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Arizona



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.

Trail Mix: Southwest

Hike beneath a breathtaking arch, bask in warm, spring water, and take in a bird's-eye-view of the Colorado River in this collection of hikes.

Canyon Hikes

Sample the Southwest’s most distinctive scenery—from intricate to immense—on these reader favorites.

Grand Traverses: Superstition Ridge

Catch an eye-full of the volcanic Superstition Mountains just 45 minutes from Phoenix.

Trail Mix - West - March 2013

Your region's go-now spring guide: Scramble to Salado Indian cliff dwellings in Arizona, spot bighorn sheep in Wyoming, and more.

Grand Canyon National Park: Tanner-Escalante-Grandview Circuit

If you've hiked the park's established paths, it's time to raise your game. Explore the South Rim's wilder side with this 41.1-mile, off-trail trek. The challenges: routefinding, exposure, class 3 scrambling. The rewards: riverside beach camps, big views, solitude.

Grand Canyon National Park: Boucher-Hermit Loop

Scramble through remote ravines, soak up private riverside vistas, and tour from rim to river on this stout, 25.1-mile circuit.

Grand Canyon National Park: South Kaibab-Tonto-Bright Angel Trail

Start early for sunrise in the canyon and crowd-free hiking on this 13.4-miler that descends to the gorge's mezzanine level.

Grand Canyon Adventure Guide (2012 National Parks Series: Part 6 of 6)

Find world-class scenery and challenges (no passport required) with our scouts' top day, weekend, and weeklong routes in the Big Ditch. Whether you're a canyon-country pro or a first-timer, we guarantee you'll find terrain that tests your boundaries.

Trail Mix: Great November Hikes in the West

Your region's go-now guide: See newts on the move in California and bears heading for lower elevation in Beartooths, MT

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.

Killer Trips: Gravity

Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

Killer Trips: Weather

Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

Trail Mix: West

Your region's go-now guide

Easy Epics: 17 Drive-up Campsites a Backpacker Will Love

Combine the best of car camping (spacious tents, comfy chairs, frosty margaritas!) and the best of backpacking (deep solitude, outrageous scenery, swimming holes!) with these 17 accessible hideaways.

Life List: Buckskin Gulch, Utah/Arizona

Yes, all wilderness is sacred. But this mystically beautiful slot canyon is holier than most.

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.

Life List: Buckskin Gulch, Utah/Arizona

Yes, all wilderness is sacred. But this mystically beautiful slot canyon is holier than most.

Over The Edge

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.

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.

Local Hikes

Jump-start your hiking season on these spring-ready trips from around the country.

America's Best Campsites

Park your tent in one of these 10 spots, and you'll be happy in the morning. Guaranteed.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Ride a Whitewater Roller Coaster

Inflatable kayaks make big-water action accessible to all.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook

Tired of the same old weekend loops? Looking to create memories your grandkids will talk about? In this how-and-where guide, we serve up 15 extraordinary escapes that will shatter your expectations of "normal." From adventure moviemaking to canyoneering, we'll take you places you've never been—but will long to visit again soon.

Online Exclusive: Readers' Choice 2012: Travis Lesicka's Wildlife Sighting Tips

This region's top contestant in our Be a Mapper contest reveals his wildlife sighting tips.

Readers' Choice 2012: Your Neck of the Woods - Mountain West Hikes

Scramble on red rock, camp at alpine lakes, cross a high pass, explore a trailless moonscape, and bushwhack to a peak.

Readers' Choice 2012: Top 3 - Mountain West Hikes

This region's top contestant in our Be a Mapper contest reveals his favorite off-the-beaten-path routes through canyon country and mountain refuges.

Rip & Go: West Clear Creek Canyon, Coconino National Forest, AZ

Rock-hop and wade your way down a wild sandstone corridor.

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.

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.

Backyard Everests: Elephant Head

Tackle tricky terrain to gain a solitary alp.

National Parks: Grand Canyon

Discover surprising solitude and endless vistas on an easy-access multiday trip between rim and river.

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.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

Hike these long trails in Montana, Idaho, Arizona, and Colorado, and raft an eight-mile section of the Arkansas River.

