Don't own a massive pack for your big annual adventure? Here's how to make it all fit.
A great backcountry chest pack for anglers
Trek to the trail-free summits of Macomb, Hough, and The Dixes
Climb through bear country to a campsite with views of The Grand.
Stroll through wildflower-filled meadows to a frozen slice of the Cascade Range.
A veteran traveler discovers a world of adventure in his backyard.
Maine's newly minted Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail tracks the famous naturalist's 1800s expeditions. Good news: It's still wild.
At right around two pounds per person, these three-season, double-occupancy shelters do everything but weigh you down.
Pick your own path to an empty 14er.
Explore hidden gorges and spy rarely seen wonders on this three-week raft trip designed specifically for hikers.
A two-day paddle through high plains prairie amid buffalo, whooping cranes, and elk.
Scout for gold–and desert views–amid this Texas park's spray of late-fall foliage.
Experts dissect the missteps in five recent hiking tragedies
Swallowed by Sierra scenery
Drowning in beauty
Gambling in the slots
Fatten griz for winter
Lost in the labyrinth
Thru-hike the most remote miles in California's range of light
Trek empty terrain all the way from the Grand Canyon to Zion.
Test your self-arrest skills on Mt. Adams's 12,276-foot fractured glacier.
See one of the sea's keenest hunters as you paddle San Juan Island.
Traverse the wildest part of the lower 48's last great grizzly hideaway.
Beat your own path through Denali National Park's confounding and little-traveled
Get vertical on a tricky class IV route to the top of Granite peak.
Get your feet (and more) wet on the Florida Trail's best section.
Dodge high wattage on the newest stretch of the Colorado Trail.
Got guts? Good. Now learn what skills you'll need to bag America's Little Everest—a traverse of New Hampshire's Presidential Range in Winter.
The world's tallest tree towers above a secret location deep within the
lush, tangled backcountry of Redwood National Park. Determined to find this
our correspondent discovers something more incredible than he ever imagined.
Upgrade your trail menu–and lower your carbon footprint–with farmers' market fare.
Gas prices are soaring. Glaciers are melting. What's a conscientious hiker to do? Take the bus, says Dan Koeppel, who did
just that to escape downtown L.A.
Sample the best section of the country's first thru-hike.
The name doesn't say it all: Arizona's premier cactus preserve conceals a cool mountain escape.
We've got a selection of cozy shelters and trail-side restaurants from Washington to Maine. Check out these hikes in the Rockies, the Northeast, and the Northwest.
The Civilian Conservation Corps is turning 75—so celebrate right by hiking its classics.
On this 70-miler, see rhododendrons by day and hike light by staying in shelters at night.
Explore big skies and pristine lakes in the Medicine Bows.
Glimpse these rare mammals in Idaho's Salmo-Priest Wilderness.
Nine ways to get your cascade fix from Tennessee to Montana.
Want a backcountry room with a view? Climb these lookouts from Vermont to Washington.
A killer whitewater trip at the end of a stunning 40-mile canyon hike? That's the scenario on Oregon's Rogue River Trail.
From the West Coast to the Rocky Mountains to New England, we've got nine epic ridgewalks just for you.
These weekend float trips have side hikes that rival the paddling for scenery and solitude.
Spectacular lake views, granite-edged trails, and surprising solitude will make you want to go in circles on the Tahoe Rim Trail.
Shhh! Find silent shores in this isolated Boundary Waters hideaway
After nearly two centuries of ecological havoc wreaked by invasive species, the gem of Channel Islands National Park is becoming a paradise again. ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Watch a video and see two photo galleries from the island.
Hike this burly wonder to find out what inspired the Appalachian and Long Trail's founders.
Learn where to bag peaks, visit hidden cold water lakes, and trek through the eroded wonder of Badlands National Park in our Black Hills primer.
With a thousand islands and countless passages, this little-visited treasure is a watery maze. Here's the way in–and out.
Only an hour from Seattle, this Cascades gem offers killer Rainier views.
Trek the best spring blooms from the Ozarks to the Olympics with these two, three, and four day treks.
No, not the famously wind-whipped peaks in New Hampshire. Explore some of the country's lesser-known Whites with these accessible spring summits in Arizona, New Mexico, and Alaska.
Check out the steepest trail, the best swimming hole, and the wildest vista in America's most popular national park.
Utah's Range Creek hides the most intact Native American artifacts in the United States. Get there now–while you can still play archaeologist.
Forget all the rules about freezing or making yourself big. When faced with these angry beasts run for cover.
Stay dry on spring treks in Minnesota, New Mexico, and more.
Traverse Guadalupe Mountains National Park to the state's airiest perch.
Discover a slice of rare Eastern wild country in West Virginia, where Canadian taiga meets Southern forests.
Avoid the crowds in Maine's Acadia National Park by skipping getting a jump on the season and hiking the park in the Spring. Stephen King country never looked so good.
Want to boost your backcountry karma? Here are three places to hike–and give back.
Think the Dakotas are just endless prairie? Get ready for climbing, backpacking, and biking of the highest order.
There's a science to why we love waterfalls: When water crashes earthward, it releases negatively charged ions that--you can't make this stuff up--some researchers think can reduce anxiety. Spring is when cascades' spigots open full bore, so head off on these three beguiling treks for a dose of nature's backcountry Rx.
Invent your own hike, and go where no one (well, almost no one) has gone before.
Badlands, peaks, wildflowers: Catch the best of the California desert with this trio of hikes.
The most exotic hike in the United States is smack in the middle of the country: Welcome to Great Sand Dunes National Park.
