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Wildlife



Test Your Survival IQ: Widlife

Bear Grylls has had his share of close scrapes with wildlife, yet he's always managed to come out alive. Would you? Take this quiz to see how you measure up.

2013 Reader Photo Contest - Your Best Shots

For 40 years, BACKPACKER readers have explored the wilderness and returned with photographic gold. But we were wowed by the entries for this contest—more than 650 of them. Check out these finalists (and this year's winner), then go to backpacker.com/photos to submit your own images. We’ll showcase the best entries in upcoming issues.

Wildlive Lover Skills

See more wildlife--and capture it better on film.

Canada: Treasure Island

You don't have to travel across the world to get off the map. British Columbia's Haida Gwaii boasts uncharted coastline, seaside hot springs, and more sea lions, whales, and bears than you can count.

The Survival Issue: Wildlife

Spotting animals is a highlight of backcountry travel—unless they attack. Learn how to escape 22 dangerous species.

Worst Nightmare: Blindsided

A hair-raising tale of wilderness terror that will haunt your backcountry dreams

Troubleshoot This: Stalked by a Cougar



Out Alive: Bitten by a Rattlesnake

A dayhiker fights for her life—as her body shuts down.

Backpacker Bible: See More Wildlife

Get closer to the mystery of life: Put yourself spine-tingling distance from the fanged and clawed and horned.

True Tales: Charged by a 500-Pound Grizzly

A charging grizzly comes too close for this reader's comfort.

Survival: Recognize Grizzly Behavior

Hard-won-lessons and tips about grizzly bears from the front lines of survival.

Rip & Live: Spiders

Itsy bitsy? Sure, but spiders loom large in hiker phobias. They shouldn't: Only a few subspecies of the black widow and brown recluse can inflict enough damage to cut short a hike. Here's what you need to know about North America's most venomous spiders, from how to avoid them to treating their bites.

Rip & Live: Survive Spiders

Itsy bitsy? Sure, but only a few subspecies of the black widow and brown recluse can inflict enough damage to cut short a hike. Here’s what you need to know about North America’s most venomous spiders, from how to avoid them to treating their bites.

Recording Nature: Calls of the Wild

Enrich your trip memories by recording nature's soundscapes.

Summer Camping Secrets: On The Trail

Once you've left camp, these tips and techniques will make your on-trail miles more enjoyable.

Rip and Live: Learn to Survive a Bear Attack

With 1 million bears roaming North America, chances are pretty good that you'll cross paths with one of them at some point. To make every encounter safe, from grizzly bears to black bears, bone up on bruin identification and etiquette.

Ask A Bear: Electric Fence As Deterrent?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Why Did You Steal My Empty Pack?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will Music Attract A Bear?

Got a burning ursine question? Ask our resident bruin expert in our new weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Scare a Marauding Bear

Got a burning ursine question? Ask our resident bruin expert in our new weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Do Bears Really Like Toothpaste

Got a burning ursine question? Ask our resident bruin expert in our new weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Is Submerged Food Safe?

Got a burning ursine question? Ask our resident bruin expert in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Can Boat Horns Scare Bears?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Can Mothballs Keep Away Bears

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: How Many Bear Attacks, Really?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will Camp Fire/Cigar Smoke Keep Away A Bear

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Run Away From A Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear Christmas Present

Usually, our bear answers burning ursine questions, but this week he's dropping off a holiday gift.

Ask A Bear: How Should I Handle MaMa Black Bear With Cubs?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Can Bears Get Drunk

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Ditch the Deodorant In Bear Country?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: How Long Do Food Smells Stick to My Tent?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Mountain Biking In Bear Country?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask a Bear: Will Backcountry Sex attract a Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Followed By A Dangerous Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will Dryer Sheets Attract a Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Soap-Eating Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in out weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will Pet Hair Attract a Bear

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Is It Ok To Cook In An RV In Bear Country?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will My Farts Attract a Bear?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Charging Bear Caught on FIlm

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Storing Food Above Treeline?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Why is Black Bear and Grizzly Bear Behavior so Different?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will Cider Vinegar Attract a Bear



Ask A Bear: Bear Steals, Destroys Car for PB&J Sandwich

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will you Eat me In Rocky Mountain NP?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Do Ultrasonic Noises Repel You?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Do Bear Bells Really Work

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Which Park Has The Most Bear Attacks

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Can Wasp Spray Repel You?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Never Look a Bear in the Eyes?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Break a Stick to Scare Away Bears?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Do I Need to Bear-Bag Unopened Freeze-Dried Foods?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: More Active During a Full Moon

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will a Flashlight Make You Mad?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Why Did You Destroy my Van?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask a Bear: Bear Canisters in Winter?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask a Bear: Are you a Picky Eater? (Video)

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: What Color Are Your Eyes At Night?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Scared By Flashing Lights?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Can You Smell My Marijuana?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Stay Away From My Honey!