National Park Slideshows

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

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: Brightest Wildflower Bloom

Wait for El Nino and cruise through mesmerizing fields of seldom-seen desert blossoms.

Readers' Choice: Southwest

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

Trip Finder: Southwest

Your favorite Southwest hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: King's Canyon CA, Grand Canyon AZ, Shenandoah VA

From routes to food to post-hike brewski, we've got your weekend backpacking plans dialed. This week, we've got three killer adventures in Kings Canyon, Shenandoah, and the Grand Canyon. Ready? Read. Rip. Go!

Best Hikes Ever: Sabino Canyon Trail, AZ

Hike to a natural day spa.

Best Hikes Ever: Ben Avery Trail, AZ

Trek a desert landscape under a purple sun.

Best. Hikes. Ever.

We've covered 245,591 miles of trails in our 37-year history. Here are our 20 all-time favorite trips, plus—shocking!—20 routes we never covered.

Best Hikes Ever: Escalante Route, AZ

Plumb the wild depths of the Big Ditch.

Rip & Go: Grandview Loop - Grand Canyon, South Rim

Descend to the Ditch's primitive core on a three-day loop.

Local Hikes: Flagstaff, AZ

The best hikes near Flagstaff, AZ.

Phoenix Hikes

The best hikes near Phoenix, AZ.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

The best local hikes in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana.

Top 3 Waterslide Hikes: West Clear Creek, AZ

Hike through a winding canyon, then cool off in a whitewater spa.

Top 3: Hikes to Natural Waterslides

Slip and slide into refreshing pools at these backcountry swimming holes.

New Life List: Tackle a Monster Dayhike in the Grand Canyon

See a week's worth of scenery in 24 hours, and redefine your idea of what's possible.

Secret Hikes: Hiking Grand Canyon National Park

Surprise: This park's busy corridor trails offer a fast track to a private slice of heaven.

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.

The Peak: Humphreys Peak, Arizona

Discover aspens and alpine hiking, plus views of the Grand Canyon, on this trek up Arizona's 12,633-foot highpoint.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

Spot a grizzly, basecamp amid Fourteeners, and relax in secluded hot springs. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

3D Interactive Grand Canyon: Our Toughest Routes

Tackle our toughest and least-crowded routes in the Grand Canyon with this interactive map.

Local Hikes: New Hikes Near You

Our army of reader-reader scouts mapped 59 local hikes from South Carolina to Northern California. See their favorites, then learn how to download tracklogs and waypoints.

Life List: Grand Canyon

Learn where solitude reigns--and why. Plus: Tackle the hardest Big Ditch route we've ever published.

Grand Canyon: Hardest Hike Ever

This epic trip is hard, dry, steep--and gorgeous. The Cranberry Route--the final leg of this challenging loop--is the boldest, hardest scramble our scouts have done in the Grand Canyon. Study the key steps of this eight-mile section and see more details at backpacker.com/hikes/637440. Warning: Don't attempt this route without advanced navigation skills.

Grand Canyon Treasure Map: Hard

Find solitude and Adventure in the Big Ditch.

Grand Canyon Treasure Map: Moderate

Find solitude and adventure in the big ditch.

Grand Canyon Treasure Map: Easy

Find the best trail for your backcountry skills.

Grand Canyon: Treasure Map

Score your own private paradise with this insider's guide to uncrowded areas in Grand Canyon National Park.

Top 3 Luxury Hikes

Hit the trail, then hit the oh-so-soft mattress at one of these hiker-friendly lodges.

Luxury Hikes: Muleshoe Ranch, AZ

Discover a desert oasis.

Readers' Choice Mountain West Hike: Santa Maria Spring, Grand Canyon NP

Gaze into the world's most beautiful labyrinth.

Readers' Choice Mountain West: Mr. Bubbles, Yellowstone NP

Relax in an effervescent bath far from the dayhiking crowds.

Readers' Choice Mountain West Hike: West Maroon Pass, CO

Trip through kaleidoscopic color amid high-alpine splendor.

Readers' Choice Mountain West: Mills Lake, Rocky Mountain NP

Get big payoffs on an easy hike.

Readers' Choice Mountain West: The Colorado Trail

Thru-hike America's highest trail.