In honor of Earth Day, we bring you the first industry-wide survey on which gear manufacturers are positively impacting the environment, plus much more.
Many people think exploring this 91,440-acre desert park is all about dodging the tall, spiny cacti that earned the place its name. But Southern Arizona Hiking Club guide Steve Singkofer knows better. His favorite 20.3-mile route - including a 4,500-foot climb - reaches overlooks of Tucson and far beyond.
When Utahans really wants to disappear, they head to the magnificent canyons of Grand Staircase-Escalante.
Whether you've got hours or weeks, here's where to go for the birds.
When you're trekking into a backcountry bowl, avalanches are almost always a threat. Learn how to protect yourself when the worst happens.
When a scramble turns to a nightmare learn how to help yourself.
Stay sanitary, and for your travel companion's sake, pack what's on this list.
The trail-staple GORP gets a face lift with these reader-submitted recipes
By loading your backpack properly you protect your gear and prevent back issues--plus it's easy to find the gear you need.
A successful hike often starts with a bit of research.
Hike, paddle, or ride in America's favorite steel town.
If you've always dreamed of descending into the center of the earth, try one of these creekbed hikes.
Idaho's capital offers hiking, kayaking, and climbing close to downtown
Traverse the Yukon Territory's Tombstone Range, sea kayak Baja, trek Torres del Paine, Patagnoia–all in 2008. Plus, monthly adventures closer to home.
Try this black diamond, three-day kayak trip that navigates Lake Superior's piney islands.
Try a stunning new hike–or two thrilling classics–in the Colorado Rockies' top spot for big backpacking adventures.
Pretty pictures and promises of a trade might get unenthusiastic spouses out the door.
Smart ways to foolproof your next hike.
Keen on birds, peak bagging, or wildflowers? Here's how to join hikers who share your passions.
Take a winter hike to the steaming pools of Melanie Hot Springs in Gila Wilderness, New Mexico.
By foot, kayak, or on top of a Boulder, North Georgia has plenty of outside activities.
Museum curator Glenn Crosby tracks down Ansel Adams' famous shot
Load haulers for light and fast adventures
Trek into the wilderness but sleep in comfort with these hut treks
If the February '08 Backpacker article "Magnifique" inspired you to take a hut trip to France's Maritime Alps, here are ten lodging options.
Hike this trail to find peace, stress relief and a tonic to cure your daily routine.
The best overall weekend hike you'll find on the CDT.
Find spectacular views and deep solitude on this weekend hike.
Hiking, climbing, and fishing in this New South boomtown.
Get ready to feel puny--and profoundly grateful--on three hikes through ancient forests.
Pick your poison with three epic adventures in Yellowstone: camping, canoeing, and ski touring
Link two classic Southern rivers on a trek along the newly completed Benton MacKaye Trail in Tennessee and North Carolina.
Scratch the picturesque postcard surface of Big Sur...and there's far more than you imagined, including hot springs and high-rise trails.
Jump off into the North Woods' best wilderness
Sneak in the side door for a private viewing of the finest in California's High Sierra real estate.
Use your backpacking skills at the best surfing, climbing, trail running, and even paragliding spots
On this trip you'll find everything from alpine meadows to ancient rainforests
If you can't hook a monster in one of these fishing holes, you better hang up your rod.
Get lost in the land o' lakes with 3 quiet, crowd-free trails
Enjoy a slickrock playground of your very own
Here is your chance to tag six summits in only 3 days.
Hike and canoe through the pristine springs of Missouri's Ozarks.
This favorite Pennsylvania destination of our editors is filled with old trees, shale cliffs, wildlife and stunning wildflowers.
This Texas park holds true to its name with some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world.
Some of Arches' best sites come in short hikes.
Come to Acadia and you'll earn your lobster.
Here's a lush and hilly Arkansas oasis snuggled in an area known for being flat and dry.
If you are in search of southwestern wildlife, this is the place to be.
Waterfalls abound on this great 8.2 mile loop.
A thousand-foot-deep gorge is the centerpiece of this tri-state park.
This Indiana Dunes trail offers visitors views of the lake, the Chicago skyline, wildflowers and some of the tallest trees in the region.
Scenic ridges and some high White Mountain peaks abound on this great hike.
Don't let well-known Sierra neighbors like Yosemite overshadow this stunning wilderness.
Abandon the Big Apple for a visit to this great wilderness.
You'll never get a bad view of Rainier's glacier-clad slopes.
The beauty of this hike comes alive with the rain.
Michigan's Proud Lake has many flavors of wilderness to offer.
Spring comes earlier to this mountain paradise.
Beantowners love the sights the High Ledges area has to offer.
This summit will put you high above what many consider to be Colorado's finest mountain range.
Giant cliffs and numerous waterfalls are among the stunning sites that can be viewed along this Colorado hike.
This summit offers the finest view anywhere of the Grand and surrouding peaks.
Some of the most classic glacier scenery is offered to all visitors of this national park.
Visit Croatan National Forest, a place so wild it has more flesh-eating plants than people.
Hike to see arty rock sculptures left by the last Ice Age into the Wisconsin rock.
You'd never guess it: Three quiet trails in such a busy, beautiful place.
River rats wait years to ride the wild Selway River. Hikers can taste its raw beauty right now.
This wild Ozark gem is close to St. Louis, but still waiting to be discovered.
This gorgeous alpine lake hike sports huge glacier views just an hour outside of Vancouver.
A definitive guide to the hottest, sweetest, looniest, and most colorful spots in the great outdoors.
