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Mysteries



America's Scariest Trails: What are You Afraid of?

Haunted mountains? Vanished campers? Bloodthirsty creatures? An evil wind that lures hikers over a waterfall? We dare you to hike America's scariest trails.

America's Scariest Trails: Really, I Saw it Myself

True tales from BACKPACKER editors and readers

America's Scariest Trails: Bloodthirsty Creatures

Bigfoot? He's a softy compared to the other menacing monsters lurking in the woods near you.

America's Scariest Trails: Vanished

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

America's Scariest Trails: Supernatural Sights

Alpine views and starry skies are nice, but on these unsettling hikes you might see something really stunning.

America's Scariest Trails: Tragedy in the Grand Canyon

When bodies can't be buried, do their spirits ever rest? Hike to the scene of this wreck and find out.

America's Scariest Trails: Yosemite's Supernatural Wind

Go ahead and hike to this park's famous lakes and waterfalls. Just watch your step–and your back.

America's Scariest Trails: Mt. Washington's Phantom Crowds

Never let your guard down on this deadly peak, where the weather–and spirits–are unpredictable.

America's Scariest Trails: Big Bend's Deadly Past

With more than 200 murders recorded here, it's no wonder the Chisos Mountains are named for ghosts.

The Lost Boy of the Ozarks

After three decades of silence, a reporter reveals the story he was afraid to write.

The Biggest Loser: Hikers That Get Lost

Search-and-Rescue guru Robert Koester creates a quick profile of the average victim and his behavior.

Tell a Great Ghost Story: How to Scare People and Win Friends

Wouldn't it be cool if you could turn your friends into mewling, terrified--I mean, wouldn't it be cool to be able to tell a great ghost story on your next camping trip? Here's how.

Terror in the Trees

Ghost stories always seem scarier beside a flickering campfire. So, dim your headlamp and scoot up closer: our writer-at-large explores the ghoulish beginnings of these age-old tales and shares a few of his all-time favorite blood-curdlers. We dare you to read on.

Rescue Me!

On a snowy night in New Hampshire, Congressional candidate Gary Dodds crashed his car, wandered into the woods, and collapsed. Twenty-seven hours later, rescuers carried him out. And then the real drama began.

Never Fear: The Phobias

Use this step-by-step guide to beat 7 common backcountry fears. Plus, ideal hikes for overcoming–or avoiding–the source of your scare.

Never Fear: The Fix

Conquer any fear with this DIY guide to applying a proven treatment plan called cognitive- behavioral therapy. Think of it as training for the mind.

Never Fear: Q&A with Barbara Rothbaum



Never Fear: How to Beat Backcountry Phobias

Don't let groundless phobias ruin–or even prevent–your backcountry adventures. Here's a foolproof plan for overcoming your terrors.

Secret Agent Man

Animals can't talk. But Ed Newcomer can. As an elite U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service detective, he goes undercover to protect threatened raptors, bears, even butterflies–and bring poachers and smugglers to court. Inside the agency's latest covert operation.

Trip Doctor: National Park Weddings

Can I get married in a national park?

A Dozen Ways to Die

How do hikers meet their maker in the backcountry? The answers may surprise you.

Survival Story: Surviving a Grizzly Attack in Glacier National Park

On August 25, 2005, Johan Otter and his 18-year-old daughter, Jenna, hiked right into the worst nightmare of any Glacier National Park backpacker: a 300-pound mother grizzly protecting two cubs. Here, in his own words, the 45-year-old physical therapist from Escondido, CA, shares the incredible story of their life-and-death struggle.

Missing in Action: How a Backcountry Ranger With 28 Years Experience Disappeared

Did High Sierra ranger Randy Morgenson succumb to depression or disaster?

Lost: True Tales of Wilderness Treks Gone Desperately Wrong

From snowblindness to wrong turns, everyday wilderness adventures can turn ugly if you're not prepared for everything.

Learning About Survival Where Aron Ralston Outwitted Death

Follow correspondent Kevin Fedarko into the remote Utah slot canyon where Ralston famously separated himself from his right forearm.

Lost & Found

John Donovan disappeared in a high-elevation blizzard, leaving rescuers and friends stumped. His backpack contained a miracle clue. Bill Donahue investigates.

How to Stay Safe in the Wilderness

Retracing the route to people's accidents can help us prevent our own. These 10 trips lead you to the exact locations of disasters from Denali to the Grand Canyon.

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.

Highlander Genes

Why are Sherpas so studly?

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.

Trapped! The Mike Turner Story

Deep in Wyoming's Wind River Range, an accident with a sliding boulder makes a hiker confront his life, his fate, and his faith in God.

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.

The Mountain Knows

When our firstborn son left us, the word "burial" was never uttered.

Death On Montana's Granite Peak

High on a Montana mountain, the mystery of a long-lost climber continues to unravel for those willing to make the arduous trek and search for clues that literally lie at your feet.

Why Do Fireflies Glow?

Plus 24 other round-the-campfire brain stumpers every nature buff should know.

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