Readers' Choice Mountain West: Gunsight Pass, Glacier NP

See the park's famed glaciers from a high mountain pass.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Canyon

The Tanner Trail in the grandest of U.S. canyons is a camping classic.

Quick Escapes: 10 Trails Near Major Cities

The perfect metro-area trail: close, wild, uncrowded. Here are 10 major city options.

Jonathan Dorn's Photo Slideshows

Our editor in chief digs through his years of trips, trails, and tales to share some of his adventures in the wild, from the Grand Canyon to Mount Rainier.

Where Solitude Rules

Sharing is for kindergarten. Take one of these 30 hikes and you can have the wilderness all to yourself.

Where Solitude Rules - More Tips and Tricks

Alternative routes, where to find solitude in the Lower 48, and avoiding the crowds in America's most crowded park

Where Solitude Rules - Surprise Escapes

Find real solitude amid the crowds at these secret stashes.

Hike It, Save It: Tumacacori Highlands, Arizona

Urban sprawl and local opposition lead the threats to this 84,000-acre tract of Coronado National Forest.

America's Best Dayhikes

From dawn-to-dusk epics in Utah canyons to lazy-picnic blueberry strolls in Maine–plus hikes to peaks, redwoods, hot springs, beaches, and more–here are 100 ways to spend a perfect day on the trail.

Master the Steeps: High-Angle Hiking Trails

First, check out our tips for healthy hiking on steep terrain in the May 2009 issue then, put them to the test on one of our favorite high-angle trails from California to North Carolina.

MOUNTAIN WEST
Special Survey: Best Cities to Raise an Outdoor Kid

Locals get to enjoy what out-of-towners dream about–mountain-ringed horizons, alpine lakes, and bluebird skies that make these Rocky Mountain states the pinnacle of outdoor recreation.

Grand Canyon Royal Arch: Exclusive Google Flyover Video & Photo Slideshow

Veteran Grand Canyon photographer and explorer Elias Butler did double duty on his visit to Royal Arch by capturing the beauty on video and in photographs.

Top 3 Hot Springs Hikes

Native Americans consider hot springs sacred. Pioneer hucksters claimed they had magic healing powers. Hikers just think they feel awfully good after a long slog. The key, of course, is finding one far from beer-packing partiers. These wilderness springs require sturdy, crowd-discouraging journeys amid stunning scenery.



Hikes and Trips in all 50 States

Use our comprehensive state-specific pages to find hikes in your home state our a state you're planning on visiting.

Hikes and Trips in US Cities

Use our comprehensive city-specific pages to find hikes near your hometown or in a city you're planning to visit.

Life List: Raft And Hike The Grand Canyon

Explore hidden gorges and spy rarely seen wonders on this three-week raft trip designed specifically for hikers.

America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes

Like your life and limbs intact? Then you'd better get skilled before visiting these trails.

America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes - Buckskin Gulch, UT

Gambling in the slots

Ten Epic Hikes

Paddling, hiking, testing self arrest skills–we cover it all in these 10 epic trips throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon - America's Most Dangerous Hikes

Baked or broiled?

Canyon Connections: Link Grand Canyon To Zion

Trek empty terrain all the way from the Grand Canyon to Zion.

Secrets Of Saguaro National Park

The name doesn't say it all: Arizona's premier cactus preserve conceals a cool mountain escape.

Top 3 CCC Trails

The Civilian Conservation Corps is turning 75—so celebrate right by hiking its classics.

Top 3 White Mountain Treks

No, not the famously wind-whipped peaks in New Hampshire. Explore some of the country's lesser-known Whites with these accessible spring summits in Arizona, New Mexico, and Alaska.

Top 3 Waterfall Hikes

There's a science to why we love waterfalls: When water crashes earthward, it releases negatively charged ions that--you can't make this stuff up--some researchers think can reduce anxiety. Spring is when cascades' spigots open full bore, so head off on these three beguiling treks for a dose of nature's backcountry Rx.

Perfect Day: Saguaro National Park

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.

Time 2 Go See Wild Horses

From Florida to Wyoming, track wild horses for four hours or 10 days.

Explore the Grand Canyon In Under 10 Hours

The Grand Canyon is steep and deep, but besides rock you can take in lush springs and junipers.