Hike through the limestone caves, sinkholes, and springs of Missouri's Cuivre River State Park.
Can a place that sees 9 million visitors a year really have any surprises? You bet. We found three hikes full of unexpected history, scenery, and solitude.
Stay cozy this winter by bedding down in a heated cabin or yurt.
Bust out of winter doldrums on one of these stellar snowshoe routes.
Here's a detailed hiking planner that will take you to the hidden corners of Colorado's most scenic park.
With strong legs and an ambitious plan, you can see more wild country in 12 hours than some backpackers see in a week, and still make it home in time for dinner.
Learn the weird science behind our addiction to waterfalls, and the location of the best trails in North America.
Yoho National Park, British Columbia
Tuolomne Meadows monarch Mount Conness has been a classic Yosemite climb for years -- and for good reason.
Try climbing the standout Banner Peak, just around the corner from Mammoth Lakes.
Haystack Mountain offers a sweet climb in Wyoming's remote Wind River Range.
Jasper National Park, Alberta
Matthes Crest features superb climbing deep in Yosemite's backcountry.
With an abundance of wolves and water--two rarities in the desert--Arizona's remote Blue Range may be the Southwest's best kept secret.
In Michigan's Trap Hills, you'll find space to wonder and wonder, and quiet rock outcrops with panoramas so wide you'll be blinking in disbelief.
Hidden deep in Montana's high country lies the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness, a seldom-visited range of cool forests and skyscraping peaks.
City life got you down? Head for the quiet hills of southeastern Washington, where the air is clean, the water clear, and bighorn sheep outnumber hikers.
Hiding in the arid plains of Nevada you'll find a cool refuge from the desert heat and room to let your imagination soar.
The short but stunning Mahoosuc Range has major-league attractions, like the toughest mile on the Appalachian Trail and conditions that discourage the faint of heart.
This spire deep in Wyoming's Wind River Range serves as the climbing pinnacle of the Cirque of the Towers.
If you've never heard of Arizona's 40,000-acre Wabayuma Peak Wilderness, take heart--most people haven't. That's why the silence is deafening.
Hike the Myakka Trail for a glimpse of the Sunshine State's wild and grassy past.
Time spent in California's Death Valley can be a life-enhancing experience.
Follow the Pacific Crest Trail through Washington's volcano country and discover the high life.
A trip along Washington's Olympic Coast is one whale of a day at the beach.
A trek from rim to river reveals the Grand Canyon's ancient, storied history.
Shady hiking and cool waters make the San Pedro River an oasis for desert trekkers.
In the Paria River canyon, adventure and breathtaking views await around every narrow bend.
In Minnesota's Boundary Waters, thousands of blue routes await those willing to dip a paddle.
You'll have a hard time keeping track of all the critters along Mississippi's Black Creek Trail.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in New Hampshire.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Arizona.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in America.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Washington.
With fossils present in all states (although New England tends to be fossil poor), you can get a glimpse of the past almost anywhere you backpack.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Massachusetts.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in New York.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Maine.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in South Dakota.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Montana.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in New Mexico.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Connecticut.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Colorado.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Georgia.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Tennessee.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Illinois.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Nevada.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Ohio.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in North Dakota.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Wisconsin.
You could be walking on an ancient seabed or a swamp where dinosaurs played. Look closely and you'll see history in the rocks.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in California.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in West Virginia.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Florida.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Alabama.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Oregon.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in North Carolina.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Minnesota.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Arkansas.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Alaska.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Hawaii.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Delaware.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Kentucky.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Pennsylvania.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Kansas.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Indiana.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Idaho.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Michigan.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Maryland.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Louisiana.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Nebraska.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Missouri.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Virginia.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Iowa.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Mississippi.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in South Carolina.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Rhode Island.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Utah.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Texas.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Wyoming.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in New Jersey.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Vermont.
You won't have a lot of company in North Dakota's badlands, which is why hiking the Maah Daah Hey Trail is so good.
Twenty years of hard work near Tahoe yields a 150-mile path so high, you'll breathe "angel air."
Hike to the edge of the Cascade Range in this forgotten corner of the Washington wilderness.
How can we conserve South Dakota's Badlands?
Hear wild horses thunder through camp. Look for wolf tracks in the mud or eagles' nests in the cliffs high above. Cast off the workaday world and go hike an island paradise.
Hike a rugged, historically rich trail for 21 miles along a nearly deserted island off British Columbia's coast.
Camping with kids can plant a wild seed in them that will grow as they do-but only if you get them Out There.
Head to the White Cloud Mountains for a crowd-free taste of Idaho high country.
Thanks to the Cutler Coast Public Reserve, Maine's rocky, wild coastline is now open to backpackers who like solitude as much as scenery.
Nuggets of knowledge from those who have brought their youngsters into the backcountry.
Sniff the rhododendrons and enjoy hiking the Valley Rim Trail in North Carolina's Valley River Mountains.
Follow the hummingbirds in the Mt. Naomi Wilderness to the best high-country wildflower show in all of Utah.
If overpowering stillness is your thing, try the old-growth forests in Oregon's Bull of the Woods Wilderness.
Feeling people-shy? Follow Wisconsin's wolves to this lonely section of the Ice Age Trail.
High above the trees you'll find the hike of your dreams: a ridgeline trail where your only companion is an occasional mountain goat.
Seven places where you can walk through a whole new landscape, plus opportunities to help rebuild charred trails.
Hike into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and you'll enjoy Colorado's best summer school.
Paddle Wisconsin's Turtle-Flambeau waterway, watch the aerial show, and lay claim to your own island.
