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Backpacker Magazine – February 2008

Backpacker's Readers' Choice Awards 2008

America's 100 Best Hikes–chosen by you.

by: The Backpacker Readers

Shenandoah National Park, Charles Gurche
Shenandoah National Park, Charles Gurche
Hemphill Bald Loop, Tim Johnson
Hemphill Bald Loop, Tim Johnson

You averaged 17 nights out and 140 miles hiked last year. You hit trails from Alaska to Arizona, New Mexico to New Hampshire. All of which means you truly know your backpacking destinations. To capture that expertise, we tallied your survey votes and the most popular trip downloads at Backpacker.com. The result: An insider's guide to the top hikes in every region–plus your favorite parks, peaks, waterfalls, and more.

Your Favorite National Park
Yellowstone 14%
Yosemite 10%
Acadia 9%
Great Smokies, Grand Canyon 8%
Denali, Grand Teton 6%
Glacier 5%

Mountain West

Top Contributor
Bill Velasquez
Albuquerque, NM
Age: 43
Killer trip report: Pecos Wilderness Traverse, New Mexico. "If I only had a week to live, I'd take this trip." Why? Six lakes, countless streams, and a 224,000-acre wilderness that sees surprisingly little traffic.
Miles hiked per year: 900-1,200
Great hikes have: "My wife, some wine, a sunset–in that order."
Dream trip: "Canada's Yoho Valley–for the glaciers and waterfalls. Until then, it's pretty much any time I see a sign post indicating that I am now entering wilderness."
Favorite gear: Timex TrailRunner Speed Distance GPS-enabled watch

Top 5 Downloads
1. Crest of the Wind Rivers, WY Got game? This 80-mile route, most of it above 10,000 feet, crosses the heart of some of the wildest alpine country south of Alaska.
2. Longs Peak via the Keyhole Route, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
3. West Canyon, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, UT 4. Baker Gulch to Bowen Gulch, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
5. North Halfmoon Lakes, San Isabel National Forest, CO




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