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Destinations



The Best Ghost Town Hikes in the U.S.

These eerily beautiful ghost towns—complete with abandoned mines and train depots—add historical interest to nearby hikes. By Paul Chisholm

America's Best Watchtower Hikes

These towers offer the best views in town—and you can hike to them. By Paul Chisholm

The Best Fossil Hikes in North America

Want to feel young? Hike to some of the continent's coolest prehistoric sites.
By Katie Ewen

Reading List: White Mountains

Favorite Books on The White Mountains

The Best Stargazing Spots in the U.S.

Pitch your tent in one of these 9 parks for a prime view of the cosmos.
By Abbey Dufoe

25 Heat-Busting Hikes

Cool off this summer with these shade-filled trails and swimming holes.

Insider's Guide

Expert advice and the inside scoop on your favorite national parks and other premier areas

Readers Dish: The Hardest Hike You've Ever Enjoyed

As part of our story "Proving Grounds" from our August 2014 issue, we surveyed almost 500 readers about their toughest hiking experiences. Your stories of the hardest hike you ever enjoyed were so moving, we compiled some of our favorites.

17 Really Good Reasons to Save Your Money for Kilimanjaro

Yes, you could hike the PCT twice for the cost of a two-week trip to the roof of Africa. But you won’t see any monkeys in the Sierra.

Climbing Mount Shasta

Two teams of BACKPACKER readers are climbing 14,180-ft. Mount Shasta to help Big City Mountaineers! Check out the photos from their summit bid.
Text and images by Dennis Lewon.

Reading List: Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Daniel Pauly, 47, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, wrote a guidebook for the area after he spent the past two decades exploring the 1,500 miles of canoe routes and portages. “I’ve covered pretty much all it,” he says. In addition to his own book, here’s the rest of his must-read list.

My Partner Ate My Socks!

A goatpacking adventure in Utah’s High Uinta Mountains.
Text by Casey Lyons. Photos by Julia Vandenoever.

10 Hikes to Do Solo

Because sometimes, you just need to get away from it all.
By Mattie Schuler

Celebrate National Trails Day 2014

A cross-country roundup of events for National Trails Day (June 7).

Reading List: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Mike White, 61, of Reno, NV wrote two guidebooks to the area and has personally hiked every trail in both parks. Here's what's on his local-reading bookshelf.

Destinations: March 2014



Destinations: March 2014



Destinations: Central



Destinations: West



Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Hikes

We recruited 38 regional experts to share their top trips from coast to coast.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Southern Hikes

Discover a host of great activities below the Mason-Dixon line.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Northeast Hikes

Peakbag and explore in the Northeast's thick forests.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Midwest Hikes

Find the best views on- and off-trail throughout the varied Midwest.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Southwest Hikes

Explore the deserts and distinctive features of the American Southwest.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Mountain West Hikes

Gain some elevation in the high country of the jagged Rocky Mountains.

Readers' Choice 2014: Favorite Western Hikes

Find big features under big sky with these hikes in the Western US.

Tennessee: Virgin Falls Trail

Camp alongside a thundering waterfall and explore some of the region’s best karst features on a short-distance overnight into an old-growth forest.

Trail Mix: South

Experience the best the south has to offer: a shoreline hike in Florida, stargazing in North Carolina, and spelunking in Kentucky.

Multisport Playgrounds

Going by foot is only one way to see what’s best in the South. Bring your climbing gear, fins, or mountain bike to find the rest.

Trail Mix: Northeast

Take in a beautiful waterfall in Pennsylvania, spend the night in of New York's iconic mountain huts, and take a day trip out of NYC.

The Pemi Loop: New Hampshire

Pass from deep hardwood forests to above-treeline mountaintops again and again.

Peakbagging Treks

Go high in these dense clusters of mountains to hit several summits on a single hike.

Trail Mix: Midwest

Find solitude in Minnesota, peak Arkansas' highest mountain, and view wildflowers in the grasslands of Illinois.

Isle Royale National Park Loop

See our readers’ top spot, from lakeside to mountaintop, on a two-day loop.

Time-Scultpted Treks

Discover rock formations so unique you won’t even miss the mountains.

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.

West Rim Trail

Score a unique perspective of half-mile-deep Zion Canyon on this big-view shuttle hike.

Canyon Hikes

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

Trail Mix: Mountain West

Wildflowers in Indian Peaks, CO, an old climbers' trail in Wyoming, and more.

Cramer Lakes, Idaho

Follow the chiseled Rockies to a cluster of secluded alpine lakes and waterfalls.

Alpine Lakes

Kick back at one of these campsites—where nothing but an idyllic, high-country pool separates you from the Rockies skyline.

Trail Mix: West

Backcountry swimming in Oregon, alpine lakes in John Muir Wilderness, and more.

Rip & Go: Alaska's Hatcher Pass Wilderness Area

Follow the footsteps of old miners to three alpine lakes beneath the snow-capped Talkeetna Mountains.

Destinations: Top 3 West



Gorgeous Timelapse Shows Why You Should Hike Up North, Eh?

Incredible footage from western Canada.

Adventure Travel 2013: Africa

Wildlife, waterfalls, and epics await in Africa, where there's more than enough scenery and solitude to go around.

Best Adventure Eating: Baked Guinea Pig



Best Scenery: Torres del Paine Circuit, Chile



Best Wildlife Safari: Pantanal, Brazil



Best Culture Hike: Santa Cruz Trek, Peru



Best Sunrise: Laguna Torre, Argentina



Ecuador: Top 3 Training Hikes

Got your eye on Cotopaxi? Work up to it on a series of acclimatizing hikes before tackling the big one. These trips, in ascending order of difficulty, are ideal proving grounds: close to Quito, tall enough to help your legs and lungs adjust, and all doable without a guide.

Best for Peakbaggers: Volcan Cotopaxi, Ecuador



best camping with big-five animals: Makuya Hiking Trail, South Africa



best habitat diversity: Miriakamba Hut Circular Trail, Tanzania



best wildlife walk: Naukluft Hiking Trail, Namib Naukluft Park, Namibia

Seize a rare opportunity to hike unguided through big-game country.

best easy view: Sentinel Trail, South Africa



best canyon hike: Fish River Canyon Trail, Namibia



best swimming hole: Devil's Pool, Victoria Falls, Zambia



most audacious: Margherita Peak, Uganda



best quick climb: Cathedral Peak, South Africa



best peak: Mt. Kenya, Mt. Kenya National Park, Kenya

Scale an airy, exposed twin-pronged volcano to killer Kili views in East Africa.

best art hike: Malealea Village Trek, Lesotho



best coffee “bar” crawl: Simien Mountains Trek, Ethiopia



best culture hike: Wild Coast Hiking Trail, Silaka and Huleka Nature Reserves, South Africa

Visit eight rural villages on this five-day tour along an undeveloped stretch of coast.

best landform: Wolfberg Cracks and Arch, South Africa



Best Shangri-La: Kingdom of Bhutan

Trust a country that didn't allow television until 1999 to provide a portal into traditional Buddhist culture and unspoiled landscapes. But get there soon: Thanks to a new democracy, Bhutan is modernizing fast. Luckily, getting around has never been easier, and strict regulation keeps the hordes away. Mix and match these three adventures into a trip of a lifetime.

Best Discovery: Hai Country, Japan

Can you really find true wilderness in the most civilized country on Earth?

2013 Adventure Travel Award Nominations

What's the best backcountry guide service in Nepal? The best trail town in Chile? New Zealand's best hiker bar? Nominate your faves on every continent for our first-ever Adventure Travel awards!

Local Hikes in the East - August 2013

Trace a West Virginia ridgeline in the Alleghenies, show your family eight waterfalls on one Pennsylania hike, check out a rare moonbow in Kentucky, and go on nine more adventures.

Local Hikes in the Central - August 2013

Trek along the country’s first national river in Arkansas, find solitude in Michigan’s Trap Hills, watch whooping crane chicks learn to fly outside Madison, WI, and plan for nine more summer trips.

Local Hikes in the West - August 2013

Hike through wildflower-laden alpine meadows in Washington’s volcanic high country, see a meteor shower in dark-sky New Mexico, escape the crowds above Lake Tahoe, and more.

Local Hikes in the West - August 2013

Hike through wildflower-laden alpine meadows in Washington’s volcanic high country, see a meteor shower in dark-sky New Mexico, escape the crowds above Lake Tahoe, and more.

One Night Wonders: Anglers, Deep Creek Lake

Stalk golden trout.

One Night Wonders: Ocean Lovers, Peanut Island Park

Snorkel among manatees.

One Night Wonders: Urban Escapees, Ibantik Lake

Savor instant solitude.

One Night Wonders: Urban Escapees, White Rocks Loop

Bust out beyond the beltway.

One Night Wonders: Urban Escapees, Berryman Trail

Hide out in Ozark Hollows

One Night Wonders: Mileage Monsters, Hut Traverse

Hike New England's highest paths.

One Night Wonders: Mileage Monsters, Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie Pass

Gobble the PCT's tastiest morsel.

One Night Wonders: Mileage Monsters, Kings Peak

Scale Utah's mightiest mountain.

One Night Wonders: Couples, Honeymoon Lake

Escape to a high-alpine hideaway.

One Night Wonders: Couples, Goodwin Lake to Granite Hot Springs

Soak in simmering springs.

One Night Wonders: Couples, Caribou Rock Trail

Retreat into a watery labyrinth.

One Night Wonders: Peak Baggers, Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point

Tag two tough fourteeners.

One Night Wonders: Big Kids, Bench Lakes

Explore the Rockies' sharpest peaks.

One Night Wonders: Little Kids, Sages Ravine

Splash in swimming holes.

One Night Wonders

Make the most of your precious weekend Freedom. These 15 hikes deliver epic to all types of time-crunched hikers.

Testing the Waters

Four days on New England's idyllic waterways. Is it enough to win a father's blessing for his daughter's new life?

The Great Best Views Debate

In our September 2013 issue we polled our experts on their favorite views in the U.S. What are your favorite views in each state?

Trail Mix: East

Your region's go now guide: Find wild horses near D.C., spot 8 waterfalls on a family-friendly loop, view the "Niagara of the South" in Kentucky, and more.

From the Field: East

Trace a West Virginia ridgeline in the Alleghenies, show your family eight waterfalls on one Pennsylvania hike, check out a rare moonbow in Kentucky, and go on nine more adventures.

Rip & Go: North Fork Mountain, Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, WV

Climb sandstone outcroppings and spot raptors on this wildlife-packed ridgeline.

Trail Mix: Central

Your region's go now guide: HIke with your kids in Missouri, watch the endangered whooping crane in Wisconsin, and more.

From the Field: Central

Trek along the country's first national river in Arkansas, find solitude in Michigan's Trap Hills, watch whooping crane chicks learn to fly outside Madison, WI, and plan for nine more summer trips.

Rip & Go: Buffalo River Trail, Ponca Wilderness, AR

Traverse craggy cliffs flanking America's first national river.

Trail Mix: West

Your region's go now guide: Explore the Pacific coastline in California, hike in isolation near Lake Tahoe, and more.

From the Field: West

Hike through wildflower-laden alpine meadows in Washington's volcanic high country, see a meteor shower in dark-sky New Mexico, escape the crowds above Lake Tahoe, and more.

Rip & Go: Goat Ridge Loop, Goat Rocks Wilderness, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA

Explore an alpine oasis amid volcanic terrain along the crest of the Cascades.