Washington's Elwha Trail is a rain-forest classic: green, primeval, spongy soft, and wonderfully wet.
In Virginia, a miracle occurs and hikers get some new wilderness, thanks to The Priest.
Everything you need to know about hiking in the high country, from talus hopping to finding the right gear to dealing with wind and glaciers.
Take the finest mountains in the world, add high-country meadows, glacial valleys, alpine lakes, pine-and-hemlock forests, and what do you have? A recipe for backcountry bliss.
It's the easiest hiking on Earth, and you get to sleep with buffalo, listen to coyotes sing, and bask in quiet so deep you can hear the grasslands growing. Welcome to the prairie.
Are you a dayhiker who's ready for an all-nighter? A weekender longing to try a 5-day trek? Or are you ready for a thru-hike? Regardless of your skill level, here's the information you'll need to go that extra mile.
You won't find Utah's 725-mile rogue route on any map. But thanks to two passionate Utah hikers, you'll soon be able to search it out with your boots.
When it pours, good rain gear and a great sense of humor help you find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
If you're a backpacking purist, Tennessee's new Cumberland Trail was made for you.
Can't wait for the snow to melt? Get warmed up at Minnesota's Jay Cooke State Park.
In Point Reyes National Seashore, you'll find peace and quiet in the heart of California's earthquake zone.
Albuquerque's backyard wilderness lets hikers perform a disappearing trick.
Easily said and
done, when you have a constant reminder at bedtime.
Meet Jamie and Joe, who need help with everything from planning to packing to eating well. Enter our team of experts, with a few simple tricks designed to turn them-and you!-into well-oiled backpacking machines.
If you're a fan of waterfalls, then Arkansas's Richland Creek Wilderness is your dream trip.
Sometimes, despite all the commitments and obligations, you know what you have to do.
In Florida's Big Cypress National Preserve, you'll walk on water -- almost.
You'd better like your own company, because that's all you'll have in Oregon's Badlands Wilderness Study Area.
Arizona's Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness is so incredible, you'll want to tell the whole world.
Ed Abbey said the Sonoran Desert "leaves a golden glow on the mind," which is one of many good reasons why this cactus-spiked paradise should be the next national park.
Can you tackle our readers' favorite long trail? Test your hiking mettle against the Continental Divide Trail.
The condors know all about Chumash Wilderness, but luckily, the masses in Los Angeles don't.
The famed peaks of the Appalachian chain entice some 2,500 people to attempt the thru-hike each year.
This magnificent trail travels through three California parks while showcasing the natural wonders Muir worked to preserve.
You may have the Ozarks' wildlife-rich Ridge Runner Trail to yourself, but that doesn't mean you're alone.
Cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, ancient pottery -- Utah's Grand Gulch is thick with history.
Mind-bending views, close-up wildlife encounters.
If any long trail is likely to induce a headache, it's the Colorado Trail.
Everything you'd want in a long trail.
The little-known Ouachita Trail ranked third among the long trails for solitude.
It's the longest stretch of virgin coastline left in the Lower 48. But that's just one of many reasons to hike it.
A whale of a Minnesota trail beside a Great Lake.
Take along your plant guidebooks for this flora-filled treasure.
The challenge of Vermont's Long Trail will cure what ails you.
Carved limestone cliffs add even more to love on Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail.
How do you protect the largest trees on Earth? Don't harm them in the first place.
In the 1800s, cowboys didn't think much of the Grand Canyon's Parashant National Monument. Luckily, times and attitudes have changed.
For Deep South scenery, try Alabama's Conecuh Trail, where the gopher frogs and armadillos outnumber the people.
The best trips are littered with mistakes, frustration, and, if a river called the "Little Misery" runs through it, boot-sucking mud.
Where the words "wild" and "life" take on new meaning
If land has a personality, then Vermont's 270-mile Long Trail is one moody, unpredictable way to hike through New England.
What's good for elk is good for backpackers on Michigan's High Country Pathway.
When leaves turn the colors on a painter's palette, head to the Adirondack's High Peaks Wilderness.
The best way to honor a wilderness-minded senator is to hike the Jackson Wilderness.
Glacier National Park possesses scenery that'll suck the breath out of your lungs, quiet so intense you'll wonder if your ears still work, and enough wildlife to make a zookeeper drool with envy.
More than ever, these empty parks offer medicine for the soul.
When summer ends, crowd-free hiking begins in Colorado's Indian Peaks.
Follow Jesse James's footprints to a land of shady valleys and cool, clear lakes.
Out of mistakes, miscues, and unexpected turns in the trail, we find the perfect trip.
The French-Canadian trappers are long gone, but the grizzlies and waterfalls remain in this alpine nirvana.
If you think the last truly wild, unexplored land is in Canada or Alaska, you haven't been to Wyoming's Absaroka range.
History is carved in stone in this wild and scenic southern river corridor in North Carolina and Georgia.
Washington's gentle "forgotten mountains" -- The Kettle River Range -- are ignored by those in a hurry to reach the Cascades.
Sure, you can summit Mt. Rainier, but the real treasure isn't on top. It's the Wonderland Trail down below.
Rare stands of virgin hardwood and creekside camping beckon sunburned hikers.
Wyoming's Medicine Bow National Forest is just what the hiker ordered.
Are you antsy? Need to get away? Try New York's Tongue Range.
Even when you're trapped in the nation's most crowded metropolis, backwoods relief is only a short hike down a Long Path.
Some people head to Wyoming to summit the Tetons. But outdoor legend Paul Petzoldt had a better idea: Create a route for foot travelers along the spine of the great range.
