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Backpacker Magazine – November 2008

Trip Finder: Indian Summer Hikes

Fall camping season seems to go on forever with these fair-weather weekend trips.

by: Steve Johnson

Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness, OR (Tim Seaver)
Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness, OR (Tim Seaver)
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park

Northeast | West | Midwest


2 Days
Bigelow Mountain Preserve, ME
This lollipop loop in the Bigelow Preserve packs open alpine meadows, rocky ridgelines, two 4,000-foot peaks, and a stretch on the Appalachian Trail into 13 easy miles. Start on the Bigelow Trail and climb to scenes of sparkling Flagstaff Lake and the Bigelow Range from Avery and West Peaks. Then trek the AT .4 mile west to the Maine Appalachian Trail Club campsites above the southeast shore of The Horns Pond. Sugarloaf Mountain shows off the Northeast's famous cherry-red fall foliage on the downhill stretch of Horns Pond Trail.

3 Days
Moshannon State Forest, PA
Dive into Pennsylvania's autumn kaleidoscope along this 40-mile loop on the Allegheny Front Trail. Begin at the Black Moshannon State Park office and hook south to Sixmile Run Trail. Trace a trout stream, then descend into a 500-foot-deep gorge of hemlock and rhododendron. Camp near Moshannon Creek. On day two, warm Indian summer temps will make you shed layers on a 400-foot ascent to a campsite by Rock Run Trail. Ogle fiery views on the Allegheny Front on the return.

4 Days
Catskill Mountains, NY
Put on your game face for the Devil's Path, a Catskills legend boasting nearly 18,000 feet of elevation gain over 14 miles. Launch from Devil's Tombstone Campground into a boreal forest with colors so varied Crayola would have a hard time naming them. You'll bag four peaks and camp by calm and desolate lakes on this quad-killing 28-mile out-and-back.

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