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Will My iPod Keep You Away?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Right Place, Perfect Time

See Yosemite's river of ice, witness there-and-gone meteor showers in Hawaii, and mark your calendar for eight more fleeting natural wonders.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Monarch Butterfly Migration

See these colorful flutters fuel up for the long flight to Mexico.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Golden Eagle Gathering

Soar with the world's largest migration.

Ask a Bear: Bivys in Bear Country?

When I sleep in my beloved bivy, am I just wrapping myself up like a six-foot bear burrito?

Ask A Bear: Can I Survive On Your Diet?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Sleeping In Hammocks?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: How Fast Can You Run?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Bags vs. Canisters?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Ask A Bear: Are You A Good Swimmer?

Our resident bruin expert answers all your questions in our weekly feature, 'Ask A Bear.'

Our Backyard: Trinity Alps Wilderness, CA

Follow trail-savvy locals to nine sweet spot in the Trinity Alps Wilderness.

Our Backyard: Green Mountains

Nine ways to see Vermont's Green Mountains

Our Backyard: Glacier National Park

Trek through grizzly terrain in Glacier National Park.

Best Hikes Ever: Chupadera Mountain Trail, NM

Rise from the desert floor to an airy, see-all perch.

Best Hikes Ever: St. Mary to McDonald Lake, MT

Hike lake to lake through bear central in Glacier National Park.

Prof Hike: Where the Wild Things Are (and Aren't)

Why you don't need to worry about snakes, spiders, and bears...and what you should worry about instead

Best Hikes Ever: Prairie Trail, ND

Weave around grassy meadows and mirror lakes.

Natural Wonders: Hells Canyon, Bighorn Sheep, and Longleaf Pines

See North America's deepest river gorge, the west's most violent mating Display, and the Southeast's last longleaf pines.

Natural Wonders: Sparring Bighorn Sheep

Witness bighorn rams' skull-bashing attempts to win a date.

Natural Wonders: Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

Watch 10,000 birds take wing daily.

Natural Wonders: Pando Aspen Colony, UT

Meander through a sprawling forest of clones.

Natural Wonders: Giant Aspens, Devil's Tower, and Hawk Heaven

Visit the world's largest aspen colony, the Plains' highest skyscraper, and a raptor super-flyaway.

Natural Wonders: The Southeast's Living-Dead Plant

See ferns that play dead, then dramatically come back to life.

Natural Wonders: Florida's Sea Turtle Capital

Witness the birthing of a species that shared the seas with dinosaurs.

Natural Wonders: America's Deepest Lake

Gaze into a 2,000-foot-deep tub of snowmelt.

New Life List: See a Grizzly

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

Natural Wonders: World's Tallest Geyser, North America's Smallest Bird and Best Shade Tree

Discover the world's tallest geyser, North America's smallest bird, and the country's best shade tree on these three treks.

Wildlife: Where to See Wolves

Find these nocturnal animals at dawn.

Wildlife: Where to See Bald Eagles

Look high for huge nests when trying to spot these beauties.

Gear Review: Sweeney's Snake Repellent

Does it work? Depends on which snake you ask.

Wild Things: Where to Spot Wildlife

If seeing bears or bighorn sheep, moose or mountain lions is on your life list check out our tips for where, when, & how to catch an eye full.

Where to See River Otters, Javelinas, & Manatees

Check out the top spots to find these three quirky creatures

Where to See River Otters, Javelinas, & Manatees

Check out the top spots to find these three quirky creatures

10 Top Animal Viewing Tips

There are some fundamental rules to follow when seeking out wildlife.

Wildlife: Where to See Elk

Elk mostly travel in herds making them easier to spot.

Wildlife: Where to See Alligators

Head to the Southeast to spot alligators.

Wildlife: Where to See Mountain Lions

Mountain lions can be found from Central America to the Pacific.

Wildlife: Where to See Moose

Moose love water and hate black flies–two good tips for spotting them.

Wildlife: Where to See Bears

It's true that fish love their berries and fish– a great place to catch a glimpse of them.

Wildlife: Where to See Bighorn Sheep

Scout high deserts and mountains for these scrambling sheep.

Reader Wildlife Photos

A call for reader wildlife photos returned outstanding shots of true wild life.

Toughest Gear: Garcia Machine Backpackers' Cache and MontBell Handy Scoop

These bear canisters have been making bears sad since 1982.

Shoot Photos Like a Pro: Wildlife

Capture great wildlife photos with patience and know-how regarding their movements and your camera.

Natural Wonders: Smallest Deer, Frozen Waterfall, and Death Valley's Wildflowers

Three treks to life-list phenomena from Death Valley to Colorado.

Natural Wonders: America's Smallest Deer

Glimpse miniature deer that barely escaped extinction.

Your Most Pressing Bear Questions, Answered

Real reader bear questions answered by Buck Tilton.

Obama's Wilderness Point Man: Interview with Ken Salazar

Parks czar Ken Salazar talks trails, nixes ANWR drilling, and defends his boss's controversial guns-in-parks decision.

Cast a Wild Animal's Track

Take that grizzly print hope with you with this fool-proof technique.

Hike It, Save It

It's never been easier to help save the wilderness–no donations, no petitions, no pulaski swinging required. The only thing you have to do is go backpacking.

The Mosquito Truth: Behind the Bite

Get the bug dope ready: The bloodthirsty mosquito is heading your way this summer.

Three Trips to Natural Wonders

Discover the world's oldest tree, America's biggest cavern, and Florida's largest herd of wild horses on these three treks.

Top 3 Glow-in-the-Dark Trips

See glowing plankton, mushrooms, and bugs on these brilliant adventures.

Treat a Snakebite

Four myths about snakebites, dispelled.

Readers' Choice 2010: Submit a Backcountry Story



Bioluminescent Organisms: 3 Living Lights

According to folklore, the soft light emitted by bioluminescent organisms is magical. In reality, the eerie glow results from a chemical reaction–but it still looks enchanting on a moonless or cloudy night. Here's where to glimpse these living light bulbs.

Time To Go: Eagle Watching

No matter how much time you have, let us show you where you can scope out this majestic bird.

Wilderness Wonders: Farthest Migrator

The Gray Whale swims thousands of miles to mate- and you were complaining about picking up the dinner bill.

Wilderness Wonders: Biggest Bear

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

Wilderness Wonders: Largest Primate

The smart, social, and friendly mountain gorillas take the heavyweight title.

Wilderness Wonders: Highest Biodiversity

From jaguars to river dolphins, Amazonian animals are diverse.

Wilderness Wonders: Scariest Predator

There is nothing like the African lion.

Natural Wilderness Wonders

Fiery volcanoes, 40-ton mammals, otherworldly caves–in this explorer's guide, we'll show you where to find the most mind-blowing backcountry features on the planet. By Marcus Woolf

International Multisport Meccas: Darjeeling, India

Trek between Buddhist villages, raft Himalayan whitewater, and ride an elephant in the shadow of 8,000-meter peaks.

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.

Reindeer Games: Tracking Caribou in the Slate Islands

Happy coincidence for wildlife-loving paddlers: Canoes and woodland caribou converge like nowhere else on Earth in Ontario's Slate Islands. PLUS: See video of caribou on the move.

See More: Winter Birds

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

WILDLIFE: 3 Super Squirrels

The flying, red, and golden-mantled ground aren't your everyday squirrels

The Missing Lynx

In Colorado, wilderness hut managers recruit hikers to track an elusive wildcat.

What's the Most Packable Firearm?

The Trip Doctor reveals what works better against grizzleis than buckshot.

Best Damn Weekend Ever: See California Condors in the San Rafael Wilderness

We'll show you how to see these majestic birds in the wild.

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.

Caribou Country: Video, Photos, and GPS Trip

Paddle out to Ontario's Slate Islands where canoe and caribou are a plenty in this video of these majestic animals and marvel at a slideshow of close-up images.

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.

Thoreau Slept Here: The Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail

Maine's newly minted Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail tracks the famous naturalist's 1800s expeditions. Good news: It's still wild.

