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Alaska



Rip & Go: Alaska's Hatcher Pass Wilderness Area

Follow the footsteps of old miners to three alpine lakes beneath the snow-capped Talkeetna Mountains.

Life List: Northern Lights Ski Tour, Alaska

See the world's best sky show from your private backcountry cabin.

Limit Pusher: Three More Epics

Test yourself on these wild routes.

Killer Trips: Wildlife

Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

The Last Bus

A former Denali ranger shares her secrets for finding solitude, scoring the most coveted permits, seeing wildlife, beating the weather, and more. Follow her from-the-field advice for the ultimate trip in America's wildest park.

America's Best Campsites

Park your tent in one of these 10 spots, and you'll be happy in the morning. Guaranteed.

National Parks: View Finder

Go ahead, look again. And again. These images are worth a third, fourth, and then a tenth gaze.

National Parks: Denali

Denali isnít just for experts. These guinea pigs will prove it. Probably.

Going to Extremes

Can you ever really have too much of a good thing? Once you've seen the biggest tree, largest glacier, and deepest canyon, nothing else compares.

National Park Slideshows

See scores of stunning images from the Grand Canyon, Denali, Yosemite, and more.

Local Hikes: West

See California dunes, Nevada red-rock canyons, Alaska's deep forest, quiet Oregon Coast, and Washington's Cascade lakes.

Trip Finder: Alaska

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

Our Backyard: Denali National Park

Explore Denali's top dayhikes, photo ops, and epic wildlife treks.

Rip & Go: Crow Pass Trail - Chugach State Park, AK

Cross the west edge of the Chugach for glaciers, bears, and wildflowers.

Readers' Choice: Alaska

The undisputed local experts—you—choose the top parks, trails, campsites, and weekend getaways in Alaska.

Best Hikes Ever: Southern Traverse, AK

Tackle an epic adventure in the far north.

Best Hikes Ever: Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, AK

Find deep solitude where the continent crashes into a frigid ocean.

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: Denali, AK

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

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Resurrection Pass Trail, AK

This 39-mile Alaska hike offers big scenery without a bush plane.

Less is More: 50-Mile Thru-Hikes

Ten point-to-point treks with the payoffs of a thru-hike, but hikeable in a week.

Local Hikes: Anchorage, AK

The best hikes near Anchorage.

Local Hikes: Northwest

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

Rip & Go: Mt. Eielson Loop

Explore pure wilderness on this two-day circuit in the Alaska Range.

August 2010 Reader Shot of the Month

Feast your eyes on this photo of Alaska's North Slope, along the Arctic's Sagavanirktok River.

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: See a Grizzly

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

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.)

Zones: Water

Hit the water, and see plenty of wildlife and scenic views, on these paddling trips in Alaska, Florida, and Minnesota.

Water: Muir Inlet, AK

Paddle along Glacier Bay's dynamic shores.

The Big Easy: Backpack Alaska

Plan your perfect Alaskan trip–from a budget-friendly weekend to an entry-level expedition–with field reports from Steve Howe.

Higher Love: Father & Daughter Climb Mt. Chamberlin

On a remote Arctic peak, a father and his teenager encounter the hardest of all human challenges.

Fly Fishing Mystery Alaska: A Fish Story

Imagine an Alaskan paradise with trout bigger than your leg, bears, and caribou traipsing by camp, and no people–except your good friends. This place exists, we just can't tell you where it is.

Destination Alaska: Castner Glacier

Witness the effects of climate change on a challenging trek in the Delta Mountains.

Destination Alaska: Devil's Pass

Easy routefinding and life-list sights make this thru-hike a must for Alaska novices.

Destination Alaska: Grizzly Pass

Hike to a private paradise deep in the Talkeetna Mountains.

Destination Alaska: Harding Icefield

Hike a classic in Kenai Fjords–and escape the crowds by making it an overnight.

Destination Alaska: The Goat Trail

Tackle an epic route through Chitistone Canyon in Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve.

Destinatons Alaska: Johnson Pass

Hike a historic, kid-friendly trail to wildflower meadows and fish-filled lakes.

Destination Alaska: Flute Glacier

Just minutes from town, score big scenery fast on the South Fork of Eagle River.

