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Adventures



2013 Adventures NYC



Events Worth Training For

Want to set a big goal to give your training more focus and direction? Sign up for one of these mettle-testing trail events.

Adventure Travel Skills

See more wildlife, climb more peaks, and hike more miles with these tips that'll help every adventure traveling backpacker raise their game.

Wildlive Lover Skills

See more wildlife--and capture it better on film.

Mileage Master Skills

Going the distance? Use these tips to ease big-mile trips.

Family Traveler

Read these tips to make your kids more comfortable on the trail.

Peakbagger Skills

Tips for overcoming jetlag, gathering beta, and getting your summit gear to foreign peaks in one piece.

Limit Pusher Skills

Always looking for a way to go farther and faster? Get ready with these tips to take your hiking to the next level.

Multisport Maniac Skills

Learn these skills for trips that involve more than just hiking.

Heroes: Rue Mapp, 40

This culture activist is bringing diversity to the outdoors.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Climb Big Trees

Discover a higher world.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Make an Adventure Movie

Create a story-driven video that engages you on the trail and offers a fresh perspective on trip memories.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook

Tired of the same old weekend loops? Looking to create memories your grandkids will talk about? In this how-and-where guide, we serve up 15 extraordinary escapes that will shatter your expectations of "normal." From adventure moviemaking to canyoneering, we'll take you places you've never been—but will long to visit again soon.

Adventure Travel: New Zealand

Hiker heaven, redefined, is a month-long hike/paddle/camp in Adventureland.

Secret Switzerland

Discover solitude on the Swiss border with this highlights tour of John Harlin's favorite trips—rope not required.

Big Wild Empty: The Bob Marshall Wilderness

Think there's nothing wild left in the Lower 48? Don't tell the grizzlies on this traverse of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Tough Guy Challenge 2011

Think you're a tough guy (or gal)? Take our five-week challenge and enter our video contest for a chance to prove it.

Rip & Go: Turkey Creek Trail

Hike through three ecological zones in east Texas's carnivore country.

Rip & Go: Pine Tree Loop

Paddle to shoreline solitude, then perch on dunes above the Atlantic Ocean in Maryland's Assateague Island National Seashore.

Rip & Go: Goldmyer Hot Springs - Snoqualmie NF, WA

Track beneath waterfalls and icicle-hung trees to a soothing soak.

Rip & Go: Thunderhead Loop

Hike from forest floor to a rocky ridge linking twin summits in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Readers' Choice: West

Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the west.

Readers' Choice 2011: America's Best Hikes

The undisputed local experts—you—chose the top parks, trails, campsites, and weekend getaways from Alaska to Alabama.

Print & Go: Buckeye-Caney Creek Loop, Ouachita National Forest, AR

This 10.2-mile circuit through a forest of maple, oak, and sweet gum follows the 2,000-foot ridge of Buckeye Mountain, before dropping to peaceful Caney Creek (with plenty of camping options). Follow the flow and view multiple falls on your way back to the trailhead.

Print & Go: Lost Creek Loop, Denver, CO

Skip Colorado's wildly popular Fourteeners and their buzzing crowds. Instead, explore Lost Creek Wilderness's granite domes, mansion-size boulders, and fingerlike spires on a rugged, 27.6-mile circuit packed with sweeping Continental Divide views and killer riverside campsites.

Print & Go: Greenwater-Lost-Echo Lake Loop, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie NF

Mt. Rainier's snowy, 14,411-foot crown rises less than 20 miles southwest of this 3-day, 23.3-mile lasso loop-- and you'll get picture-perfect views of it at miles 9.8 and 10.4. Hike south along the Greenwater River before starting a 17.2-mile counterclockwise circuit that connects Lost, George, and Echo Lakes with ridgelines overlooking Rainier's glaciated slopes.

Rip & Go: Approach Trail Loop, Chattahoochee National Forest, GA

Relax in a hiker-friendly lodge at the Appalachian Trail's southern tip.

Rip & Go: McKittrick Canyon

Soak up high-desert views amid the Lone Star State's tallest peaks.

Rip & Go: Big Piney Trail

Roll from dark hollows to dolomite ridges in the Ozark highlands of Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest.

Rip & Go: Big Creek Loop

Hike from a wildlife-choked river valley to soaring mountain views.

Rip & Go: McCargoe Cove to Rock Harbor

Hike among moose and wolves on this two-day escape to Isle Royale National Park.

Trip Finder: Appalachians

Your favorite Appalachians hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: Devil's Path

Conquer the rocks, ridges, and ravines on the East's toughest trail.

Readers' Choice: Northeast

Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Northeast.

Readers' Choice: Rockies

Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Rockies.

Rip & Go: Four Pass Loop

Like peaks, lakes, and wildflowers? You'll love this Rockies classic in White River National Forest.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Best Winter Trips

We traveled to Fjordland and discovered that nothing compares to skiing glacier-clad mountains above deep-water fjords. Plus: 20 winter adventures, from California to New York.

Best Winter Trips: 10th Mountain Division Huts, Colorado

Get backcountry spoils--snorkel-deep pow on remote Rockies peaks--with frontcountry comforts (warm fire and hot toddies, anyone?) in this famed hut system. More than 350 miles of trails wind through prime winter terrain, connecting the 31 full-service cabins.

Best Winter Trips: White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Few places serve up fierce, unpredictable winter weather quite like Mt. Washington, the 6,288-foot capstone of New Hampshire's White Mountains. Battle hurricane-force winds--and 20-plus feet of annual snowfall--while tackling the East's best mountaineering, or choose from hundreds of miles of snowy trails for a lower elevation romp.

Best Winter Trips: Teton Range, Wyoming

Towering 7,000-plus feet above Jackson Hole, the Tetons wrest more than 30 feet of snow from passing storms and pile it thick on road-accessible slopes.

Best Winter Trips: Mt. Rainer National Park, Washington

The granddaddy of the Cascades looms above Seattle like a great white beacon for snow junkies. The mountain's 25 major glaciers hold enough ice to bury Manhattan 150 feet deep, and some of the planet's highest recorded snowfalls guarantee powder for all. Paradise, the park's winter epicenter, has year-round road access.

Norway: Tested

Traverse a Glacier: On Norway's west coast, ancient ice scapes offer an otherworldly adventure.

Best Hikes Ever: Willow Gulch, UT

Explore resurrected sandstone slots.

Long Trail Hikes

Traverse the first long trail in Vermont.

Best Hikes Ever: Southern Traverse, AK

Tackle an epic adventure in the far north.

Best Hikes Ever: Wonderland Trail, WA

Circumnavigate the West's most majestic mountain.

Best Hikes Ever: St. Mary to McDonald Lake, MT

Hike lake to lake through bear central in Glacier National Park.

Best. Hikes. Ever.

We've covered 245,591 miles of trails in our 37-year history. Here are our 20 all-time favorite trips, plus—shocking!—20 routes we never covered.

Best Hikes Ever: Grand Island Loop, MI

Hike along bluffs and fern forests in total solitude on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Best Hikes Ever: Zion Narrows, UT

Sluice through towering walls of sandstone in Utah's Zion National Park.

Best Hikes Ever: The Needles Traverse, CO

Forge your own route through the Rockies' most rugged corner.

Best Hikes Ever: Appalachian Trail, GA-ME

Thru-hike America's most revered long trail: the Appalachian Trail.

Best Hikes Ever: Denali, AK

Pick your pilgrimage through the backcountry Holy Land: Mt Eielson Loop or Kesugi Ridge.

Best Hikes Ever: Teton Crest Trail, WY

Traverse the nation's most photogenic range on the Teton Crest Trail.

Best Hikes Ever: John Muir Trail, CA

Step for scenery-packed step, nothing else compares to the John Muir Trail.

Give a Sherpa a Lift: Apa Sherpa Summits Mt. Everest for the 20th Time

Sherpa's big year also includes an limited edition Suunto watch to benefit his foundation.

Local Hikes: Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

The best hikes near Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Local Hikes: Columbus, OH

The best hikes near Columbus, OH.

Local Hikes: Austin, TX

The best hikes near Austin, TX.

Local Hikes: Milwaukee, WI

The best hikes near Milwaukee.

Local Hikes: Chicago, IL

The best hikes near Chicago.

Local Hikes: St. Louis, MO

The best local hikes near St. Louis.

Local Hikes: Dallas, TX

The best hikes near Dallas, TX.

Local Hikes: Roanoke, VA

The best hikes near Roanoke, VA.

Local Hikes: Asheville, NC

The best hikes near Asheville, NC.

Local Hikes: Atlanta, GA

The best hikes near Atlanta, GA.

Local Hikes: Knoxville, TN

The best hikes near Knoxville, TN.

Local Hikes: Richmond, VA

The best hikes near Richmond, VA.

Local Hikes: Charlotte, NC

The best hikes near Charlotte, NC.

Local Hikes: Tallahassee, FL

The best hikes near Tallahassee, FL.

Nashville Hiking

The best hikes near Nashville, TN.

Local Hikes: Washington, DC

The best hikes near Washington, DC.

Seattle Hikes

The best hikes near Seattle, WA.

Local Hikes: Bozeman, MT

The best hikes near Bozeman, MT.

Local Hikes: Laramie, WY

The best hikes near Laramie, WY.

Salt Lake City Hiking

The best hikes near Salt Lake City, UT.

Albuquerque Hiking

The best hikes near Albuquerque, NM.

Local Hikes: Aspen, CO

The best hikes near Aspen, CO.

Local Hikes: Flagstaff, AZ

The best hikes near Flagstaff, AZ.

Phoenix Hikes

The best hikes near Phoenix, AZ.

Local Hikes: Moab, UT

The best hikes near Moab, Utah.

Local Hikes: Grand Junction, CO

The best hikes near Grand Junction, CO.

Local Hikes: Denver/Boulder, CO

The best hikes near Denver/Boulder.

Local Hikes: Santa Barbara/Ventura

The best local hikes near Santa Barbara/Ventura.

Local Hikes: San Francisco

The best hikes near San Francisco.

Local Hikes: Las Vegas, NV

The best hikes near Las Vegas.

San Diego Hikes

The best hikes near San Diego.

Sacramento Hiking

The best local hikes near Sacramento.

Local Hikes: Redding

The best local hikes near Redding, CA.

Local Hikes: Los Angeles

The best local hikes in LA.

Local Hikes: Midwest

The best hikes in the Midwest, as recommended by the region's best hiking clubs.

Local Hikes: Northwest

The best hikes in Northwest, as suggested by the best local hiking clubs.

Local Hikes: Northeast

The best hikes, as recommended by the best hiking clubs in the Northeast.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

The best local hikes in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana.

Local Hikes: California

The best hikes within two hours of California's major cities.

The Best Hikes Near You

Clear the schedule for next Saturday (and the rest of the year). We partnered with regional hiking clubs in 50 cities to bring you the country's top 121 local trails.

The Peak: Triple Divide Peak, Glacier NP

In Glacier National Park, summit a mountain that feeds three oceans.

Top 3 Waterslide Hikes: Meadow Run, PA

Pass between waterfalls and mossy boulders for this long, gentle slide.

Print & Go: Ape Canyon, Mt. St. Helens National Monument

Traverse the eastern flanks of the most active volcano in the Cascades on this 11.3-mile (round-trip) dayhike in Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. You'll encounter tufts of vibrant wildflowers and postcard views of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams.

Print & Go: Heart Lake and Mt. Sheridan, Yellowstone NP

Experience the rugged side of Yellowstone on this two-day, 23.1-mile backpack. You'll track past steaming creeks and old-growth lodgepole on the way to a campsite near Heart Lake's rocky shoreline. On day two, rise early for the 2,800-foot climb to Mt. Sheridan's 10,308-foot crown.

Print & Go: Enchanted Rock Loop, Enchanted Rock State Park, Austin, TX

Circumnavigate a 425-foot-tall pink granite monolith on this 4.9-miler, which crosses a sandy creek and cruises classic Texas Hill Country west of Austin. Spur trails to Moss Lake (backcountry campsites available) and the summit are short and worthwhile.

Print & Go: Charlies Bunion Loop, Great Smoky Mountains NP

Pack a camera for this lollipop loop to one of the best mountain views in the park: a sit-awhile panorama, atop a 5,565-foot knob with thousand foot drop-offs on three sides, that stretches from Mt. LeConte to the jagged peaks of the Sawteeth Range.

Print & Go Weekend Trip Planners

Free Print & Go PDFs give you turn-by-turn trail instructions and photos embedded on a usable topo map. Also: Gear checklists, driving directions, and geo-references for finding the nearest campground, restaurant, gas station, and grocery store.

Rip & Go: Jockey Hollow

Explore quiet forests where George Washington wintered his troops.

Natural Wonders: The Southeast's Living-Dead Plant

See ferns that play dead, then dramatically come back to life.

Natural Wonders: Florida's Sea Turtle Capital

Witness the birthing of a species that shared the seas with dinosaurs.

Natural Wonders: America's Deepest Lake

Gaze into a 2,000-foot-deep tub of snowmelt.

The Peak: Mt. Mitchell

Enjoy solitude and fixed-rope scrambling on the East's highest mountain.

Life's Short, Hike More!

What makes a backpacker a backpacker? It's not the garage full of gear or piles of guidebooks--it's the experiences, from thru-hiking a long trail to pushing your personal envelope to inspiring a child's love of wilderness. Here we present BACKPACKER's new Life List: 10 experiences to add to your tick-listnow--and the key skills you need to nail them.

New Life List: Explore Patagonia

Experience the thrill of being a pioneer: Trek to a remote corner of the globe.

New Life List: Summit a Himalayan Peak

The roof of the world is open to everyone, and your personal Mt. Everest is waiting.

New Life List: See a Grizzly

Coming face to face with the biggest predator in North America might just alter your worldview.

New Life List: Bag a Remote Peak

Stand alone atop Washington's Glacier Peak--a summit that others rarely see, let alone climb.

New Life List: Traverse a Mountain Range

Walking a high ridge with countless views and no people is the stuff of dreams. Make it real in Olympic National Park's Bailey Range.

New Life List: Tackle a Monster Dayhike in the Grand Canyon

See a week's worth of scenery in 24 hours, and redefine your idea of what's possible.

New Life List: Shoot a Wall-Worthy Photo

The only thing equal to a life-list trip? An image that brings it back to life.

New Life List: Ultimate Family Paddling Adventure

World-class scenery, luxe camping, and easy paddling await your family on the Green River in Canyonlands. Your kids will remember this forever.

New Life List: Climb a Via Ferrata

Get a taste of the vertical alpine world--no experience required.

New Life List: Thru-Hike the JMT

A lifetime of weekend trips is like trying to live on appetizers. Get real sustenance with a two-week trek through the best of the Sierras on California's John Muir Trail.

