Working in the great outdoors is (mostly) a dream come true. Here are seven wilderness-driven careers that'll make any cubicle-dweller green with envy. Text by Shey Kiester.
See our readersí top spot, from lakeside to mountaintop, on a two-day loop.
Score a unique perspective of half-mile-deep Zion Canyon on this big-view shuttle hike.
Think you know adventure travel on your home continent? Not unless you've mixed paddling and hiking in Utah, highpointed the Caribbean, summited a Mexican volcano, and taken a few more trips on the wild side.
Can't decide between river and trail? Paddle and pad your way to the best of Canyonlands National Park.
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.
Follow fern-lined trails to scramble up a rocky pinnacle.
Pass waterfalls, cross empty peaks, and visit monster-size trees.
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.
Climb this iconic summit on an uncrowded sneak route.
We've partnered with myTopo to bring you the best in maps for your backcountry pursuits.
Explore peaks and forests in this coastal range.
Nearly 150 years after John Wesley Powell's pioneering trip through the Grand Canyon, the park still conceals remarkable places no humans have ever seen. Contributing editor John Harlin joins a crew of explorers on a journey of discovery.
Tour glacial valleys and navigate to off-trail lakes and waterfalls on this six-day circuit.
Hike cross-country to explore this secluded chain of hanging lakes.
Scramble up a 12.7-mile sneak route to the park's highest peak.
Our map team scouted more than 500 miles of trails and cross-country routes to bring you a summer's worth of escapes in the Rockies.
We've taken the best trips on backpacker.com and made them even better. Check out updated, interactive PRO trips and PRO bundles on GPS Trails. Use your Android or iPhone to discover these premium guides, or map your own adventures and share them with your friends.
More than 150 of you entered our contest to become a BACKPACKER field scout. Meet the winners here, starting with Colleen Contrisciane-Lewis, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. She earned the all-expenses-paid grand prize: an assignment to hike—and report on—her dream trip. Read about her 85-mile, weeklong transect of Glacier National Park on the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail.
Iconic scenery bolstered by serious solitude? Get them both on this weeklong traverse.
Hike cross-country to a pocket of dreamy lakeside camps on the John Muir Trail.
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.
Plan hikes and backpacking trips, plus other outdoor adventures like never before on detailed, interactive topo maps and aerial photos.
Americaís leading advocate of wilderness silence shows the way to Mt. Rainier National Parkís quietest corner. Plus: 9 more campsites with life-list listening.
Cross elk-filled woods and bighorn- busy flats on this park's quiet side.
Venture off SoCal's coast for long beaches, hidden canyons, and sea life.
Learn how to make custom maps, navigate any terrain, and the ins-and-outs of GPS devices and mobile apps in our comprehensive navigation center.
Discover surprising solitude and endless vistas on an easy-access multiday trip between rim and river.
Rule #1 when planning a hike through this iconic park: Let your ambition match the scenery.
On a climb from the Hoh River's silty riffles to high-country glacier views, pass through a moss-hung rainforest that might be the lushest place in America.
Wade through wildflowers, listen to wolves, and escape the crowded trade routes in this secluded corner of the park.
Go ahead, look again. And again. These images are worth a third, fourth, and then a tenth gaze.
Enjoy this legendary park (without the legendary crowds) on a four-day trip through the Clark Range.
A forgotten explorer's route leads to off-trail, high-peak adventure and bona fide solitude.
Escape Skyline Drive to discover secret summits and hidden valleys.
Your life-list only starts with the top 10 parks. Our favorite hikes from the next 40 will fill it with glacier-edge paddling, desert-oasis exploring, and more.
For guaranteed solitude in the park's southwest reaches, explore this quiet loop during the off-season.
Denali isnít just for experts. These guinea pigs will prove it. Probably.
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.
Come for the sheer, glaciated peaks, but be mesmerized by rain-fed waterfalls that pour down on all sides.
Discover a private paradise by crossing the parkís convoluted Waterpocket Fold.
See scores of stunning images from the Grand Canyon, Denali, Yosemite, and more.
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Paddle to a beach-camping paradise in the Everglades.
Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Southwest.
Explore Denali's top dayhikes, photo ops, and epic wildlife treks.
Aim upward for majestic views over an ancient canyon.
Backpack a knee-trembling route through an active geothermal zone.
Hike a forested, fire-scarred trail between two iconic pools.
Plumb the wild depths of the Big Ditch.
Traverse a seldom-hiked national park.
True tales from the front lines--and behind the scenes--of America's national parks.
For 20 years, Harvey Locke has fought to protect the park's Flathead River.
Cross a rugged coastline on the edge of Washington's Hoh Rainforest.
The perfect dozen: Embark on one of these 12 treks, and turn America's most iconic preserves into your own private paradise.
The next best thing to hiking Glacier National Park's Flathead River Valley? Seeing the movie! Watch a trailer for Flathead Wild by the Epicocity Project.
This Olympic National Park trail features serious elevation gain and switchbacks galore.
Catch the best views in the nation's marquee parks from the comfort of your computer. Prepare to drool...now.
Greg Hoover shares his secrets for finding quiet on the busiest trail in the country's busiest park.
Barrie Imhoff tempts fate in Glacier 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.
Check out the world's hottest hydrothermal fumarole, Glacier's grizzlies, and a venus flytryp in North Carolina.
Fly the Rockies with our 3D video, then download the GPS track to do the route yourself.
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.
Find hikes in National Parks and regional parks with our comprehensive guides.
Discover the best hike in every state, as voted by BACKPACKER readers. Plus: your essential gear, most desirable tentmate, worst-ever adventure movie, and our picks for the best reader-submitted photos.
Scout for gold–and desert views–amid this Texas park's spray of late-fall foliage.
The system was rigged, says a former ranger. Here's how to beat it.
Hike with grizzlies in this remote northern corner of Alaska's greatest park.
America's first national park is a playground for grizzlies, wolves, moose, and hikers (not in that order).
Explore two ecosystems in this hinterland of moss-draped forests, ancient trees, and snowcapped peaks.
Trees, trees are everywhere, but sometimes there isn't a dry twig in sight.
Graze blueberry patches, explore swimming holes, and tag the South's high points on this sultry hike.
Send him out on a work trip. Let wilderness do the rest.
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.
Climb classic Sierra passes, ogle granite monoliths, and camp above treeline in John Muir's second home.
Scramble up class III peaks and cross late summer snowfields on this strenuous but straightforward trip through Montana's big-mountain country.
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.
This question fuels the debate regarding how to help the aging national park system improve.
The Ice Age left its mark from Acadia to Yosemite. Here's scenic evidence.
3-D hike videos, complete trip planner pdfs, our interactive ParkFinder tool, and more.
New legislation could make the volcanic monument a national park. But is that a good thing?
Dive into the Channels Islands with exclusive on-the-scene video, photos, and trip reports.
Scientists hike deep into California's wild high country to probe for answers.
In honor of Earth Day, we bring you the first industry-wide survey on which gear manufacturers are positively impacting the environment, plus much more.
Everyone loves national parks - but are they being loved to death? Join a star-studded roundtable to explore the fate of this embattled American institution.
Many people think exploring this 91,440-acre desert park is all about dodging the tall, spiny cacti that earned the place its name. But Southern Arizona Hiking Club guide Steve Singkofer knows better. His favorite 20.3-mile route - including a 4,500-foot climb - reaches overlooks of Tucson and far beyond.
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.
Circumnavigate Oregon's Crater Lake on snowshoes