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Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area

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Denver, CO: Explore a canyon oasis.

Trail Mix: Mountain West

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Wildflowers in Indian Peaks, CO, an old climbers' trail in Wyoming, and more.

One Night Wonders: Peak Baggers, Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point

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Tag two tough fourteeners.

The Great Best Views Debate

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In our September 2013 issue we polled our experts on their favorite views in the U.S. What are your favorite views in each state?

Mountain Map: Indian Peaks, CO

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Of all the reasons to be jealous of Denverites (craft beer, deep powder, Peyton Manning), the Front Range's backyard peaks might top the list. These glacier-carved mountains straddle the Continental Divide and offer 133 miles of maintained trails, plus endless serrated ridges to explore. Local or visitor, venture into this land of massive crags with these routes that promise views from every vantage point—if you don't live here yet, you'll wish you did.

Grand Traverses: Pfiffner Traverse

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Choose your own adventure on this rocky mountain routefinding test piece.

BACKPACKER "Summer of Tough" Photo Safari

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Join Backpacker magazine photo editor, Genny Fullerton, and Backpacker contributing photographer, Steve Howe, on a four-day, three-night backpacking photo safari where you'll learn what it takes to shoot images worthy of publication.

2013 Adventures Denver

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Our second-annual Adventures Denver is a family friendly day of fun in the outdoors trying out new gear and activities...for free!

Local Hikes in the West

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Make a late-season hike to an aspen-dense Colorado mesa, spot bears in the Beartooths, explore gypsum dunes, and discover more fall must-hikes.

The High Life: Never Summer Yurts, CO

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Discover your own private Rockies paradise.

Rip & Go: Kannah Creek Basin Loop, Grand Mesa NF, CO

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Descend from a cliff-rimmed mesa to a trout-filled lake.

Killer Trips: Weather

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Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

Killer Trips: Wildlife

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Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

Killer Trips: Terrain

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Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

Trail Mix: West

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Your region's go-now guide

The Other Way In

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Hike to life-list hot spots without waiting in life-list lines. These under-the-radar trails deliver everything but the crowds.

Trail Mix: West

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Your region's go-now guide.

Best Week: Continental Divide Loop

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Tour glacial valleys and navigate to off-trail lakes and waterfalls on this six-day circuit.

Best Day: Longs Peak via Clarks Arrow and the Keyhole

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Scramble up a 12.7-mile sneak route to the park's highest peak.

Best Weekend: Gorge Lakes

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Hike cross-country to explore this secluded chain of hanging lakes.

Rocky Mountain Adventure Guide (2012 National Parks Series: Part 2 of 6)

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Our map team scouted more than 500 miles of trails and cross-country routes to bring you a summer's worth of escapes in the Rockies.

Local Hikes

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Jump-start your hiking season on these spring-ready trips from around the country.

America's Best Campsites

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Park your tent in one of these 10 spots, and you'll be happy in the morning. Guaranteed.

Ultimate Adventure Handbook: Climb to Heart-Pumping Heights

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Scramble a class 3 route and claim your own private peak.

Readers' Choice 2012: Your Neck of the Woods - Mountain West Hikes

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Scramble on red rock, camp at alpine lakes, cross a high pass, explore a trailless moonscape, and bushwhack to a peak.

America's Best Backcountry Ski Tours

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Upgrade your winter fun at these 8 beginner-friendly, expert-ready spots.

A Piece of Quiet

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America’s leading advocate of wilderness silence shows the way to Mt. Rainier National Park’s quietest corner. Plus: 9 more campsites with life-list listening.

Rip & Go: Tonahutu Loop - Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

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Cross elk-filled woods and bighorn- busy flats on this park's quiet side.

Backyard Everests: Mt. Alice

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Feel like you've notched a first ascent.

Going to Extremes

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Can you ever really have too much of a good thing? Once you've seen the biggest tree, largest glacier, and deepest canyon, nothing else compares.

The High Life: Hiking Utah's Highline Trail

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Watch your step on Utah' Highline Trail. The nonstop views and rampant wildlife are distractingly spectacular. Plus: Gaze away on 9 more elevated hikes.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

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Hike these long trails in Montana, Idaho, Arizona, and Colorado, and raft an eight-mile section of the Arkansas River.

America's Best-Kept Secrets

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The only thing better than enjoying the life-list scenery in the country's premier national parks? Getting that same scenery, minus the crowds. Find it in these 10 backcountry hotspots, along with no-hassle permits, choice campsites aplenty, and solitude to match the world-class terrain.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

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Hike Denver's lost wilderness, a twofer of peaks in Idaho, lava tubes in New Mexico, Zion's sneak route, and Bozeman's trout-filled lake.