Top 3 Easy Canyoneering Hikes

If you've always dreamed of descending into the center of the earth, try one of these creekbed hikes.

Trip Finder: 2-4 Day Warm-Weather Hikes

Track the sun on these 2-4 day trips in the Southeast, Southwest, and Hawaii

Freefall: Tragedy in the Grand Canyon

Arizona's Havasu Canyon is a hiker's paradise famed for its jaw-dropping waterfalls. But now there's trouble in paradise—serious trouble.

From the Grand Canyon to Canyonlands: Hiking At The Speed Of Sound

Seven national parks in 7 days--starring a ragtop, Red Bull, and one scary rabbit.

Top 3: Ridge Hikes

Live life on the edge as your dayhike three vertiginous ridges in Arizona, Vermont, and Colorado.

Paddling's Greatest Getaways

16 wild ways to find backcountry solitude and big-time scenery. All this, and you can bring the ice chest, too.

Hike, Bike, and Row in Phoenix

Prolong summer weather by planning a vacation to the mountains and waters of heat-blessed Arizona. You'll soon understand what makes Phoenicians so proud.

America's Hardest Dayhikes

Push yourself on any of these challenging hikes

High Points: Humphreys Peak, Arizona

An easy high point with an unpredictable personality

Float the Colorado River through Topock Gorge

Paddle through a timeless Mojave Desert landscape in Arizona

Hike Arizona's Atascosa Lookout

Explore classic views in the Coronado National Forest

Arizona's Eagletail Mountain Wilderness

Springtime in the Sonoran Desert

Camping at the Grand Canyon

Spend New Year's in the Big Ditch, where fishing, camping, and hiking await

Hike Buckskin Gulch

This famous slot canyon hike in Utah and Arizona delivers broad views of the Colorado Plateau

Arizona, McDowell Sonoran Preserve

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

Grandview Trail, Grand Canyon National Park

Here's a challenging hike with constant Grand Canyon views.

Three Quiet Grand Canyon Hikes

You'd never guess it: Three quiet trails in such a busy, beautiful place.

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.

A Hermit's Heaven: Arizona's Wabayuma Peak Wilderness

If you've never heard of Arizona's 40,000-acre Wabayuma Peak Wilderness, take heart--most people haven't. That's why the silence is deafening.

Hike Through The Grand Canyon's Geologic History

A trek from rim to river reveals the Grand Canyon's ancient, storied history.

Desert Miracle: Hiking Arizona's San Pedro River

Shady hiking and cool waters make the San Pedro River an oasis for desert trekkers.

Best Backpacking In Arizona

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

Avoiding Snakes: Nature's Evil Twins

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

Hiking Arizona's Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness

Arizona's Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness is so incredible, you'll want to tell the whole world.

Sonoran Desert: The Big Empty

Ed Abbey said the Sonoran Desert "leaves a golden glow on the mind," which is one of many good reasons why this cactus-spiked paradise should be the next national park.

Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument

In the 1800s, cowboys didn't think much of the Grand Canyon's Parashant National Monument. Luckily, times and attitudes have changed.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Roads end in Arizona with tall tales, natural gardens, cacti forests, and shoe scorpions.

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.

Arizona's Galiuro Mountains

Don't expect the red-carpet treatment in Arizona's Galiuro Mountains, just wilderness on its own terms.

Fighting Altitude Sickness

What happens when you go from sea level to altitude too fast? One brave editor found out the hard way, and offers her blow-by-blow findings in hopes that you don't suffer a similar fate.

The Best U.S. Summits: Top Of The World

Who needs Everest when you can have these eight summits, all hikeable, all close to home, no sherpas or yaks required.

Arizona's Mt. Baldy Wilderness

Luckily, Aldo Leopold's prediction about Mt. Baldy didn't come true -- these Arizona forests are just as verdant as always.

The Devil Wore Sneakers

Last time you went looking for a new place to hike, you probably consulted a guidebook. We all do. So why is author Michael Kelsey getting lambasted for giving us what we want?

Afoot In Arizona's Apache Country

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

Desert Rat's Delight In Arizona

The East Cactus Plain Wilderness brims with life and solitude. Just don't forget the water.

Heat Relief Up High

While the desert sizzles, Arizona's Kachina Peaks are cool and comfortable.

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