Push yourself on a self-supported, 167-mile race through the Southwest. The blisters will go away; the accomplishment will stay with you forever.
If you've hiked the park's established paths, it's time to raise your game. Explore the South Rim's wilder side with this 41.1-mile, off-trail trek. The challenges: routefinding, exposure, class 3 scrambling. The rewards: riverside beach camps, big views, solitude.
Scramble through remote ravines, soak up private riverside vistas, and tour from rim to river on this stout, 25.1-mile circuit.
Start early for sunrise in the canyon and crowd-free hiking on this 13.4-miler that descends to the gorge's mezzanine level.
Find world-class scenery and challenges (no passport required) with our scouts' top day, weekend, and weeklong routes in the Big Ditch. Whether you're a canyon-country pro or a first-timer, we guarantee you'll find terrain that tests your boundaries.
Hike to life-list hot spots without waiting in life-list lines. These under-the-radar trails deliver everything but the crowds.
Nearly 150 years after John Wesley Powell's pioneering trip through the Grand Canyon, the park still conceals remarkable places no humans have ever seen. Contributing editor John Harlin joins a crew of explorers on a journey of discovery.
Empty White Mountain summits. Tourist-free Yellowstone geysers. Rarely hiked Yosemite ridges. Rangers, guidebook writers, outfitters, and ultra-hikers dish their favorite routes for the first time.
Park your tent in one of these 10 spots, and you'll be happy in the morning. Guaranteed.
Ten trails. Ten unmatched miles each. Get maximum bang for each boot step on hikes that our most-traveled contributors call their all-time favorites.
We've picked the top 10 miles of North America's 10 most memorable hikes. Find your way to wilderness nirvana with these map and planning guides.
Learn the basics of using GPS devices and watch amazing Google 3D flyovers in our special navigation focused video center.
Discover surprising solitude and endless vistas on an easy-access multiday trip between rim and river.
See scores of stunning images from the Grand Canyon, Denali, Yosemite, and more.
Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Southwest.
From routes to food to post-hike brewski, we've got your weekend backpacking plans dialed. This week, we've got three killer adventures in Kings Canyon, Shenandoah, and the Grand Canyon. Ready? Read. Rip. Go!
Haunted mountains? Vanished campers? Bloodthirsty creatures? An evil wind that lures hikers over a waterfall? We dare you to hike America's scariest trails.
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.
Plumb the wild depths of the Big Ditch.
Descend to the Ditch's primitive core on a three-day loop.
True tales from the front lines--and behind the scenes--of America's national parks.
What makes a backpacker a backpacker? It's not the garage full of gear or piles of guidebooks--it's the experiences, from thru-hiking a long trail to pushing your personal envelope to inspiring a child's love of wilderness. Here we present BACKPACKER's new Life List: 10 experiences to add to your tick-listnow--and the key skills you need to nail them.
See a week's worth of scenery in 24 hours, and redefine your idea of what's possible.
Heading into rough terrain? Our crew of Grand Canyon rangers and guides abused nine pairs of boots for four months. Only five survived.
Need instant inspiration? Download these BACKPACKER destination photos–Switzerland, Grand Canyon, & John Muir Wilderness–and get lost.
Surprise: This park's busy corridor trails offer a fast track to a private slice of heaven.
Don't try this at home: Our editor-in-chief tackles a gonzo 21-hour rim-to- rim-to-rim hike in the Grand Canyon with friend Shelli Johnson.
The perfect dozen: Embark on one of these 12 treks, and turn America's most iconic preserves into your own private paradise.
Tackle our toughest and least-crowded routes in the Grand Canyon with this interactive map.
Learn where solitude reigns--and why. Plus: Tackle the hardest Big Ditch route we've ever published.
This epic trip is hard, dry, steep--and gorgeous. The Cranberry Route--the final leg of this challenging loop--is the boldest, hardest scramble our scouts have done in the Grand Canyon. Study the key steps of this eight-mile section and see more details at backpacker.com/hikes/637440
. Warning: Don't attempt this route without advanced navigation skills.
Find solitude and Adventure in the Big Ditch.
Find solitude and adventure in the big ditch.
Find the best trail for your backcountry skills.
Score your own private paradise with this
insider's guide to uncrowded areas in Grand Canyon National Park.
Like your life and limbs intact? Then you'd better get skilled before visiting these trails.
