Algonquin Provincial Park: Western Uplands Backpacking Trail – Inner Loop (3 days / 36 km)

A view of inner loop Algonquin Western Uplands Backpacking

The Western Uplands Backpacking Trail is one of three backpacking trails in Algonquin Provincial Park. If you're looking for an easy way to get into the woods and spend a few nights in a tent, this is an excellent choice. The trail has three loops, the shortest being 32 km and the longest being 88 km.

In June of 2021, I backpacked the Inner Loop (the shortest) over three days / two nights. We camped at Maggie Lake West the first night (which added 4 km to the route) and Ramoan Lake on the second night. I brought my friend, Nadine, and it was her first backpacking trip ever. We both had a great time, enjoying the trail, the campsites and the company.

Trip Completed: June 2021

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Western Uplands Backpacking Trailhead / Oxtongue River Picnic Ground

Ending Point: Western Uplands Backpacking Trailhead / Oxtongue River Picnic Ground

Total Distance: 36 km

Elevation Gain: 1,081 m

Duration: 3 days / 2 nights

Difficulty: Beginner


The Western Uplands Backpacking Trailhead is located at kilometre 3 of Hwy 60 in Algonquin Provincial Park. The nearest town to the trail is Huntsville. The visitor's center at the West Gate is located nearby, where you can buy a map or pick up permits ahead of your trip.

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of the Omàmìwininìwag (Algonquin) and Anishinabewaki (source).

Maps & Resources

Map: Backpacking Trails of Algonquin Provincial Park

Campsite Reservations: Campsite bookings are made in advance through the Ontario Parks Online Reservation system. In previous seasons, you’d book for a campsite on a specific lake, not for a specific campsite. For the 2022 season, you must reserve a specific campsite.

Permits: You don’t need to pick up permits before starting on the trail, though they can be picked up at West Gate. You can print two copies of your reservation receipt and leave one on...

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