Mountain Map: Indian Peaks, CO

Of all the reasons to be jealous of Denverites (craft beer, deep powder, Peyton Manning), the Front Range's backyard peaks might top the list. These glacier-carved mountains straddle the Continental Divide and offer 133 miles of maintained trails, plus endless serrated ridges to explore. Local or visitor, venture into this land of massive crags with these routes that promise views from every vantage point—if you don't live here yet, you'll wish you did.

Top 3: Quad Burners

You're in mid-season shape—reap the rewards on some of the country's steepest hikes.

Life List: Moonlit Presidential Traverse, New Hampshire

An after-hours trek on one of the Northeast's best hikes yields unexpected sights.

Share It: Edit and Share Trip Data

You're back from the trail with a bunch of beta--now show it off.

Do It: Make the Most of Your Phone

Pick the right case to shield your device, never lose touch, boost your juice, and conserve battery power with these tips and tricks.

Record Better Media: Picture and Video Masterpieces

You can't beat a dedicated camera for clarity, control, and quality, but smartphones come close enough for most of us-this magazine has even published iPhone photos. Use these tools and techniques to amp up your device's multimedia power:

Utilize the Top Backcountry Apps

These apps help you navigate through weather, identify plants, and navigate.

Plan It: Master the Latest in Trip-Planning Technology

In the past, route-planning involved browsing guidebooks, consulting rangers, and convincing locals to give up their secret places. Today, that information lives on the internet; you just have to know how to find it.

Local Hikes in the East - June 2013

Snake through swamplands in Congaree NP, see fireworks atop Vermont's highpoint, catch a firefly light show in the Smokies, and grab nine more early summer trips.

Local Hikes in the Central - June 2013

Hike the border country in Big Bend NP, bring your kite on an Illinois hike, see bison duel in Wind Cave NP, and go on nine more adventures.

Local Hikes in the West - June 2013

Trek past eight lakes in Lassen Volcanic NP's high country, check out the newest national park. hike the Wonderland Trail in Rainier NP like a pro, and more.

Grand Traverses

Ever wished the view never stopped? It doesn't on these mountain-straddling routes. Here's how to conquer the skyline.

Trail Mix: East

Your region's go now guide: See synchronous fireflies in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, hike through a Civil War battlefield, witness a July 4th celebration on a Vermont peak, and more.

From the Field: East

Get magnificent coastal views in Maine, snag a few fish in West Virginia's Otter Creek Wilderness, spot sunning alligators in the Florida panhandle, and more.

Rip & Go: Kingsnake Trail, Congaree National Park, SC

Spy diverse swamp wildlife in one of the newest national parks.

Trail Mix: Central

Hike the border country in Big Bend NP, bring your kite on an Illinois hike, see bison duel in Wind Cave NP, and go on nine more adventures.

From the Field: Central

Hear various bird songs during Ohio's bird breading season, cool off in clear swimming home in a hidden Oklahoman gem, and more.

Rip & Go: Outer Mountain Loop, Big Bend National park, TX

Trek through wide-open desert and ascend big-view mountains in the still-wild West.

Trail Mix: West

Your region's go now guide: Trek past eight lakes in Lassen Volcanic NP's high country, check out the newest national park, hike the Wonderland Trail in Rainier NP like a pro, and more.

From the Field: West

Experience the varying habitat in California's Lobo Canyon Trail, get a high-vantage view of the Colorado River in Arizona, hike former mining roads, and more!

Rip & Go: Summit Lakes Trail, Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA

Pass sparkling alpine lakes on this easy weekend through volcanic high country.

Mountain Map: Glacier National Park, MT

With 1,584 square miles of soaring peaks, alpine tundra, and yes, glaciers, this mountain mecca belongs on every hiker's life list. We rounded up five of our scouts' top treks in the Many Glacier region—so when you get there, you'll shoot straight to the park's best terrain.

Top 3: National Park Hikes

Sample the best of our crown-jewel lands on these superlative trips.

Grand Traverses: Sawtooth Ridge

Tick of Washington's alpine gems the fast-and-light way.

Grand Traverses: Pfiffner Traverse

Choose your own adventure on this rocky mountain routefinding test piece.

Local Hikes in the East

Paddle an Outer Banks island, hit a new trail in Tennessee, stargaze in Pennsylvania, and grab nine more adventures.

Local Hikes in the Central U.S.

Sample a section of Missouri's Ozark Trail, harvest Minnesotan morels, see endangered sea turtles in coastal Texas, and more.

Local Hikes in the West

Get your waterfall fix in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge, find solitude in Wyoming, check out a new Denver-area state park, and tag more spring hikes.

First Night Out: Fauna

Three trails teeming with wildlife

First Night Out: Water

Three beautiful water-side hikes

First Night Out: Views

Three hikes with spectacular views

First Night Out: Flora

Three hikes with scenic wildflower vistas

Trail Mix — East

Your region's go-now guide: Take in Pennsylvania's nighttime skies in the Cherry Springs State Park, ascend the 2,625-foot Mt. Moosalamoo in Vermont, enjoy the new 38-mile section of the Cumberland Trail in Tennessee, and more.

From the Field — East

Let our field scouts' beta fuel your next adventure from the wildlife-rich Sky Meadows State Park Loop, to thickets of mountain laurel in Georgia, and more.

Mountain Map: The Wasatch Front, UT

Minutes from Salt Lake City, The Wasatch Front is a gold mine for adventure. The 2.1-million-acre area includes 22 peaks above 11,000 feet and with at least 300 feet of prominence, houses 78 bikeable miles on 11 different bike trails, and boasts an average of 226 sunny days annually.

Trail Mix — Central

Enjoy the wildlife of Mississippi, search for Morels in Minnesota, view the nesting turtles on Texas' Padre Island, and more.

From the Field — Central

Take in the birder's paradise around Vern Wolf Lake in Wisconsin, cleanse yourself in the mist of a 15 foot waterfall in Arkansas, marvel at a 320-million-year-old sandstone formation in Ohio, and more.

Top 3: Knife-edge Ridges

Test your bravery with these scrambly hikes that take you to airy heights and rewarding views. Don't forget to watch your step.

Trail Mix — West

Your region's go-now guide: get your heart rate up by climbing 1,500 feet in 2.4 miles in Santa Barbara, visit the newest state park in Colorado, enjoy the solitude of the Wyoming Range, and more.

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

From a panoramic hike above Sin City and Lake Mead to a slot canyon adventure in Utah, our scouts provide trail beta.

Rip & Go: Eagle Creek Loop, Columbia River Gorge, OR

Spot waterfalls and wildflowers on a rainforest loop into one of the gorge's wildest canyons.

Rip & Go: Shackleford Banks, Cape Lookout National Seashore, NC

Paddle to explore beach, dunes, and maritime forest on an uninhabited barrier island.

Rip & Go: Ozark Trail, Huzzah Conservation Area/Mark Twain National Forest, MO

Climb from ravine to ridge for views over a trio of river valleys.

2013 Adventures NYC



Save Money on Your Trailhead Drive

Are you blowing big bucks driving to your favorite hike? Use these gas-mileage-boosting tips so you can get to more trailheads for less money.

The Truth About Bears: The Maps

Bears in the lower 48 have rebounded from decades of declining populations and shrinking habitat. Also improving: your chance of seeing a bruin in the wild. By Ted Alvarez

The Truth About Bears: The Mystery

Grizzlies vanished from North Cascades National Park five decades ago. Or did they? Our scout joins the search for Washington's elusive mountain ghosts. By Ted Alvarez

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.

Local Hikes in the East — March 2013

Tromp through a Florida cypress swamp, find solitude on a Catskills peak, look for rare Carolina blooms, plus 9 more.

Local Hikes in the Central U.S. — March 2013

Snag a dozen great winter trips, including a texas Hill Country overnight, a Lake Superior snowshoe, and a hike to Apostle islands ice caves.

Local Hikes in the West — March 2013

Soak in a New Mexico hot spring, spot wintering bighorn sheep in the Winds, hike to a lost California oasis, and more.

Gear and Go Tour

In celebration of our readers, we have designed a second tour (in addition to our popular Get Out More Tour) that will launch in 2013, the GEAR and GO TOUR.

10 Steps to Raising Kids Who Love the Outdoors

You want your kiddos to enjoy the outdoors – camping, hiking, biking, etc. – as much as you do. Northwest editor Michael Lanzas has 10 tips on how to accomplish that – and have fun along the way.

Trail Mix — East — March 2013

Your region's go-now guide: Visit a new hikers' hostel connected to 50 miles of trail in Maine's Bigelow Mountains, see the rare Oconee bell in South Carolina's Jocassee Gorges area, explore the world's longest mapped cave system near Louisville, and more.

From the Field — East — March 2013

Our trail scouts' top local hikes, including fire tower views in New Jersey, a New York waterfall, and more.

Rip & Go: Florida Trail, Big Cypress National Preserve, FL

Traverse a primeval landscape of cypress swamp, hardwood hammocks, and pinelands.

Mountain Map: White Mountains, NH

The Granite State's crown jewel is an epicenter for alpine adventure, from peakbagging to ridgewalking to hut camping. Where to start? In the heart of the Whites, with beta from our map team. Trek across windswept plateaus, tag a handful of the range's 48 peaks above 4,000 feet, and get a taste of high-altitude tundra.

Trail Mix — Central — March 2013

Your region's go-now guide: Explore ice caves on Wisconsin's Apostle Islands, overnight in peace in northern Missouri, and more.

From the Field — Central — March 2013

Follow the footsteps of Wild West outlaws in Oklahoma, marvel at Gooseberry Fall's frozen cascades, search out arrowheads at Hot Springs National Park, and more.

Rip & Go: Lost Maples Loop, Lost Maples State Natural Area, TX

Warm up for hiking season with a mellow escape to a maze of limestone plateaus.

Top 3: Better in Winter

What off season? Bundle up and reap the benefits of colder weather in these snowy playgrounds.

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.

From the Field — West — March 2013

Our trail scouts' top local hikes: ancient Oregon volcanoes, a Nevada slot canyon, a hidden California oasis, and more.

Rip & Go: Jordan Hot Springs, Gila Wilderness, NM

Explore a slot canyon and soak in a warm backcountry pool in the country's first designated wilderness.

Hiking Wales: Fresh Tracks Through History

Beachside trek meets pub crawl meets castle tour on Europe's newest long trail, the 870-mile Wales Coast Path, officially opened in May 2011. We have the beta on its highlights.

The Path to Shangri-La: Eastern Tibet's Unclimbed Peaks

Climb hiker-friendly 16,000-foot summits--and maybe nab a first ascent--on a shoestring budget, plus get an unchaperoned glimpse of Tibetan culture.

Limit Pusher: Three More Epics

Test yourself on these wild routes.

Chile: Private Patagonia - Five More Multisport Trips

Explore spectacular places by air, land, and sea.

Chile: Private Patagonia - Puerto Toro

Take your pick of adventures from this major ferry stop about three hours from Natales: Beach camp next to a private glacier or paddle to a gem lake.

Chile: Private Patagonia - Cordillera Baguales

Escape to trekking and horseback riding nirvana on Patagonia's high plains.

Chile: Private Patagonia - Fjord De Las Montanas

Explore peak-lined Chilean waters by boat or by foot—in solitude.

Chile: Private Patagonia

Explore Chile's mind-bending terrain without joining the throngs on the popular trekker circuit. On this paddle/hike/horse adventure, you'll have glacier-chiseled fjords, sky-piercing mountains, and best-ever camping all to yourself.

Mountain Map: Los Angeles - San Gabriel Mountains

Find solitude high above Los Angeles.

Local Hikes in the Central U.S.

Camp lake-side in Arkansas, summit 800-foot Nebraska bluffs, see Wisconsin's best foliage (alone), and dayhike near Dallas. Plus: 8 more autumn hikes.

