May 2011

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Hike the High Life

If you like a view, you’ll love these hikes, which traverse long stretches of alpine terrain above treeline. From Utah’s ridge-hugging Highline Trail to a granite-top route in the Sierra Nevada, these are the trips you’ll want to savor one step—and vista—at a time. By Steve Howe

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Get Trail Smart

Bone up on essential knots, backcountry first aid, and backpacking fundamentals with three new pocket-size, trail-ready guides that go wherever you do.

Are You Tough Enough

Every backpacker dreams of a glory job in the outdoors. And mountain guide is the most glorious of them all. So what does it take to become one? Here’s how one hiker turned fantasy into reality. Plus: Learn what it takes to become a backcountry ranger, raft guide, smokejumper, Navy SEAL, and more. By Shannon Davis

Going to Extremes

25 epic trips! Start your collection of backcountry superlatives with our blowout guide to the country’s biggest glacier, most massive tree, brightest stars, coldest mountain, highest waterfall, loneliest peak, deepest canyon (hint: it’s not the Grand), and more. From bears to berries, here are the hikes that are second to none. By Ted Alvarez

DESTINATIONS

WEST

Visit a string of alpine lakes in Oregon; traverse Mt. Rainier’s eastern flank.

MOUNTAIN WEST

Hike from mesa top to canyon bottom in New Mexico; find solitude in Glacier NP.

MIDWEST

Discover old-growth forest and prairie views in Dayton; spot rare lizards in Texas.

SOUTHEAST

Trek to the quiet side of the Shenandoahs; hear a gator bellow in the Everglades.

NORTHEAST

Explore 100-mile views outside NYC; see the hillsides pop with pink in Maryland.

SKILLS

THE MANUAL: How to Paddle Whitewater

Learn to run rivers with this primer on planning, a key stroke, and reading rapids.

DIRTBAG/GOURMET: Stews

Fill up with these belly warmers.

Rainier’s Reigning Champ

George Dunn has climbed the peak a record 501 times, so we trust his summit advice.

Cross a Moraine

Safely explore glaciers on these giant piles of rock and dirt.

GEAR SCHOOL: Headlamps

Choose the best torch for your needs. SURVIVAL

Rip & Live: Bears

Use this tear-out cheat sheet to learn critical beta on grizzlies and black bears—where to find them, how to protect your food, and what to do in a close encounter.

GEAR

Field Test: Weekend Packs

Five all-purpose load haulers

FIELD NOTES

A bargain two-person tent, a versatile puffy, grip-anything boots, and more

REVIEW: Fly-fishing Gear

Get a light and affordable system.