America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes - Huckleberry Mtn., Apgar Range, MT

Fatten griz for winter

The Danger Scale

How we rate risk, using a highly scientific formula

Natural Born Killers: Top Backcountry Dangers

Which is the bigger backcountry threat, grizzlies or flash floods? Find out what should scare you–and how to survive it–with BACKPACKER's Terror Index.

Washington Paddling: Operation Orca

See one of the sea's keenest hunters as you paddle San Juan Island.

Bear Patrol in Glacier

Traverse the wildest part of the lower 48's last great grizzly hideaway.

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.

Predator-Prey Relationships

Learn how carnivores and their quarry interact—and what happens when humans upset the natural balance.

See More Beavers

America's largest rodent may be clumsy on land, but in water, it's a marvel of design.

Where Can I Find: Fall's Best Birdwatching?

Looking to catch some migrating birds? Find out where to look.

The Specialist: Spy More Wolves

A wildlife researcher shares stalking tips.

Track Caribou in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness

Glimpse these rare mammals in Idaho's Salmo-Priest Wilderness.

See More Vultures

Learn the secrets of nature's greatest recyclers

Danger Signs: Bear Country

Hiking where bears are present (that's more than 40 states) always requires precautions, like hanging food. But these three signals demand extra vigilance.

Road Warriors: Hikers Versus ATVs

Hikers and ATV riders hit the ground in a new battle over trail access.

Phenomenon: Wildlife Crossings

How did the bear cross the road? See a few ways engineers are helping wildlife go over, under, and around traffic.

See More: Great Blue Herons

This dignified giant stands four feet tall, making it North America's largest heron.

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.

3 Bright Birds

Of all the North American bird species, few stand out more than this trio of flyers. Their vivid plumage makes them some of the easiest springtime wildlife to spot.

See More: Deer

Learn the difference between elk, white-tails, and mule deer.

Where Can I Catch America's Largest Grillable Trout?

Looking to catch and eat the big one? Try paddling Arkansas' Little Red River.

Web Exclusive: The Rebirth of Santa Cruz Island

Dive into the Channels Islands with exclusive on-the-scene video, photos, and trip reports.

See More: Bobcats And Coyotes

Unlike their cougar and wolf cousins, these cats and dogs are (often) easier to spot.

Where Have the Animals Gone?

Scientists hike deep into California's wild high country to probe for answers.

Where Am I Lowest On The Food Chain?

Want to hike where the most predators exist? Pack your courage and follow these directions.

Time 2 Go: See Newborn Animals

Looking to catch baby animals taking their first step? You can't go wrong with these picks.

Green Guide

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.

Time 2 Go: Hike With Birds

Whether you've got hours or weeks, here's where to go for the birds.

How to See More Bats

Whether you fear, respect, or applaud these complex creatures of the night, the tips below will help you find and observe them.

Digging for Clues: How to Prevent Exctinction

A big-picture biologist unearths threats to songbirds, salamanders, and a peak-loving furball.

Species We Can Kiss Goodbye

These dozen creatures are threatened by global warming.

Carbon Dioxide and the Desert Midwest

Scientists say Nebraska's wild prairies could become the Western Hemisphere's largest sandbox in as few as 30 years.

The Brown Death: Pine Beetles vs. Forests

Pine beetles are felling more trees than wildfires and the timber industry combined.

How to See More Golden Eagles

Find these hard-to-spot beauties on your next journey

Backpacker's Carbon-Neutral Project

Last fall, we showed you the many ways that climate change is altering the wild places we love. Now, a look at what BACKPACKER is doing to reduce the magazine's impact.

I, Citizen Scientist

Learn how you can help combat climate change by researching everything from Alaska's Bering Glacier to tracking pumas in Argentina through citizen scientist programs

Snake Bite First-Aid

Learn the steps to take if you're bitten by a poisonous snake.

Escape From Unfriendly Natives

On the trail black bears, skunks, grizzlies, rattlesnakes, and ticks are not your friend. Learn how to side-step them.

How to Keep Bears Away

Learn your black bears from your brown bears then figure out how to keep them away from your camp.

Leave No Trace Principles

On the trail and at the campsite, there's plenty you can do to leave nature...natural.

7 Strategies for Keeping the Backcountry Pristine

Here are the seven guidelines to Leave No Trace

How to Hang a Bear Bag

Learn the easiest way to hang a bear bag and keep your camping snacks safe from rummaging paws.

Time To Go: Winter Tracking

Hit the wilderness in search of beasts big and small.

How to See More Snowshoe Hares

These hares love the snow and cold and they're designed to use the elements to their advantage

The World's Smartest Bears

Welcome to Yosemite, iconic American landscape, hikers' paradise, and all-you-can-eat home of the wiliest bruins on earth.

Phenomenon: What are Sky Islands?

To see how animals stay cool in a hot climate, just look up.

The Wolf Watchers: Researching Wolves In Idaho

Inside Idaho's Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, humans and wolves learn to co-exist.

Backpacker Interview: The Trail Bandit

Rangers despise him. The law is after him. Yet in chopping down trees in an overgrown national park, Bob Garrison has become a hero to some hikers.

Where to See More Desert Wildlife

Spot lizards, wrens, and javelinas in the desert Southwest with these tips.

Powerful Plants and Animals In Your Backyard

The wooly bear caterpillar, wild leek, and yew have "magical" qualities, but live in your backyard.

Find a Hiking Partner

Keen on birds, peak bagging, or wildflowers? Here's how to join hikers who share your passions.

Backcountry Survival: How to Survive in the Backcountry

There's a backcountry killer on the loose, and it's not hypothermia, grizzly bears, or rockfall. The thing mostly likely to maim you on your next hiking trip is living inside your head.

Cut Your Carbon in Half

A hiker's guide to fighting climate change

Grizzly Details: Surviving a Bear Attack

Hiker Gerald Holzer recounts a 2005 grizzly attack in Yellowstone.

Hot and Bothered: Wildlife and Global Warming

Climate change isn't just melting glaciers--it's messing with wildlife everywhere

The Grizzly Detective: Tracking Bears in the Bitterroots

America's preeminent bear tracker backpacks Idaho's most remote wilderness looking for signs of the lost grizzlies of the Bitterroots--and winds up staring at the great bruin's future.

Survive This: Caught between a Mama Bear and Her Cub

Here's how to get out of the middle when motherly instincts kick in.

Whale-watching and Hiking on Maui

See Hawaii's humpbacks in late winter

Paddle Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp

Only in 400,000 acres of wet backcountry will you find the oldest bird

Backpack Alaska's Round Island

Wildlife aplenty at Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary

Paddle the Yukon's Ivvavik National Park

An Arctic wildlife extravaganza

Being Caribou Returns Home

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

Being Caribou: Arctic Summer

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

Go Fish

If you can't hook a monster in one of these fishing holes, you better hang up your rod.

Missouri, Current River and Ozark Trail

Hike and canoe through the pristine springs of Missouri's Ozarks.

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.

Glacier Gorge, Rocky Mountain National Park

Giant cliffs and numerous waterfalls are among the stunning sites that can be viewed along this Colorado hike.

Proud Lake Recreation Area

Michigan's Proud Lake has many flavors of wilderness to offer.

Beach Trail

This Indiana Dunes trail offers visitors views of the lake, the Chicago skyline, wildflowers and some of the tallest trees in the region.

Sock Toss

Put some rocks in your socks.

A Better Mouse Trap

Rodents can be real pests in campsites. Use this trick to stay rodent-free the whole trip long.

Ricketts Glen State Park

This favorite Pennsylvania destination of our editors is filled with old trees, shale cliffs, wildlife and stunning wildflowers.

Guana River State Park

Who wouldn't want to be marooned on this Florida barrier island?

New York, Indian Head Mountain, Catskills

Abandon the Big Apple for a visit to this great wilderness.

Channel Islands National Park

This wild paradise is the Galapagos of California.

Glacier National Park

3 hidden hikes in our readers' favorite backpacking park

Arizona, McDowell Sonoran Preserve

If you are in search of southwestern wildlife, this is the place to be.

Massachusetts, High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary

Beantowners love the sights the High Ledges area has to offer.

Being Caribou: Spring Migration

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

Touched By A Grizzly

Can anyone really know what lurks in the heart of a grizzly? In the wilds of Russia's Kamchatka peninsula, Charlie Russell believes he is beginning to find out.

Being Caribou: The Route

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

Being Caribou: Protecting the Porcupine Caribou Herd

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

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.

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: Caribou Facts

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

10 Best Bird Watching Hikes In America

Spring is for the birds. Here's where to find a flock near you.

The Wild List: A Guide To The Best Outdoor Spots

A definitive guide to the hottest, sweetest, looniest, and most colorful spots in the great outdoors.

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.