Local Hikes in the East

Kentucky's Land Between The Lakes, see a South Carolina swamp (without the bugs), hike through four states in one huge day, and more.

Local Hikes in the West

Make a late-season hike to an aspen-dense Colorado mesa, spot bears in the Beartooths, explore gypsum dunes, and discover more fall must-hikes.

Carry the best maps for your adventures.

New Elite program from map partner Trimble Outdoors serves up best-in-class trip planning tools, exclusive map data, and mobile app extras.

The High Life: Granite Park Chalet, MT

Discover Glacier's historic lodging.

The High Life: White Mountains Traverse, NH

Hike our quieter insider's variation on this classic route.

The High Life: Never Summer Yurts, CO

Discover your own private Rockies paradise.

The High Life: Haute Route Pyrenees, France

Go high and wild in Europe's other Alps.

The High Life: Hidden Lake Peak Fire Lookout, WA

Claim an eagle's roost above Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

The High Life: Hut, Hut, Hike!

Why should a backpacker want anything other than a tent? Michael Lanza can think of five good reasons.

The High Life: Maine Hut Trail, ME

Explore a new shelter system with old-school wild.

The High Life: Pennine Alps, Switzerland

Dine lavishly in the homeland of huts.

The High Life: Kepler Track, New Zealand

Score iconic Kiwi scenery without lining up.

The High Life: Lake O'Hara, Canada

Explore the best of Yoho National Park.

The High Life: High Sierra Camps, CA

Hike Yosemite's granite-rimmed loop.

The High Life: Rifugio Lagazuoi, Italy

Climb to a view over all of the Dolomites.

Top 3: Ghostly Hikes

Test your courage—and your quads—this Halloween on one of these spooky cemetery trails.

Life List: The Source of the Amazon

Trek to the Peruvian high spot where the planet's most powerful river is born.

Skier's Paradise: Backcountry Hut & Yurt Destinations

Maximize your winter fun with a backcountry basecamp where you can spend all day skiing or snowshoeing, and all evening lounging by the fire. These 10 huts and yurts will make you hope the snow never melts.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012

261 reviews and camping tips

Killer Trips: Wildlife

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

Killer Trips: Terrain

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

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: East

Your region's go-now guide

Trail Mix: Central

Your region's go-now guide

From the Field: East

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

From the Field: Central

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

2012 Be A Mapper Contest Official Rules



Trail Mix: West

Your region's go-now guide

From the Field: West

Our trail scouts' top local hikes

Grand to Grand Ultra - Win a free race entry!

Grand to Grand Ultra is a 160-mile stage race from the Grand Canyon’s North Rim to the highest point in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument--and we have a free race entry to give away!

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

September 2012 Table of Contents



Summit Fever: The Sierra Challenge

When 37 hardcore hikers set out to scale 10 of the Sierra's highest and remotest peaks in a single Herculean, 10-day, 154-mile push, it will be an all-pain, 54,000 feet of gain kind of adventure.

Trail Mix: East

Your region's go-now guide.

Trail Mix: Central

Your region's go-now guide.

Trail Mix: West

Your region's go-now guide.

The Last Bus

A former Denali ranger shares her secrets for finding solitude, scoring the most coveted permits, seeing wildlife, beating the weather, and more. Follow her from-the-field advice for the ultimate trip in America's wildest park.

Life List: Buckskin Gulch, Utah/Arizona

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

August 2012 Table of Contents



Trail Mix: Central

Explore Chicago's wild places, seek out solitude, and experience three perfect days, all this summer.

Trail Mix: East

Explore wilderness bounty, see fawns in Shenandoah National Park, and experience three perfect days, all this summer and all in the east.

Trail Mix: West

Explore high points, see astronomical rarity and experience three perfect days, all this summer and all in the west.

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.

Best Week: Continental Divide Loop

Tour glacial valleys and navigate to off-trail lakes and waterfalls on this six-day circuit.

Best Weekend: Gorge Lakes

Hike cross-country to explore this secluded chain of hanging lakes.

June 2012 Table of Contents



Best Day: Longs Peak via Clarks Arrow and the Keyhole

Scramble up a 12.7-mile sneak route to the park's highest peak.

Rocky Mountain Adventure Guide (2012 National Parks Series: Part 2 of 6)

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.

Local Hikes

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

May 2012 Table of Contents



Kids, Camping, and Abuse: A Q&A with Tracy Ross

Contributing editor Tracy Ross talks about the aftermath of publishing her abuse memoir, The Source of All Things, which originated as a BACKPACKER feature story and is now available in paperback.

Hiking Switzerland: Around the Alps in 80 Days

Well, maybe 105. But who's counting? Contributing editor John Harlin defies conventional wisdom with a 1,400-mile circumnavigation of this mountainous kingdom.

America's Newest Long Trail

Don't have time to hike all 1,200 miles of the Pacific Northwest Trail? No worries: Our scout pinpointed the finest two-week stretch.

Died and Gone to New Zealand

Hiker heaven, redefined, is a month-long hike/paddle/camp in Adventureland.

Everest Confidential: Trekking Through Nepal's Khumbu Region

See the Himalayan giants--and cross three passes more than 17,000 feet high--on this off-the-radar route through the Khumbu region.

The Jesus Trail: Hiking from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee

Every hike is a pilgrimage, but this new path from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee is holier than most. Literally following in His footsteps, the 40-mile route immerses hikers in biblical history.

BACKPACKER GPS Trails PRO Trips

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.

BACKPACKER PRO Maps: Custom maps for your adventures

We've teamed up with map partner myTopo to create custom, pre-planned adventures printed on waterproof topo paper. No need to buy and carry multiple maps. Bonus: PRO Maps sync with your handheld GPS, your smartphone, or your tablet for a complete in-field mapping experience. Our archive is over 100 maps strong and growing.

Passion Player: Q&A with Michael Franti

On Wednesday night, reggae-hip-hop-fusion artist Michael Franti was recording a new track for his follow-up to the hit album "The Sound of Sunshine." On Thursday night, he rocks The Depot at Outdoor Retailer in a concert presented by Wolverine. BACKPACKER's Jonathan Dorn and Anthony Cerretani spoke to Franti right before the show about how the outdoors influences his music, lifestyle, and clothing line.

International Adventure Travel

From Nepal to New Zealand, we have stories and tips to help you plan the perfect 'life list' backpacking trek abroad.

Backpacker Expeditions

Backpacker magazine has teamed up with AvidTrips–the leading travel platform that connects travelers directly to local tour guide operators–to create three awe-inspiring expeditions exclusively for Backpacker readers. Our Backpacker Expeditions will challenge your outdoor fortitude and indulge your passion for discovery

Churchill River Canoe Route

Escape time as you glide through an endless chain of connected lakes.

Asulkan Valley, Glacier National Park

Hit four technical summits in the birthplace of North American mountaineering.

Woodbury to Silver Spray Huts, Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park

Link two gorgeous cabins by scrambling through craggy alpine country.

Drinnon Pass to Gimli Col, Valhalla Provincial Park

Routefind across precipitous ridges to an ice-filled lake.

Backpacking Canada, the Big Empty

Empty of people, that is. Because the 3,000 miles of wilderness that stretch from Newfoundland's fjordlike coastal cliffs to British Columbia's rainforest and skyscraping peaks are brimming with every type of mountain, water, and wildlife adventure a card-carrying backpacker could want—crowds not included. Our Rocky Mountain Field Editor spent two months exploring places we've never covered to assemble our most extensive guide to Canadian backcountry yet.

Readers' Choice 2012: Reader Leader: Glacier Magic

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.

Readers' Choice 2012: Glacier Magic

Iconic scenery bolstered by serious solitude? Get them both on this weeklong traverse.

Readers' Choice 2012: Appalachian Trail, 100-Mile Wilderness, ME

Tackle the Northeast's most remote wilds for bears, moose, and berries.

Readers' Choice 2012: Grasshopper Glacier, Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness, MT

Visit a glacier with millions of extinct grasshoppers entombed in its ice.

Readers' Choice 2012: Skyline-To-The-Sea Trail, Castle Rock Sp, Ca

Hike through a towering redwood forest on this easy-access overnighter.

Readers' Choice 2012: Evolution Loop, Sequoia and Kings Canyon NP, CA

Hike cross-country to a pocket of dreamy lakeside camps on the John Muir Trail.

Readers' Choice 2012: Creekside Loop, Pisgah NF, NC

Looking for a mellow weekend with swimming options? We have you covered.

Readers' Choice 2012: Shoal Creek Loop, Gros Ventre Wilderness, WY

Backpack to a local ranger's favorite mountain getaway.

America's Best Backcountry Ski Tours

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

Iceland: Tested

After a season of backcountry skiing, hiking, and climbing everywhere from the Rockies to the Andes, we took the year's best winter gear for a final shakedown in Iceland's remote Glacier Fjords. What we found: awesome ice-carved terrain and the sweetest boat-in camping and skiing on earth.

Great Family Hikes: Chosen by the Editors of Backpacker

Hit the trail with your kids on these family-friendly hikes all over the country.

Reader Leader Application: Become a Backpacker Field Scount

Tell us about your dream destination and why it fits in the pages of Backpacker Magazine...and we may just send you there.

Readers' Choice 2012: Destinations

Get more hiking, gear, and wildlife-spotting advice from our map contributors—and see our full survey results.

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

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

Rip & Go: Little Lyford to Gorman Chairback - 100-Mile Wilderness, ME

Ski (or snowshoe) hut-to-hut in the East's wildest preserve.

Rip & Go: Iron Mountains - Little Dry Run Wilderness, VA

Score quiet views of the southern Virginia highlands on this lush loop.

Rip & Go: Two Lakes Loop - Hoosier National Forest, IN

Camp next to forest lakes and rock-hop across clear streams.

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.

Rip & Go: Cranberry Loop - Monongahela National Forest, WV

Circle an upland swamp rich with views, solitude, and wild edibles.

Rip & Go: Lake of the Clouds to Summit Peak - Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, MI

Hike a high escarpment above a northern forest and Lake Superior.

Local Hikes: Extend Your Season

Cooler days mean fewer crowds and bugs—and riots of leafy color. Here are 38 fall-weekend classics near you.

Rip & Go: Trapper Creek Wilderness Loop - Gifford Pinchot National Forest, WA

Climb through towering evergreens to in-your-face Cascade views.

Deepest Daks

Journey through America's most accessible wilderness in search of untouched places, and you might just find peace of mind to match the lakes and hills.

Rip & Go: Godwin Trail to Inspiration Point - Shawnee National Forest, IL

Cross deep, vine-laced forests to bluff-top views over rivers and prairie.

Rip & Go: Two Gorges Loop - Gorges State Park, NC

Trace the watery divide between the Carolinas.

Rip & Go: Debsconeag Loop - Maine Public Reserved Lands, Nahmakanta Unit, ME

Cross the northeast's wildest moose country beneath fall's fiery canopy.

Perfect 10: Free PDF Trip Planning Guides

We've picked the top 10 miles of North America's 10 most memorable hikes. Find your way to wilderness nirvana with these map and planning guides.

Rip & Go: Stratton Loop - Lye Brook Wilderness, VT

Climb to an expansive view of green rollers that inspired two long trails.

Rip & Go: Hilgard Basin - Lee Metcalf Wilderness, MT

Climb to a wonderland of tundra, rugged peaks, and dreamy lakes.

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.

Rip & Go: Three Sisters Loop - Lava Beds National Monument, CA

Discover hidden wonders in a cave-riddled wilderness.

Rip & Go: Horse Heaven Loop - Wyoming Range, WY

Discover a pocket of wildlife beyond Yellowstone's borders.

