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Inspirational BACKPACKER Readers

Meet five of BACKPACKER's most inspirational heroes–they're also readers.
rc bp heroes 445x260Cordell Andersen near Red Castle Lake in Utah's High Uintas.

Life Changer | Believer | Mentor | Explorer | Survivor


Cordell Andersen Springville, UT

A dedicated hiker shares his secrets.

The Uintas Mountain Range in northeast Utah spans 456,705 acres and contains 545 miles of trail. Seventy-four-year-old photographer Cordell Andersen has seen every corner of it, hiking 1,327 miles there since 1993. On the way, he has photographed 232 varieties of plants and flowers and built a website with hundreds of photos and videos detailing his routes and key skills for other would-be Uintas hikers. He calls it his “Uintas Project.” We call it a labor of love. “My first trip there was a 27-day, 236-mile epic with no resupply,” he says. “Next year, I’ll turn 75 there.” See his work at

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