See ferns that play dead, then dramatically come back to life.
Witness the birthing of a species that shared the seas with dinosaurs.
Gaze into a 2,000-foot-deep tub of snowmelt.
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.
Discover the world's oldest tree, America's biggest cavern, and Florida's largest herd of wild horses on these three treks.
See glowing plankton, mushrooms, and bugs on these brilliant adventures.
According to folklore, the soft light emitted by bioluminescent organisms is magical. In reality, the eerie glow results from a chemical reaction–but it still looks enchanting on a moonless or cloudy night. Here's where to glimpse these living light bulbs.
Head to Northern California's Redwood National Park for a glimpse at these giants.
Where's the best western foliage?
Catch this national park's brightest fall foliage on a short stroll or an all-day epic.
Backcountry crooks ransack public lands, stealing the natural prizes most coveted by collectors–and vulnerable species and hikers alike suffer when these icons vanish from the trails to resurface on the black market.
Hikers and ATV riders hit the ground in a new battle over trail access.
A big-picture biologist unearths threats to songbirds, salamanders, and a peak-loving furball.
These dozen creatures are threatened by global warming.
Headed for the coasts? Keep those Tevas handy. Swelling oceans are threatening to submerge classic trails.
More potent poison ivy is on the way, plus fast-growing weeds that will change the face of Eastern forests.
Scientists say Nebraska's wild prairies could become the Western Hemisphere's largest sandbox in as few as 30 years.
Pine beetles are felling more trees than wildfires and the timber industry combined.
As the earth warms, here's how higher temps will affect our forests.
Find these hard-to-spot beauties on your next journey
Last fall, we showed you the many ways that climate change is altering the wild places we love. Now, a look at what BACKPACKER is doing to reduce the magazine's impact.
Beat the itchy stuff with creams or homeopathic measures.
Information on 19 more "green" companies and an interview with Big Agnes's Bill Gamber
Looking to get more than scenic views out of your hikes? The U.S. Forest Service's Passport in Time program turns trekkers into weekend archaeologists.
Learn to recognize, avoid and treat poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. Start by scrolling through the photos below.
Berries Prove Balance Can Be Sweet
Come to this tropical oasis for great weather, an array of fruit and some great swimming.
Beantowners love the sights the High Ledges area has to offer.
This Indiana Dunes trail offers visitors views of the lake, the Chicago skyline, wildflowers and some of the tallest trees in the region.
This favorite Pennsylvania destination of our editors is filled with old trees, shale cliffs, wildlife and stunning wildflowers.
Michigan's Proud Lake has many flavors of wilderness to offer.
Visit Croatan National Forest, a place so wild it has more flesh-eating plants than people.
A definitive guide to the hottest, sweetest, looniest, and most colorful spots in the great outdoors.
Don't let itchy eyes and a sneeze-machine nose ruin your hike. Here's our guide to keeping allergies at bay.
If you've never heard of Arizona's 40,000-acre Wabayuma Peak Wilderness, take heart--most people haven't. That's why the silence is deafening.
When illness or injury strikes, the medicine you need is in the plants alongside the trail and at your feet.
Hike the Myakka Trail for a glimpse of the Sunshine State's wild and grassy past.
Here's what I keep in my first-aid kit to battle the itchiest rash known to medical science.
Follow the hummingbirds in the Mt. Naomi Wilderness to the best high-country wildflower show in all of Utah.
They may look sweet and innocent, but blooming plants are the floral world's version of a hot 'n' steamy orgy.
Washington's Elwha Trail is a rain-forest classic: green, primeval, spongy soft, and wonderfully wet.
What to do if the berries you munched weren't safe after all.
Take along your plant guidebooks for this flora-filled treasure.
How do you protect the largest trees on Earth? Don't harm them in the first place.
Roads end in Arizona with tall tales, natural gardens, cacti forests, and shoe scorpions.
Myths and cactus in California: A life-filled land of sand and mountains.
California's second largest park has an impressive trail system.
A slice of Utah canyon in the heart of Dixie.
A hiker's oasis in the hills and valleys of the Midwest.
Forthwith, interesting tidbits about Great Smoky's largest forest dwellers.
hen it comes to sheer ability to alter a landscape and shock the human senses, you can't beat the May blooms of a mountain laurel thicket.
When hiking on Virginia's high, exposed heath balds in late summer, leave gorp and other snacks at home.
Vast meadows of wildflowers sprawl across the ridgetops and valley bottoms of the Three Sisters.
Enjoy Vermont's autumn colors while you can -- they disappear all too quickly, and the Green Mountains recover their namesake hue in the spring.
Have your camera ready near dusk, when sunlight warms the landscape with intense color.
The majestic San Juan Mountain range is often called America's Switzerland. -- and the wildflowers match.
No color in nature comes close to matching the heart-stirring golden aspen found in the Rockies in autumn.
"October is the month for painted leaves," Thoreau mused. He could have been talking about Kentucky's Red River Gorge.
The blaze of fall color in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is unequaled.
As autumn closes in on the larches, the green bleeds out of their needles, leaving a towering spire of gold.
Figure on 9 days to do the entire 100-mile hikeunless you're slowed drastically by all the blueberries.
California: Journey through a desert to bear witness to some of the loveliest wildflowers you'll ever see.
Protester celebrates victory in a two-year battle to save a giant redwood by coming back to earth.
There's a reason why your field guide doesn't list some flowers: they're not supposed to be there.
Relax and sniff the azaleas among Missouri's Whispering Pines.
Why choose between breezy peaks and cool streams when you can have both at Big Frog Wilderness?
The most old-growth forest in the east resides in North Carolina's Joyce Kilmer Wilderness.
Great Smoky's Gregory Bald features an amazing crown of wild azaleas.
Walk among giants in Redwood National Park.
Redwood Meadow's massive trees and wild countryside have changed little since Muir passed through 100 years ago.
Believe it or not, poison ivy isn't all bad -- but it's still best avoided. Here's how.
If the redwoods don't wow you, there's always the world-class California coastline.
The ancient Uwharries have baffled geologists, but hikers know a good thing when they see it.
Fifteen trails that'll take you from flaming maples to towering redwoods, with plenty of shimmering aspen in between.