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Mountains



Arizona: Santa Catalina Mountains

The Catalinas tower 6,500 feet above Tucson, providing a cool escape in the summer and unlikely snow in the winter. Target these high-desert peaks and canyons to explore a maze of contrasting environments.

Mountain Map: White Mountains, NH

The Granite State's crown jewel is an epicenter for alpine adventure, from peakbagging to ridgewalking to hut camping. Where to start? In the heart of the Whites, with beta from our map team. Trek across windswept plateaus, tag a handful of the range's 48 peaks above 4,000 feet, and get a taste of high-altitude tundra.

Top 3: Better in Winter

What off season? Bundle up and reap the benefits of colder weather in these snowy playgrounds.

Smokies Adventure Guide (2012 National Parks Series: Part 5 of 6)

Leave it to our seasoned map contributors to find solitude in America's most-visited park. This exclusive trip planner serves up routes guaranteed to get you off the tourist trail and into deep wilderness.

The High Life: White Mountains Traverse, NH

Hike our quieter insider's variation on this classic route.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Chimney Tops via Newfound Gap

Follow fern-lined trails to scramble up a rocky pinnacle.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Maddron Bald Loop

Pass waterfalls, cross empty peaks, and visit monster-size trees.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Mid-Smokies Circuit

String together the Appalachian, Benton MacKaye, and Mountains-to-Sea Trails for a 48-mile instant classic that hits the park's best views and backcountry campsites.

The Other Way In

Hike to life-list hot spots without waiting in life-list lines. These under-the-radar trails deliver everything but the crowds.

America's Best Backcountry Ski Tours

Upgrade your winter fun at these 8 beginner-friendly, expert-ready spots.

Perfect 10: North America's 10 Most Memorable Hikes

Ten trails. Ten unmatched miles each. Get maximum bang for each boot step on hikes that our most-traveled contributors call their all-time favorites.

Local Hikes: Southeast

Hike these long trails in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida, and paddle three days in the Everglades backcountry.

National Parks: Great Smoky Mountains

For guaranteed solitude in the park's southwest reaches, explore this quiet loop during the off-season.

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.

The High Life: Hiking Utah's Highline Trail

Watch your step on Utah' Highline Trail. The nonstop views and rampant wildlife are distractingly spectacular. Plus: Gaze away on 9 more elevated hikes.

Get Higher: Best Firetower Hikes

For sheltered scenery high above the trees, there's no better place than a fire tower. Try one of these editor-approved hikes to backcountry rooms with a view.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Showiest Fall Colors

Hit the leaf jackpot on these classic footpaths.

Rip & Go: Thunderhead Loop

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

Readers' Choice: Southwest

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

Rip & Go: Big Creek Loop

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

Readers' Choice: Appalachians

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

Our Backyard: Green Mountains

Nine ways to see Vermont's Green Mountains

Readers' Choice: Northwest

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

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 Hikes Ever: Four-Pass Loop, CO

See the Rockies' most iconic mountains.

Best Hikes Ever: Balsam Cap and Friday Mountain, NY

Brave thick forest to reach rugged twin summits.

Best Hikes Ever: Presidential Traverse, NH

Tag a team of the East's most challenging peaks in the White Mountains.

Secret Hikes: Guadalupe Mountains National Park

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

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.

Colorado Trail: Best Of

Find your hike on the country's highest footpath.

National Parks Center

We've collected the best hikes, most amazing photos, and mind-blowing videos for the ultimate National Park planning center. Get inspired and get hiking now!

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Wildflowers

Smelling the flowers doesn't require slowing down your trek (though you might want to) through the explosion of wildflowers that cover the Great Smoky Mountains each year.

Gear Checklist: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

From the deep wooded hollows to the lofty Appalachian summits prepare for rain (Clingmans Dome, the park's high point, averages 85 inches each year), humidity, rapidly varying weather conditions, and lots of creek crossings. Here's what you'll need.

The Ultralight Challenge: 2.0

Pick the gear I can carry on a trip to determine how low one man can go.

Perfect Substitutes: Crowd-Free Destinations

You know that the big-name parks draw big-time crowds. But each of those outdoor icons has a lesser-known replacement that offers some of the same classic features and epic scenery–and you get it all to yourself.

America's Best Day Hikes: Rockies

With alpine views, hot springs, wildflowers and wildlife, these hikes in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana offer the best of the Rockies.

See More: Winter Birds

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

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.

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.

National Park Vacation Planners: 3D Videos and Downloadable Beta

3-D hike videos, complete trip planner pdfs, our interactive ParkFinder tool, and more.

May Close-to-Home Hikes

Our map team has been hard at work plotting the coolest hikes. Check out May's selections here.

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.

Weekend Adventures: Big Tree Hikes

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

Essential National Park Skills: The Ultimate Park Pass

Write your own ticket to new adventures with these 10 territory-expanding skills.

America's Hardest Dayhikes

Push yourself on any of these challenging hikes

High Points: Clingmans Dome, Tennessee

A downright goofy dome marks this highpoint.

Fall Hiking in New Hampshire's Baldface Range

Vibrant colors and a ridge walk you'll never forget

Fall Hiking at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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

New Hampshire: The Great Gulf Wilderness

Here is your chance to tag six summits in only 3 days.

Mt. Jefferson, Presidential Range

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

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.

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 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.

Two Shades of White Mountains

Lines at backcountry outhouses. Hikers competing for tent sites. Is there any solitude left in New Hampshire's White Mountains? Lots of it, if you know where to go.

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.

White Mountains, New Hampshire

Sometimes walking "backward" is the only way to go in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

New Hampshire: Pop Goes The Forest

You can spend days exploring the Dry River Valley forest without seeing another soul, even if it sounds like you're being chased by a well-armed militia.

Hikers Mourn The Loss Of Guy Waterman

Guy Waterman died near the summit of Mount Lafayette, a peak in the White Mountains in northern New Hampshire, on February 6.

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.

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.

Soar To New Hampshire's Pilot Range

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

New Hampshire's Baldface Range

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

New Hampshire's Kinsman Ridge Trail

Thrills and views by the minute on the Kinsman Ridge Trail.

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