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Backpacker Magazine – February 2000

Hike All Year

Okay, so the weather stinks and so does the hiking. Change both by heading down the road to where the sun shines and the trail beckons.

by: Dan Nelson and Dennis Lewon

Confession time, and be honest now: You're a fair-weather camper, aren't you? Don't be afraid to admit it, because the truth will set you free. Do you know anyone who loads a pack and fights traffic for a few hours, then gets to the trailhead and gushes with joy at the prospect of hiking through soul-soaking rain or smothering fog and slug belly-gray skies or humidity so thick it feels like you're breathing through a warm washcloth? (Well, there was that weird guy in the college outing club who liked to pull the wings off flies....)

There's nothing finer than blue-sky hiking, and we all yearn for it. Problem is, Mother Nature isn't always cooperative, and in much of the country, waiting for good atmospheric conditions usually restricts you to three or four months out of the year. That leaves about eight months of sitting and thinking about getting out there.

Why wait that long? What follows are some great destinations that, chances are, will be fairly free of whatever nasty seasonal conditions usually come between you and the trail. So now you can carefully sidestep Ma Nature and stretch that four-month hiking season into a year-round endeavor.

-The Editors

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