Expedition Planner: Kamchatka

It's as big as California, boasts more volcanoes than Alaska, and counts nearly as many geysers as Yellowstone.

Powder Hungry? Hike These Snowshoe Trails

Bust out of winter doldrums on one of these stellar snowshoe routes.

Wolves And Water: Arizona's Blue Range

With an abundance of wolves and water--two rarities in the desert--Arizona's remote Blue Range may be the Southwest's best kept secret.

Hike Through Washington's Blue Mountains

City life got you down? Head for the quiet hills of southeastern Washington, where the air is clean, the water clear, and bighorn sheep outnumber hikers.

How To See More Animals

To get closer to the critters, you need to look like a tree and smell like a raccoon.

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.

Wild As A Feral Hog On Mississippi's Black Creek Trail

You'll have a hard time keeping track of all the critters along Mississippi's Black Creek Trail.

Set In Stone: Finding Fossils On The Trail

You could be walking on an ancient seabed or a swamp where dinosaurs played. Look closely and you'll see history in the rocks.

Frustrate Bears With A Rock Sack

This homemade rock sack will help you hang your food bag faster and better.

Baca Ranch: The Southwest's Yellowstone

For years, hikers have dreamed of trekking in Baca Ranch's untouched, wildlife-thick backcountry. You'll soon get your chance.

Hiking With Wisconsin's Wolves

Feeling people-shy? Follow Wisconsin's wolves to this lonely section of the Ice Age Trail.

World Of Wild Flowers

They may look sweet and innocent, but blooming plants are the floral world's version of a hot 'n' steamy orgy.

Spotting The Elusive Wolf

Our guide to spotting wolves on Michigan's Isle Royale.

Identifying Wildlife Holes

There's a fascinating world of fur and claws underfoot. Here's how to tell who's down there.

Avoiding Snakes: Nature's Evil Twins

Some species look alike, but guess wrong and you could have a harmful mistake on your hands.

Reading Backcountry Animal Scat

A good pile of scat speaks volumes about your backwoods animal neighbors, if you know how to read the calling card.

North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The best trips are littered with mistakes, frustration, and, if a river called the "Little Misery" runs through it, boot-sucking mud.

Alabama's Conecuh Trail: Southern Comfort

For Deep South scenery, try Alabama's Conecuh Trail, where the gopher frogs and armadillos outnumber the people.

Wildlife Myths And Manners

When you have park visitors asking such questions as, "The animals aren't really wild, are they?" you have a recipe for disaster.

Bears And The "Blend In" Theory

New research suggests that bear bells don't work, and colorful tents and clothing may attract bruins.

Hiking With Michigan's Elk Herd

What's good for elk is good for backpackers on Michigan's High Country Pathway.

National Parks: Best Wildlife

Where the words "wild" and "life" take on new meaning

National Parks: Best Overall Park

Glacier National Park possesses scenery that'll suck the breath out of your lungs, quiet so intense you'll wonder if your ears still work, and enough wildlife to make a zookeeper drool with envy.

Bear Spray: Packin' Heat

It's basically pepper in an aerosol can, and it's supposed to stop a charging grizzly. But will it? Here's everything you need to know.

A Hiker In Mt. Rainier's Wonderland

Sure, you can summit Mt. Rainier, but the real treasure isn't on top. It's the Wonderland Trail down below.

Quest For The Jackalope

Is the legendary jackalope the most endangered species in the Lower 48 or just an old cowboy tale that refuses to die?

Beware The Hobo Spider

Its bite is more than painful -- it could be deadly.

Know Your Antlers

A quick guide to antler spotting in the wild.

On The Horns Of A Dilemma

Horns or antlers?

Antlers: A Crowning Glory

On the hoof, antlers and horns are a regal sight. Once discarded, they speak volumes about the former owner.

Jackalopes: Hare-Raising "Facts"

Here's what little we've learned about the mysterious Jackalope.

Absaroka's Wildlife Needs Your Help

Montana and Wyoming's incredibly wild and beautiful Absaroka needs your help.

Hiking Henry W. Coe State Park, California

California's second largest park has an impressive trail system.

Arizona's Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness

Cool your feet and warm your brow in this Arizona desert wilderness.

Santa Catalina Island, California

Porpoises escort you to a rugged island where buffalo really do roam.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)

Alaska's premier area for fish and wildlife.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California

Myths and cactus in California: A life-filled land of sand and mountains.

Michigan's Nordhouse Dunes

Sunny beaches, cool forests, and a birder's paradise along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Florida's Oklawaha River

Take a lazy cruise through exotic scenery, where monkeys swing and eagles soar.

Florida's Big Cypress National Preserve

In Big Cypress' land of exotic plants and lurking alligators, swamps aren't such bad places after all.

Wolf River, Tennesee

Once an impassable, swampy "ghost river," now a paddler's dream.

Niobrara National Scenic River, Nebraska

The current carries you through the Great Plains, where buffalo, elk -- and snapping turtles -- roam.

Polar Bears: Big, White... And Harmless?

If you run into the big white bears, should you be scared?

Mosquitoes: Avoiding Alaska's Winged Plague



The Bear Facts in Great Smoky

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

Splendor In New Mexico's Mills Canyon

Mills Canyon is a hidden treasure where you can bushwhack through history.

Big Cypress: Woodpeckers And Old Growth

Consider trying to spot a red-cockaded wood-pecker in Florida's Big Cypress Preserve a form of treasure hunting.

Pennsylvania's Mid State Trail: Bears And Blueberries

Pennsylvania: You'll get wet and you may even stand in line behind a black bear or two.

New Hampshire's Chorus Of Loons

A chaotic chorus of loon calls penetrate the darkness, the warbling sounds echoing off the wooded hills around the New Hampshire lake.

Running With Mustangs In Montana's Pryor Mountains

Montana: The Pryor Mountains harbor the nation's last free-roaming wild mustangs, not to mention wilderness that is as wild as the horses.

California's Trinity Alps: Dr. Seuss Hiked Here

Observe the uncanny resemblance between the good doctor's famous Truffula Trees and a field of fuzz-topped flowers 5 miles up Long Canyon.

Elksong

At a campsite along the Snake River, the bugling goes on night and day.

Avoiding Mosquitoes

Ah, spring, the season of the blessed bloom-and maddening mosquitoes. If you don't like slathering yourself in DEET, then you'd better learn how to avoid the pests.

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.

Boating With Bald Eagles

The typical Delaware River float trip offers the opportunity to spy more bald eagles than people.

Love Thy Rattlesnake

Encountering a rattlesnake is a splendid moment in time, a cherished wilderness event--at least that's the view of Arizona researchers trying to change public perception of all things fanged.

Virginia's Crest Zone: Basking In Moonshine

Pine Mountain and Wilson Ridge command high-country vistas stretching across rock-strewn meadows.

Eye To Eye With Raptors

Eyeball to beak with impressively taloned hawks in West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest.

Birds In Utah's Canyonlands

Life in the high desert in autumn is sweeter and more irresistible than any place on Earth.

Arizona's Sky Islands: Harmonic Convergence

Arizona: Every year millions of ladybugs head to Arizona and coat trees, rocks, and brush like a layer of living paint.

Theodore Roosevelt's Bison Trails

North Dakota: America's own Serengeti.

Bonus Backcountry Bug-Off Tips

Other tips to beat the most annoying backcountry biters.

Maine's Frisky Season For Moose

Even if you don't see a moose, you'll hear the bulls' low grunts echoing off the hillside.

Big Bend Birding In Texas

The best bird window coincides with the best hiking season in the Chihuahuan Desert.

The Otters Of Michigan's Sylvania Wilderness

You'll emerge from a forested hallway into a wilderness playroom, and there before you will be skidmarks in the snow.

Snowbirds Of Okefenokee Swamp

The Purple Trail through Chase Prairie or the Green or Red Trails through Floyd's Prairie are good routes for viewing Sandhill cranes.

Bug Off: Tips To Keep Away Insects

Tips to beat the most annoying backwoods biters

When Pennsylvania Elks Bugle, Love Is In The Air

The ungodly wailing that sometimes drifts through the dark woods is only an animal.

Maine's Seals In The Surf

Maine's seal pups are usually born in May, making early summer an ideal time to witness the youngsters learning to swim and fish.

Owls In Merchants Millpond State Park

The bawling in the black night is the spring chorus of hooting barred owls.

Treasure In San Francisco's Backyard

More than 200 preserves, parks, and other protected wildlands lie within 40 miles of San Francisco, exceeding Yosemite National Park in size, biodiversity, and visitation.

The Smokies: Backwoods-Style

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

Whispering Pine Trail, Missouri

Relax and sniff the azaleas among Missouri's Whispering Pines.

Preserving Hiking Trails: Acting Selflessly

What have you done lately for the trails and backcountry you use? Join a Volunteer Vacation and save the trails you love.

Find Wildlife At Night

Leave the book in the tent and make a date to chat with some owls and sing with the frogs.

Wolves' Long Journey Home

While the wolf reintroduction debate rages across the country, in Wisconsin the animals are simply reclaiming their rightful place.

Editor's Choice: Bowman Lake, Glacier National Park

Bears electrify an already incredible experience at Glacier National Park's Bowman Lake.

Landscapes of the Soul: Canada's Arctic

Like your first love, you never forget your initial visit to the Arctic.

Pennsylvania's Thunder Swamp Trail

Hiking through wetlands in Pennsylvania? Believe it.

Oklahoma's Charons Gardens Wilderness

The bare rocks of Oklahoma's Charons Gardens will haunt and delight hikers.

Santa Catalina Island

Find a new kind of California beach on the undeveloped shores of Santa Catalina Island.

Hiking Where The Tide Pools

To understand what goes on beneath the sea, find a rocky shoreline and explore away

Minnesota's Wild River State Park

Stomp and glide at Wild River State Park, where no snow monsters are allowed.

Afoot In Arizona's Apache Country

In the fortress-like Mazatzal Wilderness, you can barricade yourself in solitude.

Canada: The Land Of Plenty

Looking for a really wild time? Grab your passport and head to Canada, where the mountains are big, the views stretch beyond your imagination, and you can't fling a moose pellet without hitting some kind of wildlife.

Trout Fishing: Reel Fine Dining

When the trout are thick and the ethics resolved, catch-and-eat is the tasty way to go.

Elk On Pennsylvania's Quehanna Trail

There are plenty of Bambi's brethren along the Quehanna Trail-if you know where to look.

Make Way For Animals

We love watching wildlife, but follow these tips to stay safe.

Wildlife Body Language

When faced with a large, testy animal, it pays to know whether it's saying, "Hi there" or "I'm about to shred your lungs."

Animal Rut: Doing The Wild Thing

They paw, prance, bang heads, and curl lips. The rut is on, and there's no better time to observe the wild kingdom.

Of Mice And Lyme Disease

Stay away from mice out on the trail, and you'll stay away from disease-carrying ticks.

Be A Night Hiker

Tune up your senses and turn off the lights for a wild walk on the dark side.

California's Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness

The best wildlife stronghold in California.

Why Do Fireflies Glow?

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

Wildlife Watching: Spring Peeping

Look on the south sides of mountains to catch animals coming out in spring.

Columbine Canyon Trail, New Mexico

Thirteen miles in the spectacular Sangre De Cristos.

South Carolina's Blue Wall

South Carolina: A wealth of waterfalls and world-class swimming.

Canada's Wood Buffalo National Park

The bison are relics from the past, and the wolves know no fear. Welcome to Wood Buffalo National Park, where time stands still and the land shrugs off man's attempts to alter its primitive spirit.

Goat Rocks Wilderness: A Real Eye-Popper

Some say Goat Rocks Wilderness has the best scenery along the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail. Decide for yourself.

Don't Feed The Animals

A well-intentioned handout today could mean disaster for panhandling wildlife tomorrow.

Algonquin Provincial Park: Where The Wild Things Are

At the edge of the world, Canada's Algonquin Provincial Park offers a window to the past.

Insect Stings: What's Bugging You?

If the thought of a spider bite or bee sting makes your skin crawl, then preventing a painful encounter is the key.

Game Trails: Nature's Trail Crews

Follow four-legged trail blazers down paths you'll never find on a map.

Gall Wasps In Trees

What makes those golf-ball-size lumps on trees? A tiny wasp with a lot of nerve.

Night In A Whole New Light

Go out at night for a whole new look into wilderness.

Praise For Porcupines

Even though they eat boots and pack straps, there's newfound appreciation for porcupines.

Mountain Lions: Return Of The Ghost Cat

The mountain lion is the only North American predator that occasionally stalks humans. Do you have anything to fear?

Big Bad Wolves?

On their own and with help from the government, wolves are reclaiming their former range. Should you worry?

Bear Bagging Your Food

Keep your food away from hungry bears.

Facing Grizzly Bear Fears

Hiking in grizzly territory requires preparation, respect, and a clear head. A little luck doesn't hurt, either.

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