Hiking Wales: Plan Your Trip

Use our guide to make your Wales hiking adventure a reality.

Hiking Wales: Brecon Beacons National Park

Cross a sprawling preserve of broad mountains, lonely ridgelines, and lush river valleys.

Hiking Wild Wales: Offa's Dyke Path

Follow a long-distance trail along the once-violent, now-bucolic border between England and Wales.

Hiking Wild Wales: Snowdonia National Park

The highest peak. The wildest ridges. The largest lake. Find them all in Wales's alpine heart.

Hiking Wild Wales: Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Tiptoe along oceanside bluffs with views across the Irish Sea.

Secret Hikes: Yellowstone National Park

What crowds? Lose yourself in the Lamar Valley on this weeklong hike.

Secret Hikes: Appalachian Trail

The last lonely stretch of the AT beckons from the mountains of western Maine.

Secret Hikes: Glacier National Park

Score wildlife sightings daily, choice views hourly--and at least one juicy burger--on this weeklong circuit.

Secret Hikes: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Explore a granite wonderland, cross two little-used passes, and score High Sierra solitude on this point-to-point hike.

Secret Hikes: Zion National Park

Pack an extra memory card for what is, mile-for-mile, the most photogenic hike in the Southwest.

Secret Hikes: North Cascades National Park

Dive into the heart of the Lower 48's wildest park.

Secret Hikes: Badlands

Ever dreamed of exploring another planet? Hike here.

Secret Hikes: Isle Royale National Park

Trek to shoreline campsites through woodlands rife with moose, birds, and wolves.

Secret Hikes: Olympic National Park Hiking

Walk from lush rainforest to wide-open glacier views on this 43-mile sneak route.

Secret Hikes: Hiking Grand Canyon National Park

Surprise: This park's busy corridor trails offer a fast track to a private slice of heaven.

Secret Hikes: Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Climb from sublime desert to pine forests and peaks with 100-mile views.

Secret Hikes: Grand Teton National Park

Rise above the crowds and earn solo views of elk, wildflowers, and summit sunsets.

Secret Hikes of the National Parks

The perfect dozen: Embark on one of these 12 treks, and turn America's most iconic preserves into your own private paradise.

Hiking Wild Wales

Don't be fooled by the cozy pubs and low elevations. The birthplace of mountaineering overflows with challenges, from rugged peaks to history-laden coastal treks.

The Peak: Humphreys Peak, Arizona

Discover aspens and alpine hiking, plus views of the Grand Canyon, on this trek up Arizona's 12,633-foot highpoint.

Natural Wonders: World's Tallest Geyser, North America's Smallest Bird and Best Shade Tree

Discover the world's tallest geyser, North America's smallest bird, and the country's best shade tree on these three treks.

Top 3: Ghost Town Hikes

Walk 100 or more years back into history--and deep into wilderness outposts now reclaimed by nature--with these routes to three abandoned frontier communities.

Top 3 Ghost Town Hikes: Dogtown, MA

walk 10 miles of demise carved in stone.

Top 3 Ghost Town Hikes: Boston Mine, CO

Visit a Wrecked alpine village.

Top 3 Ghost Town Hikes: Glorietta Ghost Town, NM

Hike to a hotel with no visitors.

Local Hikes: Southeast

Climb to two killer views, see the South's best flowers, and hike to secluded falls. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

Local Hikes: Northeast

Hike across a state, gain the country's best foliage view, and top alpine balds. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

Local Hikes: Mountain West

Spot a grizzly, basecamp amid Fourteeners, and relax in secluded hot springs. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

Local Hikes: Midwest

See moose, bag a high-desert peak, and sample a quiet long trail. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

Local Hikes: California/Nevada/Hawaii

Hike to the world's best tropical campsite, see elephant seals, and trek through poppies. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

3D Interactive Grand Canyon: Our Toughest Routes

Tackle our toughest and least-crowded routes in the Grand Canyon with this interactive map.

Local Hikes: New Hikes Near You

Our army of reader-reader scouts mapped 59 local hikes from South Carolina to Northern California. See their favorites, then learn how to download tracklogs and waypoints.

Local Hikes: Northwest

See five volcanoes, camp at secluded lakes, and hike through a swarm of butterflies. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

Life List: Colorado Trail

Bag a peak every day (and a view every step) on the country's highest-elevation footpath.

Life List: Switzerland's Via Alpina

Devour the world's best scenery, chocolate, and cheese on the Via Alpina.

Life List: Grand Canyon

Learn where solitude reigns--and why. Plus: Tackle the hardest Big Ditch route we've ever published.

Colorado Trail: Find Solitude

How to beat the crowds and find solitude in the Rockies

Switzerland's Via Alpina: The Best 10 Miles

Turn-by-turn beta for highlights on its best 10 miles.

Grand Canyon: Hardest Hike Ever

This epic trip is hard, dry, steep--and gorgeous. The Cranberry Route--the final leg of this challenging loop--is the boldest, hardest scramble our scouts have done in the Grand Canyon. Study the key steps of this eight-mile section and see more details at backpacker.com/hikes/637440. Warning: Don't attempt this route without advanced navigation skills.

Grand Canyon Treasure Map: Hard

Find solitude and Adventure in the Big Ditch.

Grand Canyon Treasure Map: Moderate

Find solitude and adventure in the big ditch.

Grand Canyon Treasure Map: Easy

Find the best trail for your backcountry skills.

Grand Canyon: Treasure Map

Score your own private paradise with this insider's guide to uncrowded areas in Grand Canyon National Park.

Hike America's Long Trails

We know. You've always wanted to hike a long trail. Lucky for you, we've got the comprehensive guides to make your dreams a reality. Check out the best sections and dayhikes along the AT, PCT and CDT. PLUS: See how four hikers beat the recession...by hiking through it.

Gear Review: American Hiking Society Membership

Join the American Hiking Society.

The Basics of Backcountry Ski Touring

See more–and have more fun–this winter with these gear and technique trips.

The Peak: Mt. Greylock

Take the 5.5 mile trek up Bellows Pipe Trail to the summit; while you're there, enjoy a local cocktail and a cup of chowder at Bascom Lodge.

Gear Review: Fischer BCX 6 Rugged Nordic Touring Boot

NNN-compatible with exceptional side-to-side stability.

Gear Review: Rottefella BC Magnum Rugged Nordic Touring Binding

These bindings are surprisingly sturdy, great for cruising on sturdy terrain.

Gear Review: Fischer Snowbound Rugged Nordic Touring Ski

This all-around Nordic ski both glides and grips for awesome touring.

Gear Review: Garmont Excursion Backcountry Touring Boot

This boot has the best of both worlds: The comfort of a Nordic boot, with the warmth of telemark boot.

Gear Review: Voile HD Mountaineer 3-Pin Backcountry Touring Binding

Simple and user-friendly, these Voile skis are also built to weather the abuse of varied terrains.

Gear Review: Karhu XCD Guide Backcountry Touring Ski

Ideal for turning and climbing on rugged backcountry day trips.

Gear Review: Dynafit Zzeus TF-X/Gaia Alpine Touring Boot

Stiff on the downhill, flexible when skinning up, this boot has it all.

Gear Review: G3 Onyx Alpine Touring Binding

Adjustable and easy to use, traveling through varied terrain is a breeze.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Justice Alpine Touring Ski

Whether it's touring, powder or inbounds, this ski does it all.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Push/Stiletto Telemark Ski Boot

The perfect blend of comfort and performance, this boot is great in all conditions.

Gear Review: Black Diamond 01 Telemark Bindings

Versatile and ready for anything, these bindings are super durable and won't ice up.

Gear Review: G3 Tonic/Zest Telemark Ski

Great for powder, but still handles the bumps like a pro, these skis are super smooth.

Gear Review: Ahnu Firetrail Winter Trail Shoe

Genuinely breathable winter running shoe, great for long slushy runs.

Gear Review: Zamberlan 1009 Vioz Top GT RR Mountaineering Boot

Insulated backpacking boots with enough support to carry a 50-pound pack.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Baruntse Mountaineering Boot

Made for big peaks, this boot is warm, and great for ice and snow

Ridge Runner: An Interview with Glenn Dunmire

Undeterred by injuries that would cripple most men, a Colorado hiker nears the halfway point in a pioneering attempt to thru-hike the true crest of the Continental Divide.

Three Trips to Natural Wonders

Discover the world's oldest tree, America's biggest cavern, and Florida's largest herd of wild horses on these three treks.

Ridge Runner

Undeterred by injuries that would cripple most men, a Colorado hiker nears the halfway point in a pioneering attempt to thru-hike the true crest of the Continental Divide. In this extended online interview, Dunmire talks about his gear essentials, near misses, and the challenges that lay ahead as he continues to trace North America's spine.

Perfect day: Big Bend, Texas

Mike Long, a 20-year veteran, snares a primo big-water day on the Rio Grande.

Top 3 Hot Springs Hikes

Native Americans consider hot springs sacred. Pioneer hucksters claimed they had magic healing powers. Hikers just think they feel awfully good after a long slog. The key, of course, is finding one far from beer-packing partiers. These wilderness springs require sturdy, crowd-discouraging journeys amid stunning scenery.



The Floating Frontier: Paddling Glacier Bay, Alaska

The Alaska Marine Highway is the world's most scenic floating campground.

Rolwaling And Khumbu Valleys, Nepal

Experience the magic of the remote Himalaya.

Higher Calling: Adventure in Valencia, Spain

Spain's little-known Valencia region beckons the mountain-minded adventurer with dramatic topography, sun-drenched hiking and biking, and sumptuous end-of-day feasts.

Hiking Tour du Mont Blanc

Circumnavigate Europe's most iconic peak.

Hike to Tibet's Everest Base Camp

Walk the World's Highest Trail.

Stateside Adventures: Closer Than You Think

A veteran traveler discovers a world of adventure in his backyard.

Hiking Tanzania's Mt. Kilimanjaro

Stand on the roof of Africa.

Travel Like a Pro

Master every detail of far-flung adventure–from visas to vaccinations–with these time-tested tips from guides and veteran globetrotters.

Hiking England's Pennine Way

Explore Great Britain's answer to the Appalachian Trail.

Hiking New Zealand's Milford Track

Marvel at Middle Earth on this 33-mile, four-day Milford Track.

Scotland Backpacking Trips

Brave the Old World's newest and wildest long-distance route.

France Backpacking Trips

Hike locals-only trails in Europe's other Alps. This 500-mile track combines rugged hiking by day with luxe living by night

The World's Best Unknown Treks

We've traveled to 10 countries and uncovered the best adventures you never knew existed.

International Multisport Meccas: Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador

Trek across the roof of the Andes, mix in some trail riding–on bike and horseback–and climb a 19,000-foot volcano.

Hiking Italy's Alta Via 1

Weave through the Dolomite's limestone daggers.

Hiking Peru's Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Hike to South America's acropolis.

Hiking Corsica's GR 20

See azure seas from rocky peaks.

Wilderness Wonders: Most Active Volcano

You better stand back if this Sicilian island volcano starts to spurt.

Wilderness Wonders: Highest Peak

There is a reason the native's call it Sagarmatha, meaning "head of the sky."

Wilderness Wonders: Largest Glacier

Trekker-friendly glacier is largest in the Alps.

Hiking Chile's Torres del Paine Circuit

Trek through the earth's wildest mountain range.

The Perfect Circle: Hiking the Annapurna Circuit

Nepal's Annapurna Circuit can't compete with the world's best treks for lavish huts, extreme solitude, and sumptuous cuisine. So why is it still number one? Let us count the reasons.

February/March 2009 Table of Contents



Retro on the Ridge: Hiking the Grayson Highlands

For one soul-searching hiker, Grayson Highlands stirs powerful memories.

Hiking The Annapurna Circuit: Q&A With Shannon Davis

Associate editor Shannon Davis tells us more about the highs and lows of his honeymoon trek (featured in March 2009's "The Perfect Circle") on the sky-scraping Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.

Mr. Haugen's Highpoints

Denver teacher Mike Haugen sets a new state summits speed record–fifty state highpoints in less than 50 days!

I'm Hiking with Stupid - A Buddy Story

The last time our author took his buddy camping, they stopped speaking for a year. A decade later, they still haven't hit the trail together. Which means there's only one thing to do: Try again.

Pack Man: The Appalachian Trail Guru

Thirty miles up the trail from Springer Mountain, Winton Porter shelters and feeds thru-hikers–and works tirelessly to slash their pack weight.

Thoreau Slept Here: The Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail

Maine's newly minted Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail tracks the famous naturalist's 1800s expeditions. Good news: It's still wild.

Diagnosis of Disaster

Experts dissect the missteps in five recent hiking tragedies

America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes - Mist Trail, Half Dome, CA

Swallowed by Sierra scenery

America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes - Buckskin Gulch, UT

Gambling in the slots

America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes - Huckleberry Mtn., Apgar Range, MT

Fatten griz for winter

America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes - The Maze, UT

Lost in the labyrinth

Who's the Ultimate Survivor?

We settle the debate with winner-takes-all smackdown: Meet history's true hard man.

Man Versus Rock

A staged photo op in the Tetons results in a near-crushing.

Fighting Death on Mt. Foraker

Stunned by the loss of his friends, a stranded climber struggles down one of Alaska's toughest peaks.

Lost in the Olympics

A gym teacher's speed hike becomes a five-day bushwhack in Olympic National Park.

Walking Bataan: The Hardest Miles

Survivors of the Bataan death march overcame one of history's most grueling walks. What kept them on their feet? and could you do the same? every year, more than 4,000 people hike through the New Mexico desert to find out.



Thru-Hike The Roadless Sierra

Thru-hike the most remote miles in California's range of light



Canyon Connections: Link Grand Canyon To Zion

Trek empty terrain all the way from the Grand Canyon to Zion.

Mt. Adams: Solitude On Ice

Test your self-arrest skills on Mt. Adams's 12,276-foot fractured glacier.

Washington Paddling: Operation Orca

See one of the sea's keenest hunters as you paddle San Juan Island.

Bear Patrol in Glacier

Traverse the wildest part of the lower 48's last great grizzly hideaway.

Alaskan Labyrinth: Bushwacking in Denali

Beat your own path through Denali National Park's confounding and little-traveled Wyoming Hills.

Highpoint Montana

Get vertical on a tricky class IV route to the top of Granite peak.

Hiking Hip Deep in Florida's Swamps

Get your feet (and more) wet on the Florida Trail's best section.

Rocky Mountain (Extra) High: Lightning On The Colorado Trail

Dodge high wattage on the newest stretch of the Colorado Trail.