Rip & Go: Broken Top Loop - Deschutes National Forest/Three Sisters Wilderness, OR

Cross ancient lava fields on a lake-filled weekend.

Rip & Go: New England National Scenic Trail - Mt. Grace State Forest, MA

Walk deliberately into woods filled with waterfalls and stone walls.

Madman Walking?

Warren Doyle has hiked the Appalachian Trail 16 times, and he has a no-fee plan guaranteed to help others complete the 2,180-mile trek. The hardest part? Hiking with Warren Doyle.

Ultimate Peak Planner

BACKPACKER and CLIMBING have teamed up to bring you a one-stop resource for scaling the best treks and technical climbs in the country.

Rip & Go: Tonahutu Loop - Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Cross elk-filled woods and bighorn- busy flats on this park's quiet side.

Rip & Go: Santa Rosa Island - Channel Islands National Park, CA

Venture off SoCal's coast for long beaches, hidden canyons, and sea life.

Rip & Go: Rocky Point to Round Lake - Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, MN

Glide through back-to-back lakes on a classic North Country canoe trip.

Summer Adventure Atlas: 50 Hikes / 50 States

When you're planning a weekend outing, you don't want good, you want the best. Well, here's perfect. These hikes tour the deepest backcountry, best views, and quietest wilderness areas in every state.

National Parks: Grand Canyon

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

National Parks: Glacier

Rule #1 when planning a hike through this iconic park: Let your ambition match the scenery.

National Parks: Olympic

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.

National Parks: Grand Teton

Wade through wildflowers, listen to wolves, and escape the crowded trade routes in this secluded corner of the park.

National Parks: Yosemite

Enjoy this legendary park (without the legendary crowds) on a four-day trip through the Clark Range.

National Parks: Yellowstone

A forgotten explorer's route leads to off-trail, high-peak adventure and bona fide solitude.

Editor's Note: New National Parks

The prognosis for naming new sanctuaries looks grim. Is our best strategy to vote a few misfits off the island?

Prof. Hike: The Backpacker's Reading List

Seven great books and the outdoor places to enjoy them

Local Hikes: Midwest

Hike these long trails in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and head south to Texas to see Horned Lizards.

Local Hikes: Southeast

Hike these long trails in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida, and paddle three days in the Everglades backcountry.

Rip & Go: Long Path Loop - Harriman State Park, NY

Enjoy soaring views from open ridges on this easy-access overnight.

Rip & Go: Rockytop Loop - Shenandoah National Park, VA

Escape Skyline Drive to discover secret summits and hidden valleys.

Rip & Go: Twin Valley Trail - Five Rivers MetroParks, OH

Ramble along a wide river to quiet, old-growth hollows.

Tough Guy Challenge Week 4

We're down to the last two weeks of our five-week Tough Guy Challenge. Are you still hanging in there?

National Parks: Best of the Rest (Acadia to Zion)

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.

National Parks: Great Smoky Mountains

For guaranteed solitude in the park's southwest reaches, explore this quiet loop during the off-season.

National Parks: Denali

Denali isn’t just for experts. These guinea pigs will prove it. Probably.

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.

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.

Tough Guy Challenge Week 3

Week three of our five-week challenge will have you navigating obstacles and increasing mileage.

Rip & Go: Alamo to Capulin Canyon - Bandelier National Monument, NM

Climb across mesas and up canyon walls to a cave full of pictographs.

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

Discover real wilderness just two hours from Portland.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

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

Local Hikes: West

Hike these long trails in Washington, Oregon, and California, and climb to a 10,064-foot peak in Angeles National Forest.

National Parks: North Cascades

Come for the sheer, glaciated peaks, but be mesmerized by rain-fed waterfalls that pour down on all sides.

National Parks: Capitol Reef

Discover a private paradise by crossing the park’s convoluted Waterpocket Fold.

Hiking Hells Canyon, ID

This remote chasm boasts big views, craggy mountains, abundant wildlife, and staggering solitude.

National Park Slideshows

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

2011 Be A Mapper Contest Official Rules



Get Higher: Best Firetower Hikes

For sheltered scenery high above the trees, there's no better place than a fire tower. Try one of these editor-approved hikes to backcountry rooms with a view.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

Hike Denver's lost wilderness, a twofer of peaks in Idaho, lava tubes in New Mexico, Zion's sneak route, and Bozeman's trout-filled lake.

Hike. Pray. Protest.

Does God love camping? A new church movement foot-soldiered by wilderness-loving young people could transform the way conservative Christians perceive and protect the environment. We hit the trail with the new green evangelicals.

Lighten Up: Losing Weight by Hiking

Make one simple resolution–to hike more –and we guarantee you'll lose that spare tire around the middle. Here's the proof, the plan, and the inspiration.

Right Place, Perfect Time: An Oasis in California's Desert Peaks

Peakbag in the White Mountains—without lugging in water.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Olympic's Spring Waterfalls

Hike through a wild water park in Enchanted Valley.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Aurora Borealis

Notch the best northern lights show in the Lower 48.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Frazil Ice

Witness a river of slush flow through Yosemite Valley.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Geminid Meteor Shower

See shooting stars from a five-star backcountry observatory.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Best River Paddle

Hit Idaho's Owyhee River just right, and you get one of the West's best paddles to yourself.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Monarch Butterfly Migration

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

Right Place, Perfect Time: Showiest Fall Colors

Hit the leaf jackpot on these classic footpaths.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Golden Eagle Gathering

Soar with the world's largest migration.

Right Place, Perfect Time: Brightest Wildflower Bloom

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

Local Hikes: Southeast

Ascend Rocky Top in Tennessee; spot herons and Pelicans in a Florida bayou.

Local Hikes: Midwest

Discover east Texas's longleaf pine forest; see the Boundary Waters on foot.

Rip & Go: Turkey Creek Trail

Hike through three ecological zones in east Texas's carnivore country.

America's Best-Kept Secrets: Wind River Range, WY



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Gila Wilderness, NM



America's Best-Kept Secrets: John Muir Wilderness, CA



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, MT



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Dark Canyon Wilderness, UT



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness, WA



America's Best-Kept Secrets: White Cloud Mountains, ID



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Eagle Cap Wilderness, OR



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Linville Gorge Wilderness, NC



America's Best-Kept Secrets: Eagles Nest Wilderness, CO



America's Best-Kept Secrets

The only thing better than enjoying the life-list scenery in the country's premier national parks? Getting that same scenery, minus the crowds. Find it in these 10 backcountry hotspots, along with no-hassle permits, choice campsites aplenty, and solitude to match the world-class terrain.

Local Hikes: West

See California dunes, Nevada red-rock canyons, Alaska's deep forest, quiet Oregon Coast, and Washington's Cascade lakes.

Rip & Go: Pine Tree Loop

Paddle to shoreline solitude, then perch on dunes above the Atlantic Ocean in Maryland's Assateague Island National Seashore.

Rip & Go: Goldmyer Hot Springs - Snoqualmie NF, WA

Track beneath waterfalls and icicle-hung trees to a soothing soak.

BACKPACKER MAGAZINE Digital Editions and APPS

From the iPad to the iPhone and Android, check out these BACKPACKER mobile apps.

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Rip & Go: Thunderhead Loop

Hike from forest floor to a rocky ridge linking twin summits in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

March 2011 Table of Contents



Trip Finder: West

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

Rip & Go: Lyell Canyon, Yosemite

Escape front-country crowds on a trek to the park's idyllic interior.

Our Backyard: Joshua Tree National Park, California

Climb, hike, and camp in Joshua Tree National Park.

Readers' Choice: West

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

Readers' Choice 2011: America's Best Hikes

The undisputed local experts—you—chose the top parks, trails, campsites, and weekend getaways from Alaska to Alabama.

2011 Reader Photo Contest Winners

These six winning shots represent the best photos we saw all year from you, our readers.

Print & Go Weekend Trip Planners

Free Print & Go PDFs give you turn-by-turn trail instructions and photos embedded on a usable topo map. Also: gear checklists, driving directions, and geo-references for finding the nearest campground, restaurant, gas station, and grocery store.

Trip Finder: Southeast

Your favorite Southeast trips—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: Approach Trail Loop, Chattahoochee National Forest, GA

Relax in a hiker-friendly lodge at the Appalachian Trail's southern tip.

Our Backyard: Everglades National Park

Paddle to a beach-camping paradise in the Everglades.

Readers' Choice: Southeast

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

Trip Finder: Southwest

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

Rip & Go: McKittrick Canyon

Soak up high-desert views amid the Lone Star State's tallest peaks.

Trip Finder: Great Plains

Your favorite Great Plains hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: Big Piney Trail

Roll from dark hollows to dolomite ridges in the Ozark highlands of Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest.

Our Backyard: Black Hills National Forest

Explore the wildest corner of the Great Plains.

Readers' Choice: Great Plains

Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Great Plains states.

Our Backyard: Glen National Recreation Area

Explore slots and marvel at arches in Glen Canyon.

Rip & Go: Big Creek Loop

Hike from a wildlife-choked river valley to soaring mountain views.

Rip & Go: McCargoe Cove to Rock Harbor

Hike among moose and wolves on this two-day escape to Isle Royale National Park.

Trip Finder: Alaska

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

Trip Finder: Appalachians

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

Trip Finder: Northwest

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

Rip & Go: Devil's Path

Conquer the rocks, ridges, and ravines on the East's toughest trail.

Trip Finder: Northeast

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

Our Backyard: Denali National Park

Explore Denali's top dayhikes, photo ops, and epic wildlife treks.

Our Backyard: Trinity Alps Wilderness, CA

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

Readers' Choice: Great Lakes

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

Readers' Choice: Northeast

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

Our Backyard: Chequamegon National Forest, WI



Our Backyard: Green Mountains

Nine ways to see Vermont's Green Mountains

Readers' Choice: Rockies

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

Trip Finder: Rockies

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

Rip & Go: Four Pass Loop

Like peaks, lakes, and wildflowers? You'll love this Rockies classic in White River National Forest.

Our Backyard: Glacier National Park

Trek through grizzly terrain in Glacier National Park.

Rip & Go: Enchantment Lakes Basin - Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Discover a hidden basin filled with wildlife, lakes, and granite peaks.

Rip & Go: Crow Pass Trail - Chugach State Park, AK

Cross the west edge of the Chugach for glaciers, bears, and wildflowers.

Readers' Choice: Northwest

The undisputed local experts—you—choose the top parks, trails, campsites, and weekend getaways in the Northwest.

Readers' Choice: Alaska

The undisputed local experts—you—choose the top parks, trails, campsites, and weekend getaways in Alaska.

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!

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 Winter Trips: 10th Mountain Division Huts, Colorado

Get backcountry spoils--snorkel-deep pow on remote Rockies peaks--with frontcountry comforts (warm fire and hot toddies, anyone?) in this famed hut system. More than 350 miles of trails wind through prime winter terrain, connecting the 31 full-service cabins.

Best Winter Trips: White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Few places serve up fierce, unpredictable winter weather quite like Mt. Washington, the 6,288-foot capstone of New Hampshire's White Mountains. Battle hurricane-force winds--and 20-plus feet of annual snowfall--while tackling the East's best mountaineering, or choose from hundreds of miles of snowy trails for a lower elevation romp.

Best Winter Trips: Teton Range, Wyoming

Towering 7,000-plus feet above Jackson Hole, the Tetons wrest more than 30 feet of snow from passing storms and pile it thick on road-accessible slopes.

Best Winter Trips: Mt. Rainer National Park, Washington

The granddaddy of the Cascades looms above Seattle like a great white beacon for snow junkies. The mountain's 25 major glaciers hold enough ice to bury Manhattan 150 feet deep, and some of the planet's highest recorded snowfalls guarantee powder for all. Paradise, the park's winter epicenter, has year-round road access.

