2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
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 – November 2008

Top 3 Night Hikes

These dark-sky treks serve up perfect viewing spots for autumn's intergalactic bling in North Carolina, New Mexico, and California

by: Sarah Moïse Young

Shining Rock Wilderness, NC (Steven McBride)
Shining Rock Wilderness, NC (Steven McBride)
Ventana Wilderness, CA (Paige Falk)
Ventana Wilderness, CA (Paige Falk)

Shining Rock Wilderness, NC | Ventana Wilderness, CA | Pecos Wilderness, NM

With silvery shadows and spooky noises, night hiking lends even the most familiar trail a hint of danger and exoticism. But these three nocturnal treks into our backcountry's darkest zones will thrill you with the added spectacle of interplanetary storms, full moons, and other galactic bling.

Shining Rock Wilderness, NC
Catch an epic meteor shower.
Cold Mountain may be best known as the backdrop for the Civil War-era novel and movie of the same name, but you won't see anyone in hoop skirts on your way to its 6,030-foot summit. Between November 13 and 20, it's the best seat in the Smokies to view The Leonids, an intense meteor storm in the northern sky caused by intergalactic debris. The shower peaks on November 17, when 40 meteors per hour radiate from Leo (below the Big Dipper). From Big East Fork trailhead, take the Chestnut Ridge Trail 2.5 miles to the Art Loeb Trail and cruise four miles to Cold Mountain. Camp near the well-worn summit trail, and set your alarm for a midnight climb the last .5 mile to the top. (828-877-3265,

Star Attraction
Revive at Papa's and Beer in Hendersonville with a kicking pumpkin-seed-and-habañero salsa. Try it on an omelette. (828) 692-9915

The way
From Asheville, take I-26 east to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Turn north, and at milepost 412, turn northwest on US 276. Travel 1.25 miles to Big East Fork Parking Area.

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

Reader Rating: -


Star Star Star Star Star
Aug 08, 2014

High five!

Star Star Star Star Star
Jan 30, 2014

SPOT ON! When I first saw the tag line I immediately thought Shining Rock ... and then ANYWHERE in New Mexico.

Dec 12, 2013

November 2008 - my, what nice fresh content!

Don't forget to schedule your night hikes with the mountain lions, rattlesnakes, and badgers. What?! There are bears out there too??

Star Star Star Star Star
May 17, 2013

new nfl jersey cheap, 2013 new nfl jersey sale, nfl jersey 2013, cheap baseball jerseys
sf giants jersey cheap, baseball jersey for sale, wholesale nba jerseys, wholesale nhl jerseys,
wholesale nike nfl jerseys, new nfl jersey wholesale
cheap mlb jerseys, cheap nhl jersey
cheap nba jerseys, wholesale mlb jersey, cheap nhl jerseys

Star Star Star Star Star
May 12, 2013

cheap nfl jersey wholesale, new nfl jersey wholesale, nike nfl jersey wholesale
2013 new nfl jersey sale, new nfl jersey cheap, nfl jersey 2013,
wholesale nike nfl jerseys, cheap nfl jersey sale, nfl Jersey wholesale, nfl jersey 2013 sale
cheap baseball Jerseys, sf giants jersey cheap, baseball jersey for sale , wholesale mlb jerseys, mlb jerseys cheap
basketball jerseys cheap, nba jerseys for sale, wholesale nba jerseys, nba jersey cheap
wholesale nhl jersey, discount nhl jersey , cheap nhl jerseys, Australia basketball jerseys. Australia soccer jerseys

Dec 06, 2011

Sounds like Santa Fe Baldy to me, this is not the way to access Pecos Baldy.

And Wendy, I've hiked this area several times after the summer fire and the trails you use for this hike are not in the burn scar. However, it's quite visible as you ascend.

Dec 01, 2011

Pretty sure you have the wrong Baldy. Mt. Baldy is in norther NM near Eagle Nest and the highest peak in that range is Wheeler. Not sure which peak you're thinking of in Pecos.

Ben Pattison
Nov 03, 2009

Wendy, Night hiking is awesome. and I am sure that after a couple of washes your gear will be as good as new after all, it is outdoor gear and it is bound to get dirty. If not then you are not using is correctly.
Joe. No we had no Idea that there were other wilderness areas in New Mexico besides Pecos. thanks for enlightening us.

Dec 12, 2008

It is not Mt. Baldy in the Pecos Wilderness. I think they are writing about Santa Fe Baldy. The Truchas peaks are higher.

Dec 11, 2008

You do realize this area was completely devasted by wildfires this summer and is likely to have loose, ruined trails, downed and burnt trees, and a serious lack of foliage until the spring?? Walking around this area at night is likely to get you a twisted ankle and sooted stained clothes! It's wisest to stay out of the burned areas. Go south my friends.

Dec 11, 2008

Bah! I couldn't agree more about this info coming in late! someone probably just did the Carolina hike and then posted about it after the fact...

Dec 11, 2008

Bah! I couldn't agree more about this info coming in late! someone probably just did the Carolina hike and then posted about it after the fact...

Dec 11, 2008

Hey Tony, it was in the Oct issue.

Dec 10, 2008

You guys do realize there are other wilderness areas in New Mexico besides Pecos, right?

Dec 10, 2008

woops, ventana is closed until spring.

Dec 10, 2008

Just a heads up, This area is closed till spring due to fire damage.

Dec 10, 2008

You should have sent this out in September or at least early November at least, both the Carolina and California say to go in November and it's December 10th! I was actually in the smokies during the meteor shower, but didn't know it, I just saw a few shooting stars! I could have done the night hike!


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Rocky Mountains
Trip report and thanks!
Posted On: Aug 27, 2014
Submitted By: grizzled
Health and Fitness
Back Pain
Posted On: Aug 27, 2014
Submitted By: ol-zeke
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

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:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions