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Backpacker Magazine – March 2014

Trail Mix: West

Perfect days; Bring Your Skis, and finding solitude in Mt. Hood National Forest.

by: Sarah Stewart

(Photo by Phillip Noll) La Ventana faces southwest, so shoot it in the afternoon
(Photo by Phillip Noll) La Ventana faces southwest, so shoot it in the afternoon

 Perfect Days

Albuquerque, NM
El Malpais Big Tubes

Venture into a network of caves left behind by 10,000-year-old lava flows on this 2.2-mile double loop. Emerge to picnic at nearby La Ventana Natural Arch, a 135-foot-wide sandstone span—among the largest in the state (bit.ly/ElMapaisAttractions). Trip ID 

Eugene, OR
Horse Creek Trail 

Wander below Sitka spruce and Douglas fir on this 7.1-mile out-and-back to swift-moving Drift Creek. After, refuel with an award-winning, hoppy saison beer and an avocado- and egg-topped burger at Flat Tail Brewing in Corvallis (flattailcorvallis.com). Trip ID 

Salt Lake City, UT
Red Butte Skyline Trail

Gain views across the city to its namesake lake on this 3.5-mile lollipop loop in the Wasatch foothills. Then, visit the adjacent Red Butte Garden to see 400,000 daffodil, crocus, and iris bulbs blooming March through May ($10/adult; redbuttegarden.org). Trip ID 




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