Destination Alaska: Lost Lake, Chugach Mountains

Bring plenty of supplies to this alpine plateau in the Chugach Mountains–you'll want to extend your stay.

Destination Alaska: Thompson Pass

See the awesome Valdez Mountains on this off-trail adventure to Point Odyssey and beyond.

Top 3 Ansel Adams Hikes and Reader Photos

The legendary shooter once said that photographs were "usually looked at, seldom looked into." Take a look into three hikes that inspired some of Ansel Adams greatest photos, and take a few pictures yourself.

America's Scariest Trails: Vanished

Lost? Murdered? When the wilderness swallows people without a trace, who's to say what happened?

Undiscovered Hikes: 19 New Trails

Hike these paths before the masses find them.

Backpacking Alaska: Glaciers, Wildlife, & Peaks On Every Corner

During a one-month August journey, BACKPACKER undertook multiple crowd-free Alaskan backpacking routes and returned with extensive photos, video, & GPS.

Hike It, Save It: Utukok Uplands, Alaska

On the Brooks Range's Arctic slop, coal mining and oil and natural gas drilling are threats to half a million caribou, and the Arctic's highest concentration of grizzlies.

The Unlikeliest Mountaineer

Take a fatherless herd boy from poverty-wracked Swaziland, endow him with an indomitable will and a few wealthy friends, give him the lungs of Ed Viesturs, and you have...

PACIFIC
Special Survey: Best Cities to Raise an Outdoor Kid

Take your pick of mountains, rainforests, deserts, or the ocean–or experience all four zones in a single day–one advantage of living the outdoor dream along the west coast of America.

The Unlikeliest Mountaineer: Online Slideshow & Exclusive Post-Climb Blogs

After tackling Mt. McKinley, Sibusiso Vilane & writer Steve Howe foraged in Talkeetna, hitchhiked the Alaskan highways, and met a grizzly in Denali.

The Floating Frontier: Paddling Glacier Bay, Alaska

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

Wilderness Wonders: Biggest Bear

The white, fluffy, subzero-temperature-loving polar bear takes this title.

Hikes and Trips in all 50 States

Use our comprehensive state-specific pages to find hikes in your home state our a state you're planning on visiting.

Dogs of War

Another dead Denali wolf. A battle for the soul of wild Alaska. Our reporter visits America's most iconic wilderness for the inside story of a park under siege.

See More: Winter Birds

Forget flying south. Learn the secrets of cold-weather survival from three well-adapted birds.

Where Can I Find the Best View of the Northern Lights?

You guessed, it, you need to head North. Here's where you'll get the best view of the Northern Lights.

Mr. Haugen's Highpoints

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

Special Report: Alaska's Toklat Wolf Pack in Crisis

When senior editor Tracy Ross investigated Denali's wolf controversy, she expected to see a dead wolf--but not a skinned one. Go behind the scenes with video filmed in the field and an interview with Ross on the experience.

The Alaska Wolf Debate: Q&A with Tracy Ross

Author Tracy Ross discusses her feature story "Dogs of War" devoted to the debate raging in Alaska over the famed Toklat wolf pack.

Ten Epic Hikes

Paddling, hiking, testing self arrest skills–we cover it all in these 10 epic trips throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Headfirst Down the McKinley

A sudden swim in a glacier-fed river nearly finishes a ranger.

Fighting Death on Mt. Foraker

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

Alaskan Labyrinth: Bushwacking in Denali

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

How to Score Denali's Choicest Permits

The system was rigged, says a former ranger. Here's how to beat it.

Denali National Park

Hike with grizzlies in this remote northern corner of Alaska's greatest park.

Yellowstone National Park

America's first national park is a playground for grizzlies, wolves, moose, and hikers (not in that order).

Olympic National Park

Explore two ecosystems in this hinterland of moss-draped forests, ancient trees, and snowcapped peaks.

How to Light a Campfire in the Smokies

Trees, trees are everywhere, but sometimes there isn't a dry twig in sight.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Graze blueberry patches, explore swimming holes, and tag the South's high points on this sultry hike.