We've collected the best hikes, most amazing photos, and mind-blowing videos for the ultimate National Park planning center. Get inspired and get hiking now!
Catch the best views in the nation's marquee parks from the comfort of your computer. Prepare to drool...now.
The all-time best. That's what every hiker wants on a national park trek, and that's what you'll get if you tackle one of these 25 trips.
The Tanner Trail in the grandest of U.S. canyons is a camping classic.
Catch these highlights from The National Parks: America's Best Idea
, then download maps to hike to them yourself.
Fly these classic hikes in 3D with our guided tours.
When bodies can't be buried, do their spirits ever rest? Hike to the scene of this wreck and find out.
On the eve of his much-anticipated documentary, Ken Burns discusses the heroes and history of America's most precious wildlands–and the new challenges they face now.
The best view in the Grand Canyon can't be seen from the rim. Brave the trek to Royal Arch, hidden deep in the gorge, and your world will never look the same.
From dayhikes to weekends to weeklong hikes our Grand Canyon expert will have you ready to hit this natural wonder in no time. PLUS: Get dialed with essential skills.
You know that the big-name parks draw big-time crowds. But each of those outdoor icons has a lesser-known replacement that offers some of the same classic features and epic scenery–and you get it all to yourself.
Veteran Grand Canyon photographer and explorer Elias Butler did double duty on his visit to Royal Arch by capturing the beauty on video and in photographs.
No one knows the national parks better than the rangers who patrol them. We polled a bunch of insiders on their favorite national park sights, sounds, and tastes.
Explore hidden gorges and spy rarely seen wonders on this three-week raft trip designed specifically for hikers.
Trek empty terrain all the way from the Grand Canyon to Zion.
Grand Canyon raft guide and Havasupai tribal member Shana Watahomigie becomes a paddling–and Hollywood–pioneer.
The Civilian Conservation Corps is turning 75—so celebrate right by hiking its classics.
The ultimate vacation in one of America's iconic parks requires the ultimate hiking plan: classic scenery, no crowds, and secret campsites. Here's how to spend a perfect week in Glacier, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Olympic, Denali, and the Great Smoky Mountains.
Hike with grizzlies in this remote northern corner of Alaska's greatest park.
America's first national park is a playground for grizzlies, wolves, moose, and hikers (not in that order).
Explore two ecosystems in this hinterland of moss-draped forests, ancient trees, and snowcapped peaks.
Graze blueberry patches, explore swimming holes, and tag the South's high points on this sultry hike.
Drop into America's belly on a little-known hike that dips in and out of four different canyons, each blessed with gurgling spring water.
Climb classic Sierra passes, ogle granite monoliths, and camp above treeline in John Muir's second home.
Scramble up class III peaks and cross late summer snowfields on this strenuous but straightforward trip through Montana's big-mountain country.
Baked or broiled?
Send him out on a work trip. Let wilderness do the rest.
This question fuels the debate regarding how to help the aging national park system improve.
Trees, trees are everywhere, but sometimes there isn't a dry twig in sight.
3-D hike videos, complete trip planner pdfs, our interactive ParkFinder tool, and more.
The system was rigged, says a former ranger. Here's how to beat it.
Stay dry on spring treks in Minnesota, New Mexico, and more.
Our map team has been hard at work plotting the coolest hikes. Check out May's selections here.
America's 100 Best Hikes–chosen by you.
The Grand Canyon is steep and deep, but besides rock you can take in lush springs and junipers.
Arizona's Havasu Canyon is a hiker's paradise famed for its jaw-dropping waterfalls. But now there's trouble in paradise—serious trouble.
Write your own ticket to new adventures with these 10 territory-expanding skills.
Seven national parks in 7 days--starring a ragtop, Red Bull, and one scary rabbit.
Push yourself on any of these challenging hikes
Spend New Year's in the Big Ditch, where fishing, camping, and hiking await
Here's a challenging hike with constant Grand Canyon views.
You'd never guess it: Three quiet trails in such a busy, beautiful place.
With strong legs and an ambitious plan, you can see more wild country in 12 hours than some backpackers see in a week, and still make it home in time for dinner.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Arizona.
In the 1800s, cowboys didn't think much of the Grand Canyon's Parashant National Monument. Luckily, times and attitudes have changed.