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Backpacker Magazine – February 2008

365 Days of Adventure

Traverse the Yukon Territory's Tombstone Range, sea kayak Baja, trek Torres del Paine, Patagnoia–all in 2008. Plus, monthly adventures closer to home.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Yosemite, Michael Melford
Yosemite, Michael Melford
Gauley River, Pat & Chuck Blakely
Gauley River, Pat & Chuck Blakely

January

1
Ski French Canada
Parc de la Gaspésie, Quebec
Humpbacked northern-Appalachian peaks with steep glade skiing. A dozen rustic huts from 4 to 10 miles apart (that cost just $24CDN per bed per night). North America's southernmost caribou herd. Some 250 inches of snow each winter—powder that dumps more, and earlier, than it does in the eastern U.S. The best part? You can arrange to have someone from the park service, Sepaq, haul in extra supplies (more Maker's, anyone?). Watch 2008's first sunrise from the most easterly shelter in the park, La Grive (it sleeps 8), then hut-hop your way back home. sepaq.com

9-13
Ouray Ice Festival
Ouray, CO
ourayicefestival.com

18-21
Escape the Cold
Big Bend National Park
The Marufo Vega is a classic, creosote-covered 14-mile route—but temps are often cruel (think 110°F). Around MLK Day, they average a comfy 61°F. From the trailhead near Boquillas Canyon Overlook, hike past the Dead Horse Mountains; camp on the Rio Grande. Next day, loop back along the river. nps.gov/bibe

18-20, 25-27
Get Avy Savvy
Silverton, CO
If you ski out of bounds, you better know snow safety, and that means going to class. Pronto. Silverton Avalanche School is the oldest in the country—and it only offers two introductory, Level I courses each winter. silvertonavalancheschool.com

February

Snowshoe with Giants
Yosemite National Park, CA
The Loop Road through Yosemite's Mariposa Grove of massive sequoias is choked with traffic in spring, summer, and fall. Come February, the crowds are gone–and the snow has piled up. Best of all, the concrete is transformed into an 8-mile ski or snowshoe circuit past the California Tunnel Tree and Wawona Point–where red bark blazes against a white landscape. Make it a weekend: The Victorian-style Wawona Hotel, built in 1879, is just 10 minutes from the trailhead ($119-$123). nps.gov/yose

15-18
J-Trees in Flower
Joshua Tree National Park, CA
When there's a cold winter, these gangly yuccas sprout 10-inch towers of creamy white flowers right around now. Perfect long weekend: The California Riding and Hiking Trail cuts through Covington Flat, the park's best corner for the display; from Black Rock Canyon, hike east to the trail's terminus through 35 miles of petals. nps.gov/jotr

21
Total Lunar Eclipse
Bahia Honda State Park, FL
Miss this year's eclipse, and you'll have to wait till 2010 to see another. This time, eastern states–especially Florida, with crystal-clear winter skies–have the best view. Nab a beachfront campsite at Sandspur Campground on the Gulf of Mexico and settle in for an unobstructed view of the show. floridastateparks.org/bahiahonda

Feb 23
American Birkebeiner ski race
Hayward, WI
birkie.com

29
Bonus Day
Leap year hits on a Friday, you get an extra three-day weekend. Spend it outside.




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READERS COMMENTS

Anonymous
Sep 14, 2008

365 DAYS OF ADVENTURE and.......... 3 pictures

Pamela Meath
Aug 31, 2008

I am looking for an article (short) that was in one of your spring magazines about a 3 day hike, where you walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, go south. You mention places to stay and eat. At the end you can take a bus back into the city to get your car. Do you know which article I am talking about, I have lost that magazine.
thank you,
Pamela Meath

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