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Searching for "Destinations"

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Five Friends, Five Weeks: Paddling From Vancouver to Alaska

Five friends with minimal kayaking experience take five weeks to kayak from Vancouver, B.C., to Alaska, stoking wanderlust dreams for everyday Adventure Joes and Janes everywhere

No Experience Required_Full HQ from StuntBeaver Productions on Vimeo.

Five Canadian friends decided to make a small dream come true and kayak from Vancouver to Alaska in one five-week push—never mind that only one of them had much kayaking experience. They succeeded—and they made this cute short film. It's in need of some editing, but it's still great fodder for stoking your summer-adventure dream machine, and making it real.

Besides, we can think of way worse things to do in a kayak with no experience.

—Ted Alvarez

via The Goat
Read Full Story...
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 in: Destinations, News and Events, Weird and Funny
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Finding Nordic Nirvana in Sun Valley, Idaho

Northwest Editor Mike Lanza explores the country's cross-country skiing capitol

The groomed white track tilts sharply upward and continues for a discouragingly long stretch before disappearing around another bend in the lodgepole pine forest. Climbing this relentless hill on my skate-skis, my heart wails loudly enough to scare off birds, while alarming sounds and fluids spew from my mouth. I feel like I’m locked in mortal combat against gravity and the battle isn’t going so well for me right now.

But I finally crest the hilltop and stop in an open meadow buried in deep snow. A view that’s become familiar over the years—and never less than exhilarating—spreads out before me. Central Idaho’s forested Wood River Valley, dappled with fields of white, meanders south for as far as I can see, and then some. Two long ramparts of jagged, snowy, 10,000-foot peaks frame the scene, the Boulder Mountains on the left and the Smoky Mountains on the right.

Every time I see this valley, I wonder how it can be that I don’t get out here more in winter. Little wonder this place has become one of the West’s skiing meccas. Read Full Story...
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 in: Destinations, News and Events
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Free Print & Go Trip Planners

Get a jump on your summer hiking dream trips with free Print & Go planners!

Most of the country is buried in Arctic snow and chill; not exactly great hiking weather, but the perfect time to kickstart the summer-hike dream factory. We're here to help: With BACKPACKER's Print & Go trip planners, you'll get all the beta you need for incredible weekend hikes in every part of the country.

Here's what's on tap this month: Read Full Story...
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 in: News and Events, Destinations
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Winter in Yellowstone

Northwest editor Mike Lanza discovers Yellowstone's secret: Winter is best for best for scenery, wildlife, and a lot of hot air

The snowcoach rumbles away, leaving us in a wintry silence disturbed only by a slight breeze and the gastrointestinal emissions of a supervolcano that last let out a really big one 640,000 years ago. Back then, it ejected about 240 cubic miles of rock and dust into the sky. Today, as seems always the case with these things, it just sounds a little rude and smells badly.

My wife, Penny, and I, with our son, Nate, and daughter, Alex, have just stepped off the snowcoach with our cross-country skis in Biscuit Basin in Yellowstone National Park. Watching us disembark with our grade-school kids, the other passengers stared solemnly, as if expecting they would be the last to see us alive. Clearly, none of them are Nordic skiers, otherwise they might have realized that we’re setting out on one of the coolest half-day adventures in the entire national park system: ski touring along the Firehole River through Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin. Read Full Story...
Wednesday, February 02, 2011 in: Destinations, News and events
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Update: Be A Backpacker Map Correspondent

See who won FREE GEAR and a SWEET TRIP!

To kick off the hiking season this past spring, we announced our Be a BACKPACKER Map Correspondent contest. The rules were simple. Map trails from May 1 to November 1; win gear. To top it off, the contributor with the most hikes in the tank by November 1 would win a closet-full of Editors' Choice gear and a weeklong trip to the Colorado Rocky Mountains with our map editors. Read Full Story...
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 in: Destinations
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TRIP DOCTOR: How do I know if I'm ready for my first big park trip?

Make sure you've got the skills for your first national park trip. Here's what you need to know.