Norway: Tested

Traverse a Glacier: On Norway's west coast, ancient ice scapes offer an otherworldly adventure.

Best Hikes Ever: Northville-Placid Trail, Ny

Explore the Adirondack's valleys.

Best Hikes Ever: Willow Gulch, UT

Explore resurrected sandstone slots.

Best Hikes Ever: Olympic Traverse, WA

Go from rainforest to glaciers.

Best Hikes Ever: Redwood Creek Trail, CA

Feeling small among the world's tallest trees.

Wyoming Hikes

Go high and wide in Wyoming's untamed range.

Best Hikes Ever: Boundary Waters, MN

Immerse yourself in Minnesota's liquid wilderness.

Long Trail Hikes

Traverse the first long trail in Vermont.

Best Hikes Ever: Sabino Canyon Trail, AZ

Hike to a natural day spa.

Best Hikes Ever: Four-Pass Loop, CO

See the Rockies' most iconic mountains.

Best Hikes Ever: Bucking Mule Falls Trail, WY

Watch a waterfall cascade from the sky.

Best Hikes Ever: Southern Traverse, AK

Tackle an epic adventure in the far north.

Best Hikes Ever: Wonderland Trail, WA

Circumnavigate the West's most majestic mountain.

Best Hikes Ever: North Vista Trail, CO

Aim upward for majestic views over an ancient canyon.

Best Hikes Ever: Ben Avery Trail, AZ

Trek a desert landscape under a purple sun.

Best Hikes Ever: Gospel Hump Loop Trail, ID

Find private valleys, mountain passes, and riverside campsites.

Best Hikes Ever: Duffer Peak Trail, NV

Ascend a remote summit pyramid far away from civilization.

Best Hikes Ever: Jenkins Mountain Trail, NY

Skirt lakes to soaring ’Daks views.

Best Hikes Ever: Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, AK

Find deep solitude where the continent crashes into a frigid ocean.

Best Hikes Ever: Falls Hollow Trail, VA

Hike through waterfall spray to a rarely summited grassy bald.

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.

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: Grand Island Loop, MI

Hike along bluffs and fern forests in total solitude on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Best Hikes Ever: Zion Narrows, UT

Sluice through towering walls of sandstone in Utah's Zion National Park.

Best Hikes Ever: Mt. Cabot Loop, NH

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

Best Hikes Ever: Prairie Trail, ND

Weave around grassy meadows and mirror lakes.

Best Hikes Ever: Summit Lake Trail, CA

Backpack a knee-trembling route through an active geothermal zone.

Best Hikes Ever: Turkey Trail, KS

Snag views of swaying prairie grass stretching to the horizon.

Best Hikes Ever: Burr Oak State Park, OH

Traverse rolling hills to star-gazing meadows.

Best Hikes Ever: The Needles Traverse, CO

Forge your own route through the Rockies' most rugged corner.

Best Hikes Ever: Appalachian Trail, GA-ME

Thru-hike America's most revered long trail: the Appalachian Trail.

Best Hikes Ever: Denali, AK

Pick your pilgrimage through the backcountry Holy Land: Mt Eielson Loop or Kesugi Ridge.

Best Hikes Ever: Elk Trail, PA

Track through dense forests ringing with bugling.

Best Hikes Ever: Balsam Cap and Friday Mountain, NY

Brave thick forest to reach rugged twin summits.

Best Hikes Ever: Presidential Traverse, NH

Tag a team of the East's most challenging peaks in the White Mountains.

Best Hikes Ever: Logging Lake Trail, MT

Hike a forested, fire-scarred trail between two iconic pools.

Best Hikes Ever: Sandpiper Trail, SC

Emerge from crane-crossed coastal grasslands to pristine beaches.

Best Hikes Ever: Escalante Route, AZ

Plumb the wild depths of the Big Ditch.

Best Hikes Ever: Teton Crest Trail, WY

Traverse the nation's most photogenic range on the Teton Crest Trail.

Best Hikes Ever: John Muir Trail, CA

Step for scenery-packed step, nothing else compares to the John Muir Trail.

Reader Leader Contest Winner!

After sifting through scores of submissions, we've chosen a reader who will be an official BACKPACKER field scout.

The Peak: Mt. Marcy, Adirondacks, NY

Take the scenic--and sporting--route to New York's highest summit.

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: Longleaf Pines, GA

Walk beneath trees that predate the Revolutionary War.

Natural Wonders: Sparring Bighorn Sheep

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

Natural Wonders: Hells Canyon, OR/ID

Hike into North America's deepest river gorge--a canyon that could hold five stacked Sears Towers.

Top 3 Rainy Season Hikes: Neshannock Creek, PA

Cast a fly to land lunker brown trout.

Top 3 Rainy Season Hikes: Emerald Pools, UT

Explore Gushing, Rain-fed waterfalls.

Top 3 Rainy Season Hikes: Mill Creek, CA

Rains summon salmon and slugs.

Top 3: Rainy Season Hikes

Make the best of fall storms on trails that improve with soggy weather.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: The Press Traverse, WA

Cross the Olympic Range on a forgotten explorers' path.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Middle Fork Trail, NM

Trek along–and in–the Gila River.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Foothills Trail, SC

See bears, gorges, and waterfalls on this 77-mile South Carolina hike.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Resurrection Pass Trail, AK

This 39-mile Alaska hike offers big scenery without a bush plane.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Knobstone Trail, IN

Climb high (really!) in the Midwest.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Greenstone Ridge, MN

Traverse a seldom-hiked national park.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: West Coast Trail, BC

Tackle Vancouver Island’s wild coast.

High Sierra Trail, Ca: 50-Mile Thru-Hikes

Go straight to the top in the Range of Light.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Toiyabe Crest Trail, NV

Cross Nevada's loftiest range in 6-7 days.

50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Loyalsock Trail, Pennsylvania

A 59-mile "long trail" through Pennsylvania.

Less is More: 50-Mile Thru-Hikes

Ten point-to-point treks with the payoffs of a thru-hike, but hikeable in a week.

Rip & Go: Mathews Arm Loop - Shenandoah National Park

Ramble through brilliant red and yellow fall foliage.

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

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

Rip & Go: Paradise Valley - Kings Canyon National Park

Hike in the spray of waterfalls deep in the heart of black bear country.

Coming Soon: BACKPACKER's Life List: The International Edition

Our free guide to the 20 best international hikes ever written about in the pages of BACKPACKER.

October 2010 Table of Contents



20 Best International Hikes: Sign Up for a Free Digital Download

BACKPACKER's Life List: The International Edition is a free guide to the 20 best international hikes ever written about in the pages of Backpacker.

Local Hikes: Knoxville, TN

The best hikes near Knoxville, TN.

Local Hikes: Spokane, WA

The best hikes near Spokane.

Local Hikes: Portland, OR

The best hikes near Portland.

Local Hikes: Anchorage, AK

The best hikes near Anchorage.

Local Hikes: Boise, ID

The best hikes near Boise.

Local Hikes: Portland, ME

The best hikes near Portland, ME.

Local Hikes: Rochester, NY

The best hikes near Rochester.

Local Hikes: Burlington, VT

The best hikes near Burlington.

Local Hikes: Philadelphia, PA

The best hikes near Philly.

Local Hikes: Manchester, NH

The best hikes near Manchester.

Local Hikes: Boston, MA

The best hikes near Boston.

Local Hikes: Pittsburgh, PA

The best hikes near Pittsburgh.

Local Hikes: Albany, NY

The best hikes near Albany.

Local Hikes: New York City, NY

The best hikes near New York, as selected by the Big Apple's best hiking clubs.

Rip & Go: Horse Mountain to Traveler Mountain - Baxter State Park, ME

Reach great granite heights on Katahdin's next-door neighbor.

Rip & Go: Watchtower to Sheephead Loop - Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, MT/ID

Have rocky ridges and sparkling alpine lakes all to yourself.

Rip & Go: Stuart Fork to Alpine Lake -Trinity Alps, CA

Discover the inner sanctum of California's second largest wilderness.

Ranger Confidential: Secrets of the National Park Rangers

True tales from the front lines--and behind the scenes--of America's national parks.

VIDEOS: Winter Test Fest

Video footage & backcountry skills tips from Backpacker's winter ski testing in Norway & Colorado.

September 2010 Table of Contents



Tahoe Rim Trail: Above it All

On a thru-hike of the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail, two brothers get some perspective - on America's largest alpine lake, and each other.

Top 3 Trailhead Pub Hikes: Buttermilk Falls SP, NY

Explore waterfall-filled Gorges with fossils preserved in the shale walls.

Top 3 Trailhead Pub Hikes: The Barr Trail, CO

Climb a fourteener for a view across the continental divide.

Top 3 Trailhead Pub Hikes: Deschutes River Trail, OR

Hike streamside near pacific northwest greenery and caribbean-blue eddies.

The Peak: Mt. Mitchell

Enjoy solitude and fixed-rope scrambling on the East's highest mountain.

Life's Short, Hike More!

What makes a backpacker a backpacker? It's not the garage full of gear or piles of guidebooks--it's the experiences, from thru-hiking a long trail to pushing your personal envelope to inspiring a child's love of wilderness. Here we present BACKPACKER's new Life List: 10 experiences to add to your tick-listnow--and the key skills you need to nail them.

New Life List: Explore Patagonia

Experience the thrill of being a pioneer: Trek to a remote corner of the globe.

New Life List: Summit a Himalayan Peak

The roof of the world is open to everyone, and your personal Mt. Everest is waiting.

New Life List: See a Grizzly

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

New Life List: Bag a Remote Peak

Stand alone atop Washington's Glacier Peak--a summit that others rarely see, let alone climb.

New Life List: Traverse a Mountain Range

Walking a high ridge with countless views and no people is the stuff of dreams. Make it real in Olympic National Park's Bailey Range.

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.

New Life List: Ultimate Family Paddling Adventure

World-class scenery, luxe camping, and easy paddling await your family on the Green River in Canyonlands. Your kids will remember this forever.

New Life List: Climb a Via Ferrata

Get a taste of the vertical alpine world--no experience required.

New Life List: Thru-Hike the JMT

A lifetime of weekend trips is like trying to live on appetizers. Get real sustenance with a two-week trek through the best of the Sierras on California's John Muir Trail.

20 Full Moon Hikes

The moon is full on Monday, July 26. Get out this weekend to explore open meadows and ridgelines at night.

Download BACKPACER Photo Wallpaper for Your Computer, iPhone, iPad, or Blackberry

Need instant inspiration? Download these BACKPACKER destination photos–Switzerland, Grand Canyon, & John Muir Wilderness–and get lost.

Rip & Go: Snowy Range Loop, Medicine Bow National Forest, WY

See snaggly summits and hook trout galore on a high-alpine trek.

John Muir Trail, Cherokee National Forest, TN

Contemplate the south's wild side on the trail that launched America's greatest wilderness champion.

Hiking Wales: Plan Your Trip

Use our guide to make your Wales hiking adventure a reality.

Hiking Wales: Brecon Beacons National Park

Cross a sprawling preserve of broad mountains, lonely ridgelines, and lush river valleys.

Hiking Wild Wales: Offa's Dyke Path

Follow a long-distance trail along the once-violent, now-bucolic border between England and Wales.

Hiking Wild Wales: Snowdonia National Park

The highest peak. The wildest ridges. The largest lake. Find them all in Wales's alpine heart.

Hiking Wild Wales: Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Tiptoe along oceanside bluffs with views across the Irish Sea.

