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Backpacker Magazine – May 2009

America's Best Day Hikes: Southwest

From canyons to rock art to waterfalls, the Southwest has an abundance of natural beauty.

by: Chuck Graham

Bryce Canyon's Sunset Point (Chuck Haney)
Bryce Canyon's Sunset Point (Chuck Haney)
Zion's Subway slot (David H. Collier)
Zion's Subway slot (David H. Collier)




Pole Canyon, NV

Look for wild horses, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and golden eagles in this wildlife-packed limestone canyon in Great Basin National Park. Do the nine-mile hike in fall to see aspens change color.

Oak Creek Canyon, AZ
Cruise past towering limestone and sandstone cliffs, plus swimming holes and ancient basalt lava fields, on this West Fork Trail six-miler.
Info (928) 203-2903

Jordan Hot Springs, NM
Hike six miles deep into the Gila Wilderness and soak in a steaming pool ringed by emerald ferns.
Info (575) 388-8201

The Jug, AZ Hike-swim-rappel on this canyoneering adventure in the Salome Wilderness. The five-mile route traces a pink-granite gorge filled with pools and slides.
Info (928) 467-3200

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Reader Rating: -


Star Star Star Star Star
Rodney Ninow
May 01, 2014

You show a photo of the Subway in Zion, but your article doesn't mention the hike... Odd

Red Rock Friend
Sep 28, 2010

Please note this book and website contain information about hikes that are unauthorized and which leads to damage of fragile areas. The author blazes his own trails which sounds nice, but in reality trails are there for a reason. People like him are the reason why land management agencies exist in the first place. It's not about man conquering the wilderness - at this stage it's about protecting because there's not too many places the animals & plants that live in Southern Nevada can live somewhat naturally. If you go wherever you want to hike - then you disturb a lot of homes to plants & animals not to mention contributing to erosion and disturbing the crust that helps to keep soil together. Vegas is already smoggy enough! Do you really think leading hikes with 70 people to places that aren't designated hiking trails is smart?
Trust me - you don't want to be near these groups when they hike. If you're out there for seculusion & to enjoy wilderness & you come near one of his hiking groups - you're peacefulness will be destroyed.

Branch Whitney
Jun 25, 2009

When you do a story about hiking in the southwest, contact me. I have tons of information, photos and even video, plus a 1,000 page web site. Links to the BLM? Who are you kidding?
For more info:

Branch Whitney
Jun 25, 2009

When you do a story about hiking in the southwest, contact me. I have tons of information, photos and even video, plus a 1,000 page web site. Links to the BLM? Who are you kidding?
For more info:


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