Cold War: A Winter Traverse of New Hampshire's Presidential Range

Got guts? Good. Now learn what skills you'll need to bag America's Little Everest—a traverse of New Hampshire's Presidential Range in Winter.

Start Smart: Properly Pack a Canoe or Kayak

Follow these guidelines to keep your gear dry, secure, and well balanced in a canoe or kayak.

How to Rescue an Injured Hiker

Your partner can't go on. Should you stay–or go for help?

Destination Nowhere

The most remote spot in the Lower 48 is inside Yellowstone National Park. It's also the goal of our correspondent. What he encounters–and what it says about the solitude backpackers treasure–will surprise you. PLUS: See more of his photos and read a Q&A.

Bus Hiking: Don't Pay at the Pump

Gas prices are soaring. Glaciers are melting. What's a conscientious hiker to do? Take the bus, says Dan Koeppel, who did just that to escape downtown L.A.

The Red Zone: Wyoming's Red Desert

As conservationists and energy developers fight over Wyoming's Red Desert, one thing is certain: There's no time like the present to hike through its unreal geography.

The Works: Hike Vermont's Long Trail

Sample the best section of the country's first thru-hike.

Trek Newfoundland's Long Range Traverse

Coastal views, mountains, and fjords await on the Long Range Traverse in Newfoundland's Gros Morne National Park.

Secrets Of Saguaro National Park

The name doesn't say it all: Arizona's premier cactus preserve conceals a cool mountain escape.

Canyon Confidential: Utah's Grand Gulch

To discover the best-kept secrets in Utah's Grand Gulch, you need to start at the bottom.

Go Long In Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands

On this 70-miler, see rhododendrons by day and hike light by staying in shelters at night.

Backpack Wyoming's Medicine Bow Mountains

Explore big skies and pristine lakes in the Medicine Bows.

Trip Finder: Waterfall Hikes

Nine ways to get your cascade fix from Tennessee to Montana.

Top 3 Fire Tower Hikes

Want a backcountry room with a view? Climb these lookouts from Vermont to Washington.

Quick Fix: Apostle Islands

You don't need a boat to see this spectacular national lakeshore. Here's how to explore the best of its bluffs and beaches by foot (and paddle).

25 Habits of Highly Effective Hikers

Guarantee yourself a great adventure– every time–by adopting these proven routines for planning and pulling off the perfect trip.

Film Your Own Hike, Then Go Behind-the-Scenes

Want to make adventure films? Emmy Award-winning director Michael Brown shows you how. Plus, go behind the scenes as BACKPACKER staffers learn from the masters at Adventure Film School.

Hike and Raft Oregon's Rogue River

A killer whitewater trip at the end of a stunning 40-mile canyon hike? That's the scenario on Oregon's Rogue River Trail.

Trip Finder: Ridgewalks

From the West Coast to the Rocky Mountains to New England, we've got nine epic ridgewalks just for you.

Top 3 Paddling Treks

These weekend float trips have side hikes that rival the paddling for scenery and solitude.

The Grand Tetons: 5 Hikes, 7 Days (or so)

How to retrace each segment of the author's perfect week from "A Perfect Week in the Tetons."

A Perfect Week in the Grand Tetons

You won't waste a minute with our only-the-highlights hiking and climbing guide to the West's archetypal range. From the loftiest summits to the loneliest cross-country routes, this seven-day sampler visits every type of Tetons treasure-and then some.

Thru-Hike the Tahoe Rim Trail

Spectacular lake views, granite-edged trails, and surprising solitude will make you want to go in circles on the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Where Can I Find the Quietest Campsite in America?

Shhh! Find silent shores in this isolated Boundary Waters hideaway

Return of the Natives: Paddling and Hiking Channel Islands' Lost Gem

After nearly two centuries of ecological havoc wreaked by invasive species, the gem of Channel Islands National Park is becoming a paradise again. ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Watch a video and see two photo galleries from the island.

Best Damn Weekend Ever: Vermont's Bourn Pond-Stratton Pond Loop

Hike this burly wonder to find out what inspired the Appalachian and Long Trail's founders.

Quick Fix: South Dakota's Black Hills

Learn where to bag peaks, visit hidden cold water lakes, and trek through the eroded wonder of Badlands National Park in our Black Hills primer.

The CDT Project

We sent 209 readers out to GPS the Continental Divide Trail, the biggest, baddest long-distance path of them all. They brought back the makings of the first authoritative map of this American classic. These are their stories–and their favorite sections.

Climb Higher

With the right preparation–and a little help from a half-dozen friends, two exotic techno-gadgets, and one very sweaty hypoxic chamber–can a sea-level-dwelling rookie climb the highest peak in Colorado?

Hiking The Sierra High Route

On this burly, 210-mile traverse, which crosses 33 passes and barely touches established trails, you can find Alaska-sized scenery, complete solitude, and just enough risk to keep things interesting.

Trace Canada's Spine

Hike the best section of the Great Divide Trail.

Paddle and Hike Voyageurs National Park

With a thousand islands and countless passages, this little-visited treasure is a watery maze. Here's the way in–and out.

Best Damn Weekend Ever: Washington's Kaleetan Lake Loop

Only an hour from Seattle, this Cascades gem offers killer Rainier views.

Trip Finder: Wildflowers

Trek the best spring blooms from the Ozarks to the Olympics with these two, three, and four day treks.

Top 3 White Mountain Treks

No, not the famously wind-whipped peaks in New Hampshire. Explore some of the country's lesser-known Whites with these accessible spring summits in Arizona, New Mexico, and Alaska.

Quick Fix: Great Smoky Mountains NP

Check out the steepest trail, the best swimming hole, and the wildest vista in America's most popular national park.

Land of the Lost: Native American Artifacts in Utah's Range Creek

Utah's Range Creek hides the most intact Native American artifacts in the United States. Get there now–while you can still play archaeologist.

Carbon-Neutral Costa Rica: How I Lost 5,400 lbs While Packing for the Trip of a Lifetime

In search of a guilt-free adventure in the tropics, Jason Daley discovers the line between saving the world–and seeing it.

Iceland: Live Earth

The planet's most dynamic landscape is full of bubbling hot springs, steaming geysers, and kaleidoscopic lava flows. Hike Iceland's epic Laugevegur Trail, and join the action.

Hot Springs: Soak Here Now

6 more must-dip pools from Alaska to Hawaii

Hot Springs: The Perfect Pool

Here are the top wilderness soaks on the continent. Can you keep a secret?

Trip Finder: Stay-Dry Spring Hikes

Stay dry on spring treks in Minnesota, New Mexico, and more.

Highpoint Texas

Traverse Guadalupe Mountains National Park to the state's airiest perch.

Backpack West Virginia's Cranberry Wilderness

Discover a slice of rare Eastern wild country in West Virginia, where Canadian taiga meets Southern forests.

Best Damn Weekend Ever: Acadia National Park

Avoid the crowds in Maine's Acadia National Park by skipping getting a jump on the season and hiking the park in the Spring. Stephen King country never looked so good.

Top 3 Trail-Building Trips

Want to boost your backcountry karma? Here are three places to hike–and give back.

Time 2 Go: See Newborn Animals

Looking to catch baby animals taking their first step? You can't go wrong with these picks.

Top 3 Waterfall Hikes

There's a science to why we love waterfalls: When water crashes earthward, it releases negatively charged ions that--you can't make this stuff up--some researchers think can reduce anxiety. Spring is when cascades' spigots open full bore, so head off on these three beguiling treks for a dose of nature's backcountry Rx.

60 Minute Fixes: Minneapolis

Three ways to hike, bike, and paddle your way to freedom in the Twin Cities.

Make Your Own Hikes

Invent your own hike, and go where no one (well, almost no one) has gone before.

Quick Fix: Death Valley National Park

Badlands, peaks, wildflowers: Catch the best of the California desert with this trio of hikes.

Quick Fix: Death Valley National Park



North America's Highest Sandbox: Great Sand Dunes National Park

The most exotic hike in the United States is smack in the middle of the country: Welcome to Great Sand Dunes National Park.

ESCALANTE: A Complete Adventure Guide

When Utahans really wants to disappear, they head to the magnificent canyons of Grand Staircase-Escalante.

Trip Doctor: Shopping For Guided Alaskan Treks

How can I comparison-shop for a guided trek in Alaska?

The Works: Trek Tasmania

Half a world away, you'll find exotic highs while hiking in Tasmania.

Hike Glacier National Park

Visitors to Montana's Glacier National Park can visit on the cheap or pay an arm and a leg -- but each way has its unique charms.

Time 2 Go: Hike With Birds

Whether you've got hours or weeks, here's where to go for the birds.

60 Minute Fixes: Detroit

Adventurous types can still find magic in the rivers, lakes, and paths of Detroit.

Survive This: Caught in an Avalanche

When you're trekking into a backcountry bowl, avalanches are almost always a threat. Learn how to protect yourself when the worst happens.

Survive This: Stuck on a Scree Slope

When you're slipping and sliding, don't let your partners help you. Learn how to climb yourself to safety.

Survive This: Volcanic Eruption

Don't worry about lava. Worry about rocks and mud and ash.

Welcome to the New Backpacker.com!

With more features, a new look, and the most informative content this side of the trail, the new Backpacker.com is amped up with the best in adventure, gear, travel, skills, and survival on the web.

Packing List: Toilet Kit

Stay sanitary, and for your travel companion's sake, pack what's on this list.

How to Organize a Backpack

By loading your backpack properly you protect your gear and prevent back issues--plus it's easy to find the gear you need.

Calculate Trouble

Time is of the essence in the backcountry. Learn how long it will take an impending thunderstorm or avalanche to find you.

Reading Topo Maps: Understanding Map Symbols and Colors

Dotted, dashed, and curvy. Red, blue, and brown. All these colors and styles criss-cross a topo map. Learn what they mean.

Learn How to Stay On Course

By understanding your terrain, knowing your pace, and reading the map regularly you can stay on course wherever you are.

Pretrip Planning

A successful hike often starts with a bit of research.

How to Hang a Bear Bag

Learn the easiest way to hang a bear bag and keep your camping snacks safe from rummaging paws.

High Sierra Donates To Breast Cancer Research

High Sierra Sport Company Donates to A Silver Lining Foundation and Susan G. Komen For the Cure Chicagoland Affilitiate: The Company to Support The Third Annual "Dancing With Chicago Celebrities" Benefit.

South America, Europe To Host ATTA 2008 Adventure Travel World Summits

The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) today announced it will host two distinct Adventure Travel World Summits in 2008 on two continents.

SOLE Signs On As Title Sponsor of Baja Travesia Adventure Race

SOLE, makers of performance custom footbeds, socks and sandals, has inked a deal to be the title sponsor of the third annual Baja Travesia Adventure Race.

3 Ways to See Mexico's Pacific Coast

Secluded coastline and bikable rain forests are just two things waiting for you in Mexico

Hike Montana's Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness

This wilderness area houses a classic section of the CDT but is a little off the beaten path.

Explore the Grand Canyon In Under 10 Hours

The Grand Canyon is steep and deep, but besides rock you can take in lush springs and junipers.

Backpacker's Readers' Choice Awards 2008

America's 100 Best Hikes–chosen by you.

Through the Kaleidoscope: A Family Fall Trek Through New Hampshire's White Mountains

Cozy huts, five-course meals, and world-class foliage highlight one family's fall trek.

Backpack Rocky Mountain National Park

Try this 30-mile lollipop loop that is almost entirely above 9,000 feet.

Plan the Perfect Trip

Smart ways to foolproof your next hike.

How to Thru-Hike L.A. County

Thru-hike L.A. County? It can be done with Southern California's Backbone Trail.

Trip Doctor: How Can I Get My Spouse to Go Hiking With Me?

Pretty pictures and promises of a trade might get unenthusiastic spouses out the door.

Find the Tallest Waterfall in the U.S.

Head to Hawaii for three of the tallest

Perfect Day: Gila Wilderness, New Mexico

Take a winter hike to the steaming pools of Melanie Hot Springs in Gila Wilderness, New Mexico.

60 Minute Fixes: Boise

Idaho's capital offers hiking, kayaking, and climbing close to downtown

Best Damn Weekend Ever: Kayak a Superior Archipelago

Try this black diamond, three-day kayak trip that navigates Lake Superior's piney islands.

365 Days of Adventure

Traverse the Yukon Territory's Tombstone Range, sea kayak Baja, trek Torres del Paine, Patagnoia–all in 2008. Plus, monthly adventures closer to home.

Top 3 Easy Canyoneering Hikes

If you've always dreamed of descending into the center of the earth, try one of these creekbed hikes.

60-Minute Fixes: Pittsburgh

Hike, paddle, or ride in America's favorite steel town.

Over the Rainbow: Finding Red Rock In the Navajo Nation

A rarely-attempted traverse reveals the Navajo Nation's vast red-rock wilderness.

3 Ways to See North Georgia

By foot, kayak, or on top of a Boulder, North Georgia has plenty of outside activities.

The Backpacker Interview: From Jail to Trail

Inspired by a mountain view, Don Moseman walked out of prison and hiked his way to a better life.

Life List: Climb New York's Highest Peak

Add Adirondack State Park's Mt. Marcy to your life list.

Backpacker Adventure Guide: Weminuche Wilderness

Try a stunning new hike–or two thrilling classics–in the Colorado Rockies' top spot for big backpacking adventures.

Quiz: Would You Survive?

The wilderness can be deadly if you don't know what you're doing. Take our test to rate your survival IQ—and learn a few skills that might save your hide.

4 Top Daypacks

Load haulers for light and fast adventures

Top 3 Winter Hut Treks

Trek into the wilderness but sleep in comfort with these hut treks

Blue John Canyon: Feeling Gravity's Pull

A pilgrim heads into the canyon where Aron Ralston lost his arm to pin down the meaning of survival.

60 Minute Fixes: Atlanta Adventures

Hiking, climbing, and fishing in this New South boomtown.

Dogsledding in Minnesota: Born to Run

Head out with six hard-charging huskies, and winter will never feel more alive.

3 Ways To See: Yellowstone

Pick your poison with three epic adventures in Yellowstone: camping, canoeing, and ski touring

Weekend Adventures: Big Tree Hikes

Get ready to feel puny--and profoundly grateful--on three hikes through ancient forests.

60-Minute Fixes: Salt Lake City

Hike, bike, and climb in this Utah gem--much more than a skier's paradise

Best Damn Weekend Ever: Paddle Around St. John, Virgin Islands NP

Kayak amid the reefs and sand of Virgin Islands National Park

From the Grand Canyon to Canyonlands: Hiking At The Speed Of Sound

Seven national parks in 7 days--starring a ragtop, Red Bull, and one scary rabbit.

Save or Splurge: Kayak Southeast Alaska

Tour the wildlife menagerie that is southeast Alaska on two kayak trips

The Works: Trans-Yosemite Ski Tour

Start packing now for a once-in-a-lifetime ski tour through silent, snow-draped Yosemite.

Utah Hikes: The Case For Glen Canyon

Drought is giving Glen Canyon--and those who love it--a second chance. Here are four spectacular reasons why we should protect this Southwest wilderness by making it America's next national park.

The Works: Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

Stand on the roof of Africa this winter with our all-you-need-to-know guide.

Backpacking, Paddling, and Biking at the Delaware Water Gap

Foliage, lazy canoe waters, and high-ride hiking make the Delaware Water Gap a prime fall destination.

Climbing, Hiking, and Paddling in Los Angeles

Forget Sunset Boulevard. The City of Angels' abundant coastline and steep canyons will have you creating your own walk of fame.

Best Damn Weekend Ever: Hike & Paddle the Benton MacKaye

Link two classic Southern rivers on a trek along the newly completed Benton MacKaye Trail in Tennessee and North Carolina.

Top 3: Ridge Hikes

Live life on the edge as your dayhike three vertiginous ridges in Arizona, Vermont, and Colorado.

Adventure Guide: Big Bend National Park

Texas-sized solitude is practically guaranteed when you explore the high peaks and striking river canyons of this lightly visited wilderness.

Adventure Weekend: Hike Big Sur, California

Scratch the picturesque postcard surface of Big Sur...and there's far more than you imagined, including hot springs and high-rise trails.

The Works: Trek Tasmania

Up high and down under--Tasmania's wildest hiking route.

Backpack, Raft, and Sea Kayak Wild Quebec

Canada's outdoor playground par excellence

The Trip: Swamp-Whacking

Pioneer a brand-new trail in Louisiana's Atchafalaya swamp, where the gators are friendly. Really.

Backpacking, Kayaking, and Mountain Biking in the Upper Peninsula

Michigan's Upper Peninsula has way more than big lakes. Explore it all by foot, paddle, or pedal.

The Works: Paddling The Maine Island Trail

Kayak island-to-island on the Maine coast

Epicenter: The Scene In Skagway, Alaska

The stampede is over--but not the fun--in this trailhead town.

Hike, Paddle, and Fish in Seattle

Appreciate Seattle's fresh and saltwater beaches, plentiful forests, and the 27-mile urban path as much as locals after a long, wet winter.

Backpack, Paddle, and Climb in Idaho

Idaho is full of surprises--whitewater in the country's deepest canyon, endless climbing at City of Rocks, and high, wild scrambles in the Sawtooths.

Hike, Bike, and Row in Phoenix

Prolong summer weather by planning a vacation to the mountains and waters of heat-blessed Arizona. You'll soon understand what makes Phoenicians so proud.

Epicenter: The Scene In Grand Lake, Colorado

Slide through Rocky Mountain National Park's mellower back door.

The Lost Trail: Chasing Yellowstone's Nez Perce Path

Hike a historic long path through Yellowstone--if you're lucky enough to find it.

The Works: Climb Mt. McKinley

Experience the nighttime sky from 20,320 feet up majestic Mt. McKinley -- but first read our guide to the trip.

Top 3: Fishing-Hole Hikes

Classic hike-in spots in Wyoming, South Carolina, and Oregon let you ditch the trail mix for pan-fried fish.

Boston: Hike, Bike, and Paddle

Beantowners are seeing the light at the end of the Big Dig tunnel, and it's a beautiful shade of green.

Homeland Insecurity: Vermont's Long Trail

The Long Trail offers steep climbs and solitude-and a whiff of border intrigue.

Top 3: Native Art Hikes

Explore burial effigies, seven-foot petroglyphs, and images etched in lava as you discover the ultimate mix of manmade and natural beauty.

Epicenter: The Scene In North Creek, New York

Hike, climb and fish the wild Adirondacks

Hike, Paddle, and Bike in Denver

Feel mile-high by hiking foothills, paddling downtown, and pedaling Mt. Falcon Park.

Epicenter: The Scene In Monson, Maine

Jump off into the North Woods' best wilderness

Magellan, Muir, And Me: Backpacking the Pecos Wilderness

Invent your own hike, and go where no one (well, almost no one) has gone before.

Hike, Bike, and Paddle in Minneapolis

Big currents flowing down the Mississippi, recently-blazed trails, and howling coyotes make up only a few of the many attractions that draw crowds to this city's outskirts.

The Works: Paddling Florida's Wilderness Waterway

Learn everything you'll ever need to know about swamps while canoeing the Everglades.

Backpack, Bike, and Climb in the Dakotas

You'll never confused Plains with plain after exploring these hard-changing hiking, biking, and climbing routes.

The Floating Frontier: Cruising and Paddling Alaska

The slow boat to Alaska requires duct tape, an elastic itinerary, and a hunger for in-your-face adventure.

The Works: Mt. Washington In Winter

Hurricane-force winds and a snowfall average of 246 inches per year? Cake, compared to the challenge the mountain poses in summer.

Epicenter: The Scene In Bishop, California

Hike and climb-and then kick back-in a High Sierra sweet spot.

Backpack, Paddle, and Hike in the Deep South

Discover the beauty of our most southern states by paddling down Carolina rivers, camping out beside Alabama waterfalls, and climbing a 3,792-foot summit in Georgia.

Top 3: Hot Springs Hikes

Relax after a long day of hiking at scenic hot soaks in Idaho, Arizona, and Colorado

Death Valley Adventure Guide

Lose the sun-baked stereotype and bring thoughts of shady canyons and breezy passes.

Want to Climb a Tree?

Here are tons of tree-climbing resources to get you started.

The Village: Tioga State Forest, Pennsylvania

Visit this scary state forest and let your imagination run wild.

Shenandoah Adventure Guide

Here's your chance to uncover secret paths in this popular park.

Up High Down Below: 3 Top Peaks in the Lower 48

Can't make it to Canada? Try Glacier Peak, Baker Peak, or Catamount Mountain

Expedition Tips: Canadian Rockies

Helpful tips for scrambling Canada's Rocky Mountain parks

Float the Colorado River through Topock Gorge

Paddle through a timeless Mojave Desert landscape in Arizona

Paddle Florida's Wilderness Waterway

Canoe the wildlife-filled waters of Everglades National Park

Whale-watching and Hiking on Maui

See Hawaii's humpbacks in late winter

Hike Arizona's Atascosa Lookout

Explore classic views in the Coronado National Forest

Arizona's Eagletail Mountain Wilderness

Springtime in the Sonoran Desert

Backpack the Florida Trail's Alaqua Section

Clear-running creeks, longleaf pines and wildlife in Florida's outback

Hike Death Valley's Cottowood and Marble canyons

Flowing water means a lighter load and an easier time exploring

Hike Nevada's Moapa Peak

Scrambling this 6,471-foot mountain is a trip, even mid-winter

Winter Camping at Mount Rainier National Park

Snowshoe to a scenic high balcony

Camping at the Grand Canyon

Spend New Year's in the Big Ditch, where fishing, camping, and hiking await

Hike New Mexico's Big Hatchet Peak

A seldom-visited peak on the Continental Divide Trail

Winter Camping in Michigan's Porcupine Mountains

Lake effect snow and a vast virgin forest make this a spectacular winter getaway for skiing and snowshoeing

Hiking at Lake Mead

Explore wild canyons just an hour from Las Vegas

Hike Texas's McKittrick Canyon

This canyon in the Guadalupe Mountains offers an endless cluster of colors mixed together with some famous geology

Fall Hiking in New Hampshire's Baldface Range

Vibrant colors and a ridge walk you'll never forget

Hike New Mexico's Alamo Mountain

Explore the past on Otero Mesa

Fall Hiking on Minnesota's Superior Trail

Blazing foliage and broad Lake Superior views

Fall Hiking at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Mellow temperatures, low water and autumn colors make for a perfect time in the Smokies

Hike Arkansas's Buffalo River Trail

A meandering river and towering cliffs make this the perfect early winter spot

Paddle Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp

Only in 400,000 acres of wet backcountry will you find the oldest bird

Hike Buckskin Gulch

This famous slot canyon hike in Utah and Arizona delivers broad views of the Colorado Plateau

Backpack Oregon's Alvord playa

A hike with an otherworldly desert, a striking escarpment, and hot springs

Backpack Nevada's Table Mountain Wilderness

Autumn solitude on a well-watered, 10,000-foot plateau

Backpack Alaska's Round Island

Wildlife aplenty at Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary

Hike to Copper Mountain Fire Lookout in the North Cascades

Take a stunning ridge walk in this glacier-clad wilderness park

Hike Baker Creek in Great Basin National Park

A peerless art gallery of bristlecone pines, wildflowers and a ridge walk

Summer Hiking on the John Muir Trail

A backpacker's go light heaven: thru-hiking California's High Sierra

Hike Glacier National Park's Triple Divide Peak

The ultimate continental divide and a legendary mountaineering traverse

Hike New York's Great Range of the Adirondacks

Conquer the East's hardest dayhike

Explore Wyoming's Cirque of the Towers

Delve into the Shoshone National Forest on the North Fork Trail

Backpack Alberta's Carthew Summit

Memorable panoramas of Glacier National Park's high peaks

Paddle the Yukon's Ivvavik National Park

An Arctic wildlife extravaganza

Backpack New Mexico's Gila Wilderness

Celebrating wilderness protection where the idea began: the Gila Wilderness

Explore Nunavut's Auyuittuq National Park

A glacial sculpture of incredible symmetry in northern Canada

Mountain Bike from Telluride to Moab

Prime time in the Rockies to explore the San Juan Hut System

Guide's Choice: Hiking, Biking, Paddling, and Sledding Adventures

From paddling Lake Superior to glacier-hopping in Alaska: 6 hair-raising, lung-busting adventures from America's top outfitters

Glen Canyon Adventure Guide

An exclusive guide to five hikes that have been under water for 40 years

Secrets of Yosemite National Park

Sneak in the side door for a private viewing of the finest in California's High Sierra real estate.

A Hiker's Guide To Surfing and Snorkeling

Use your backpacking skills at the best surfing, climbing, trail running, and even paragliding spots

Washington: Grand Valley, Olympic National Park

On this trip you'll find everything from alpine meadows to ancient rainforests

Missouri, Current River and Ozark Trail

Hike and canoe through the pristine springs of Missouri's Ozarks.

Boundary Waters

Get lost in the land o' lakes with 3 quiet, crowd-free trails

Hawaii: Waimanu Valley

Come to this tropical oasis for great weather, an array of fruit and some great swimming.

Utah: Choprock Canyon, Escalante River

Enjoy a slickrock playground of your very own

Go Fish

If you can't hook a monster in one of these fishing holes, you better hang up your rod.

Alaska, Colville River

Visit this remote section of the Arctic before climate change alters it forever

California; Death Valley National Park

Camping in Death Valley might give you the hottest day of your life.

Cloudland Canyon State Park

A thousand-foot-deep gorge is the centerpiece of this tri-state park.

Grandview Trail, Grand Canyon National Park

Here's a challenging hike with constant Grand Canyon views.

Mt. Jefferson, Presidential Range

Scenic ridges and some high White Mountain peaks abound on this great hike.

Expedition Planner: Glacier National Park, MT

Get more Glacier hiking ideas in our online exclusive

New York, Indian Head Mountain, Catskills

Abandon the Big Apple for a visit to this great wilderness.

Montana, Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park

The most-studied glacier in the park lets you see global warming in action.

Dinosaur Valley State Park

This Texas park holds true to its name with some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world.

Alaska, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Paddle blue inlets too new for any topo.

Ricketts Glen State Park

This favorite Pennsylvania destination of our editors is filled with old trees, shale cliffs, wildlife and stunning wildflowers.

Glacier Gorge, Rocky Mountain National Park

Giant cliffs and numerous waterfalls are among the stunning sites that can be viewed along this Colorado hike.

Massachusetts, High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary

Beantowners love the sights the High Ledges area has to offer.

Cascade Pass, North Cascades National Park

The Cascade scenery on this hike can only be compared to those of the Alps.

The Needles, Canyonlands National Park

Don't miss these 200 foot candles carved from sandstone towers.

Table Mountain, Teton Range

This summit offers the finest view anywhere of the Grand and surrouding peaks.

Colorado: West Elk Range

Spring comes earlier to this mountain paradise.

The Global Warming Tour 2003

The ultimate guide to greenhouse adventure, featuring 8 surprising new trips, acres of virgin terrain, and a peek at the future of North American wilderness.

Proud Lake Recreation Area

Michigan's Proud Lake has many flavors of wilderness to offer.

Channel Islands National Park

This wild paradise is the Galapagos of California.

Spray Park, Mt. Rainier National Park

You'll never get a bad view of Rainier's glacier-clad slopes.

Glacier National Park

3 hidden hikes in our readers' favorite backpacking park

Virginia, White Oak Canyon, Shenandoah National Park

Waterfalls abound on this great 8.2 mile loop.

Utah, Glen Canyon

Receding water levels mean more miles of choice desert hiking and kayaking.

The Fiery Furnace, Arches National Park

Some of Arches' best sites come in short hikes.

Handies Peak, San Juan Mountains

This summit will put you high above what many consider to be Colorado's finest mountain range.

Beach Trail

This Indiana Dunes trail offers visitors views of the lake, the Chicago skyline, wildflowers and some of the tallest trees in the region.

Arizona, McDowell Sonoran Preserve

If you are in search of southwestern wildlife, this is the place to be.

British Columbia, Mt. Robson

Explore a glacier-covered forest near the Canadian Rockies' highest peak

Balloon Dome, Ansel Adams Wilderness

Don't let well-known Sierra neighbors like Yosemite overshadow this stunning wilderness.

Maryland, Blackwater River



Guana River State Park

Who wouldn't want to be marooned on this Florida barrier island?

Alaska Made Easy

Just minutes from Anchorage lie dozens of world-class hiking and paddling trips. This guide gives you the best, plus gear and travel tips to smooth the way.

Wisconsin, Devil's Lake State Park

Hike to see arty rock sculptures left by the last Ice Age into the Wisconsin rock.

Hike Missouri's Bruford Mountain Trail

This wild Ozark gem is close to St. Louis, but still waiting to be discovered.

North Carolina's Hungry Forests

Visit Croatan National Forest, a place so wild it has more flesh-eating plants than people.

Hike Idaho's Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

River rats wait years to ride the wild Selway River. Hikers can taste its raw beauty right now.

Three Quiet Grand Canyon Hikes

You'd never guess it: Three quiet trails in such a busy, beautiful place.

The Wild List: A Guide To The Best Outdoor Spots

A definitive guide to the hottest, sweetest, looniest, and most colorful spots in the great outdoors.

