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Backpacker Magazine – November 2012

Trail Mix: Great November Hikes in the West

Your region's go-now guide: See newts on the move in California and bears heading for lower elevation in Beartooths, MT

by: Nathan Pipenberg (Cape Perpetua, Windy Mountain), Heather Steinberger (Secrets of the Rangers), Rachel Zurer

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area (Photo by Thomas Hallstein)
Cape Perpetua Scenic Area (Photo by Thomas Hallstein)
Newt (Photo by South12Photography/
Newt (Photo by South12Photography/
Oak Creep Look, Red Rock Canyon NCA (Photo by Dave Miller)
Oak Creep Look, Red Rock Canyon NCA (Photo by Dave Miller)

Perfect Days

Eugene, OR
Cape Perpetua Scenic Area
This 8.5-mile loop hugs the coast before heading inland to lush old-growth forest and views of the Coast Range and Pacific Ocean. On your drive home, stop north of Florence on US 101 to see sea lions wintering in the world’s largest sea cave ($12; Trip ID 368682

Great Falls, MT
Windy Mountain Loop
On this 7.1-mile loop (max elevation: 5,700 feet), enjoy the open scenery of the Highwood Mountains while avoiding the snowpack that coats Montana’s higher ranges in November. Stop in the tiny town of Belt on the ride home to take a tour of the Harvest Moon Brewing Company (406-277-3188;; call ahead to schedule a tour). Trip ID 56416

Phoenix, AZ
Picketpost Mountain
Make the short (2.2 miles), steep (nearly 2,000-foot gain) scramble to this 4,375-foot summit with 360-degree views of the Superstitions while the weather is cool. Then visit the Boyce Thompson Arboretum three miles away, a local favorite for its dazzling collection of 3,200 desert plants ($9; 520-689-2723; Trip ID 8817

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