Chambers Lakes are too cold for swimming, but a great place to watch 'bergs drift by.
Myths and cactus in California: A life-filled land of sand and mountains.
In the shadow of magnificent Mt. Shasta lies a relic of ancient times.
Porpoises escort you to a rugged island where buffalo really do roam.
Lay claim to your own California mountain valley and bask in utter solitude.
Mountain vistas: the ups and downs of a mountain-biking/hiking paradise.
California's second largest park has an impressive trail system.
A high point offering a year-round getaway for lovers of southern wildlife, lush forests, and redeye bass.
Roads end in Arizona with tall tales, natural gardens, cacti forests, and shoe scorpions.
Cool your feet and warm your brow in this Arizona desert wilderness.
A primordial oasis of rivers, bighorn sheep, and canyons.
Near-complete isolation just a few miles from Virginia Beach.
A watery paradise, a hiker's secret.
Western prairie meets eastern forest in the land of healing waters.
A slice of Utah canyon in the heart of Dixie.
Waterfalls and swimming holes aplenty.
Hike or climb this pristine pink-granite wonderland just outside Austin.
A precious backcountry jewel amid the hardwood forests.
Hike with sea turtles, watch the dolphins play, and share the beach with ghost crabs.
It's amazing what nature can do with pasture a decade after the cows go home.
Not much company along this stretch of Deep South blackwater -- and that's just fine.
Trade your flip-flops for hiking boots and explore a seaside trail.
Wind through what remains of a lost Carolina world.
Strap on the skis and glide across wind-sculpted snow into alpine solitude.
A pristine prairie river winds through a sea of corn and beans in the shadow of Chicago.
Where the shadows on the sandstone offer lessons from the past and there's not a soul to be found.
Hike up and down oak- and hickory-covered ridgetops, or explore underground.
A bit of nerve opens up the stunning canyonlands made famous by Wile E. Coyote.
The hidden side of a watery Utah playground.
Watch for ghosts among the mushroom-shaped rocks in this weird, lovely landscape.
Wooded trails, tea-colored waters -- and the Jersey Devil.
Frozen fire shaped by cataclysmic forces and the footsteps of the ancient ones.
The current carries you through the Great Plains, where buffalo, elk -- and snapping turtles -- roam.
Echoes of the ice age resonate throughout this Adirondack wilderness.
If you're a fan of eskers, moraines, kettles, and kames, Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine State Forest is the right place for you.
Wisconsin's Brule River has great rivers galore -- just don't lose your uncle's canoe.
Majestic peaks rise in all directions in Washington's Boulder River Wilderness -- elegant, jagged, draped in snow.
Raft or hike this desert paradise's secretive canyons -- but don't pass up the hot springs.
Classic eastern mountain scenery along West Virginia's skyline pathway.
Heavy forests and the roar of whitewater wait in this section of the Appalachian Mountains.
Hike from Kentucky to Tennessee along an inland peninsula.
Just beyond the neon and greenbacks of Vegas lies a priceless wilderness gem.
A hiker's oasis in the hills and valleys of the Midwest.
Sunny beaches, cool forests, and a birder's paradise along the shores of Lake Michigan.
Where you'll share the mountain with curious goats and mysteries of the past.
Not your laid-back summer holiday -- canoeing and hiking galore.
A big Midwestern sandpile turned into an otherworldly escape by pounding surf and forests.
Take a lazy cruise through exotic scenery, where monkeys swing and eagles soar.
In Big Cypress' land of exotic plants and lurking alligators, swamps aren't such bad places after all.
Too small to get much attention and a pain in the neck to reach: The perfect Wisconsin escape.
Tucked away in a New England corner is an old-growth paradise.
Exploring hills and "hollers" in the Land of Lincoln.
Once an impassable, swampy "ghost river," now a paddler's dream.
Lose yourself in the past on part of the Buckeye, America's longest loop trail.
Hike up and down oak- and hickory-covered ridgetops, or explore underground.
Follow the Appalachian Trail to new heights in the rugged New England high country.
There's more to the Louisiana's deep South than swamps and Cajun food.
A peaceful rest stop in the shadow of the nation's largest city.
Old, haunted New York mountains, thick with legend.
A rugged land of sweet-smelling wildflowers, bald mountains, and stone Indians.
Olympic National Park is pristine and isolated -- rare commodities these days.
A water-lover's Wisconsin wonderland with forests, prairies, and the occasional eagle.
Gorgeous gorge: Where the arches outnumber the footprints.
Where you can look down on soaring eagles and feel the power of the Missouri River.
Connecticut's South Taconic Mountains have bald peaks, deep, forested gorges, and trees as old as the Mayflower.
Tiny Gibson Lake will take you out of Denver in a hurry with its big-wilderness feel and smirking brook trout.
You're as likely to bump into Sasquatch as another human.
Behind the forbidding name lies California's glacier-polished playground.
Ishi Wilderness trails run through stream-carved canyons, past stunning vistas, back to gold rush days.
Hiking and backpacking at its finest, through pastoral grasslands and forests of pine and fur.
If you run into the big white bears, should you be scared?
Only have a short time to tackle the Pacific Northwest Trail? Our guide will give you the best the PNT has to offer.
In the Wind Rivers range, you can hike for days without seeing another soul, which is why it brings a pair of brothers back again and again.
In a region known for soggy times, Juniper Dunes is a warm sandbox where you can dry out.
Mills Canyon is a hidden treasure where you can bushwhack through history.
With the click of a shutter, Ansel Adams captured the beauty and soul of wild places and showed us that in nature, there is magic.