10 Best Bird Watching Hikes In America

Spring is for the birds. Here's where to find a flock near you.

Secrets Hikes Of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Can a place that sees 9 million visitors a year really have any surprises? You bet. We found three hikes full of unexpected history, scenery, and solitude.

Bonus Dayhike: British Columbia's Garibaldi Lake

This gorgeous alpine lake hike sports huge glacier views just an hour outside of Vancouver.

Bonus dayhike: Missouri's Cuivre River State Park

Hike through the limestone caves, sinkholes, and springs of Missouri's Cuivre River State Park.

This Winter, Book A Yurt

Stay cozy this winter by bedding down in a heated cabin or yurt.

Powder Hungry? Hike These Snowshoe Trails

Bust out of winter doldrums on one of these stellar snowshoe routes.

Hike The Hidden Trails of Rocky Mountain National Park

Here's a detailed hiking planner that will take you to the hidden corners of Colorado's most scenic park.

Wild Weddings

Want a ceremony that reflects your passion for the outdoors? Here's everything you need to know to pull off a wilderness wedding.

Dreams Of Tibet: Exploring Lost Himalayan Mountains And Cultures

Deep in the heart of the forbidden Tibetan kingdom, a long-awaited adventure inherited from the author's father takes an unexpected twist.

Best Dayhikes In America

With strong legs and an ambitious plan, you can see more wild country in 12 hours than some backpackers see in a week, and still make it home in time for dinner.

Best Waterfall Hikes

Learn the weird science behind our addiction to waterfalls, and the location of the best trails in North America.

Climbing Alaska's 'Great One': Denali National Park

Do you have what it takes to climb Alaska's Denali? Find out with our mountaineer's guide.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Climbing Jasper National Park: Mount Sarbach

Jasper National Park, Alberta

Climbing The Wind River Range: Haystack Mountain

Haystack Mountain offers a sweet climb in Wyoming's remote Wind River Range.

Climbing Aconcagua's West/Southwest Face

Aconcagua's West/Southwest Face offers climbers more challenge on the Western Hemisphere's highest peak.

Climbing The Scenic Route On El Pico de Orizaba

Try this ultra-scenic route if you attempt North America's third highest peak.

Climbing Kings Canyon: The Obelisk

The Obelisk offers a remote climbing challenge far removed from other Sierra hotspots.

Climbing Yosemite: Mount Conness

Tuolomne Meadows monarch Mount Conness has been a classic Yosemite climb for years -- and for good reason.

Hiking Italy's Via delle Bocchette

Dolomites, Italy

Climbing The Sierras: Banner Peak

Try climbing the standout Banner Peak, just around the corner from Mammoth Lakes.

Climbing Denali: The West Buttress Route

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Climbing Mexico's Iztaccíhuatl

Planning to climb Mexico's famous volcano Iztaccíhuatl? Start with our online guide.

Climbing Mount Kenya

Mount Kenya offers classic climbing to all backpackers

Climbing Yoho National Park: Mount Carnarvon

Yoho National Park, British Columbia

Climbing Yosemite: Matthes Crest

Matthes Crest features superb climbing deep in Yosemite's backcountry.

Hiking Montana's Lonely Mountains

Hidden deep in Montana's high country lies the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness, a seldom-visited range of cool forests and skyscraping peaks.

Hiking The Mahoosuc Range

The short but stunning Mahoosuc Range has major-league attractions, like the toughest mile on the Appalachian Trail and conditions that discourage the faint of heart.

Hike Through Washington's Blue Mountains

City life got you down? Head for the quiet hills of southeastern Washington, where the air is clean, the water clear, and bighorn sheep outnumber hikers.

Out Of Sight: Hiking Michigan's Trap Hills

In Michigan's Trap Hills, you'll find space to wonder and wonder, and quiet rock outcrops with panoramas so wide you'll be blinking in disbelief.

Wolves And Water: Arizona's Blue Range

With an abundance of wolves and water--two rarities in the desert--Arizona's remote Blue Range may be the Southwest's best kept secret.

Hike Nevada's Sagebrush Oasis

Hiding in the arid plains of Nevada you'll find a cool refuge from the desert heat and room to let your imagination soar.

Climbing Wyoming's Wind River Range: Pingora

This spire deep in Wyoming's Wind River Range serves as the climbing pinnacle of the Cirque of the Towers.

Backpacking France's Grand Canyon: Gorges du Verdon

Southeast France's Gorge Du Verdon provides backpackers with miles of narrow canyon walls, river wading, and strenuous hiking.

Kayaking Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula

Endless varieties of coral and birds await when you kayak the blue waters of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

A Hermit's Heaven: Arizona's Wabayuma Peak Wilderness

If you've never heard of Arizona's 40,000-acre Wabayuma Peak Wilderness, take heart--most people haven't. That's why the silence is deafening.

Hiking Tahiti's Rugged East Coast

Jungles, coral-reef wading and rocky scrambling await Tahitian adventure hikers.

Hiking And Kayaking Russia's Lake Baikal

Visitors to Siberia's Lake Baikal encounter endless coastline, brown bears, and exotic hiking to last a lifetime.

Hiking China's Wonder Wall

Rather than simply stare at the Great Wall, a determined hiker decided to get a different perspective.

Australia's Aboriginal Walk In The Park

Face your fear of snakes and spiders in Australia's Royal National Park, and the bush will reward you with the journey of a lifetime.

Tips For Safe Travel

Planning an overseas backpacking trip? Here's a few tips to prepare you before you go.

Fire And Rain On Costa Rica's Volcanoes

Deep in the cloud forests of Costa Rica, you'll learn to dodge fireballs and poisonous frogs while tracing a circuit around a living volcano.

Snow Leopards: Gray Ghosts Of The Himalaya

When you hike the world's highest peaks in search of the legendary snow leopard, be prepared for the unexpected.

Holing Up In A Matterhorn Hut

The Bossi Bivouac Hut offers culture and comfort at the base of the Matterhorn.

Challenge The Backpacker Editor: The Ultralight Report

Torrential rain and wind expose chinks in our author's ultralight armor, but don't dampen his enthusiasm for the pleasures of unencumbered trekking.

McKinley: Backpack Around "The Big One"

Let rivers and ridgelines be your compass as you hike in the shadow of Alaska's Mt. McKinley.

Trek Across Nepal On The Annapurna Circuit

The Annapurna Circuit is your path to the rooftop of the world.

Desert Miracle: Hiking Arizona's San Pedro River

Shady hiking and cool waters make the San Pedro River an oasis for desert trekkers.

Hike Florida's Prairie On The Myakka Trail

Hike the Myakka Trail for a glimpse of the Sunshine State's wild and grassy past.

Explore Utah's Paria River Slot Canyon

In the Paria River canyon, adventure and breathtaking views await around every narrow bend.

Death Valley Warmed Over

Time spent in California's Death Valley can be a life-enhancing experience.

Wild As A Feral Hog On Mississippi's Black Creek Trail

You'll have a hard time keeping track of all the critters along Mississippi's Black Creek Trail.

Hike Through The Grand Canyon's Geologic History

A trek from rim to river reveals the Grand Canyon's ancient, storied history.

Ply A Backwoods Water Trail In The Boundary Waters

In Minnesota's Boundary Waters, thousands of blue routes await those willing to dip a paddle.

Walk Through The Pacific Crest Trail's Alpine Wonderland

Follow the Pacific Crest Trail through Washington's volcano country and discover the high life.

Wander Along The Wild Olympic Coast

A trip along Washington's Olympic Coast is one whale of a day at the beach.

Best Backpacking In Montana

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Montana.

Best Backpacking In Connecticut

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Connecticut.

Best Backpacking In Illinois

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Illinois.

Best Backpacking In Tennessee

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Tennessee.

Best Backpacking In New Hampshire

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in New Hampshire.

Best Backpacking In Nevada

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Nevada.

Best Backpacking In Ohio

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Ohio.

Best Backpacking In North Dakota

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in North Dakota.

Best Backpacking In Wisconsin

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Wisconsin.

Best Backpacking In California

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in California.

Set In Stone: Finding Fossils On The Trail

You could be walking on an ancient seabed or a swamp where dinosaurs played. Look closely and you'll see history in the rocks.

Best Backpacking In Florida

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Florida.

Hiking The Eastern Continental Trail

Say hello to North America's newest long trail.

Best Backpacking In Maine

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Maine.

Best Backpacking In South Dakota

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in South Dakota.

Best Backpacking In Georgia

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Georgia.

Best Backpacking In North Carolina

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in North Carolina.

The Urge To Fly

Do you ever have the urge to step off the edge and fly like a bird?

Best Backpacking In Arkansas

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Arkansas.

Best Backpacking In Hawaii

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Hawaii.

Best Backpacking In Delaware

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Delaware.

Best Backpacking In Kentucky

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Kentucky.

Best Backpacking In Maryland

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Maryland.

Best Backpacking In Louisiana

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Louisiana.

Best Backpacking In Wyoming

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Wyoming.

Best Backpacking In Missouri

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Missouri.

Best Backpacking In South Carolina

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in South Carolina.

Best Backpacking In Utah

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Utah.

Best Backpacking In Alaska

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Alaska.

Best Backpacking In Arizona

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Arizona.

Best Backpacking In Nebraska

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Nebraska.

Best Backpacking In Mississippi

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Mississippi.

Best Backpacking In Colorado

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Colorado.

Best Backpacking In Idaho

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Idaho.

Best Backpacking In Vermont

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Vermont.

Best Backpacking In New Mexico

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in New Mexico.

Best Backpacking In Michigan

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Michigan.

Best Backpacking In Minnesota

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Minnesota.

Best Backpacking In Kansas

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Kansas.

Best Backpacking In New York

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in New York.

Best Backpacking In Massachussetts

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Massachusetts.

Top 5 Fossil Trails

With fossils present in all states (although New England tends to be fossil poor), you can get a glimpse of the past almost anywhere you backpack.

Best Backpacking In Texas

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Texas.

Best Backpacking In New Jersey

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in New Jersey.

Best Backpacking In Iowa

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Iowa.

Best Backpacking In Virginia

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Virginia.

Best Backpacking In Oklahoma



The Best Backpacking In America

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in America.

Best Backpacking In Washington

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Washington.

Best Backpacking In Oregon

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Oregon.

Best Backpacking In Pennsylvania

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Pennsylvania.

Best Backpacking In Rhode Island

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Rhode Island.

Best Backpacking In Alabama

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Alabama.

Best Backpacking In Indiana

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Indiana.

Best Backpacking In West Virginia

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in West Virginia.

Tips For Camping With Kids

Nuggets of knowledge from those who have brought their youngsters into the backcountry.

Backpacking On Maine's Wild Cutler Coast

Thanks to the Cutler Coast Public Reserve, Maine's rocky, wild coastline is now open to backpackers who like solitude as much as scenery.

Hiking Idaho's White Cloud Mountains

Head to the White Cloud Mountains for a crowd-free taste of Idaho high country.

Tahoe Rim Trail: A Heavenly Hike

Twenty years of hard work near Tahoe yields a 150-mile path so high, you'll breathe "angel air."

Hiking North Dakota's Badlands

You won't have a lot of company in North Dakota's badlands, which is why hiking the Maah Daah Hey Trail is so good.

HIking British Columbia's Savage Coast

Hike a rugged, historically rich trail for 21 miles along a nearly deserted island off British Columbia's coast.

Loomis State Forest: Hike Washington's Cascade Secret

Hike to the edge of the Cascade Range in this forgotten corner of the Washington wilderness.

Wild Island Hiking

Hear wild horses thunder through camp. Look for wolf tracks in the mud or eagles' nests in the cliffs high above. Cast off the workaday world and go hike an island paradise.

Healing The Badlands

How can we conserve South Dakota's Badlands?

Take Your Family Outdoors

Camping with kids can plant a wild seed in them that will grow as they do-but only if you get them Out There.

Keeping Utah's Outdoor Secret

Should secret wildernesses be revealed? Utah's Anasazi artifact hotbed Cedar Mesa begs the question.

Utah's Best Wildflower Blooms

Follow the hummingbirds in the Mt. Naomi Wilderness to the best high-country wildflower show in all of Utah.

Hiking Oregon's Bull Of The Woods Wilderness

If overpowering stillness is your thing, try the old-growth forests in Oregon's Bull of the Woods Wilderness.

Hiking North Carolina's Valley River Mountains

Sniff the rhododendrons and enjoy hiking the Valley Rim Trail in North Carolina's Valley River Mountains.

Hiking With Wisconsin's Wolves

Feeling people-shy? Follow Wisconsin's wolves to this lonely section of the Ice Age Trail.

Hike To Protect Wilderness From Drilling

How many miles of trail or acres of wilderness will we sacrifice for a tank of gas? Here's a look at eight threatened wildernesses and what you can do to stop the drilling.

Spotting The Elusive Wolf

Our guide to spotting wolves on Michigan's Isle Royale.

Hot Hikes After A Wildfire

Seven places where you can walk through a whole new landscape, plus opportunities to help rebuild charred trails.

Raptors Rule Wisconsin's Turtle-Flambeau Waterway

Paddle Wisconsin's Turtle-Flambeau waterway, watch the aerial show, and lay claim to your own island.

Hike Higher In Colorado's Collegiate Peaks

Hike into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and you'll enjoy Colorado's best summer school.

Splendor Hiking The High Sierra

Take the finest mountains in the world, add high-country meadows, glacial valleys, alpine lakes, pine-and-hemlock forests, and what do you have? A recipe for backcountry bliss.

Prayers Answered In Virginia's Priest Wilderness

In Virginia, a miracle occurs and hikers get some new wilderness, thanks to The Priest.

Prairie Hiking: Wide-Open Spaces

It's the easiest hiking on Earth, and you get to sleep with buffalo, listen to coyotes sing, and bask in quiet so deep you can hear the grasslands growing. Welcome to the prairie.

Skills For The Upwardly Mobile

Everything you need to know about hiking in the high country, from talus hopping to finding the right gear to dealing with wind and glaciers.

Hiking Washington's Elwha Trail Rainforest

Washington's Elwha Trail is a rain-forest classic: green, primeval, spongy soft, and wonderfully wet.

Mountains: The World At Your Feet

High above the trees you'll find the hike of your dreams: a ridgeline trail where your only companion is an occasional mountain goat.

Canada's Great Divide Trail

For 30 years, some wide-eyed dreamers have been chiseling a 745-mile route through the Canadian Rockies. The result is a labor of love set to become one of North America's most magnificent long trails.

Make The Big Jump

Are you a dayhiker who's ready for an all-nighter? A weekender longing to try a 5-day trek? Or are you ready for a thru-hike? Regardless of your skill level, here's the information you'll need to go that extra mile.

