Payoff When I was 21 years old, on my first Himalayan trek, I camped high in the Annapurna Sanctuary, surrounded by 24,000-foot-plus peaks. Temperatures were freezing, and I was under-dressed and underprepared, but I shivered through three days and nights nonetheless. When would I return? More than 20 years later, the shot of my tent, enveloped by mist with the sharp pyramid of Machapuchare rising behind, transports me back to that moment—goose bumps and all. —Dennis Lewon
Do it There’s a reason the iconic granite skyline of the Tetons graces countless ads, catalogs, magazines, and calendars—it’s gorgeous. But even if you didn’t have a camera, a trek here would be burned into your memory. That combination of photogenic peaks and life-list wilderness makes the Tetons a likely park to nail your best-ever trip and photo. The 36.5-mile, five-day traverse from Death Canyon trailhead north to Leigh Lake trailhead, much of it following the Teton Crest Trail, serves up a Tetons’ highlight reel, with up-close views of the Grand, alpine wildflowers, and megafauna like moose. In summer, afternoon thunderstorms often produce rainbows and sunbeams that contrast spectacularly with the clouds.