Combine a full harvest moon with a remote island trail for the greatest show on Earth.
A chaotic chorus of loon calls penetrate the darkness, the warbling sounds echoing off the wooded hills around the New Hampshire lake.
Observe the uncanny resemblance between the good doctor's famous Truffula Trees and a field of fuzz-topped flowers 5 miles up Long Canyon.
No color in nature comes close to matching the heart-stirring golden aspen found in the Rockies in autumn.
The best bird window coincides with the best hiking season in the Chihuahuan Desert.
Wisconsin: Explore 21 islands and 12 miles of mainland shoreline where strings of cliffs and caves are bejeweled in ice.
The majestic San Juan Mountain range is often called America's Switzerland. -- and the wildflowers match.
Maine's seal pups are usually born in May, making early summer an ideal time to witness the youngsters learning to swim and fish.
The ungodly wailing that sometimes drifts through the dark woods is only an animal.
Life in the high desert in autumn is sweeter and more irresistible than any place on Earth.
Arkansas Buffalo National River features challenging trails and a river-laced wilderness.
In Whites Creek Cave you can explore in nature's own cooling system, and observe its grateful inhabitants.
The typical Delaware River float trip offers the opportunity to spy more bald eagles than people.
The lunarlike landscape and dark skies of this preserve make White Sands one of the best places for star watching.
Arizona: Every year millions of ladybugs head to Arizona and coat trees, rocks, and brush like a layer of living paint.
You'll emerge from a forested hallway into a wilderness playroom, and there before you will be skidmarks in the snow.
Even if you don't see a moose, you'll hear the bulls' low grunts echoing off the hillside.
Eyeball to beak with impressively taloned hawks in West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest.
You can spend days exploring the Dry River Valley forest without seeing another soul, even if it sounds like you're being chased by a well-armed militia.
Pine Mountain and Wilson Ridge command high-country vistas stretching across rock-strewn meadows.
"October is the month for painted leaves," Thoreau mused. He could have been talking about Kentucky's Red River Gorge.
In winter, the glasslike menagerie of icicles in the Cumberland Plateau will send a chill down your spine.
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.
All along the 23-mile Shenandoah Mountain trail and in the forested areas throughout the Appalachian Mountains, vernal pools are rich aquatic breeding grounds.
The Purple Trail through Chase Prairie or the Green or Red Trails through Floyd's Prairie are good routes for viewing Sandhill cranes.
Consider trying to spot a red-cockaded wood-pecker in Florida's Big Cypress Preserve a form of treasure hunting.
Montana: The Pryor Mountains harbor the nation's last free-roaming wild mustangs, not to mention wilderness that is as wild as the horses.
The blaze of fall color in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is unequaled.
Pennsylvania: You'll get wet and you may even stand in line behind a black bear or two.
California: Journey through a desert to bear witness to some of the loveliest wildflowers you'll ever see.
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.
Here's your insider's guide to The Great Smokies, probably the epitome of a true backpacker's national park.
More than 200 preserves, parks, and other protected wildlands lie within 40 miles of San Francisco, exceeding Yosemite National Park in size, biodiversity, and visitation.
The little-known Cheaha Wilderness Area is the gateway to Alabama's largest trail system.
Okay, so the weather stinks and so does the hiking. Change both by heading down the road to where the sun shines and the trail beckons.
Besides being home to a mythical reptile, Colorado's Lizard Head Wilderness is the site of some great hiking.
If you think west Texas is nothing but tumbleweeds and cattle, you haven't walked 62 miles across one of the world's most famous geological formations.
Steens looks like your average mountain, but hike up high and you'll find a hidden paradise.
When the footpath is named the Backpack Trail, you know what to do.
Trail goers can experience a whole new world by hiking Virginia's newly renovated Lion's Tale Trail.
When the rest of the East is bare, snowshoers can find plenty of powder in New York's Five Ponds Wilderness.
When hiking California's Fish Valley, don't forget to pack your Richter scale.
Let the masses shop till they drop: On Arkansas's Ouachita River the pace is slow and easy.
If you think autumn is simply a time to rake leaves, then you need to read our guide to the best of the fall season.
Everyone's heard of the Cascades, but no one seems to know about Tillamook State Forest.
Gain a raptor's-eye view of the world in Colorado's Eagles Nest Wilderness.
Relax and sniff the azaleas among Missouri's Whispering Pines.
Twelve trails that'll chew you up, spit you out, and have you begging for more.
In a park full of natural wonder, the route to Maddron Bald hits the high points.
What they've lost in height, the Penokee Mountains make up for in big views and solitude.
Don't expect the red-carpet treatment in Arizona's Galiuro Mountains, just wilderness on its own terms.
As ice-cream makers in Los Angeles once knew, the Cucamonga Wilderness is the essence of cool.
Once a bumpy stagecoache route, Arkansas's Butterfield Trail now jostles hikers.
For almost half a century, California's rugged Ishi Wilderness hid "the last wild Indian." Even today, it is a place that can keep a secret.
Where artists once found inspiration, the Catskills' Escarpment Trail now challenges hikers.
Who needs Everest when you can have these eight summits, all hikeable, all close to home, no sherpas or yaks required.
Where 100 unknown Sierra miles wait.
The William O. Douglas Wilderness is a monument worthy of a great man.
Way up in Nevada's East Humboldt Wilderness, finding solitude and water are sure bets.
Play out your Lawrence of Suburbia fantasies at Indiana Dunes.
The ambling Wisconsin River has only one speed: full-out relaxed.