Hiking Utah's Hayduke Trail

You won't find Utah's 725-mile rogue route on any map. But thanks to two passionate Utah hikers, you'll soon be able to search it out with your boots.

Going Tribal

We know the strength that courses through flesh and bone when standing at a trailhead, ready to set out and practice our primitive art.

Walking On Water

Face it: you aren't Moses and the waters won't part, so here are ways to cross wild rivers safely.

Grand Canyon Magic

"With some eagerness, and some anxiety, and some misgiving, we enter the canyon below?." -John Wesley Powell, August 13, 1869

Backpacking Colorado's Elk Mountains

When it pours, good rain gear and a great sense of humor help you find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Backpacking Tennessee's Cumberland Trail

If you're a backpacking purist, Tennessee's new Cumberland Trail was made for you.

Hiking Minnesota's Jay Cooke State Park

Can't wait for the snow to melt? Get warmed up at Minnesota's Jay Cooke State Park.

Identifying Wildlife Holes

There's a fascinating world of fur and claws underfoot. Here's how to tell who's down there.

Albuquerque's Magic Mountain

Albuquerque's backyard wilderness lets hikers perform a disappearing trick.

Discover California's Point Reyes National Seashore

In Point Reyes National Seashore, you'll find peace and quiet in the heart of California's earthquake zone.

Hiking Dreams Really Do Come True

Easily said and done, when you have a constant reminder at bedtime.

Arkansas' Waterfall Paradise

If you're a fan of waterfalls, then Arkansas's Richland Creek Wilderness is your dream trip.

Just Go

Sometimes, despite all the commitments and obligations, you know what you have to do.

Florida's Big Cypress: Wade This Way

In Florida's Big Cypress National Preserve, you'll walk on water -- almost.

Organize Your Backpacking Trip

Meet Jamie and Joe, who need help with everything from planning to packing to eating well. Enter our team of experts, with a few simple tricks designed to turn them-and you!-into well-oiled backpacking machines.

Hiking Arizona's Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness

Arizona's Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness is so incredible, you'll want to tell the whole world.

Oregon's Badlands: Only The Lonely

You'd better like your own company, because that's all you'll have in Oregon's Badlands Wilderness Study Area.

Sonoran Desert: The Big Empty

Ed Abbey said the Sonoran Desert "leaves a golden glow on the mind," which is one of many good reasons why this cactus-spiked paradise should be the next national park.

Utah's Grand Gulch: Along Ancient Trails

Cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, ancient pottery -- Utah's Grand Gulch is thick with history.

Hiking The Continental DivideTrail

Can you tackle our readers' favorite long trail? Test your hiking mettle against the Continental Divide Trail.

Hiking Vermont's Long Trail

The challenge of Vermont's Long Trail will cure what ails you.

Ozarks: Ridge Runner Trail

You may have the Ozarks' wildlife-rich Ridge Runner Trail to yourself, but that doesn't mean you're alone.

Colorado Trail

If any long trail is likely to induce a headache, it's the Colorado Trail.

Washington's Wonderland Trail

Mind-bending views, close-up wildlife encounters.

Hiking The Appalachian Trail

The famed peaks of the Appalachian chain entice some 2,500 people to attempt the thru-hike each year.

Hiking California's John Muir Trail

This magnificent trail travels through three California parks while showcasing the natural wonders Muir worked to preserve.

Hiking The Pacific Crest Trail

Everything you'd want in a long trail.

Oklahoma/Arkansas's Ouachita Trail

The little-known Ouachita Trail ranked third among the long trails for solitude.

Washington's Olympic Coast

It's the longest stretch of virgin coastline left in the Lower 48. But that's just one of many reasons to hike it.

Hiking Minnesota's Superior Hiking Trail

A whale of a Minnesota trail beside a Great Lake.

North Carolina/Georgia's Bartram Trail

Take along your plant guidebooks for this flora-filled treasure.

California's Chumash Wilderness: Spritual Salvation

The condors know all about Chumash Wilderness, but luckily, the masses in Los Angeles don't.

Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail: Land Of Cool Cliffs

Carved limestone cliffs add even more to love on Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail.

Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument

In the 1800s, cowboys didn't think much of the Grand Canyon's Parashant National Monument. Luckily, times and attitudes have changed.

Alaska Lands Act: 20 Years Later

In the 20 years since the passage of the Alaska Lands Act, nothing has changed in many of the state's wild places. And that's reason to celebrate.

Giant Sequoia National Monument

How do you protect the largest trees on Earth? Don't harm them in the first place.

North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The best trips are littered with mistakes, frustration, and, if a river called the "Little Misery" runs through it, boot-sucking mud.

Alabama's Conecuh Trail: Southern Comfort

For Deep South scenery, try Alabama's Conecuh Trail, where the gopher frogs and armadillos outnumber the people.

National Parks: Best Wildlife

Where the words "wild" and "life" take on new meaning

All Quiet In Colorado's Indian Peaks

When summer ends, crowd-free hiking begins in Colorado's Indian Peaks.

Horsepacking: A New Breed?

Some well-meaning, leave-no-trace horsepackers are trying to rein in their environmentally uncouth brethren. The question is: can they change practices and attitudes that date back to the wild west days?

Giving Thanks At Washington's Jackson Wilderness

The best way to honor a wilderness-minded senator is to hike the Jackson Wilderness.

National Parks: Best Overall Park

Glacier National Park possesses scenery that'll suck the breath out of your lungs, quiet so intense you'll wonder if your ears still work, and enough wildlife to make a zookeeper drool with envy.

National Parks: Best Solitude

More than ever, these empty parks offer medicine for the soul.

Vermont's Many-Faced Long Trail

If land has a personality, then Vermont's 270-mile Long Trail is one moody, unpredictable way to hike through New England.

Adirondacks High Peaks: Timing Is Everything

When leaves turn the colors on a painter's palette, head to the Adirondack's High Peaks Wilderness.

Hiking With Michigan's Elk Herd

What's good for elk is good for backpackers on Michigan's High Country Pathway.

A Hiker In Mt. Rainier's Wonderland

Sure, you can summit Mt. Rainier, but the real treasure isn't on top. It's the Wonderland Trail down below.

Hiking Montana's Cabinet Mountains

The French-Canadian trappers are long gone, but the grizzlies and waterfalls remain in this alpine nirvana.

Robert Taylor: A True Trailblazer

Robert Taylor wants African-Americans to know "there's something great out there."

Ellicott Rock Wilderness: Rock And Stroll

History is carved in stone in this wild and scenic southern river corridor in North Carolina and Georgia.

Wyoming's Absaroka: Wild At Heart

If you think the last truly wild, unexplored land is in Canada or Alaska, you haven't been to Wyoming's Absaroka range.

Robbers Cave: A Bandit's Oasis In Oklahoma

Follow Jesse James's footprints to a land of shady valleys and cool, clear lakes.

Hiking Washington's Kettle River Mountains

Washington's gentle "forgotten mountains" -- The Kettle River Range -- are ignored by those in a hurry to reach the Cascades.

River Floating: A Current Affair

Why huff and puff to get to an isolated campsite? Simply grab a paddle, then let the current carry you to a secluded riverside trailhead.

Grand Teton's High Adventure Trail

Some people head to Wyoming to summit the Tetons. But outdoor legend Paul Petzoldt had a better idea: Create a route for foot travelers along the spine of the great range.

Wilderness Of Hope

Five troubled teens and three well-meaning volunteers head into the Colorado mountains, hoping the wilds will help heal the youngsters. But in the end, it's hard to tell whose lives were forever shaped by the experience, the youths or the adults.

New York's Tongue Range

Are you antsy? Need to get away? Try New York's Tongue Range.

New York's Long Path: Winning The Rat Race

Even when you're trapped in the nation's most crowded metropolis, backwoods relief is only a short hike down a Long Path.

Wyoming's Medicine Bow: A Cure For Hikers

Wyoming's Medicine Bow National Forest is just what the hiker ordered.

Indiana's Shades State Park

Rare stands of virgin hardwood and creekside camping beckon sunburned hikers.

Icebergs In Oregon: Chambers Lakes

Chambers Lakes are too cold for swimming, but a great place to watch 'bergs drift by.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California

Myths and cactus in California: A life-filled land of sand and mountains.

Arizona's Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness

Cool your feet and warm your brow in this Arizona desert wilderness.

Biking The Colorado Trail

Mountain vistas: the ups and downs of a mountain-biking/hiking paradise.

Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado

A primordial oasis of rivers, bighorn sheep, and canyons.

Alabama's Talladega National Forest

A high point offering a year-round getaway for lovers of southern wildlife, lush forests, and redeye bass.

Hiking Henry W. Coe State Park, California

California's second largest park has an impressive trail system.

Santa Catalina Island, California

Porpoises escort you to a rugged island where buffalo really do roam.

Golden Trout Wilderness, Sequoia & Inyo National Forests, California

Catch rainbows -- trout, that is -- in Rockhouse Basin's rivers, where you're more likely to see a wildcat than another human.

Hoover Wilderness, California

Lay claim to your own California mountain valley and bask in utter solitude.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)

Alaska's premier area for fish and wildlife.

California's Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park

In the shadow of magnificent Mt. Shasta lies a relic of ancient times.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Roads end in Arizona with tall tales, natural gardens, cacti forests, and shoe scorpions.

Kentucky And Tennessee's Land Between the Lakes

Hike from Kentucky to Tennessee along an inland peninsula.

Maryland's Big Savage Mountain

Heavy forests and the roar of whitewater wait in this section of the Appalachian Mountains.

West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest

Classic eastern mountain scenery along West Virginia's skyline pathway.

Bruneau River, Idaho

Raft or hike this desert paradise's secretive canyons -- but don't pass up the hot springs.

Boulder River Wilderness, Washington

Majestic peaks rise in all directions in Washington's Boulder River Wilderness -- elegant, jagged, draped in snow.

Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine State Forest

If you're a fan of eskers, moraines, kettles, and kames, Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine State Forest is the right place for you.

Wisconsin's Brule River State Forest

Wisconsin's Brule River has great rivers galore -- just don't lose your uncle's canoe.

New York's Catskill Park

Old, haunted New York mountains, thick with legend.

Delaware Water Gap, New Jersey & Pennsylvania

A peaceful rest stop in the shadow of the nation's largest city.

Louisiana's Kisatchie Hills Wilderness

There's more to the Louisiana's deep South than swamps and Cajun food.

North Carolina's Southern Nantahala Wilderness Area

A rugged land of sweet-smelling wildflowers, bald mountains, and stone Indians.

Olympic National Park, Washington

Olympic National Park is pristine and isolated -- rare commodities these days.

Niobrara National Scenic River, Nebraska

The current carries you through the Great Plains, where buffalo, elk -- and snapping turtles -- roam.

Illinois' Shawnee National Forest

Exploring hills and "hollers" in the Land of Lincoln.

New York's Five Ponds Wilderness

Echoes of the ice age resonate throughout this Adirondack wilderness.

Pennsylvania: Roaring Run Natural Area

A precious backcountry jewel amid the hardwood forests.

North Carolina's Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area

Wind through what remains of a lost Carolina world.

North Carolina's Bear Island

Hike with sea turtles, watch the dolphins play, and share the beach with ghost crabs.

Georgia's Providence Canyon State Park

A slice of Utah canyon in the heart of Dixie.

Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Oklahoma

Western prairie meets eastern forest in the land of healing waters.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

A watery paradise, a hiker's secret.

Wolf River, Tennesee

Once an impassable, swampy "ghost river," now a paddler's dream.

Indian Cave State Park, Nebraska

Where you can look down on soaring eagles and feel the power of the Missouri River.

Tiffany Wildlife Area, Wisconsin

A water-lover's Wisconsin wonderland with forests, prairies, and the occasional eagle.

Cloudland Canyon State Park



Kentucky's Red River Gorge

Gorgeous gorge: Where the arches outnumber the footprints.

Skiing Utah's Tushar Mountains

Strap on the skis and glide across wind-sculpted snow into alpine solitude.

Michigan's Sylvania Wilderness

Hike up and down oak- and hickory-covered ridgetops, or explore underground.

Bisti Wilderness, New Mexico

Watch for ghosts among the mushroom-shaped rocks in this weird, lovely landscape.

Oregon's Eagle Cap Wilderness

All trails lead to the top in this lake-lover's paradise.

North Carolina's Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Trade your flip-flops for hiking boots and explore a seaside trail.

Kayaking Lake Powell's Glen Canyon

The hidden side of a watery Utah playground.

Tennessee: Savage Gulf State Natural Area

Waterfalls and swimming holes aplenty.

El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico

Frozen fire shaped by cataclysmic forces and the footsteps of the ancient ones.

Utah: The White Rim, Canyonlands

A bit of nerve opens up the stunning canyonlands made famous by Wile E. Coyote.

Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

Just beyond the neon and greenbacks of Vegas lies a priceless wilderness gem.

Texas' Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Hike or climb this pristine pink-granite wonderland just outside Austin.

Virginia's False Cape State Park

Near-complete isolation just a few miles from Virginia Beach.

South Carolina's Edisto River

Not much company along this stretch of Deep South blackwater -- and that's just fine.

Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

Lose yourself in the past on part of the Buckeye, America's longest loop trail.

Florida's Oklawaha River

Take a lazy cruise through exotic scenery, where monkeys swing and eagles soar.

Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park

Hike up and down oak- and hickory-covered ridgetops, or explore underground.

Maine's Bigelow Preserve

Follow the Appalachian Trail to new heights in the rugged New England high country.

Rock Island State Park

Too small to get much attention and a pain in the neck to reach: The perfect Wisconsin escape.

Cache River State Natural Area

Not your laid-back summer holiday -- canoeing and hiking galore.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

A big Midwestern sandpile turned into an otherworldly escape by pounding surf and forests.

Seven Devils of Hells Canyon

Where you'll share the mountain with curious goats and mysteries of the past.

Massachusetts' Monroe State Forest

Tucked away in a New England corner is an old-growth paradise.

Michigan's Nordhouse Dunes

Sunny beaches, cool forests, and a birder's paradise along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Illinois' Vermilion River, Kickapoo State Park

A pristine prairie river winds through a sea of corn and beans in the shadow of Chicago.

Texas' Hill Country State Natural Area

It's amazing what nature can do with pasture a decade after the cows go home.

Hoosier National Forest

A hiker's oasis in the hills and valleys of the Midwest.

Horseshoe Canyon, Canyonlands National Park

Where the shadows on the sandstone offer lessons from the past and there's not a soul to be found.

Florida's Big Cypress National Preserve

In Big Cypress' land of exotic plants and lurking alligators, swamps aren't such bad places after all.