America's Best-Kept Secrets: Eagles Nest Wilderness, CO

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Readers' Choice 2011: America's Best Hikes

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The undisputed local experts—you—chose the top parks, trails, campsites, and weekend getaways from Alaska to Alabama.

Trip Finder: West

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Your favorite western hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Readers' Choice: Rockies

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Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Rockies.

Trip Finder: Rockies

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Your favorite Rockies hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

Rip & Go: Four Pass Loop

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Like peaks, lakes, and wildflowers? You'll love this Rockies classic in White River National Forest.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Best Winter Trips

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We traveled to Fjordland and discovered that nothing compares to skiing glacier-clad mountains above deep-water fjords. Plus: 20 winter adventures, from California to New York.

Top 25 Winter Trips: United States

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Find the best skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter camping trips in the U.S.

Best Hikes Ever: Four-Pass Loop, CO

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See the Rockies' most iconic mountains.

Best Hikes Ever: North Vista Trail, CO

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Aim upward for majestic views over an ancient canyon.

Best. Hikes. Ever.

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We've covered 245,591 miles of trails in our 37-year history. Here are our 20 all-time favorite trips, plus—shocking!—20 routes we never covered.

Best Hikes Ever: The Needles Traverse, CO

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Forge your own route through the Rockies' most rugged corner.

America's Scariest Trails: Supernatural Sights

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Alpine views and starry skies are nice, but on these unsettling hikes you might see something really stunning.

Natural Wonders: Hells Canyon, Bighorn Sheep, and Longleaf Pines

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See North America's deepest river gorge, the west's most violent mating Display, and the Southeast's last longleaf pines.

Natural Wonders: Sparring Bighorn Sheep

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Witness bighorn rams' skull-bashing attempts to win a date.

Local Hikes: Aspen, CO

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The best hikes near Aspen, CO.

Local Hikes: Grand Junction, CO

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The best hikes near Grand Junction, CO.

Local Hikes: Denver/Boulder, CO

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The best hikes near Denver/Boulder.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

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The best local hikes in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana.

Top 3 Trailhead Pub Hikes: Buttermilk Falls SP, NY

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Explore waterfall-filled Gorges with fossils preserved in the shale walls.

Top 3 Trailhead Pub Hikes: The Barr Trail, CO

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Climb a fourteener for a view across the continental divide.

Top 3 Trailhead Pub Hikes: Deschutes River Trail, OR

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Hike streamside near pacific northwest greenery and caribbean-blue eddies.

Top 3: Ghost Town Hikes

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Walk 100 or more years back into history--and deep into wilderness outposts now reclaimed by nature--with these routes to three abandoned frontier communities.

Top 3 Ghost Town Hikes: Boston Mine, CO

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Visit a Wrecked alpine village.

The Map Vault: Inside the USGS Repository

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No one loves maps more than a backpacker, and the USGS's central repository in Denver is a veritable cartographic paradise.

Local Hikes: Mountain West

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Spot a grizzly, basecamp amid Fourteeners, and relax in secluded hot springs. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

Life List: Colorado Trail

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Bag a peak every day (and a view every step) on the country's highest-elevation footpath.

Colorado Trail: Find Solitude

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How to beat the crowds and find solitude in the Rockies

Colorado Trail: Top Peaks

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The top peaks for every type of hiker.

Colorado Trail: Best Of

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Find your hike on the country's highest footpath.

America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes

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Like your life and limbs intact? Then you'd better get skilled before visiting these trails.

Top 3 Luxury Hikes

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Hit the trail, then hit the oh-so-soft mattress at one of these hiker-friendly lodges.

Natural Wonders: Smallest Deer, Frozen Waterfall, and Death Valley's Wildflowers

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Three treks to life-list phenomena from Death Valley to Colorado.

Ultimate Rocky Mountain Destinations

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Disappear into Yellowstone's forgotten peaks. Bag Colorado's most exciting Fourteener. Hike Utah's unknown long trail Our field editors pick 24 epics for your Rockies life list.

Southern Rockies: Twilight Peaks, CO

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Explore a secret wonderland in the West Needle Mountains.

Southern Rockies: Continental Divide Trail, CO

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Hike high on this above-treeline route through the Weminuche Wilderness.

Central Rockies: Mount of the Holy Cross Loop, CO

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Scramble to a remote refuge on this peak's secret side.

Natural Wonders: Colorado's Tallest Frozen Waterfall

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See a 365-foot cascade turned to ice at Bridal Veil Falls.

Luxury Hikes: Navajo Lake Trail, CO

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Hike to a hot springs and private cabin.