Secret Hikes: Yellowstone National Park

What crowds? Lose yourself in the Lamar Valley on this weeklong hike.

Secret Hikes: Appalachian Trail

The last lonely stretch of the AT beckons from the mountains of western Maine.

Secret Hikes: Glacier National Park

Score wildlife sightings daily, choice views hourly--and at least one juicy burger--on this weeklong circuit.

Secret Hikes: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Explore a granite wonderland, cross two little-used passes, and score High Sierra solitude on this point-to-point hike.

Secret Hikes: Zion National Park

Pack an extra memory card for what is, mile-for-mile, the most photogenic hike in the Southwest.

Secret Hikes: North Cascades National Park

Dive into the heart of the Lower 48's wildest park.

Secret Hikes: Badlands

Ever dreamed of exploring another planet? Hike here.

Secret Hikes: Isle Royale National Park

Trek to shoreline campsites through woodlands rife with moose, birds, and wolves.

Secret Hikes: Olympic National Park Hiking

Walk from lush rainforest to wide-open glacier views on this 43-mile sneak route.

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: Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Climb from sublime desert to pine forests and peaks with 100-mile views.

Secret Hikes: Grand Teton National Park

Rise above the crowds and earn solo views of elk, wildflowers, and summit sunsets.

High Note: Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with Rock Stars for a Cause

The only problem with cancer survivors and rockers joining forces for a fund-raising concert on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro? It's hard to cheer when you can't breathe.

Hiking Wild Wales

Don't be fooled by the cozy pubs and low elevations. The birthplace of mountaineering overflows with challenges, from rugged peaks to history-laden coastal treks.

The Manual: Plan an Expedition

Go big with these expedition trip planning tips.

June 2010 Table of Contents



Zones: 6 Topographies, 18 Amazing Trips

Whether you're looking for Coastal, Canyon, Peak, Forest, or Urban hikes, we have those. Plus some paddling (Water) trips for good measure.

Zones: Forests

Hike amongst the trees in these Washington, California, and Vermont hikes.

Zones: Peaks

Hike high points on Mt. Rainier, Mt. Washington, and Mt. Whitney.

Zones: Canyons

Marvel at Mother Nature on these canyon hikes in Utah and North Carolina.

Zones: Coastal

Hug the coastline in these Michigan, California, and British Columbia hikes.

Zones: Water

Hit the water, and see plenty of wildlife and scenic views, on these paddling trips in Alaska, Florida, and Minnesota.

Water: Boundary Waters, MN

Looking for animals? This Minnesota paddle is a sure bet.

Water: Ten Thousand Islands Loop, FL

See the Everglades by boat on this 23 mile trip.

Water: Muir Inlet, AK

Paddle along Glacier Bay's dynamic shores.

Coastal: Nootka Trail, British Columbia

Hike Canada's Pacific Coast harbor on this British Columbia trail.

Coastal: Pictured Rocks Lakeshore, MI

Hike Lake Superior's shoreline in this 12+ mile hike.

Coastal: Lost Coast Trail, CA

This 26-mile trek along California's coast should have been a highway...except it was too riddled with cliffs to build on.

Canyon: Davis Gulch, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, UT

This picturesque Utah hike features natural arches and ancient petroglyphs.

Canyon: Linville Gorge Loop, NC

Head to Asheville, North Carolina for this beautiful gorge loop.

Canyon: Narrows of the Virgin River, UT

Hike, swim, and scramble in this 16-mile slot canyon route.

Peak: Mt. Washington, NH

If you don't mind the potential of extreme weather and wind, Mt. Washington is your hike.

Peak: Mt. Whitney, CA

Check out the Mountaineer's Route of Mt. Whitney if you're looking for a challenge.

Peak: Mt. Rainier: Disappointment Cleaver Route

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

My Island, My Map: Creating a Custom Map of Bainbridge Island

If you think you missed the age of exploration and discovery, you haven't tried the latest mapping tools. Join our tech scout as he learns how to hike like a cartographer--and sees the wilderness in an entirely new way.

Forest: Giant Forest Loop, CA

See giant sequoias, including General Sherman, on this great family hike.

Forest: Hoh River Trail, WA

This Olympic National Park trail features serious elevation gain and switchbacks galore.

Forest: Monroe Skyline, VT

This 15-mile section of the Long Trail traces the spine of Vermont's Green Mountains.

Urban: The Vegas Strip, NV

This 5.3 mile sunset tour of Vegas takes in all the sights and sounds.

Urban: Manhattan, NY

If you don't mind the crowds, hiking Manhattan is urban hiking at its finest.

Urban: Walt Disney World, FL

Hike Disney's Magic Kingdom with the family.

Table of Contents: May Maps Issue 2010



Hike America's Long Trails

We know. You've always wanted to hike a long trail. Lucky for you, we've got the comprehensive guides to make your dreams a reality. Check out the best sections and dayhikes along the AT, PCT and CDT. PLUS: See how four hikers beat the recession...by hiking through it.

Spring Hikes: Trip Planner

From Georgia to Oregon, spring blossoms are finally pushing through the winter frost. That means it's time to clear the cobwebs out of the boot soles and bag your first hike of the spring. Here's our exclusive guide to the best spring dayhikes around the country from east, middle, and west.

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

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

Top 3 Luxury Hikes

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

The Big Easy: Backpack Alaska

Plan your perfect Alaskan trip–from a budget-friendly weekend to an entry-level expedition–with field reports from Steve Howe.

The Rangers are Watching: Webcams in Yellowstone

Are wilderness webcams good for the backcountry–or bad for privacy?

Higher Love: Father & Daughter Climb Mt. Chamberlin

On a remote Arctic peak, a father and his teenager encounter the hardest of all human challenges.

Fly Fishing Mystery Alaska: A Fish Story

Imagine an Alaskan paradise with trout bigger than your leg, bears, and caribou traipsing by camp, and no people–except your good friends. This place exists, we just can't tell you where it is.

Destination Alaska: Castner Glacier

Witness the effects of climate change on a challenging trek in the Delta Mountains.

Destination Alaska: Devil's Pass

Easy routefinding and life-list sights make this thru-hike a must for Alaska novices.

Destination Alaska: Grizzly Pass

Hike to a private paradise deep in the Talkeetna Mountains.

Destination Alaska: Harding Icefield

Hike a classic in Kenai Fjords–and escape the crowds by making it an overnight.

Destination Alaska: The Goat Trail

Tackle an epic route through Chitistone Canyon in Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve.

Destinatons Alaska: Johnson Pass

Hike a historic, kid-friendly trail to wildflower meadows and fish-filled lakes.

Destination Alaska: Flute Glacier

Just minutes from town, score big scenery fast on the South Fork of Eagle River.

Destination Alaska: Lost Lake, Chugach Mountains

Bring plenty of supplies to this alpine plateau in the Chugach Mountains–you'll want to extend your stay.

Destination Alaska: Thompson Pass

See the awesome Valdez Mountains on this off-trail adventure to Point Odyssey and beyond.

Rip & Go: Big Moose Mountain - Maine Public Reserved Lands Little Moose Unit, ME

Hike to an historic fire tower and camp beside secluded ponds.

Rip & Go: Soldier Creek Loop - Fort Robinson State Park, NE

Explore an unknown Nebraska wilderness for a surprising dose of rolling hills, wildlife, and solitude.

Rip & Go: Dewey Point - Yosemite National Park, CA

Discover the rewards of winter camping on this easy snowshoe trek.

Southern Rockies: Truchas Traverse, NM

Hit three 13,000-foot peaks in the wildest wilderness south of Glacier.

Southern Rockies: Wheeler Peak, NM

Climb to the crown of the Sangre de Cristo Range.

Southern Rockies: Twilight Peaks, CO

Explore a secret wonderland in the West Needle Mountains.

Southern Rockies: Continental Divide Trail, CO

Hike high on this above-treeline route through the Weminuche Wilderness.

Central Rockies: Green River Lakes, WY

Hike to the heart of the Winds.

Central Rockies: Highline Trail, UT

Discover Utah's best-kept secret.

Central Rockies: Longs Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park

Climb this iconic summit on an uncrowded sneak route.

Northern Rockies: Gallatin Skyline, Yellowstone National Park

Go high for the see-it-all hike in this iconic park.

Northern Rockies: Dawson Pass Loop, Glacier National Park

See the best of Montana without the crowds.

Northern Rockies: Thompson Peak, ID

Climb the high point of the Sawtooth Mountains.

Northern Rockies: Imogene Pass Loop, ID

Swim, climb, nap–repeat. This Sawtooths trek has it all.

The Peak: Mt. Tamalpais, CA

At Mt. Tam you'll find wilderness solitude with Pacific views only 20 miles from San Francisco. Plus, there's a beer garden.

Natural Wonders: Death Valley's Wildflowers

Trek through lush fields that thrive on just two inches of annual rainfall.

Natural Wonders: Colorado's Tallest Frozen Waterfall

See a 365-foot cascade turned to ice at Bridal Veil Falls.

Luxury Hikes: Amicalola Falls SP, GA

Trek to an off-the-grid bunkhouse.

Luxury Hikes: Muleshoe Ranch, AZ

Discover a desert oasis.

Luxury Hikes: Navajo Lake Trail, CO

Hike to a hot springs and private cabin.

Editors' Choice 2010 Videos: Hiking the Swiss Alps

Hike Switzerland's Via Alpina route with the Backpacker editors in our video series.

Editors' Choice 2010: Switzerland Photo Slideshows

View stunning vistas and snowy passes in these photos of Switzerland's Via Alpina route. Included: the Eiger, the Wetterhorn, and Jungfrau Glacier.

Reader Essays: Close Encounter

Paula Patterson learns how to share the trail–but not her tent–with the wildlife.

Reader Essays: Yogi, Meet the Kids

Finding it hard to get the whole family out for a hike? Let Danny Griffs show you the way.

Your Favorite Places: Readers' Choice Trips 2010

Who knows the secret trails and must-do classics in every corner of the country? Our teams of regional experts, recruited from the ranks of readers like you. Here are their top hikes from coast to coast.

Midwest Readers' Choice Hikes

Mississippi river vistas, ocean-size grasslands, and guaranteed solitude.

Mountain West Readers' Choice Hikes

A weekend in Glacier, a quiet 14er, and the Rockies' best hot springs.

Northeast Readers' Choice Hikes

A state high point, killer foliage, and a hike loaded with waterfalls

Northwest Readers' Choice Trips

Crashing waterfalls, hidden lakes, and a choice Denali view highlight the 2010 Northwest Readers' Choice hikes.

Southeast Readers' Choice Hikes

Colossal trees, sweet swimming holes, and the USA's best picnic spot.

West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes

The world's prettiest shoreline, giant pines, and Yosemite's premier view.

West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes: Kalalau Trail, HI

Hike Hawaii's all-world coast to a secluded beach.

West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes: The Ruby Crest Trail, Humboldt NF, NV

Explore lonely alpine scenery in this off-the-radar wilderness.

West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes: Thru-hike the John Muir Trail, CA

Trek 211 miles through hiker heaven.

West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes: California's Giant Sequoias, Sugarbowl Loop, Kings Canyon NP

Take a lightly trafficked trail into the word's biggest grove.

West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes: Sentinel Dome, Yosemite NP

Bag a granite peak with big views and small crowds.

West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes: Lakes Trail to Pear Lake, Sequoia NP

Get a highlights tour of the High Sierra backcountry.

Readers' Choice Southeast Hikes: Ramsey Cascades, Great Smokies, TN

See big water, massive trees, and tiny amphibians.

Readers' Choice Southeast Hikes: Mt. Rogers NRA, VA

Celebrate the arrival of summer with an unrivaled circus of color.