Pine Barrens, New Jersey

Wooded trails, tea-colored waters -- and the Jersey Devil.

South Taconic Mountains, Connecticut

Connecticut's South Taconic Mountains have bald peaks, deep, forested gorges, and trees as old as the Mayflower.

Colorado: Gibson Lake, Pike National Forest

Tiny Gibson Lake will take you out of Denver in a hurry with its big-wilderness feel and smirking brook trout.

Desolation Wilderness, Eldorado National Forest

Behind the forbidding name lies California's glacier-polished playground.

Lake Pillsbury, Mendocino National Forest, California

Hiking and backpacking at its finest, through pastoral grasslands and forests of pine and fur.

California's Smith River National Recreation Area

You're as likely to bump into Sasquatch as another human.

California's Ishi Wilderness

Ishi Wilderness trails run through stream-carved canyons, past stunning vistas, back to gold rush days.

Polar Bears: Big, White... And Harmless?

If you run into the big white bears, should you be scared?

Alpine Hiking, Euro-Style: A First-Timer's Guide

If you plan on hiking the European Alps, get ready for some differences across the pond.

Northern Lights Viewer's Guide

Follow these tips to make the most out of the northern night skies.

Short Hikes On The Pacific Northwest Trail

Only have a short time to tackle the Pacific Northwest Trail? Our guide will give you the best the PNT has to offer.

Splendor In New Mexico's Mills Canyon

Mills Canyon is a hidden treasure where you can bushwhack through history.

Washington's Juniper Dunes: Not So High, But Dry

In a region known for soggy times, Juniper Dunes is a warm sandbox where you can dry out.

Ansel Adams Wilderness: Witness To Magic

With the click of a shutter, Ansel Adams captured the beauty and soul of wild places and showed us that in nature, there is magic.

Wind Rivers Reunion

In the Wind Rivers range, you can hike for days without seeing another soul, which is why it brings a pair of brothers back again and again.

New York's Shower Of Color

Have your camera ready near dusk, when sunlight warms the landscape with intense color.

Virginia's Crest Zone: Basking In Moonshine

Pine Mountain and Wilson Ridge command high-country vistas stretching across rock-strewn meadows.

Muddy Love In Shenandoah

All along the 23-mile Shenandoah Mountain trail and in the forested areas throughout the Appalachian Mountains, vernal pools are rich aquatic breeding grounds.

Owls In Merchants Millpond State Park

The bawling in the black night is the spring chorus of hooting barred owls.

Pennsylvania's Mid State Trail: Bears And Blueberries

Pennsylvania: You'll get wet and you may even stand in line behind a black bear or two.

Virginia's Berrypicking Paradise

When hiking on Virginia's high, exposed heath balds in late summer, leave gorp and other snacks at home.

New Hampshire's Chorus Of Loons

A chaotic chorus of loon calls penetrate the darkness, the warbling sounds echoing off the wooded hills around the New Hampshire lake.

Big Cypress: Woodpeckers And Old Growth

Consider trying to spot a red-cockaded wood-pecker in Florida's Big Cypress Preserve a form of treasure hunting.

Aspen's Avalanche Of Gold

No color in nature comes close to matching the heart-stirring golden aspen found in the Rockies in autumn.

Stargazing In New Mexico's White Sands

The lunarlike landscape and dark skies of this preserve make White Sands one of the best places for star watching.

Arkansas' Buffalo National River

Arkansas Buffalo National River features challenging trails and a river-laced wilderness.

Big Bend Birding In Texas

The best bird window coincides with the best hiking season in the Chihuahuan Desert.

Staying Cool In Missouri's Caves

In Whites Creek Cave you can explore in nature's own cooling system, and observe its grateful inhabitants.

Oregon's Volcanoes In Full Bloom

Vast meadows of wildflowers sprawl across the ridgetops and valley bottoms of the Three Sisters.

Colorado's San Juans Wildflower Explosion

The majestic San Juan Mountain range is often called America's Switzerland. -- and the wildflowers match.

Maine's Seals In The Surf

Maine's seal pups are usually born in May, making early summer an ideal time to witness the youngsters learning to swim and fish.

Arizona's Sky Islands: Harmonic Convergence

Arizona: Every year millions of ladybugs head to Arizona and coat trees, rocks, and brush like a layer of living paint.

Snowbirds Of Okefenokee Swamp

The Purple Trail through Chase Prairie or the Green or Red Trails through Floyd's Prairie are good routes for viewing Sandhill cranes.

Birds In Utah's Canyonlands

Life in the high desert in autumn is sweeter and more irresistible than any place on Earth.

California's Trinity Alps: Dr. Seuss Hiked Here

Observe the uncanny resemblance between the good doctor's famous Truffula Trees and a field of fuzz-topped flowers 5 miles up Long Canyon.

The Otters Of Michigan's Sylvania Wilderness

You'll emerge from a forested hallway into a wilderness playroom, and there before you will be skidmarks in the snow.

Running With Mustangs In Montana's Pryor Mountains

Montana: The Pryor Mountains harbor the nation's last free-roaming wild mustangs, not to mention wilderness that is as wild as the horses.

Kenucky's Land Of Painted Leaves

"October is the month for painted leaves," Thoreau mused. He could have been talking about Kentucky's Red River Gorge.

Splendor In Vermont's Green Mountains

Enjoy Vermont's autumn colors while you can -- they disappear all too quickly, and the Green Mountains recover their namesake hue in the spring.

Wisconsin's Rock Island: Camp Moonbeam

Combine a full harvest moon with a remote island trail for the greatest show on Earth.

Maine's Frisky Season For Moose

Even if you don't see a moose, you'll hear the bulls' low grunts echoing off the hillside.

Theodore Roosevelt's Bison Trails

North Dakota: America's own Serengeti.

Eye To Eye With Raptors

Eyeball to beak with impressively taloned hawks in West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest.

Joshua Tree's Bloomin' Good Hike

California: Journey through a desert to bear witness to some of the loveliest wildflowers you'll ever see.

Hiking At A Berry Slow Pace

Figure on 9 days to do the entire 100-mile hike—unless you're slowed drastically by all the blueberries.

Pretty As A Picture

The blaze of fall color in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is unequaled.

Maryland's Savage River State Forest

hen it comes to sheer ability to alter a landscape and shock the human senses, you can't beat the May blooms of a mountain laurel thicket.

Tennessee: Ice As Art

In winter, the glasslike menagerie of icicles in the Cumberland Plateau will send a chill down your spine.

Apostle Islands: Lake Superior's Icy Magic

Wisconsin: Explore 21 islands and 12 miles of mainland shoreline where strings of cliffs and caves are bejeweled in ice.

The Smokies: Backwoods-Style

Here's your insider's guide to The Great Smokies, probably the epitome of a true backpacker's national park.

Treasure In San Francisco's Backyard

More than 200 preserves, parks, and other protected wildlands lie within 40 miles of San Francisco, exceeding Yosemite National Park in size, biodiversity, and visitation.

Texas' Guadalupe Range

If you think west Texas is nothing but tumbleweeds and cattle, you haven't walked 62 miles across one of the world's most famous geological formations.

Hike All Year

Okay, so the weather stinks and so does the hiking. Change both by heading down the road to where the sun shines and the trail beckons.

Colorado's Lizard Head Wilderness

Besides being home to a mythical reptile, Colorado's Lizard Head Wilderness is the site of some great hiking.

Alabama's Cheaha Wilderness: A Southern Secret

The little-known Cheaha Wilderness Area is the gateway to Alabama's largest trail system.

Ohio's Shawnee Backpack Trail

When the footpath is named the Backpack Trail, you know what to do.

Oregon's Steens Mountain: An Airborne Oasis

Steens looks like your average mountain, but hike up high and you'll find a hidden paradise.

Once Upon The Alps

In the European high-country Alps you can wander through the most stunning mountains in the world. Vive la difference!

Lion's Tale Trail: Explore With Your Fingertips

Trail goers can experience a whole new world by hiking Virginia's newly renovated Lion's Tale Trail.

Earthquakes in California's Fish Valley

When hiking California's Fish Valley, don't forget to pack your Richter scale.

Northern Lights: The Sky Will Dance

Like shimmering rainbows in the night, the northern lights electrify the sky with color.

Baja Mexico: South To The Sun

Combine white sand beaches and gin-clear water with snow-free highland hiking, and you've got Baja, the perfect midwinter escape.

Snowshoeing New York's Five Ponds

When the rest of the East is bare, snowshoers can find plenty of powder in New York's Five Ponds Wilderness.

Hiking The U.S.-Canada Coho Trail

In mountains most hikers don't even know exist, the 150-mile Cohos Trail just waiting to carry you far from the crowds and on to Canada.

Holiday On Arkansas' Ouachita River

Let the masses shop till they drop: On Arkansas's Ouachita River the pace is slow and easy.

The Faces Of Fall

If you think autumn is simply a time to rake leaves, then you need to read our guide to the best of the fall season.

Soar In Colorado's Eagles Nest Wilderness

Gain a raptor's-eye view of the world in Colorado's Eagles Nest Wilderness.

Great Smokies Showcase: Maddron Bald

In a park full of natural wonder, the route to Maddron Bald hits the high points.

Penokee Mountains: The Alps Of Wisconsin

What they've lost in height, the Penokee Mountains make up for in big views and solitude.

Whispering Pine Trail, Missouri

Relax and sniff the azaleas among Missouri's Whispering Pines.

Oregon's Tillamook Forest: A Craggy Option

Everyone's heard of the Cascades, but no one seems to know about Tillamook State Forest.

Twelve Toughest Trails

Twelve trails that'll chew you up, spit you out, and have you begging for more.

High Pointers Takes Climbers To The Top

Jim Lockart of Pughtown, Pennsylvania is part of a unique group who have scaled all 50 states' highest peaks.

Wild As It Ever Was

For almost half a century, California's rugged Ishi Wilderness hid "the last wild Indian." Even today, it is a place that can keep a secret.

California's Cucamonga Wilderness

As ice-cream makers in Los Angeles once knew, the Cucamonga Wilderness is the essence of cool.

Arizona's Galiuro Mountains

Don't expect the red-carpet treatment in Arizona's Galiuro Mountains, just wilderness on its own terms.

Arkansas's Butterfield Trail

Once a bumpy stagecoache route, Arkansas's Butterfield Trail now jostles hikers.

New York's Catskill Escarpment Trail

Where artists once found inspiration, the Catskills' Escarpment Trail now challenges hikers.

The Best U.S. Summits: Top Of The World

Who needs Everest when you can have these eight summits, all hikeable, all close to home, no sherpas or yaks required.

Nevada's East Humboldt Wilderness

Way up in Nevada's East Humboldt Wilderness, finding solitude and water are sure bets.

Fighting Altitude Sickness

What happens when you go from sea level to altitude too fast? One brave editor found out the hard way, and offers her blow-by-blow findings in hopes that you don't suffer a similar fate.

Indiana's Hiker's Sandbox

Play out your Lawrence of Suburbia fantasies at Indiana Dunes.

Mokelumne Wilderness Loop, CA

Where 100 unknown Sierra miles wait.

Washington's Supreme William O. Douglas Wilderness

The William O. Douglas Wilderness is a monument worthy of a great man.

Find Wildlife At Night

Leave the book in the tent and make a date to chat with some owls and sing with the frogs.

Tennessee/Georgia's Big Frog Wilderness

Why choose between breezy peaks and cool streams when you can have both at Big Frog Wilderness?

Pinup Perfect: Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho

While Sawtooth Lake grabs the limelight, behind the scenes lie crowd-free peace and splendor.

Wisconsin River: Going With The Flow

The ambling Wisconsin River has only one speed: full-out relaxed.

Arkansas: Caney Creek Wilderness

An Ozark oasis loaded with wildlife and fall colors.

Yellow River State Forest

Think Iowa is nothing but flat? You haven't visited the Yellow River State Forest.

North Carolina's Mountains To Sea Trail

It's not complete, but North Carolina's Mountains To Sea trail rivals Inman's journey in "Cold Mountain."

Arkansas' Petit Jean Mountain State Park

Boy Scouts paved an excellent trail in this Ozark gem.

Kentucky's Cumberland Falls

Kentucky's Cumberland Falls provide spectacular waterworks, day or night.

Texas: Lost Maples State Natural Area

Texas' Lost Maples has beautiful desert vistas -- and mountain lions.

California's Trinity Alps

Secret scrambles and lakes abound in this northern California wilderness.

Washington's North Cascade's Copper Ridge Loop

Hike this crown of North Cascades National Park, Washington.

Colorado's James Peak

James Peak is a gem just 50 miles west of Denver.

Long Trail Haute Route

Burnt Rock Mountain provides great views along Vermont's Long Trail.

North Carolina's Gregory Bald

Great Smoky's Gregory Bald features an amazing crown of wild azaleas.

California's Great Western Divide

Can you find solitude in Sequoia National Park? You can if you go off trail.

Maine's Saddleback Range Traverse

Get above treeline in Maine's wild Saddleback Range.

Buffalo National River Trail, Arkansas

Visit Arkansas' Buffalo National River Trail, where the huckleberries are plentiful and the views are wondrous.

Wisconsin's Governor Knowles State Forest

Escape from the urban at Wisconsin's Governor Knowles State Forest.

South Dakota: Black Hills Gold

History and nature intertwine when you hike South Dakota's stunning Black Hills.

Colorado's South San Juan Wilderness

Crowd-free, rocky mountain highs -- you'll find this and more in Colorado's South San Juan Wilderness.

Santa Catalina Island

Find a new kind of California beach on the undeveloped shores of Santa Catalina Island.

Georgia's Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island's south shore provides remarkably pristine beaches and mossy forests.

Editor's Choice: Columbia River Gorge

Waterfalls and wonder: Both are plentiful in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge.

Nevada's Mt. Moriah Wilderness

Great Basin's Mt. Moriah is a big mountain of solitude.

Utah's Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness

Wilderness worthy enough to inspire any classical landscape painter.

California's Carson-Iceberg Wilderness

Dark, volcanic mountains soaring along the Pacific Crest make for a forbidding wilderness perfect for U.S. Marines in training -- or solitude-seeking hikers.

New Mexico's Latir Peak Wilderness

Hikers often overlook the the quiet meadows, wildflowers, and mountaintops of New Mexico's Latir Wilderness. Their loss is your gain.

New Hampshire's Carter Dome

A hike up New Hampshire's Carter Dome has it all -- mountains, forests, water, views, solitude, and even a little challenge.

Texas' Big Slough Wilderness

Texas' Big Slough is as wet as the Big Bend is dry.

Oklahoma's Charons Gardens Wilderness

The bare rocks of Oklahoma's Charons Gardens will haunt and delight hikers.

