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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

Life List Locations
Your ultimate backpacking destination is...
1. Alaska
2. New Zealand
3. Long trail thru-hike
4. Inca Trail
5. Patagonia
6. Alps haute route
7. Annapurna Circuit
8. (TIE) Australia
Trans Canada Trail

The Best Vistas
Highline Trail, Glacier
South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon
Mt. Sneffels, CO
Goat Rocks, Isle of Haute, Acadia
Zion Canyon, UT
John Muir Trail, CA


Top Contributor
Trung Q. Lee
Portland, OR
Age: 36
Miles hiked per year: 250
Killer trip report: The Loowit Trail, a sturdy 30-miler around Mt. St. Helens. "You see moonlike landscapes at the Plains of Abraham and spooky Spirit Lake, and leapfrog through boulder rock gardens."
Essential footwear: Timberland Trail Dog sandals. "I don't wear regular shoes."
Crazy encounter: Running into a rattlesnake in the Appalachians–10 minutes before coming face-to-face with a black bear.
Earliest trail memory: "I was 16 when we took a Greyhound to Lake Arrowhead [California], hailed a taxi, then hiked 6 miles in the dark."
Dream trip: "Backpack the entire globe."

Top 5 Downloads
1. Loowit Trail Loop, Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, WA Circumnavigate America's superstar stratovolcano on this 3-day, 30-mile hike that passes massive debris avalanches created by the 1980 blast.
2. Crystal Peak, Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
3. Iron Creek to Sawtooth Lake, Sawtooth Wilderness, ID
4. Oregon Section 11, Timberline Lodge to Cascade Locks
5. Southern Traverse, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK

The Most Photogenic National Park is...
Grand Canyon 25%
Yosemite 15%
Rocky Mountain 12%
Glacier 8%
Crater Lake 6%
Zion 4%
Bryce 3%


Top Contributor
Steffan Fay
Wyoming, MN
Age: 38
Miles hiked per year: 400
Killer trip report: Isle Royale Traverse, Michigan. "This was my first assignment for BACKPACKER, and it hits all the park's highlights: inland lakes, mining remnants, and natural harbors." Steffan also paddles some 100 miles a year, including a four-day tour last summer of the Hunter Island Loop in Quetico National Park, where he caught smallmouth bass and walleye.
Crazy encounter: "While kayaking in Quetico Provincial Park, I sat 30 yards offshore as a wildfire played out right in front of me."
Earliest trail memory: "My first real hike was in college, a misty jaunt up Goat Fell, Isle of Arran, Scotland."

Top 5 Downloads
1. Cross Timbers Trail, Lake Texoma, TX This 8.9-miler rolls along bayou fingers and passes through big stands of twisty-limbed blackjack oak.
2. Zaleski Backpack Trail, South Loop, Zaleski State Park, OH
3. Wildcat Hollow Trail, Wayne National Forest, OH
4. Buffalo River Trail, Ozark Mountains, AR
5. Big Piney Trail, Paddy Creek Wilderness, MO

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