Fantastic views, hiking to match, total solitude without reservations. . . and it all starts where you park the car. That’s right, drive-up campsites a backpacker will love. And don’t forget the creature comforts. Kitchen sink? Please. Bring the table and cooler, too. From the Grand Canyon’s North Rim to a Florida swimming hole, you’ll find it all at one of these spots. By Jim Gorman
For decades, hikers have journeyed to Isle Royale National Park for a life-list experience: see the island’s iconic wolves. The predators established themselves here when a pair crossed an ice bridge from Canada in the 1940s, and the population grew to 50. But only nine remain, and biologists fear the Isle Royale wolf will soon be extinct. Gustave Axelson goes in search of the last pack.
The Long Way Home
Fourteen years ago, Karl Bushby made a vow: He would walk from the tip of South America back to his native England. Since then, he’s crossed Central America’s guerilla-ridden Darien Gap, traversed an ice bridge across the Bering Strait, and hiked some 17,000 miles. He’s also left behind his family, and recently, seen his expedition grind to a halt. It’s time to ask: When is a hike too far? By Bill Donahue
Canyonlands Adventure Guide
Discover the towering sandstone wonders, hidden slot-canyon scenery, and deafening quiet of this desert park. Our scouts give step-by-step details for the best weeklong, weekend, and day hikes. By MacKenzie Ryan and Kim Phillips
When Margaret Fuller first hiked into Idaho’s rugged Sawtooth Range in 1957, there were no guidebooks to lead the way. So she grabbed her kids and a notebook, and wrote the first one. She’s since penned seven more guides, and now—at 77—still hikes hundreds of miles a year.
Top 3: Wine Country Hikes
Raise your glass to trek-and-taste tours.
MASTER CLASS Cut pack weight
Hike faster, farther, easier. Ultralighters share tips for shedding 5, 10, or 15 pounds.
INSTANT UPGRADES 5 pro tips
Improve GPS battery life, stay energized in the heat, fix a chipped tooth, and more.
TEST KITCHEN Cheese
We tried 20 types to bring you the top snacking, packing, and cooking tips.
Out Alive: Rockslide
Learn from one hiker’s near-deadly encounter with falling boulders.
Troubleshoot This: Burned by boiling water
Cool it! Three steps to stopping, assessing, and managing scalding water spills.
Chart of Death: Animal Attacks
Get the facts about where, when, and how predators kill. Plus: 21 tips for avoiding, evading, and surviving an encounter.
Survival Lab: Emergency Water
Not a drop to drink? Our man in the field tests techniques for wringing water out of thin air. Plus: Should you drink your pee?
Field Test: All-season sleeping bags
Improve your snooze with one of the these light, warm, and bargain sacks. Our testers found one for every trip or budget.
Review: Car Camping Gear
Who says you have to rough it to enjoy the outdoors? We rate a luxe stove, a cavernous tent, and more car camping gear.