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National Parks Lifelist

The ultimate vacation in one of America's iconic parks requires the ultimate hiking plan: classic scenery, no crowds, and secret campsites. Here's how to spend a perfect week in Glacier, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Olympic, Denali, and the Great Smoky Mountains.
Great Smoky Mountain National Park Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Steven McBride)

Forget the pyramids: BACKPACKER’s greatest hits include 20,000-foot peaks, mile-deep canyons, million-acre wildlands, and a certain granite dome sliced clear in half. In our biggest parks guide yet, we detail seven must-do routes. And there’s more: vacation-planning guides stocked with insider beta on permits, gear, and the best places to pig out.

INTRO

GLACIER
Scramble high peaks and camp in remote valleys.
Watch the 3D Video

YOSEMITE
Hike the Range of Light to high camps and Ansel’s favorite view.
Watch the 3D Video

GRAND CANYON
Link five lush oases in the belly of the Big Ditch.
Watch the 3D Video

GREAT SMOKY
Connect the South’s premier high-country swimming holes.
Watch the 3D Video

OLYMPIC
Sample two wonders: rainforest and alpine wildflowers.
Watch the 3D Video

YELLOWSTONE
Camp amid grizzlies, moose, wolves–and spouting thermals.
Watch the 3D Video

DENALI
Follow wolf tracks in the legendary Toklat Valley.
Watch the 3D Video


NATIONAL PARK SKILLS
How to Sleep Safely in Bear Country
How Your Kid can Save a Park
How to Light a Campfire in the Smokies
How to Score Denali’s Choice Permits

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