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  • An oft-overlooked gem, ditch the leaf peeping crowds of the northeast and hike a stretch of the 218-mile Ozark Highlands Trail, which winds through the Ozark National Forest and offers the same amount of eye-popping spectacle. [image: Oakley Originals/Flickr] 12 Amazing Fall Foliage Destinations
  • Arrive early to grab a spot in the small campground at Utah’s first national monument.  Go for a night hike on the Owachomo Bridge trail for this view, or try the Sipapu Bridge Trail for night sky panoramas beneath the second largest natural bridge in the world. [image: NPS] The Best Stargazing Spots for Backpackers
  • Mauna Loa, located in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, is Earth's largest volcano. With 33 eruptions since 1843 (the most recent occurring in 1984), it is also one of the world's most active. Drive the Observatory Road and hike 6.4 miles to the top (2,527 elevation gain).  [image: Lauren Bacon/Flickr] The Best Volcano Hikes in the U.S.
  • FallBookRoundup_Header 2014 Fall Book Roundup
  • With dizzying exposure and supreme panoramas of Zion’s colossal towers, choose this delightfully strenuous 8-mile up-and-back to Observation Point instead of the classic (read: overcrowded) Angels Landing hike.  [Photo: Melissa Hopkins / Flickr] The Best National Park Dayhikes
  • Rhyolite is a must-see for visitors to Death Valley National Park. The well-preserved train station serves as the main attraction, but ruins of a bank, mercantile, and an adobe home made from 50,000 beer bottle also spark curiosity. [image: Rafał Próchniak/Flickr] The Best Ghost Town Hikes in the U.S.
  • It's likely you'll encounter this flowering evergreen shrub while hiking east of the Mississippi along streams and damp forests. The clusters of showy pink and white flowers are pleasing to the eye, but the toxins present throughout the plant are anything but pleasurable. If eaten, mountain laurel can cause abdominal pain, tingling of skin, a slowed pulse, lack of coordination, convulsions, paralysis, and in rare cases, even death. [image: Jason Hollinger/Wikimedia] 10 Wildflowers That Can Kill You
  • Want one surefire way to get your adrenaline pumping? Attempt the 1,500-foot climb to this airy perch high above Zion Canyon. From the footbridge spanning the Virgin River, the 2.5-mile (one-way) route switchbacks up sandstone cliffs to a pinched slickrock ridge with hair-raising drop-offs on either side. Hoist yourself to the summit using chains bolted into the rock face, then peer down on the valley far below. [image: Ada Be/Flickr] The Best Hikes for Thrill-Seekers
  • For the ultimate dinosaur fix, check out the Fossil Discovery Trail at Dinosaur National Monument.  Over 165 million years and 10 species of dinosaurs are jam-packed into this relatively short hike.  Prepare to see dinosaur bones jutting out of the path’s surrounding rock faces, some belonging to beasts that would have weighed over 50,000 pounds in their heyday.  The trail also contains fossilized squid, fish scales, and the remains of an ichthyosaur (think "dinosaur dolphin"). [image: Rob Glover/Flickr] The Best Fossil Hikes in North America
  • The third new cooksystem offering is an expansion of Primus's Eta Lite line. In addition to the .5-liter model we reviewed in our Spring Gear Guide, there's now a 1-liter pot offering that clips on to the same triangular burner system. The Lite XL is $130 [priced corrected from $110] and weighs 15.9 oz. 6 Sweet New Stoves at Outdoor Retailer 2014
  • First up, the Flylite from MSR. This garage-looking, non-freestanding tent has near-vertical walls and pitches with two trekking poles and one short tent pole, keeping the weight at 1 lb., 9 oz for two people. The 7 Coolest Tents at Outdoor Retailer Summer 2014
  • Evade the sun under a roof of colossal redwood trees to the soundtrack of roaring falls. Gain nearly 1,800 feet in elevation on this 10.2 mile loop through the Big Basin Redwoods State Forest, tracking counterclockwise for the easiest trek. Pass by two waterfalls before reaching Berry Creek Falls and take a break beneath its gurgling flow. [image: Ken Ichi/Flickr] 25 Heat-Busting Hikes
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We're planning our Trail Chef recipe pages for 2015! What topics would you like to see? This year we've done things like mess-free cooking, skipping your stove, and decadent desserts (coming soon!). What's next?
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Survival story of the day: As water crashes through a 70-foot-high slot canyon, three hikers have to make the ultimate choice to survive. Hear their story:
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