Why choose between breezy peaks and cool streams when you can have both at Big Frog Wilderness?
A Thoreauvian classic hike in New Hampshire.
If you look beyond the occasional cow, you'll find the BLM has lots of ruggedly beautiful land to offer. No mining, no oil rigs, just lots of solitude.
While Sawtooth Lake grabs the limelight, behind the scenes lie crowd-free peace and splendor.
Hiking through wetlands in Pennsylvania? Believe it.
Hike this gorgeous, mountainous section of Virginia's Appalachian Trail.
Like to start your hikes up high? Then Arkansas Huckleberry Trail is for you.
Oklahoma's own Tennessee awaits intrepid hikers.
Walk among giants in Redwood National Park.
Break the long Michigan winter with a lengthy hike on Michigan's Riding and Hiking Trail.
The Marietta Unit provides some of the greatest river trails in Ohio.
Texas' Big Slough is as wet as the Big Bend is dry.
History and landscape meet at Caprock Canyos State Park.
Wilderness worthy enough to inspire any classical landscape painter.
Great Basin's Mt. Moriah is a big mountain of solitude.
Waterfalls and wonder: Both are plentiful in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge.
Find a new kind of California beach on the undeveloped shores of Santa Catalina Island.
An Ozark oasis loaded with wildlife and fall colors.
Get spectacular Appalachian Trail mountain views without much effort on the Riga Plateau.
Visit Arkansas' Buffalo National River Trail, where the huckleberries are plentiful and the views are wondrous.
The most old-growth forest in the east resides in North Carolina's Joyce Kilmer Wilderness.
A hike up New Hampshire's Carter Dome has it all -- mountains, forests, water, views, solitude, and even a little challenge.
Cumberland Island's south shore provides remarkably pristine beaches and mossy forests.
Hickory Creek Wilderness in the Allegheny National Forest remains a great hiking destination all year -- even in winter.
Crowd-free, rocky mountain highs -- you'll find this and more in Colorado's South San Juan Wilderness.
A hidden spot in Washington's popular Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Kentucky's Cumberland Falls provide spectacular waterworks, day or night.
Secret scrambles and lakes abound in this northern California wilderness.
Think Iowa is nothing but flat? You haven't visited the Yellow River State Forest.
It's not complete, but North Carolina's Mountains To Sea trail rivals Inman's journey in "Cold Mountain."
Luckily, Aldo Leopold's prediction about Mt. Baldy didn't come true -- these Arizona forests are just as verdant as always.
Go through the looking glass in Utah's canyon country.
History and nature intertwine when you hike South Dakota's stunning Black Hills.
The bare rocks of Oklahoma's Charons Gardens will haunt and delight hikers.
Boy Scouts paved an excellent trail in this Ozark gem.
High, cool peaks rise over 7,000 feet above the desert flats in New Mexico's White Mountain Wilderness.
Great Smoky's Gregory Bald features an amazing crown of wild azaleas.
Can you find solitude in Sequoia National Park? You can if you go off trail.
Texas' Lost Maples has beautiful desert vistas -- and mountain lions.
The colorful walls of Palo Duro Canyon will delight hikers with masterpiece washes of color.
Like your first love, you never forget your initial visit to the Arctic.
Burnt Rock Mountain provides great views along Vermont's Long Trail.
Escape from the urban at Wisconsin's Governor Knowles State Forest.
James Peak is a gem just 50 miles west of Denver.
Hikers often overlook the the quiet meadows, wildflowers, and mountaintops of New Mexico's Latir Wilderness. Their loss is your gain.
Hike this crown of North Cascades National Park, Washington.
Never heard of Utah's George Washington Hayduke Route, have you? That's because it's brand new.
Bears electrify an already incredible experience at Glacier National Park's Bowman Lake.
Lake Superior's best coast lies on Wisconsin's Apostle Islands.
These quiet summits feature the best views of New York's high Adirondacks.
Get above treeline in Maine's wild Saddleback Range.
Dark, volcanic mountains soaring along the Pacific Crest make for a forbidding wilderness perfect for U.S. Marines in training -- or solitude-seeking hikers.
The best way to see all Olympic has to offer is on the grand Valley Loop.
Get away from the Ozarks crowd on the Berryman Trail.
Here's how to find the best of Wyoming's expansive Bighorn range.
Highest, biggest, wildest: Colorado's Weminuche Wilderness is a land of superlatives.
Three Bay Area hikes that'll quickly make winter a distant memory
You won't get a nosebleed on the Knobstone Trail, but you will get a taste of Hoosier high country.
In New Mexico's Pecos Wilderness, it's just you and the bighorn sheep looking down on the world.
With all of the trail options in Pennsylvania's Michaux State Forest, it's hard to pick just one.
Stomp and glide at Wild River State Park, where no snow monsters are allowed.
Extend the hiking season at these three destinations, all perfect for winter newbies.
The Tordrillo Mountains are so rugged, you'd swear you're the first human to set foot there.
In the fortress-like Mazatzal Wilderness, you can barricade yourself in solitude.
When the White Mountains' hot spots get too hot, there's always the Pilot Range.
For some, reaching Maine's Mt. Katahdin is the end of a life-altering 2,100-mile pilgrimage. For others it's a lark. We captured the extremes, and a little bit of everything in between, one day atop Maine's "greatest mountain."
Think slickrock in July and your throat clenches, your skin shrivels, and parched bones rattle in your subconscious. But in winter, the snow sends the tourists and dry desert demons packing, and the frosted wonderland is all yours.
An Ohio trail that reclaimed land from the ore era.
