» See a month’s worth of backcountry in a week—while enjoying singletrack thrills on a mountain bike. Option 1: Ride trails from Durango, Colorado, to Moab, Utah, and keep loads light by staying in the well-stocked San Juan Hut System (sanjuanhuts.com). Option 2: Pack your panniers (or recruit a support driver) for Utah’s White Rim Trail (nps.gov/cany).
CLIMB A VIA FERRATA
» Get all of the rewards of vertical rock (spine-tingling exposure, awesome views, access to high places) with none of the hazards or long learning curve (thanks to bolted cables with novice-friendly equipment). Some of the world’s best routes are in Italy’s Dolomites (pictured). Info: dolomiti.org
TAKE A KID BACKPACKING
» You could do every single one of the other trips here and not get the reward of taking one child on his or her first overnight hike. The keys to success: low mileage (less than five miles), plenty of diversions (trees and rocks to climb, rivers and lakes to play in), and no agenda (it’s OK to play in the meadow instead of powering up a peak).
» Hike your favorite local trail in an entirely new way: in a storm, with binoculars, at sunrise, under a full moon, barefoot…