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Master the Steeps: High-Angle Hiking Trails

First, check out our tips for healthy hiking on steep terrain in the May 2009 issue then, put them to the test on one of our favorite high-angle trails from California to North Carolina.

by: The Backpacker Editors

trip icon Windom Peak, CO
Power up 10 miles and gain 5,800 feet en route to this 14,082-foot summit. Or combine it with Sunlight Peak and Mt. Eolus—if you dare—for a 22.6-miler deep in the Chicago Basin.

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Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim, AZ
Descend into the belly of the country’s greatest gorge—then climb all the way back out on this 21-mile traverse via Bright Angel Canyon.

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Paintbrush-Cascade Canyon Loop, WY
Climb 4,000 feet from String Lake to reach the jagged Teton views from 10,700-foot Paintbrush Divide.

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Mount Blackmore, MT
Hump more than 3,000 feet in 5.6 miles through sunny meadows for an eagle-eye peek at the Gallatin Range.

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Camels Hump, VT
Master the Green Mountains on a 4.9-mile haul from spruce forest to alpine tundra with views into New York and New Hampshire.

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Baldface Mountain Loop, NH
Tag North and South Baldface on this 8.3-mile hike featuring a scrambly, 2,500-foot ascent up gorges and across creeks.

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Fontana Dam to Newfound Gap, NC
Test your mettle on this steep 40.6-mile Appalachian Trail route to the top of the Smokies.

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South Rim Chisos Mountains, TX
Scale some of the tallest peaks in Texas on a stout 14.5-miler with views all the way to Mexico.

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Gooseberry-Dogleg Loop, UT
Dive from the Island in the Sky to the White Rim and beyond, then tackle a staircase ascent back up on this Canyonlands 14-miler.

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Strawberry Peak, CA
Hoof it 5,000 feet up and across talus, ridges, and cliffs to bag this San Gabriel summit on an 11-mile hike-and-climb.

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