How Your Kid Can Save a Park

Send him out on a work trip. Let wilderness do the rest.

Grand Canyon National Park

Drop into America's belly on a little-known hike that dips in and out of four different canyons, each blessed with gurgling spring water.

Yosemite National Park

Climb classic Sierra passes, ogle granite monoliths, and camp above treeline in John Muir's second home.

Glacier National Park

Scramble up class III peaks and cross late summer snowfields on this strenuous but straightforward trip through Montana's big-mountain country.

National Parks Lifelist: Intro



National Parks Lifelist

The ultimate vacation in one of America's iconic parks requires the ultimate hiking plan: classic scenery, no crowds, and secret campsites. Here's how to spend a perfect week in Glacier, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Olympic, Denali, and the Great Smoky Mountains.

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.

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.

Trip Doctor: Shopping For Guided Alaskan Treks

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

Cascades Meltdown

The Lower 48's most glaciated region is losing its ice at an astonishing rate.

What Will Alaska's Future Look Like?

Alaska is the last frontier, but energy development and climate change promise to change the face of our wildest state in your lifetime. Here's how.

The Impact of Climate Change on Florida's Everglades, Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias

What do Florida's Everglades and Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias have in common? Both face uncertain futures as temperatures rise.

Save or Splurge: Kayak Southeast Alaska

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

Epicenter: The Scene In Skagway, Alaska

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

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.

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.

Backpack Alaska's Round Island

Wildlife aplenty at Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary

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

Being Caribou Returns Home

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 6.

A Hiker's Guide To Surfing and Snorkeling

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

Devil's Thumb: It Can't Be Climbed

Will anyone ever climb the dangerous northwest face of Alaska's Devil's Thumb? Maybe they shouldn't.

Being Caribou: Arctic Summer

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 5.

Stone Cold Campers

They kill swiftly and silently. They flit like ghosts through enemy forests. And they will brew you a fine cup of cowboy coffee. Meet America's deadliest hikers as we hump ruck with the Special Forces.

Being Caribou: A Mountain Of A Shortcut

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 4.

Alaska, Colville River

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

Being Caribou: Calving Grounds

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 3.

Being Caribou: 350 Miles On Skis

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 2.

Alaska, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Paddle blue inlets too new for any topo.

Being Caribou: Spring Migration

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 1.

Being Caribou: Caribou I Am

How do you plan an expedition to follow 123,000 migrating caribou across Canada and Alaska? Very carefully.

Being Caribou: Protecting the Porcupine Caribou Herd

Protection one of Alaska and Canada's largest caribou herds is so close, yet so far away.

Being Caribou: Caribou Facts

18 facts you didn't know about Alaska and Canada's Porcupine Caribou herd.

Being Caribou: The Route

How do you plan a route following 123,000 migrating caribou across Canada and Alaska? Try to keep up.

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.

Being Caribou: ANWR Or Bust

Will he keep up? Karsten Heuer embarks on an audacious 1,200-mile expedition-cum-caribou chase.

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.

Climbing Denali: The West Buttress Route

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

McKinley: Backpack Around "The Big One"

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

Best Backpacking In Alaska

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

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.

Bushwacking: Get High, Stay High

When bushwacking a trail, go high altitude and stay there.

Tundra Trekking Tips

Just because it's flat and treeless doesn't mean it's easy hiking.

Tundra Tip: Farther Than You Think

Distances can appear farther in the tundra.

Snowy Destinations

Need someplace to go shoe with your snowshoes? Whet your whistle with one of these great places.

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.

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.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)

Alaska's premier area for fish and wildlife.

How To Deal With River Crossings

Crossing rivers can be treacherous -- unless you know what you're doing.

Mosquitoes: Avoiding Alaska's Winged Plague



Northern Lights: The Sky Will Dance

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

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.

Alaskan Rescued From Australian Outback

Missing for more than a month in the Australian Outback, American tourist Robert Bogucki was found alive and amazingly coherent yesterday in the Great Sandy Desert of Western Australia.

Alaska's Tongass: Take A Deep Breath

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

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?

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.

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.

Resurrection Pass Trail, Alaska

In a land with few trails, Alaska's Resurrection Pass stands above them all.

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