Readers' Choice Southeast Hikes: Max Patch Bald, NC

Have a picnic on one of the Southeast's biggest balds.

Readers' Choice Southeast Hikes: Clingmans Dome to Silers Bald, TN

Bag four scenic peaks in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Readers' Choice Southeast Hikes: Thru-hike the Florida Trail

See wild, historic surprises in the Sunshine State.

Readers' Choice Southeast Hikes: Raven Ridge - Blackbird Knob Loop
Dolly Sods Wilderness, WV

See a Great White North south of the Mason-Dixon.

Readers' Choice Northwest: Golden Larches - Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

See this deciduous pine turn electric-yellow.

Readers' Choice Northwest: Wahtum Lake, OR

Find primo lakeside camping on a rainforest-to-alpine loop.

Readers' Choice Northwest: Lost River Range, ID

Want guaranteed peace and quiet? Hike to two of the Lower 48's most remote alpine lakes.

Readers' Choice Northwest: South Spur, Mt. Adams, WA

Climb the Northwest's tallest nontechnical volcano.

Wonderland Trail, Mt. Rainier National Park

This classic alpine loop belongs on every backpacker's tick list.

Readers' Choice Northeast Hikes: Ricketts Glen State Park, PA

22 falls in a one day. Need we say more?

Readers' Choice Northeast Hikes: Panther Gorge and Mt. Marcy, Adirondack Park, NY

Bag New York's high point and two other big peaks.

Readers' Choice Northeast Hikes: Bernard Mountain, Acadia National Park, ME


Hike to a crowd-free view of the ocean.

Readers' Choice Northeast Hikes: Vermont's Green Mountains Foliage

Ogle fiery color in the Green Mountains.

Readers' Choice Northeast Hikes: Maine's 100-Mile Wilderness

Explore the Appalachian Trail's wildest stretch.

Readers' Choice Northeast Hikes: Burroughs Range Loop, Catskill Mountain Preserve, NY

Scramble to the Catskills' highest peaks.

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.

Readers' Choice Midwest Hikes: Nachusa Grasslands, IL

Explore a vast, trail-free prairie.

Readers' Choice Midwest Hikes: Aurora Borealis Isle Royale NP, MI

See the country's best light show.

Readers' Choice Midwest Hikes: Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, OK

Bushwhack into what very well might be the quietest spot in America.

Readers' Choice Midwest Hikes: Effigy Mounds National Monument, IA

Climb to views of the mighty Mississippi River.

Readers' Choice Midwest Hikes: Ice Age Trail, WI

Thru-hike one of the country's least-known National Scenic Trails.

Midwest Reader Map Team



Readers' Choice Midwest Hikes: Garden of the Gods to Lusk Creek Canyon, Shawnee NF, IL

Hike the River-to-River Trail over rugged ridges, through narrow canyons, and into small caves.

Reader Essays: Grandpa's Lesson


William G. Godlove discovers that even a short hike can last forever.

Reader Essays: Wilderness Served

James Dammar dishes up some brotherly love on Isle Royale.


Reader Essays: Great Smokies Solitude

Greg Hoover shares his secrets for finding quiet on the busiest trail in the country's busiest park.

Reader Essays: Timber!

Jon Heaton and his son survive a deadly Yellowstone windstorm.

Reader Essays: If Clark Griswold Went Camping ...

The trip would start like this, imagines Wayne Wright.

Reader Essays: Going in Circles

Reece Price finds himself lost and alone in the desert.

Reader Essays: Hold Your Fire

Robert DeNike demonstrates how NOT to greet a bear.

Reader Essays: Stampede!

Caught between a goat and a hard place? Don't move, says Daniel Claar.

Reader Essays: Bullfight!

John Joy goes fist-to-nose with an invasive species.

Reader Essays: My First, Worst Trip

New to hiking? Brian Simpson 
has a foolproof plan for doing it all wrong.

America's Worst Trail: A Love Story

Is the reward always equal to the effort? Uh...maybe, says this bloodied, bruised, and bandaged reader.

Inspirational BACKPACKER Readers

Meet five of BACKPACKER's most inspirational heroes–they're also readers.

Rip & Go: Iron Mountain Loop - Mount Rogers National Recreation Area

Lose the leaf-peeping crowds on this quiet ramble above Virginia's loftiest canopies of color.

Rip & Go: Sage Creek Loop - Badlands National Park, SD

Explore off-trail in a wilderness with more bison than boot prints.

Rip & Go: Badwater Basin to Gold Valley - Death Valley National Park, CA

Don't waste winter: Tackle this cross-country canyon trek in the Lower 48's largest national park.

National Parks Hall of Fame

The all-time best. That's what every hiker wants on a national park trek, and that's what you'll get if you tackle one of these 25 trips.

Natural Wonders: Blowholes, Salmon Runs, & Wine Country

Hawaii's Nakalele blowhole rivals Old Faithful. Plus: Trek to Oregon's salmon run and California's wine country.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Solitude

If less people, more elk has become your mountain mantra, check the Guadalupe Mountains backcountry camping sites and trails and get that so sought after alone time.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Loop

Don't go up, go around. Rainier's Wonderland Trail loop offers the marathon hiker two weeks of backpacking bliss.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Park Finder

Zero in on your perfect hike, from thrilling slots to soak-awhile hot springs.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Alpine Hike

Live longer, take the North Circle Route. Glacier's highcountry views and crisp alpine air are rumored to add years to a backpacker's being.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Dayhike

Beat the crowds by tackling this classic dayhike by moonlight.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Canyon

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

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Wildlife

Who ever said out of sight, out of mind was certainly not referring to the wealth of wildlife that are making some big noise in Thorofare Valley.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Cross-Country Adventure

Traverse alongside delicate ecosystem, open tundra and hit nine summits on this "grand slam" of cross-country treks.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Wildflowers

Smelling the flowers doesn't require slowing down your trek (though you might want to) through the explosion of wildflowers that cover the Great Smoky Mountains each year.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Coastal Hike

Swap summits for sand scrambling along nearly 18 miles of quiet coastal terrain.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Peak

No crowds. No frills. No cakewalk. This hang-on-for-your-life climb is not for the meager-hearted.

Fall Foliage Photo Special

Learn how to take the perfect fall foliage photo with our tutorials and slideshows.

BACKPACKER 3D Trail Flyover Videos

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

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.

Bushwhackers Wanted: Portland's Forest Park to the Pacific Ocean

Be the first to thru-hike an exploratory route from Portland to the Pacific.

A 2,175-Mile Dayhike: Trekking the Appalachian Trail in One Day

The Dartmouth Outing Club targets an Appalachian Trail hiking record.

Your Daily Tread: Local Hikes Across the U.S.

What's better than hiking every weekend? Hiking every day. Here are the best big-city escapes from New York to Los Angeles. Plus: Bill Donahue explores the remote reaches of Portland's Forest Park and discovers secrets even locals don't know.

The Wild Edge: Exploring Portland's Forest Park

When urban trails blend with raw wilderness, the sum is much greater than the parts.

Quick Escapes: 10 Trails Near Major Cities

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

Rip & Go: 10,000 Islands Loop - Everglades National Park, FL

Kayak to pocket beaches and Gulf islands at Florida's southern tip.

Rip & Go: Wood Lake - Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, MT

Cross the Stillwater Plateau to trout-rich ponds at the foot of Montana's second highest peak.

Rip & Go: Loowit Trail - Mt. St. Helens National Monument, WA

Tackle a challenging, rocky route in the shadow of America's most famous volcano.

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.

Natural Wonders: Freaky Bats, Dry Falls, Winter Witch Hazel

Washington, Arkansas, and Georgia are host to these three life-list phenomena treks.

Top 3 Battlefield Hikes

Close your eyes and hear the bullets fly: These three routes pass through parks drenched in United States military history.

Insider's Guide: Yellowstone

From camping with wolves to fly-fishing smarts this insider's guide has you covered.

Vanishing Act: Explore Yellowstone's Northern Fringe

Disappear into Yellowstone's secret northern fringe, where you'll find a rejuvenated landscape and total solitude (except for the bison and grizzlies).

Out of Africa: Interview with Ultrahiker Justin Lichter

In an attempt to hike the continent's wild divide, one ultrahiker does something he's never done–quit.

Undiscovered Hikes: 19 New Trails

Hike these paths before the masses find them.

Footprints Needed: Colorado's Undiscovered Black Canyon

Descend into Colorado's Black Canyon and explore a park that has everything–life-list scenery, challenging terrain, a revitalized river–except hikers.

Rip & Go: Black Balsam Knob to Cold Mountain - Pisgah National Forest, NC

Trek 18.2 miles from the South's best view to its most famous mountain.

Rip & Go: Wheeler Peak Loop - Wheeler Peak Wilderness, NM

Connect alpine lakes and tag three summits on this wildflower- and wildlife-packed loop.

Rip & Go: Loon Creek to Horseshoe Lake - Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, ID

Explore a supersized wilderness that's home to Idaho's densest population of gray wolves.

How to Lead a Summit Hike

Keep a group of peakbaggers safe with these field-proven tips.

The Manual: How to Explore a Slot Canyon

Explore these redrock mysteries safely with expert tips on gear and technique.

The Peak: Windom Peak, CO

Take a historic train to the trailhead and climb this Colorado beauty, nestled deep in the Weminuche Wilderness.

Natural Wonders: Tallest Hoodoo, Largest Gators, Lost Maples

These three treks to life-list phenomena will take you to Bryce Canyon, Florida gator land, and fall foliage in the Texas desert.

Top 3 Family Dayhikes

Pack up your brood for a day in the outdoors with these kid-friendly trails.

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.

Higher Education: Should 13-Year-Old Jordan Romero Climb Everest?

Romero climbed Denali at 11 and has bagged five of the Seven Summits. He hopes to climb Everest in 2010, but is mountain climbing good for a growing kid?

Vote on America's Best Trail

For our 2010 Readers' Choice issue we want to know your favorite trail in America.

Backpacking Alaska: Glaciers, Wildlife, & Peaks On Every Corner

During a one-month August journey, BACKPACKER undertook multiple crowd-free Alaskan backpacking routes and returned with extensive photos, video, & GPS.

Rip & Go: Five Mountain Loop - Adirondack High Peaks, NY

Trek to the trail-free summits of Macomb, Hough, and The Dixes

Rip & Go: Paintbrush-Cascade Canyons Loop - Grand Teton National Park

Climb through bear country to a campsite with views of The Grand.

Rip & Go: Spider Glacier - Glacier Peak Wilderness, WA

Stroll through wildflower-filled meadows to a frozen slice of the Cascade Range.

Top 3 Perfect Substitute National Forests

Get national park-caliber scenery without crowds (or entry fees!) in these dead ringers for Great Smoky Mountains, Zion, and Yosemite.

The Peak: Mt. Rainier

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

Insider's Guide Rocky Mountain National Park

From the top day hike to the key skills you'll need, we'll have you ready for the Rockies in no time.

Full Circle: The Rocky Mountain Grand Loop

Follow a long-forgotten loop in Rocky Mountain National Park across the Continental Divide, through moose-infested meados, and up Longs Peak via a rarely climbed route.

The Smokies' Homesteads: Exclusive Google Flyover Video and Tracklog

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

Professor Rescue: Q & A with SAR Statistician Robert Koester

By crunching numbers on the thousands of lost hiker cases in the backcountry each year, Robert Koester hopes to keep you on track.

August 2009 Table of Contents



Weekend Planner: Go High-Tech

Go wireless, get dialed in, and navigate like a pro with these gadgets.

