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Gear Review: Big Agnes Shovelhead Puffy

A jacket that packs some serious heat without being a heavyweight.

Gear Review: Voormi High-E Hoodie

A pullover made with Rocky Mountain wool to keep you warm.

Gear Review: Nemo Canon -40 Sleeping Bag

A bag built to wrap you in a world of warmth - sans sweat.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 0 Sleeping Bag

A bag with down-like features for a fraction of the price.

From the Field: BACKPACKER Trail Scouts' Top Western Local Hikes

Whether you want an uncrowded hike in Zion National Park or a five-miler through a gypsum dune field in New Mexico, our scouts have paved the way.

From the Field: East

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

From the Field: Central

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

From the Field: West

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

From The Field: East

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

From The Field: Central

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

From The Field: West

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

60 BACKPACKER Readers to Climb Mt. Whitney

Bookmark this page for ongoing updates about our 2013 expedition benefiting at-risk urban teens.

From the Field: West

Explore the west coast in a whole new way with these five summer hikes.

From the Field: East

Experience the east in a new way this summer with hikes that each offer a special glimpse of what the east coast has to offer.

From the Field: Central

Looking to relax this summer? These central hikes offer beautiful lakes, great views, and a breath of fresh air.

The Changing Mountain

The following is adapted from Northwest editor Michael Lanzas new book, Before Theyre Gone: A Familys Year-Long Quest to Explore Americas Most Endangered National Parks ($24.95, beacon.org, TheBigOutside.com).

Burn After Reading

Empty White Mountain summits. Tourist-free Yellowstone geysers. Rarely hiked Yosemite ridges. Rangers, guidebook writers, outfitters, and ultra-hikers dish their favorite routes for the first time.

Best Day: Mt. Rainier, Camp Muir (Summer Route)

Trek to a lofty, iconic basecamp on Rainier's snowy slopes.

Best Weekend: Northern Loop Trail

See scores of wildflowers, waterfalls, and peaks.

Best Week: Wonderland Trail

Explore Mt. Rainier from nearly every angle on this hike from Fryingpan Creek to Mowich Lake. The classic route tags the subalpine meadows of Summerland, crests 5,000-foot Cowlitz Divide, and links dozens of crystalline lakes and waterfalls.

Mt. Rainier Adventure Guide (2012 National Parks Series: Part 1 of 6)

We mapped nearly 300 miles of trail to bring you the only resource you'll need to jump-start your adventures in this premier park.

America's Best Backcountry Ski Tours

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

Readers' Choice 2012: Top 3 - Southeast Hikes

Our prolific map contributor has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and notched more than 90 bag nights while scouting routes for BACKPACKER.

A Piece of Quiet

America’s leading advocate of wilderness silence shows the way to Mt. Rainier National Park’s quietest corner. Plus: 9 more campsites with life-list listening.

So You Wanna Be a Mountain Guide

Tryout tips from a Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. Veteran

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.

Rip & Go: Rock and Serene Lakes Loop - Mt. Hood National Forest, OR

Discover real wilderness just two hours from Portland.

National Park Slideshows

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

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.

Top 25 Winter Trips: United States

Find the best skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter camping trips in the U.S.

Best Hikes Ever: Wonderland Trail, WA

Circumnavigate the West's most majestic mountain.

Best Hikes Ever: Mt. Cabot Loop, NH

Bag a little-known triple crown in New England's northern woods.

Peak: Mt. Rainier: Disappointment Cleaver Route

This challenging climb on Mt. Rainier gains almost 2,000 feet per mile.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Photo Galleries

Catch the best views in the nation's marquee parks from the comfort of your computer. Prepare to drool...now.

BACKPACKER 3D Trail Flyover Videos

Fly these classic hikes in 3D with our guided tours.

The Peak: Mt. Le Conte, TN

It's not the tallest peak in the Smokies, but spend a night on its summit (no tent required), and you'll agree it's the finest.

Insider's Guide: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

From secret spots to the perfect campsites, this insider's guide has the goods on the Smokies.

Time Travel: Hiking Historical Homesteads in the Smokies

A unique route linking historic homesteads yields an exciting Smokies adventure for hikers and history buffs alike.

The Peak: Mt. Rainier

From the best guiding service to ultimate summit routes, Washington's highest peak is still the greatest.

The Smokies' Homesteads: Exclusive Google Flyover Video and Tracklog

Marcus Woolf explores history and wilderness during a six-day trip through the Smokies.

Kings of the Hill: Q & A with Ed Viesturs, The Whittakers, Seth Waterfall, Dave Hahn, & Melissa Arnot

Three generations of American mountaineering royalty discuss their sport, their fears, and their new mission: design great gear.

Life List: Climb Mt. Whitney

Climb the Lower 48's highest peak on a route with all of the thrills but none of the crowds.

Mr. Haugen's Highpoints

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

America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes - Abrams Falls, Great Smoky Mtns., TN

Drowning in beauty

Trip Doctor: Helping National Parks

Will my vacation to a national park help them?

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.

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.

May Close-to-Home Hikes

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

Best Backpacking In North Carolina

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

Tennessee: Savage Gulf State Natural Area

Waterfalls and swimming holes aplenty.

The Bear Facts in Great Smoky

There are scads of bears in Great Smoky Mountains National Park -- so don't forget these tips.

The Smokies: Backwoods-Style

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

Great Smokies Showcase: Maddron Bald

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

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."

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