The Best Cities To Raise An Outdoor Kid

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Which towns offer the ideal mix of accessible trails, inspiring teachers, and great recreational resources? We worked with The Outdoor Foundation to identify America's top 25 places to beat nature deficit disorder.

Mountain West Readers' Choice Hikes

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A weekend in Glacier, a quiet 14er, and the Rockies' best hot springs.

Your Favorite Places: Readers' Choice Trips 2010

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Who knows the secret trails and must-do classics in every corner of the country? Our teams of regional experts, recruited from the ranks of readers like you. Here are their top hikes from coast to coast.

Readers' Choice Mountain West Hike: Santa Maria Spring, Grand Canyon NP

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Gaze into the world's most beautiful labyrinth.

Readers' Choice Mountain West: Mr. Bubbles, Yellowstone NP

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Relax in an effervescent bath far from the dayhiking crowds.

Readers' Choice Mountain West Hike: West Maroon Pass, CO

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Trip through kaleidoscopic color amid high-alpine splendor.

Readers' Choice Mountain West: Mills Lake, Rocky Mountain NP

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Get big payoffs on an easy hike.

Readers' Choice Mountain West: The Colorado Trail

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Thru-hike America's highest trail.

Readers' Choice Mountain West: Gunsight Pass, Glacier NP

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See the park's famed glaciers from a high mountain pass.

Insider's Guide to Peaks

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Think you know all there is to know about these famous peaks? Get an insider's guide right here.

National Parks Hall of Fame: Best Cross-Country Adventure

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Traverse alongside delicate ecosystem, open tundra and hit nine summits on this "grand slam" of cross-country treks.

Undiscovered Hikes: 19 New Trails

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Hike these paths before the masses find them.

Your Daily Tread: Local Hikes Across the U.S.

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What's better than hiking every weekend? Hiking every day. Here are the best big-city escapes from New York to Los Angeles. Plus: Bill Donahue explores the remote reaches of Portland's Forest Park and discovers secrets even locals don't know.

Free Maps! Our Contributors Favorite Local Hikes

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Online or via your cellphone these trips are ready to be downloaded and explored.

Footprints Needed: Colorado's Undiscovered Black Canyon

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Descend into Colorado's Black Canyon and explore a park that has everything–life-list scenery, challenging terrain, a revitalized river–except hikers.

The Peak: Windom Peak, CO

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Take a historic train to the trailhead and climb this Colorado beauty, nestled deep in the Weminuche Wilderness.

Jonathan Dorn's Photo Slideshows

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Our editor in chief digs through his years of trips, trails, and tales to share some of his adventures in the wild, from the Grand Canyon to Mount Rainier.

Vote on America's Best Trail

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For our 2010 Readers' Choice issue we want to know your favorite trail in America.

Where Solitude Rules

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Sharing is for kindergarten. Take one of these 30 hikes and you can have the wilderness all to yourself.

Full Circle: The Rocky Mountain Grand Loop

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Follow a long-forgotten loop in Rocky Mountain National Park across the Continental Divide, through moose-infested meados, and up Longs Peak via a rarely climbed route.

Weekend Planner: Quick Escapes

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Get big views and rack up long miles with these close-to-home adventures.

Where Solitude Rules - Surprise Escapes

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Find real solitude amid the crowds at these secret stashes.

Where Solitude Rules - Wilderness Hideaways

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Lose yourself in a private paradise the crowds have overlooked.

Insider's Guide Rocky Mountain National Park

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From the top day hike to the key skills you'll need, we'll have you ready for the Rockies in no time.

America's Newest Wilderness

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A quick guide to the best acres, trails, and views.

Hike It, Save It: Red Buttes, Oregon/ California

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Threatened by OHVs, logging, and overgrazing a 120,000-acre proposed addition to Red Buttes Wilderness would quintuple its size and benefit the Pacific Crest Trail.

Hike It, Save It: Handies Peak, Colorado

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The biggest threat to his critical gap between the Weminuche and Uncompahgre Wilderness Areas? Off-highway vehicles.

Top Cities to Raise A...

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Does your kid want to be an ice climber? How about a thru-hiker, or paddler? These cities have just what you need.

The Best Cities to Raise an Outdoor Kid: The Winning 25

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From Boulder to Juneau to Bozeman, see which cities made the cut for the best place to raise an outdoor kid, and why.

America's Best Dayhikes

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From dawn-to-dusk epics in Utah canyons to lazy-picnic blueberry strolls in Maine–plus hikes to peaks, redwoods, hot springs, beaches, and more–here are 100 ways to spend a perfect day on the trail.

