Early Bird pricing.

Appalachian Trail Beginner Guided Backpacking Trip: Roan Highlands

This 3 day / 2 night guided backpacking trip is perfect for beginners or first time backpackers! You'll hike alongside an experienced backpacking guide for approximately 15 miles over the course of 3 days on the Appalachian Trail. Explore the beautiful rolling hills, wide-open mountain views, and winding woodland trails of the Appalachian Mountains along the TN/NC border, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world.  Start the hike by soaking in the 360 degree mountain views from a series of wildflower covered, grassy mountain balds of the Roan Highlands, then camp in a tent overnight under the stars.  The next day, wake up to the sounds of nature and then hike over another mountain bald before descending into the woodlands below, where you’ll see an abundance of flora and fauna native to southern Appalachia.  You’ll camp a second night, and finish the hike on the third day with a series of small creek crossings.  You’ll learn how to set up camp, filter water, cook meals, and practice safe backpacking skills with your guide.  Trip includes full gear rental (a comfortable backpack, trekking poles, tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and cook kit), breakfast and dinners during the trip, shuttle service to trail heads, and a video orientation before the trip to discuss planning and preparation. 


A minimum of 2 hikers is required for this trip to run. If the minimum has not been met, we will contact you 2 weeks before the start of the trip to discuss options.



    • $750  per person


  • Pre-Hike Virtual Orientation and Q&A session with your guide
  • Backpacking Gear Package:  comfortable, lightweight backpack, trekking poles, tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, water filtration, and cook kit
  • All on-trail meals- breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you have food allergies or restrictions, please let your guide know ahead of time.
  • Shuttle to trail head from meeting location
  • Expert advice, tips, and planning from an experienced backpacking guide.  
  • Itinerary:

    • Day 1: Orientation and Hike (5-7 miles): Meet in Roan Mountain, TN around 9 am and get fitted for a backpack and gear, and shuttle to the trail head near Carver’s Gap.  Then we’ll hike over the first few mountain balds and soak in the incredible views!  We’ll stop for lunch halfway and take a break to filter water.  After a few hours, we’ll get to the first campsite where we will set up tents, cook dinner, and settle in for the night.  


    • Day 2: Hike and Camp (6-9 miles): We’ll make breakfast, break down camp, and make our way through the forests to the next set of mountain balds, with their grassy, wildflower covered summits. We will stop for lunch and take breaks along the way, then set up camp for the night. We may wind down with some games or a campfire before heading to bed in our tents.


    • Day 3: Hike Out (3 miles): The last day is short, so we can sleep in a bit before we make breakfast, break down camp, and finish the hike.  This day is mostly downhill, through the winding forest trail and past a few creeks.  We’ll finish the trip back at our cars around noon.


    Daily mileage may vary.  Your guide may make adjustments to the itinerary to best fit the group's needs and experience level.


    What to Bring:

    Your guide will provide you with a detailed gear checklist a few weeks before your trip that’s tailored to your trip location and expected weather.  You’ll be expected to bring your own clothing, footwear, and personal items such as medications.  You will also have the opportunity to ask specific gear questions during your Pre-Hike Virtual Orientation with your guide.  Here are some general guidelines for your gear:

    • Clothing: You’ll need a system of layering for your backpacking clothes.  Remember that cotton kills!  Cotton clothing has a tendency to absorb water, become heavy and uncomfortable, and takes a long time to dry!  Athletic clothes with breathable fabrics are much better.  You won’t need to bring a clean set of clothing for each day.  Instead, you’ll want to pack an outfit for hiking, an outfit for sleeping, a warm layer, and a rain jacket.  An extra pair of socks and underwear are a good idea, too.  
    • Shoes Generally, a pair of comfortable running shoes or trail shoes are better suited for the terrain and weather of the Appalachian Mountains than heavy hiking boots.  Many backpackers also choose to bring a pair of lightweight sandals or camp shoes to wear in the evenings.  Whatever you wear, make sure to test them out at home before bringing them on a week-long trip!
    • Toiletries: Toilet paper, toothbrush and toothpaste, a small bottle of soap, and hand sanitizer are all you need!  Leave the deodorant, make-up, hair products, lotions, and other scented items at home.  Embrace your natural self while backpacking! 

    Cancellation Policy: 

    • Trip cost includes a non-refundable $150 booking deposit.  The remainder of the cost is due 1 week prior to the trip.  Trips may be canceled up to 1 week before the start date for a refund, minus the deposit.  Within 1 week of the trip, a 50% refund will be offered for cancellations.  No refunds will be offered for cancellations within 48 hours of the trip start date.
    • We hike rain or shine! Backpacking is a challenging endurance sport, and it can be uncomfortable during inclement weather.  We do our best to make sure hikers are adequately prepared for adverse weather.  However, safety is our biggest priority.  In the case of severe weather that could affect the safety of our hikers, our guides have the discretion to cancel a trip.  In this case, full refunds will be offered or vouchers given to reschedule.


    Our guides work hard to provide you with excellent service, professional guidance, and a safe and memorable backpacking trip.  If you feel your guide has done an exceptional job, please consider showing your appreciation with a tip.  The industry standard for tipping backpacking guides is 15-20% the total cost of the trip. 

      • Max Patch Beginner Backpacking Trip

        3 Days / 2 Nights

        • Explore the Appalachian Trail at Max Patch in North Carolina, just 45 minutes from Asheville. This gorgeous mountain-top meadow boasts panoramic views and diverse natural landscapes, from lush forests to open meadows.
        • Encounter a rich tapestry of wildlife, including deer, native birds, and black bears, and catch sight of vibrant wildflowers along the trails.
        • Hike through the winding woodland trails of the Appalachian Mountains, camp under the starry night sky, and enjoy the warmth of a crackling campfire.
        • Perfect for first time and beginner backpackers, this trip includes all the gear you need, on-trail meals, shuttle service, and support from an experienced backpacking guide.
        Discover Max Patch 
      • Roan Highlands Beginner Backpacking Trip

        3 Days / 2 Nights

        • Traverse through the breath-taking Roan Highlands, a series of open mountain summits, just 1.5 hours from Asheville and 3 hours from Knoxville.
        • This series of wildflower covered, grassy mountain summits is a favorite spot on the Appalachian Trail. Soak in the 360 degree mountain views from the balds and hike through the rhododendron lined forest trails.
        • Learn about the abundant wildlife of the Southern Appalachians, including black bears, deer, migratory birds, and summertime wildflowers.
        • Perfect for first time backpackers, this trip includes a full gear rental, on-trail meals, shuttle service, and support from an experienced backpacking guide.
        Discover the Roan Highlands 
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      Explore the Wild with an Experienced Backpacking Guide

      Hi, I'm Nicole, founder of Wildwood Hiking Company! I started Wildwood after completing my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2022, a 2,194 mile trek from Georgia to Maine over the course of 6 months. My time on the trail was life-changing and empowering, and my experiences helped me gain the strength and courage to go out and build a life I love! I hope to share the joy and beauty of nature with others through backpacking.