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Backpacker Magazine – March 2014

Season Starters

These 17 trips ripen early. Dust off your boots to revel in mild temperatures, vibrant wildflowers, precious solitude, and far-reaching vistas unobscured by thick summer foliage.

by: Kelly Bastone

(Blackley) Mountain Laurels in Shenandoah National Park
(Blackley) Mountain Laurels in Shenandoah National Park
(Blackley) Mountain Laurels in Shenandoah National Park
(Blackley) Mountain Laurels in Shenandoah National Park
(Graham) Carrizo Plain National Monument desert grassland
(Graham) Carrizo Plain National Monument desert grassland
(Kirkendall) Old-growth Bigleaf Maples and Vanilla Leaf
(Kirkendall) Old-growth Bigleaf Maples and Vanilla Leaf
(Michael Clark) Look for fossils in Ojito's Morrison Formation
(Michael Clark) Look for fossils in Ojito's Morrison Formation
(Chuck Blackley) Mountain Laurel along the AT in June
(Chuck Blackley) Mountain Laurel along the AT in June

Seattle, WA Snow melts in the Enchanted Valley in late April. The reward: dozens of waterfalls.  Do it as a three-day, 27-mile out-and-back on the East Fork Quinault River Trail from Graves Creek. Info; 3.5 hours drive

Philadelphia, PA  Get “back to nature” on New Jersey’s Batona Trail with an easy, 17.6-mile, two-night shuttle hike that offers spring-blooming orchids and sundews. Info; 1 hour drive



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