Rocky Mountain National Park's Grand Loop: 3D Flyover and Tracklog

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Fly the Rockies with our 3D video, then download the GPS track to do the route yourself.

Rip & Go: Bowen-Baker Loop - Never Summer Wilderness, CO

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Get national park scenery without the crowds on an alpine overnight with lakeside camping.

Trip Finder: Waterfall Hikes

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Nine ways to get your cascade fix from Tennessee to Montana.

Adventure Weekends: Luxury Hiking and Camping

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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.

Ridge Runner

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Undeterred by injuries that would cripple most men, a Colorado hiker nears the halfway point in a pioneering attempt to thru-hike the true crest of the Continental Divide. In this extended online interview, Dunmire talks about his gear essentials, near misses, and the challenges that lay ahead as he continues to trace North America's spine.

Readers' Choice Awards 2009

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Discover the best hike in every state, as voted by BACKPACKER readers. Plus: your essential gear, most desirable tentmate, worst-ever adventure movie, and our picks for the best reader-submitted photos.

Weekend Snow Climbs in the Pacific Northwest, Rockies, and Northeast

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Pack snowshoes for these nine epic treks to snowy solitude in the Pacific Northwest, Rockies, and Northeast.

Phenomenon: Glacial Relics

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The Ice Age left its mark from Acadia to Yosemite. Here's scenic evidence.

The Missing Lynx

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In Colorado, wilderness hut managers recruit hikers to track an elusive wildcat.

Hikes and Trips in all 50 States

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Use our comprehensive state-specific pages to find hikes in your home state our a state you're planning on visiting.

Hikes and Trips in US Cities

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Use our comprehensive city-specific pages to find hikes near your hometown or in a city you're planning to visit.

Party Peaks

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Ten perfect summits for your next group hike

Top 3 Winter Hut Treks

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Trek into the wilderness but sleep in comfort with these hut treks

Mr. Haugen's Highpoints

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Denver teacher Mike Haugen sets a new state summits speed record–fifty state highpoints in less than 50 days!

When Disaster Strikes! 5 True Survival Stories

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Read these real-life tales from five survivors who made it out alive, and learn what they did wrong–and right.

Rocky Mountain (Extra) High: Lightning On The Colorado Trail

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Dodge high wattage on the newest stretch of the Colorado Trail.

Caught in a Colorado Snowstorm

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An autumn climb turns life-threatening when a hiker endures a night in a whiteout at 12,000 feet in the Rockies.

America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes - Barr Trail, Pikes Peak, CO

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A hair-raising hike

Where Can I Find The Highest Designated Campsite?

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Head to the RMNP for the highest designated camp–find out where below.

Trip Finder: Ridgewalks

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From the West Coast to the Rocky Mountains to New England, we've got nine epic ridgewalks just for you.

Nuclear-Free Hiking

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How Cold War weapons sites are becoming America's most unusual new preserves.

Trip Finder: Wildflowers

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Trek the best spring blooms from the Ozarks to the Olympics with these two, three, and four day treks.

North America's Highest Sandbox: Great Sand Dunes National Park

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The most exotic hike in the United States is smack in the middle of the country: Welcome to Great Sand Dunes National Park.

The Continental Divide Trail Project

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We sent 209 readers out to GPS the Continental Divide Trail, the biggest, baddest, long-distance path of them all. They brought back the makings of the first authoritative map of this American classic. Here, read the Backpacker Blog on the project, and view three exclusive on-the-trail video.

Top 3 Get-There-Fast Hikes

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You can only get so far off the grid in a single day - that is, unless you take a shortcut into the mountains. Many ski resorts, including the three premier sites mentioned below, open a lift or two in summer and fall, offering an express route to places high and wild. There's no other way to get this deep into the woods this fast.


Time To Go: Winter Tracking

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Hit the wilderness in search of beasts big and small.

Time 2 Go See Wild Horses

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From Florida to Wyoming, track wild horses for four hours or 10 days.

America's Best Campsites

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Whether you are after fishing holes or skinny-dipping, Backpacker tracked down the best campsites in the country

Breaking News: 2 hikers stranded on Longs Peak

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Good news: Both women returned to safety as of Friday, September 13.

The Continental Divide Trail's Monarch Crest

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Don't miss your chance to take the best dayhike on the CDT.

The Continental Divide Trail's Rocky Mountain National Park

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The best overall weekend hike you'll find on the CDT.

Top 3: Ridge Hikes

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Live life on the edge as your dayhike three vertiginous ridges in Arizona, Vermont, and Colorado.

Paddling's Greatest Getaways

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16 wild ways to find backcountry solitude and big-time scenery. All this, and you can bring the ice chest, too.