Ohio's River Ramble

The Marietta Unit provides some of the greatest river trails in Ohio.

Riga Plateau, Appalachian Trail

Get spectacular Appalachian Trail mountain views without much effort on the Riga Plateau.

Michigan Riding and Hiking Trail

Break the long Michigan winter with a lengthy hike on Michigan's Riding and Hiking Trail.

California's Redwood National Park

Walk among giants in Redwood National Park.

Wyoming: Best Of The Bighorns

Here's how to find the best of Wyoming's expansive Bighorn range.

Weminuche Wilderness: Top Of The Rockies

Highest, biggest, wildest: Colorado's Weminuche Wilderness is a land of superlatives.

Utah' s Coyote Gulch

Go through the looking glass in Utah's canyon country.

A New Utah Adventure

Never heard of Utah's George Washington Hayduke Route, have you? That's because it's brand new.

Beech Creek Natural Area

Oklahoma's own Tennessee awaits intrepid hikers.

Missouri Ozarks' Berryman Trail

Get away from the Ozarks crowd on the Berryman Trail.

Virginia's Three Ridges

Hike this gorgeous, mountainous section of Virginia's Appalachian Trail.

New York's Dix Mountain

These quiet summits feature the best views of New York's high Adirondacks.

Olympic National Park's Grand Valley Loop

The best way to see all Olympic has to offer is on the grand Valley Loop.

Editor's Choice: Bowman Lake, Glacier National Park

Bears electrify an already incredible experience at Glacier National Park's Bowman Lake.

Colorado's Flat Tops Wilderness



Pennsylvania's Thunder Swamp Trail

Hiking through wetlands in Pennsylvania? Believe it.

New Mexico's White Mountain Wilderness

High, cool peaks rise over 7,000 feet above the desert flats in New Mexico's White Mountain Wilderness.

Washington's Alpine Lakes Wilderness

A hidden spot in Washington's popular Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Landscapes of the Soul: Canada's Arctic

Like your first love, you never forget your initial visit to the Arctic.

Editor's Choice: Wisconsin's Apostle Islands

Lake Superior's best coast lies on Wisconsin's Apostle Islands.

Caprock Canyons State Park

History and landscape meet at Caprock Canyos State Park.

Pennsylvania's Hickory Creek Wilderness

Hickory Creek Wilderness in the Allegheny National Forest remains a great hiking destination all year -- even in winter.

North Carolina's Joyce Kilmer Wilderness

The most old-growth forest in the east resides in North Carolina's Joyce Kilmer Wilderness.

Texas' Palo Duro Canyon

The colorful walls of Palo Duro Canyon will delight hikers with masterpiece washes of color.

Pennsylvania's Michaux State Forest

With all of the trail options in Pennsylvania's Michaux State Forest, it's hard to pick just one.

Bay Area Spring Flings

Three Bay Area hikes that'll quickly make winter a distant memory

Hiking Where The Tide Pools

To understand what goes on beneath the sea, find a rocky shoreline and explore away

New Mexico's Pecos Wilderness

In New Mexico's Pecos Wilderness, it's just you and the bighorn sheep looking down on the world.

Hoosier High Country's Uplifting Experience

You won't get a nosebleed on the Knobstone Trail, but you will get a taste of Hoosier high country.

Solo Hiking Alaska: Fear Walked With Me

A once-in-a-lifetime solo hike through Lake Clark National Park, where the midnight sun shines like candlelight on the mountains.

Alaska's Tordrillo Mountains: High, Wild, and Unknown

The Tordrillo Mountains are so rugged, you'd swear you're the first human to set foot there.

The Colors Of Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias

Wrangell-St. Elias National park is known for its jaw-dropping scenery, but there's just as much beauty at your feet.

Alaska's Glaciers: Going With The Floes

When gently paddling amidst the mini-icebergs that grace Prince William Sound, you ponder one question: why walk?

Minnesota's Wild River State Park

Stomp and glide at Wild River State Park, where no snow monsters are allowed.

Alaska's Tongass: Take A Deep Breath

In Alaska's Tongass, the ancient trees have something to say...if you're willing to listen.

ANWR: Postcards From The Edge

Journey to Alaska's far northern edge, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where the midnight sun shines like candlelight on the mountains.

Winter Hiking For Beginners

Extend the hiking season at these three destinations, all perfect for winter newbies.

A Trail Of True Grit

The Ouachita Mountains sheltered outlaws and gave John Wayne something to crow about. But it's not until you hike the 223-mile Ouachita Trail that you realize this country is the stuff of legend.

Winter Utah: Canyon Solitude

Think slickrock in July and your throat clenches, your skin shrivels, and parched bones rattle in your subconscious. But in winter, the snow sends the tourists and dry desert demons packing, and the frosted wonderland is all yours.

Soar To New Hampshire's Pilot Range

When the White Mountains' hot spots get too hot, there's always the Pilot Range.

Zaleski State Forest Backpack Trail, Ohio

An Ohio trail that reclaimed land from the ore era.

Katahdin In One Day

For some, reaching Maine's Mt. Katahdin is the end of a life-altering 2,100-mile pilgrimage. For others it's a lark. We captured the extremes, and a little bit of everything in between, one day atop Maine's "greatest mountain."

Afoot In Arizona's Apache Country

In the fortress-like Mazatzal Wilderness, you can barricade yourself in solitude.

Everglades: Hike Florida's River Of Grass

You don't need a canoe to reach some of the Everglades' best beachfront campsites.

A Walk In Oregon's Volcanic Park

Hiking through Oregon's Jefferson Park puts you in the heart of what was once some pretty hot country.

Utah's Lonely Deseret Peak Wilderness

Deseret Peak Wilderness has everything the popular Wasatch Range does, except the crowds.

Canada: The Land Of Plenty

Looking for a really wild time? Grab your passport and head to Canada, where the mountains are big, the views stretch beyond your imagination, and you can't fling a moose pellet without hitting some kind of wildlife.

Canada's Appalachian Trail

Who says the Appalachian Trail has to stop in Maine? Certainly not some plucky Canadians, who're extending the long-trail concept 600 more miles into their homeland.

Sheer Beauty: North Carolina's Linville Gorge

Drop off the lip of Linville Gorge into a world of rock escarpments, deep forests, and whitewater.

Juan Of A Kind: Vancouver's Juan de Fuca Marine Trail

Vancouver's Juan de Fuca Marine Trail offers the best of both worlds in a challenging and surprising 29-mile ramble.

New England's Metacomet-Monadnock Trail

Panoramic ridge-hiking through New England.

Not Exactly Roughing It On Idaho's Salmon River Trail

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River Trail is a 100-mile-long backpacker's dream that comes complete with muscle-soothing waters and the occasional glass of wine with your four-course dinner.

California's Land Of "Thoughtful" Giants

Redwood Meadow's massive trees and wild countryside have changed little since Muir passed through 100 years ago.

Colorado's Willow Creek Trail

Hike like a conquistador through Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Wisconsin's Blue Hills

Thank the Ice Age for the challenging hiking and incredible views you'll find in the Blue Hills.

Theodore Roosevelt's Badlands

Theodore Roosevelt ventured into the North Dakota Badlands an East Coast city Boy. After the land got through with him, he had the fortitude to run a nation and the insight to preserve more wildlands than anyone in history.

Elk On Pennsylvania's Quehanna Trail

There are plenty of Bambi's brethren along the Quehanna Trail-if you know where to look.

The Trail Less Traveled

Sometimes you have to go where the guidebooks haven't been, but watch your step.

Mt. Charleston Loop Trail, Nevada

Keep your cool on Nevada's Mt. Charleston Loop Trail.

New Hampshire's Baldface Range

Baldface Range's icy swimming holes and heights will get any hiker worked up.

Yosemite: Treasure Of The Sierra

Forget what CNN and Your Daily News say about Yosemite's crowds and crime and traffic. the "treasure of the Sierra" is still a golden place for backpackers to escape.

Washington's Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness

You'll find North Cascades beauty minus the rain in Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness.

Hiker's Paradise: New Zealand

If you like stunning mountains, challenging trails, breathtaking scenery and warm temperatures in winter, New Zealand is your ticket to paradise. Just watch out for the thieving parrots.

Be A Night Hiker

Tune up your senses and turn off the lights for a wild walk on the dark side.

West Virginia Mountain Hobnobbing

Birds and deer are your only companions on this stretch of the Allegheny Trail.

Yosemite On A Bad Day Is Still Good

Sometimes a place is so magnificent that it burns itself into your soul and overrides all sensation-even the urge to heave up your guts.

South Carolina's Blue Ridge Scene Stealer

The 76-mile Foothills Trail takes in all of the Blue Ridge's scenic wonders.

Michigan's Manistee River Trail

Two trails, same river, two different worlds.

Life's Great (Continental) Divide

The Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park is a place of reckoning and, given its trackless nature, a place of choices. To a young man who came of age here, it offers perspective on paths not taken.

Nine Wilderness Hero Hikes

Nine hikes as big as the hearts of their namesake wilderness visionaries.

Mt. Rainier National Park

A small taste of Washington's mighty mountain.

Utah's High Uintas Wilderness

Head south to find the quiet side of the King.

Washington's Olympic Coast

Washington's rocky, log-strewn shore is no place for beach bums.

Colorado's West Elk Wilderness

There's elbow room to spare in this lofty hiker's haven.

Oregon's Columbia Wilderness Area

Waterfalls and old growth in this gorge-ous Oregon hideaway.

California's Cottonwood Lakes

The trails are lonely and the trout are always biting in this Inyo National Forest hideaway.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

All the park is a stage for nature's steamy performance in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Go Now! The Wilderness Life List

The 10 once-in-a-lifetime adventures any backwoods fanatic should have under his hipbelt before hanging up the ol' pack.

A Blank Spot On The Map

We travel to New Mexico's Aldo Leopold Wilderness to understand the roots of the preservation movement and see just how far we've come.

California's Sespe Wilderness

A roadless wonder in California's Los Padres Wilderness.

Colorado's Rawah Wilderness

A high country stunner that defines Colorado wilderness.

California's Dardanelles

Wondrous lava formations in the Sierra's granite kingdom.

Glacier Peak Wilderness

Tundra hiking in the shadow of Washington's ice-cloaked behemoth.

Ice Age National Scenic Trail

Hiking Wisconsin's glacier-carved trail will set you back 12,000 years.

Sangre De Cristo Wilderness

If the beauty of the Colorado Sangres doesn't leave you breathless, the altitude will.

Minnesota's Superior Hiking Trail

Great lake views in Minnesota's land of moose and wolves.

California's Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness

The best wildlife stronghold in California.

Black Forest Trail, PA

A 42-mile loop through America's version of the Black Forest.

Desert Rat's Delight In Arizona

The East Cactus Plain Wilderness brims with life and solitude. Just don't forget the water.

Virginia's Massanutten Range

The 50-mile-long Massanutten range in Virginia may be D.C.'s top-secret hiking getaway.

International Hikes: The World Awaits

Grab your passport and follow these 25 hikes where wild winds Blow, strange animals roam, and even the alpenglow adds to the adventure.

Illinois' Trail Of Two Rivers

On its way from the Ohio to the Mississippi, Illinois' new River to River Trail takes you through a surprisingly wild side of the Corn Belt.

Bear Mountain: NYC's Urban Antidote

Harriman/Bear Mountain State Park is only an hour from Manhattan, but you'll feel like you're worlds away.

North Carolina's Uwharrie Mountains

The ancient Uwharries have baffled geologists, but hikers know a good thing when they see it.

Big Sur's Redwood Trees

If the redwoods don't wow you, there's always the world-class California coastline.

Lone Star Hiking Trail, Texas

Smooth and easy hiking deep in the heart of Texas.

Columbine Canyon Trail, New Mexico

Thirteen miles in the spectacular Sangre De Cristos.

New Hampshire's Kinsman Ridge Trail

Thrills and views by the minute on the Kinsman Ridge Trail.

Colorado's Heavenly Holy Cross Wilderness

Wilderness doesn't get much better, or higher, than Holy Cross.

No Excuse For Winter Hiking

It may be winter, but that's no reason to stop hiking.

Grand Staircase-Escalante: The Last Best Place

Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante is huge, remote, controversial, and one of the finest destinations for backpackers in the Lower 48.

Goat Rocks Wilderness: A Real Eye-Popper

Some say Goat Rocks Wilderness has the best scenery along the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail. Decide for yourself.

Canada's Wood Buffalo National Park

The bison are relics from the past, and the wolves know no fear. Welcome to Wood Buffalo National Park, where time stands still and the land shrugs off man's attempts to alter its primitive spirit.

South Carolina's Blue Wall

South Carolina: A wealth of waterfalls and world-class swimming.

Missouri's Hercules Glade

Quirky geology leads to even quirkier residents at Missouri's Hercules Glades.

Resurrection Pass Trail, Alaska

In a land with few trails, Alaska's Resurrection Pass stands above them all.

Algonquin Provincial Park: Where The Wild Things Are

At the edge of the world, Canada's Algonquin Provincial Park offers a window to the past.

Massachusetts' Mt. Greylock

A mysterious ravine, old-growth forest, and big climbs -- only at Mt. Greylock Reservation.

Rocky Mountains, Defined

Exploring the wilder, uncrowded reaches of our highest national park.

Twin Lakes Trail, Washington

Explore Washington's storied old-growth forests plus an authentic ghost town.

Heat Relief Up High

While the desert sizzles, Arizona's Kachina Peaks are cool and comfortable.

Duncan Ridge Trail, Georgia

Get lost on Georgia's Duncan Ridge Trail.

Hiking Forests Primeval

Fifteen trails that'll take you from flaming maples to towering redwoods, with plenty of shimmering aspen in between.

Mt. St. Helens: The Cataclysm and Beyond

A trek through the blast zone of a restless volcano raises questions about a father's legacy and a child's future.

Virginia's Ramseys Draft Wilderness: Rugged And Remote

Challenge and a hint of risk are part and parcel in Ramseys Draft Wilderness.

San Gorgonio Wilderness: 2 Miles Above L.A.

Sierra scenery at L.A.'s backdoor.

Utah's High Uintas: 600 Miles Of Trail

Tackling the High Uintas Wilderness from the east offers big paybacks.

Night In A Whole New Light

Go out at night for a whole new look into wilderness.

Canada's Lewis and Clark: Alexander Mackenzie

When it came to continent crossing, the noted U.S. explorers were a step behind Canada's Alexander Mackenzie. And until you hike his namesake trail, you can't truly appreciate the toughness of his journey or the magnitude of his accomplishment.

Tennessee's Arches

Big South Fork provides Utah-quality arches in Tennessee.

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