Weekend Planner: Bring the Kids

Follow our fool-proof three-stage guide to getting your kids as psyched as you are about getting outside.

Weekend Planner: Pack Less

Get outside earlier and faster by taking less with you. Here's how to ditch excess gear and pack light, tasty food.

Weekend Planner: Join Others

Team trips will help get you outside faster than solo outings.

Weekend Planner: Organize Your Gear

If you want to hit the trail before everyone, you'll need to get your gear in gear. Here's how.

Weekend Planner: Work Smarter

A little thought and planning in the office can put you on the trail earlier than everyone else. Get started with this primer from productivity experts.

BACKPACKER's Ultimate Weekend Planner

We guarantee you can triple your trail time this summer. How? Our step-by-step guide solves every challenge–work overload, gear chaos, no partner, family demands–so you can enjoy more of what you live to do every weekend: hike.

Hike It, Save It: Red Buttes, Oregon/ California

Threatened by OHVs, logging, and overgrazing a 120,000-acre proposed addition to Red Buttes Wilderness would quintuple its size and benefit the Pacific Crest Trail.

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.

Hike It, Save It: Seneca Creek, West Virginia

A two-day, 17-mile zigzag along blueberry-lined mountain ridges will give you a dose of the 24,000-acre "Crown Jewel of the Monongahela," threatened by oil and gas drilling.

Hike It, Save It: Handies Peak, Colorado

The biggest threat to his critical gap between the Weminuche and Uncompahgre Wilderness Areas? Off-highway vehicles.

Hike It, Save It: Upper Desolation Canyon, Utah

Oil and gas development threaten these 65,000 acres. Float the Green River to see what's at stake.

Hike It, Save It: Utukok Uplands, Alaska

On the Brooks Range's Arctic slop, coal mining and oil and natural gas drilling are threats to half a million caribou, and the Arctic's highest concentration of grizzlies.

Hike It, Save It: Scotchman Peaks, Montana/Idaho

Development, bureaucracy, and apathy threaten this Glacier-like mecca, home to grizzlies, fields of beargrass, and superlative alpine hiking.

Hike It, Save It: Chestnut Ridge and Tracy Ridge, Pennsylvania

Oil drilling and vacation homes threaten on of the last Chestnut tree bastions, a 5,191-acre proposed Wilderness Area in the Allegheny National Forest.

Hike It, Save It: Maine's Grafton Loop

The thread to this Down East trail? Vacation homes. Passing through roughly 10 miles of private land that has yet to be protected, wilderness designation could neutralize the looming threat.

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.

Rip & Go: Eagle Rock Loop - Ouachita National Forest, AR

Climb riverside bluffs in the South's oldest national forest.

Gear Review: Evernew EL9 Solar Clip Light

This sustainable light gives cap-wearers a viable headlamp alternative.

Perfect Substitutes: Crowd-Free Destinations

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.

America's Best Day Hikes: Midwest

Beaches, wildlife, and prairies in Minnesota, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Ohio, North Dakota, Kansas, and Illinois make the Midwest a hiker's paradise.

America's Best Dayhikes: Northeast

From blueberry picking in New York and New Hampshire to pure solitude in New Hampshire and Maine, moose sitings in Vermont, and peaks in New York, these the hikes feature the best of the Northeast.

America's Best Day Hikes: Southwest

From canyons to rock art to waterfalls, the Southwest has an abundance of natural beauty.

America's Best Day Hikes: South

Take is stunning rivers and waterfalls, killer views, and amazing wildlife in Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Texas with these hikes.

America's Best Day Hikes: Rockies

With alpine views, hot springs, wildflowers and wildlife, these hikes in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana offer the best of the Rockies.

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.

Insider's Guide: The Grand Canyon

From dayhikes to weekends to weeklong hikes our Grand Canyon expert will have you ready to hit this natural wonder in no time. PLUS: Get dialed with essential skills.

Depth Perception: Trek to Grand Canyon's Royal Arch

The best view in the Grand Canyon can't be seen from the rim. Brave the trek to Royal Arch, hidden deep in the gorge, and your world will never look the same.

Rip & Go: Glen Camp Loop - Point Reyes National Seashore

Hike across forested hills to gape at ocean vistas just one hour north of San Francisco.

Rip & Go: Bowen-Baker Loop - Never Summer Wilderness, CO

Get national park scenery without the crowds on an alpine overnight with lakeside camping.

Rip & Go: Jacks River Trail - Cohutta Wilderness, GA

Disappear into the largest–and probably the wettest–wilderness east of the Mississippi.

Climb This Peak: Katahdin

This iconic summit shouldn't be rushed. Save the experience on this 33-mile trek.

Yosemite's North Rim: Exclusive Google Flyover Video & Photo Slideshow

Kelly Bastone hiked a long-forgotten trail through Yosemite's North Rim and documented the trek on video, in photographs, and using GPS.

Readers' Choice 2010: Submit Your Favorite U.S. Hike



Gear Guide 2009: Weeklong Packs

Heading out for a long haul? With these backpacks, you'll have the room you need for long trail comfort.

Gear Guide 2009: Weekend Packs

From this year's Editors' Choice winner to the ultimate organizational wonder, these weekend packs are perfect for heading to the hills Friday to Sunday.

Gear Guide 2009: Daypacks

Heading out for the day? We have your can-do ultimate daypack. From the best bargain to the lightest on the market, these packs have everything you need.

Gear Guide 2009: 3-Person Tents

From the most headroom to the best deal, three isn't a crowd with these tents.

Gear Guide 2009: Tarps

All you need is a roof over your head you say? A tarp might be just what you're after.

Gear Guide 2009: Mountaineering Tents

Head to the high-country with these altitude-ready tents.

Gear Guide 2009: 1-Person Tents

Going solo? Options abound with these 1-person tent choices.

Gear Guide 2009: 2-Person Tents

From the most innovative to the most eco-friendly, pitch one of these 2-person tents for your home away from home.

Gear Guide 2009: Heavy-Duty Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear Guide 2009: Light-Duty Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear Guide 2009: Mid-Duty Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear Guide 2009: Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

Gear Guide 2009: Tents

Home improvement: The best new shelters are roomy and light, thanks to innovative pole structures that expand space and reduce weight and bulk.

Gear Guide 2009: Backpacks

How do we know this year's packs are lighter and more comfortable than ever? We spent the last 12 months lugging loads from Denali to the 'Daks to bring you the 32 best.

Vote Now! What's the Best City to Raise an Outdoor Kid?



Ethiopia Backpacking Trips

Explore secret Africa on an alpine wildlife safari.

Polar Route, Greenland

See sheer-sided fjords, calving glaciers, and the northern hemisphere's largest ice sheet.

Rolwaling And Khumbu Valleys, Nepal

Experience the magic of the remote Himalaya.

Sarek National Park, Sweden

Lose yourself in Europe's last great wilderness.

Overland Track, Australia

Explore a hiker's fantasy island on Tasmania's rough-and-wild long trail.

Cordillera Apolobamba, Bolivia

See the Andes the way Cortez did–totally wild.

Tongariro Northern Circuit and Heaphy Track, New Zealand

Discover the best of Kiwi wilderness–north and south–with these two hikes.

Austria Backpacking Trips

Score classic Alps scenery, adventure, and hut culture without the classic crowds.

Higher Calling: Adventure in Valencia, Spain

Spain's little-known Valencia region beckons the mountain-minded adventurer with dramatic topography, sun-drenched hiking and biking, and sumptuous end-of-day feasts.

Stateside Adventures: Closer Than You Think

A veteran traveler discovers a world of adventure in his backyard.

Travel Like a Pro: What to Do When You Get There

Start your adventure right with these tips on getting to the trailhead and keeping in contact once you get there.

Travel Like a Pro: What to Do Before You Leave

Don't suffer through a poorly planned trip: Use our tips to choose a destination and create a to-do list to begin your adventure.

Passport Protection: Aloksac ShieldSak Review

This tech-saavy passport sleeve protects your documents from radio wave scanners

Camera Pack: LowePro CompuRover

LowePro CompuRover is the outdoor photographer's best friend.

Traveler's Daypack: Patagonia Scramble 35

For a rough day on the trail, wear Patagonia's stable Scramble 35 daypack.

All-In-One Luggage: High Sierra Overpass Wheeled

Roll, carry, or tote around your gear with the versatile High Sierra Overpass Wheeled bag.

Classic Duffel: The North Face Base Camp Series

The North Face Base Camp Series duffel is reliable through the worst dragging, zipper-yanking and rain.

Lightweight Roller: Granite Gear Ultraflight 115

Durable and lightweight, the Granite Gear Ultraflight 115 will keep you rolling.

International Multisport Meccas: Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador

Trek across the roof of the Andes, mix in some trail riding–on bike and horseback–and climb a 19,000-foot volcano.

International Multisport Meccas: Julian Alps, Slovenia

Traverse the unknown end of the Alps–by trail, canyon, and cliff face–on this demanding journey in and around Triglav National Park.

International Multisport Meccas: Queenstown, New Zealand

Hike, paddle, and swim narrow canyons before running class IV rapids on an inflatable boogie board.

International Multisport Meccas: Darjeeling, India

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

International Mulitsport Meccas: Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Float, backpack, and mountain bike Canada's wild west coast.

February/March 2009 Table of Contents



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.

What's the Most Packable Firearm?

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

Trek Copper Canyon Rim to Rim

Hike North America's deepest canyon

Where Can I Find the Best View of the Northern Lights?

You guessed, it, you need to head North. Here's where you'll get the best view of the Northern Lights.

Quick Fix: Dayhike Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Plunge from rainforest to caldera in Hawaii's famously explosive national park

Pack Man: The Appalachian Trail Guru

Thirty miles up the trail from Springer Mountain, Winton Porter shelters and feeds thru-hikers–and works tirelessly to slash their pack weight.

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.

Little Big Houses: Three-Season, Double-Occupancy Shelters

At right around two pounds per person, these three-season, double-occupancy shelters do everything but weigh you down.

The Works: Snowshoe the Sierra

Pick your own path to an empty 14er.

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.

Quick Fix: Big Bend National Park

Scout for gold–and desert views–amid this Texas park's spray of late-fall foliage.

Above & Beyond

The world's tallest tree towers above a secret location deep within the lush, tangled backcountry of Redwood National Park. Determined to find this giant, our correspondent discovers something more incredible than he ever imagined.

Quick Fix: Apostle Islands

You don't need a boat to see this spectacular national lakeshore. Here's how to explore the best of its bluffs and beaches by foot (and paddle).

Big Trips Made Easy: Hayduke Trail, UT

Finding total Southwest solitude

Big Trips Made Easy: Glacier Peak Wilderness, WA

Exploring a high, wild corner of the North Cascades

Big Trips Made Easy: Allagash Wilderness Waterway, ME

Floating a liquid maze in the Northeast's lake-riddled forests

Big Trips Made Easy: High Sierra, CA

Rambling a granite redoubt

Hike It: 4 Big Trips Made Easy

Ready to dial up the adventure meter? Try out your digital skills–and go places most people can't–on these life-list journeys.

February 2008 Table of Contents



April 2008 Table of Contents



Backpacker Magazine Launches Fully Redesigned Website with New Multimedia and GPS-Supported Content

New features and web-based tools enable Backpacker's passionate online community to share trips, post pictures, and get the latest in gear reviews and adventure news and content.

Your Weeklong Dream Trip



Your Next Big Peak



Your Longest Dayhike Ever



Welcome to the New Backpacker.com!

With more features, a new look, and the most informative content this side of the trail, the new Backpacker.com is amped up with the best in adventure, gear, travel, skills, and survival on the web.

Spotting The Elusive Wolf

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

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