We'd like to take a five or seven day hike in a big Western national park, or maybe even Denali. How do we know if we're ready for it, and where should we go?
--Nicole, Binghamton, NY

Backpacking Denali National Park is an adventure-of-a-lifetime that should be on everyone's tick list. But it's definitely not for rookies. Besides having no trails--you'll hike cross-country, be route-finding in big, sometimes confusing terrain--there are multiple challenges, including serious river crossings, weather that can deliver snow or cold rain and shut down visibility at the height of summer, and brown bears. This is advanced wilderness travel with many possibilities for trouble, demanding high self-sufficiency.

So how do you assess your own readiness for Denali, or anywhere else? Read Full Story...
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 in: Trip Doctor, Destinations
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TRIP DOCTOR: Is There Such a Thing as Adventure Insurance for Outdoor Pursuits?

Let's face it. Some sports are dangerous. Our Trip Doctor lays out some options for getting insured on the trail.

I’m climbing a peak this summer. Does anyone offer outdoor insurance in case something happens to me? How do I get it?
--Bill, Lander WY


Most insurers still haven’t wrapped their brains around outdoor sports—especially those that entail some degree of risk, like mountain climbing. Typical health insurance policies won’t cover an expensive evacuation from a wilderness setting in the event of an injury that’s immobilizing or life threatening. Unless you get travel insurance that specifically covers circumstances that could slam the door on your trip—such as weather preventing you from getting to your destination—you’ll eat the entire cost.

Read Full Story...
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 in: Trip Doctor, Destinations
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TRIP DOCTOR: Where Will I See The Most Big Wildlife on a Dayhike?

Want to see bears, moose, and everything in between? Our trip doctor has the hikes for you.

Where will I see the most big wildlife on dayhike? I'm interested in moose, bears, and anything else bigger than me.
--Nick, Newburyport, MA


That’s an easy one. The two national parks in the Lower 48 that retain the full range of America’s non-extinct original mega-fauna are Yellowstone and Glacier.

In Yellowstone, you could dayhike almost anywhere to see elk, bison, moose, and possibly even a grizzly bear or wolves, but the best spot is probably the Lamar River Valley in the park’s northwest corner. Hike out-and-back as far as you want up the Lamar River Trail from the trailhead on Northeast Entrance Road, 13 miles east of Tower Junction and 16 miles west of the Northeast Entrance. It’s hot in summer and there are enough people around to keep the animals away, so if you’re heading there from June to August, get an early start—and carry pepper spray in case you get a little too close to a bear. Better yet, hike in September, when there’s fewer people around, meaning more animals, and temps are cooler. Read Full Story...
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 in: Trip Doctor, Destinations
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TRIP DOCTOR: Backpacking the Tetons for Beginners

The perfect Grand Tetons hike is at your feet thanks to our trusty Trip Doctor.

I want to backpack in the Tetons this summer but I’ve never been there. Where should I go? 
--William, Lincoln, NE


The Tetons are one of my favorite mountain ranges in the country. I think I’ve been there 15 or more times—backpacking, climbing, dayhiking, backcountry skiing, canoeing. The place is an adventure playground (and, in my opinion, one of our most photogenic parks; see my story “Life’s Short, Hike More,” in the upcoming August issue of BACKPACKER). For backpackers, there are a number of route options. Read Full Story...
Wednesday, June 09, 2010 in: Trip Doctor, Destinations
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TRIP DOCTOR: Where Should I Go Beach Camping This Summer?

There's nothing like falling asleep to waves crashing on shore. Our trip expert shares some inside knowledge on the best spots for beach camping. Don't forget your longboard.

Where can I go wilderness beach camping this summer that won't be crowded or overly regulated?  I'd like to camp, hike, and have a campfire.
--Bella, Boulder, CO

Wouldn’t it be a perfect world if we all had a strip of wilderness coastline to ourselves? There’s not much of that left in the U.S. but the quintessential multi-day wilderness-coast backpacking trip is on Washington’s Olympic coast, the longest stretch of wilderness coastline in the Lower 48.

The 73 miles of pristine shoreline on the Pacific within Olympic National Park feature endless sand and cobblestone beaches backed by rainforest; cliffs plunging into the sea in spots; tide pools brimming with sea life; bald eagles, whales, sea otters, and other wildlife; amazing sunsets; and bizarre sea stacks, pinnacles of rock jutting from the ocean, often capped by a few trees. Read Full Story...
Wednesday, June 02, 2010 in: Trip Doctor, Destinations
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