Epicenter: The Scene In Grand Lake, Colorado

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Slide through Rocky Mountain National Park's mellower back door.

Hike, Paddle, and Bike in Denver

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Feel mile-high by hiking foothills, paddling downtown, and pedaling Mt. Falcon Park.

America's Hardest Dayhikes

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Push yourself on any of these challenging hikes

High Points: Mt. Elbert, Colorado

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Come enjoy this high peak's playground

Mountain Bike from Telluride to Moab

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Prime time in the Rockies to explore the San Juan Hut System

Guide's Choice: Hiking, Biking, Paddling, and Sledding Adventures

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From paddling Lake Superior to glacier-hopping in Alaska: 6 hair-raising, lung-busting adventures from America's top outfitters

Colorado: West Elk Range

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Spring comes earlier to this mountain paradise.

Handies Peak, San Juan Mountains

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This summit will put you high above what many consider to be Colorado's finest mountain range.

Glacier Gorge, Rocky Mountain National Park

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Giant cliffs and numerous waterfalls are among the stunning sites that can be viewed along this Colorado hike.

Hike The Hidden Trails of Rocky Mountain National Park

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Here's a detailed hiking planner that will take you to the hidden corners of Colorado's most scenic park.

Best Waterfall Hikes

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Learn the weird science behind our addiction to waterfalls, and the location of the best trails in North America.

Best Backpacking In Colorado

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Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Colorado.

Hike Higher In Colorado's Collegiate Peaks

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Hike into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and you'll enjoy Colorado's best summer school.

Backpacking Colorado's Elk Mountains

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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.

Hiking The Continental DivideTrail

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Can you tackle our readers' favorite long trail? Test your hiking mettle against the Continental Divide Trail.

Hiking Dreams Really Do Come True

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Easily said and done, when you have a constant reminder at bedtime.

Snowy Destinations

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Need someplace to go shoe with your snowshoes? Whet your whistle with one of these great places.

Life's Great (Continental) Divide

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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.

All Quiet In Colorado's Indian Peaks

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When summer ends, crowd-free hiking begins in Colorado's Indian Peaks.

Aspen's Avalanche Of Gold

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No color in nature comes close to matching the heart-stirring golden aspen found in the Rockies in autumn.

Colorado's San Juans Wildflower Explosion

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The majestic San Juan Mountain range is often called America's Switzerland. -- and the wildflowers match.

Biking The Colorado Trail

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Mountain vistas: the ups and downs of a mountain-biking/hiking paradise.

Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado

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A primordial oasis of rivers, bighorn sheep, and canyons.

River Floating: A Current Affair

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Why huff and puff to get to an isolated campsite? Simply grab a paddle, then let the current carry you to a secluded riverside trailhead.

Colorado: Gibson Lake, Pike National Forest

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Tiny Gibson Lake will take you out of Denver in a hurry with its big-wilderness feel and smirking brook trout.

Colorado's West Elk Wilderness

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There's elbow room to spare in this lofty hiker's haven.

Sangre De Cristo Wilderness

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If the beauty of the Colorado Sangres doesn't leave you breathless, the altitude will.

Colorado's Rawah Wilderness

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A high country stunner that defines Colorado wilderness.

Rocky Mountains, Defined

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Exploring the wilder, uncrowded reaches of our highest national park.

Colorado's Heavenly Holy Cross Wilderness

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Wilderness doesn't get much better, or higher, than Holy Cross.

Colorado's Willow Creek Trail

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Hike like a conquistador through Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Winter Hiking For Beginners

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Extend the hiking season at these three destinations, all perfect for winter newbies.

Colorado's James Peak

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James Peak is a gem just 50 miles west of Denver.

Weminuche Wilderness: Top Of The Rockies

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Highest, biggest, wildest: Colorado's Weminuche Wilderness is a land of superlatives.

Soar In Colorado's Eagles Nest Wilderness

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Gain a raptor's-eye view of the world in Colorado's Eagles Nest Wilderness.

Colorado's South San Juan Wilderness

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Crowd-free, rocky mountain highs -- you'll find this and more in Colorado's South San Juan Wilderness.

Colorado's Lizard Head Wilderness

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Besides being home to a mythical reptile, Colorado's Lizard Head Wilderness is the site of some great hiking.

Colorado's Flat Tops Wilderness

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The Best U.S. Summits: Top Of The World

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Who needs Everest when you can have these eight summits, all hikeable, all close to home, no sherpas or yaks required.

Twelve Toughest Trails

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Twelve trails that'll chew you up, spit you out, and have you begging for more.

Colorado Trail

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If any long trail is likely to induce a headache, it's the Colorado Trail.

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