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Backpacker Magazine – September 2012

Trail Mix: West

Your region's go-now guide

by: Chuck Graham (Secrets), Nate Seltenrich (Solitude), Dennis Lewon (Bragging), and Rachel Zurer

Point Bennet, San Miguel Island (Chuck Graham
Point Bennet, San Miguel Island (Chuck Graham
Grand 2 Grand Ultra (Courtesy)
Grand 2 Grand Ultra (Courtesy)

Explore: Denver-area Trails
Mt. Audubon, Indian Peaks Wilderness
 Score summit views of Longs Peak and the Gore Range from this relatively mellow 7.6-mile out-and-back to a 13,223-foot summit (no scrambling required). In September, enjoy smaller crowds and the beginnings of fall colors, while getting above treeline before snows hit (Trip ID 53181). Download our free smartphone app, GPS Trails, to check out dozens more Denver-area dayhikes:

3 Perfect Days

Flagstaff, AZ
West Fork Oak Creek Canyon
Arrive by 8 a.m. to hike this popular trail while it’s still cool and crowd-free. Travel six miles out-and-back through a forested canyon with towering, sculpted sandstone walls. Then up the adrenaline on the ropes course at the new Flagstaff Extreme adventure center 20 minutes away ($42; reservations recommended; Trip ID 1090796

Helena, MT
Helena Ridge Trail
Catch the free trolley from the pedestrian mall to the Park City trailhead (it runs twice every weekend morning through September 30), then hike 8.7 miles along a ridge with views of distant peaks and town below. Your route ends just a block from the Blackfoot River Brewing Company (; enjoy a pint of Scottish Ale before heading home. Trip ID 782922

Las Vegas, NV
Grand Circle Loop
Take advantage of cooler fall temps to explore Red Rock NCA’s cliffs and hoodoos on an 11.7-mile loop. Pack a blanket and a picnic, so you can head 10 miles down the road to watch theater under the stars in Spring Mountain Ranch SP ( Trip ID 5702

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Oct 04, 2012

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Sometimes getting lost can be easier than staying found and that's what makes short hikes the most dangerous. No matter how well they know the trail, many people never consider that they might end up unexpectedly spending the night outdoors or waiting for medical help --and so they hike without the essentials. Felix! the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart (Amazon) teaches essential day-hiking skills, items to pack, how to navigate your way with and without a map or compass, and how to get rescued. Learn to stay found by using a compass and paying attention to your surroundings. A compass doesn't need batteries and works in all types of weather but you need to know how to use it and this book makes learning --easy. This book is for all ages --parents, friends, and children can learn together. It's a fast, easy read that could save your life and will definitely make your hike more safe and enjoyable!


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