You don't need a canoe to reach some of the Everglades' best beachfront campsites.
The Ouachita Mountains sheltered outlaws and gave John Wayne something to crow about. But it's not until you hike the 223-mile Ouachita Trail that you realize this country is the stuff of legend.
Deseret Peak Wilderness has everything the popular Wasatch Range does, except the crowds.
Vancouver's Juan de Fuca Marine Trail offers the best of both worlds in a challenging and surprising 29-mile ramble.
Drop off the lip of Linville Gorge into a world of rock escarpments, deep forests, and whitewater.
Looking for a really wild time? Grab your passport and head to Canada, where the mountains are big, the views stretch beyond your imagination, and you can't fling a moose pellet without hitting some kind of wildlife.
Who says the Appalachian Trail has to stop in Maine? Certainly not some plucky Canadians, who're extending the long-trail concept 600 more miles into their homeland.
Hiking through Oregon's Jefferson Park puts you in the heart of what was once some pretty hot country.
Panoramic ridge-hiking through New England.
Theodore Roosevelt ventured into the North Dakota Badlands an East Coast city Boy. After the land got through with him, he had the fortitude to run a nation and the insight to preserve more wildlands than anyone in history.
The Middle Fork of the Salmon River Trail is a 100-mile-long backpacker's dream that comes complete with muscle-soothing waters and the occasional glass of wine with your four-course dinner.
Redwood Meadow's massive trees and wild countryside have changed little since Muir passed through 100 years ago.
There are plenty of Bambi's brethren along the Quehanna Trail-if you know where to look.
Thank the Ice Age for the challenging hiking and incredible views you'll find in the Blue Hills.
Hike like a conquistador through Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Birds and deer are your only companions on this stretch of the Allegheny Trail.
Baldface Range's icy swimming holes and heights will get any hiker worked up.
Keep your cool on Nevada's Mt. Charleston Loop Trail.
You'll find North Cascades beauty minus the rain in Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness.
If you like stunning mountains, challenging trails, breathtaking scenery and warm temperatures in winter, New Zealand is your ticket to paradise. Just watch out for the thieving parrots.
Forget what CNN and Your Daily News say about Yosemite's crowds and crime and traffic. the "treasure of the Sierra" is still a golden place for backpackers to escape.
Two trails, same river, two different worlds.
The 76-mile Foothills Trail takes in all of the Blue Ridge's scenic wonders.
The Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park is a place of reckoning and, given its trackless nature, a place of choices. To a young man who came of age here, it offers perspective on paths not taken.
Wondrous lava formations in the Sierra's granite kingdom.
If the beauty of the Colorado Sangres doesn't leave you breathless, the altitude will.
Nine hikes as big as the hearts of their namesake wilderness visionaries.
There's elbow room to spare in this lofty hiker's haven.
Washington's rocky, log-strewn shore is no place for beach bums.
The best wildlife stronghold in California.
Head south to find the quiet side of the King.
Waterfalls and old growth in this gorge-ous Oregon hideaway.
A roadless wonder in California's Los Padres Wilderness.
A high country stunner that defines Colorado wilderness.
A small taste of Washington's mighty mountain.
All the park is a stage for nature's steamy performance in Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Great lake views in Minnesota's land of moose and wolves.
Tundra hiking in the shadow of Washington's ice-cloaked behemoth.
Hiking Wisconsin's glacier-carved trail will set you back 12,000 years.
The East Cactus Plain Wilderness brims with life and solitude. Just don't forget the water.
A 42-mile loop through America's version of the Black Forest.
When temps warm but the going's still snowy, strap on snowshoes to reach Washington's hidden camping gems.
The 50-mile-long Massanutten range in Virginia may be D.C.'s top-secret hiking getaway.
The ancient Uwharries have baffled geologists, but hikers know a good thing when they see it.
If the redwoods don't wow you, there's always the world-class California coastline.
Grab your passport and follow these 25 hikes where wild winds Blow, strange animals roam, and even the alpenglow adds to the adventure.
On its way from the Ohio to the Mississippi, Illinois' new River to River Trail takes you through a surprisingly wild side of the Corn Belt.
Smooth and easy hiking deep in the heart of Texas.
Harriman/Bear Mountain State Park is only an hour from Manhattan, but you'll feel like you're worlds away.
Thrills and views by the minute on the Kinsman Ridge Trail.
Wilderness doesn't get much better, or higher, than Holy Cross.
Thirteen miles in the spectacular Sangre De Cristos.
Some say Goat Rocks Wilderness has the best scenery along the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail. Decide for yourself.
South Carolina: A wealth of waterfalls and world-class swimming.
Quirky geology leads to even quirkier residents at Missouri's Hercules Glades.
At the edge of the world, Canada's Algonquin Provincial Park offers a window to the past.
While the desert sizzles, Arizona's Kachina Peaks are cool and comfortable.
Exploring the wilder, uncrowded reaches of our highest national park.
A mysterious ravine, old-growth forest, and big climbs -- only at Mt. Greylock Reservation.
Explore Washington's storied old-growth forests plus an authentic ghost town.
Tackling the High Uintas Wilderness from the east offers big paybacks.
Fifteen trails that'll take you from flaming maples to towering redwoods, with plenty of shimmering aspen in between.
Sierra scenery at L.A.'s backdoor.
A trek through the blast zone of a restless volcano raises questions about a father's legacy and a child's future.
Challenge and a hint of risk are part and parcel in Ramseys Draft Wilderness.
Get lost on Georgia's Duncan Ridge Trail.
Big South Fork provides Utah-quality arches in Tennessee.