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Backpacker Magazine – August 2012

Trail Mix: West

Your region's go-now guide.

by: Eli Boscetto, Morgan Tilton and Rachel Zurer

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Pontail Falls (Photo by: Terry Donnelly)
Pontail Falls (Photo by: Terry Donnelly)
Paulina Lake, OR (Photo By: Greg Vaughn)
Paulina Lake, OR (Photo By: Greg Vaughn)

Solitude Finder
Paulina Lake, Newberry Crater, OR
The parking lot may swarm with day-trippers and fleets of RVs, but rest assured, for those willing to walk to it, there’s peace and quiet aplenty at Oregon’s “other crater lake” (70 miles north of the national park). From the trailhead at Little Crater Campground, start a 7.2-mile, counterclockwise loop toward the Pumice Cone and Inter Lake Lava Flow; the crowds melt away within a mile on the lakeside trail. Overnight at the North Cove wilderness camp at mile four (often people-free, even on summer weekends). There, kick back in the shade of the lakeside camp, cool off with a dip, or just admire the views of Paulina Peak’s ragged summit across the cerulean waters. On the drive out, grab an ice cream at the Paulina Lodge store. Trip ID 1215788

Bragging Rights
Win Our “Be A Mapper” Contest
What’s better than hiking? Hiking, and earning prizes for doing it. Hit the trail with your GPS unit and camera (or a smartphone running our free GPS Trails app; see left), report back on your adventures, and you could win gear in our third annual mapping contest. Our 2011 grand-prize winner, 50-year-old Peter Scott (pictured above), a writer and photographer from Coarsegold, CA, mapped 460 miles last summer (key strategy: high-mileage days), and credits the contest with jumpstarting his upcoming guidebook to the Central Sierra. His favorite route? A 52-mile, partly cross-country loop through the Sierra’s Ritter Range to a set of alpine lakes (Trip ID 1348403). Click here to learn more.

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Anonymous
Sep 06, 2012

Beehive Basin is actually in Big Sky, MT! I've hiked this trail numerous times. Please make sure your facts are accurate before printing!

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