SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Backpacker Magazine – June 2013

Top 3: National Park Hikes

Sample the best of our crown-jewel lands on these superlative trips.

by: Casey Flynn

Vernal Falls (David Giral)
Vernal Falls (David Giral)
Clay Hoodoos (Kirkendall-Spring)
Clay Hoodoos (Kirkendall-Spring)


Best Solitude

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND
Achenbach Trail

Big sky, wind- and rain-etched buttes, and the wandering Little Missouri River make up the wild and less-visited north unit of this off-the-radar park. The park sees a fifth as many visitors as Yellowstone, so you’re more likely to meet a bison than a hiker on the 9.4-mile out-and-back to Achenbach Spring, even during peak season (July and August). Watch for pronghorns, golden eagles, and beavers as you test your routefinding skills on game trails crisscrossing the rust and ochre badlands. You’ll ford the river (check with rangers for levels) as it traverses the rugged, silent Achenbach Hills. Yearning for more? Cross the Little Missouri again for a 17.8-mile overnight loop. Come in June to catch prairie wildflowers in bloom, including prickly pear cactus and prairie rose, or wait until fall to dodge the heat. Pack in all your water. (701- 842-2333; nps.gov/thro) Trip ID 2148924
 
The way From Watford City, go 14 miles on US 85 S. Turn right on Scenic Dr. and go 4.9 miles to the Juniper Campground.



Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
AZ Hiker
Dec 12, 2013

Live to hike another day by staying found and knowing how to use a compass. Even skilled explorers can become lost or somehow end up spending the night hunkered down because of weather or injury. Many people never consider that they might end up unexpectedly spending the night outdoors or waiting for medical help --and so they hike without the essentials. Day-hikes can be the most dangerous because hikers usually carry minimal supplies. Learn what to pack for a day-hike, what to do if you get lost, how to get rescued, and survival packing just in case you end up unexpectedly spending the night outdoors. Read "Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart" (Amazon). Learn how to orient yourself using a compass, a compass and a map, a map and no compass, no compass and no map. A compass doesn't need a signal, satellites, or batteries and works in all types of weather, day or night, but you need to know how to use it and this book makes learning how to use a compass easy. Learn how to stay found by using a compass and paying attention to your surroundings. The ability to know your way and know where you are is something we all need in any survival situation not just while hiking. This book is for all ages. Look for it on Amazon, "Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart."

Star Star Star Star Star
Steve
Jul 28, 2013

I was in North Dakota for work and decided that this would be my first ever backpacking trip. Not only that, but nobody wanted to go with me and I decided to go solo...what could go wrong?

I ended up getting lost on all the beauty, spender, and solitude that this amazing place has to offer...and literally lost on the second day as I approached the second cross of the Little Missouri. You're going to want to check your map at every single marker to make sure you're still headed in the right direction. The game trails look more worn than the actual trail, and the markers look just like tree stumps. A light pair of binoculars would be well worth the extra weight to scout out the correct path.

In my case, once I was turned around there was no finding the right trail again...I had wandered too far off course. I ended up locating where the wildlife fence and the river met, then walked up the bank of the river for about 9 miles all the way back to the parking lot. It was the only sure-fire way I knew that I'd meet the trail head and not get turned around again. All that said, I cannot wait for the day when I can give this amazing trail a second go.

Star Star Star Star Star
AZ Hiker
Jul 28, 2013

Test your route-finding skills but don't become a missing hiker! Stay found by packing your own personal safety net; a copy of "Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart" (Amazon) and a compass! Before you go, be sure to calibrate your compass for the declination at the location where you will be hiking. Go to: http://magnetic-declination.com. A compass doesn't need satellites, a signal, or batteries and works in all types of weather but you need to know how to use it and this book makes learning how to use a compass easy. Learn how to orient yourself using a compass, a compass and a map, a map and no compass, no compass and no map. Look for it on Amazon, "Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart". The ability to know your way and know where you are is something we all need in any survival situation not just while hiking. Learn to stay found day or night by using a compass and paying attention to your surroundings. Learn what to pack for a day-hike, trail ethics, what to do if you get lost, how to get rescued, and survival packing (for the car and for the trail) just in case you end up unexpectedly spending the night outdoors.

Star Star Star Star Star
Mark
Jul 25, 2013

Do this hike in the spring when the falls are crankin' and I guarantee you that you will never forget it. Tough, but so worth it!

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Falling in the backcountry
Posted On: Aug 20, 2014
Submitted By: overthehillwalker
Southwest
Anyone else planning a JMT hike this summer?
Posted On: Aug 20, 2014
Submitted By: Scot
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions