January 2017 Table of Contents

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2017 Thru-Hiker Awards

The best places, people, and stories on America’s long trails

Journey of a Lifetime

This pair of boots changed lives on the Appalachian Trail.

Can’t Stop Now

Will the PCT’s favorite hiker ever slow down?

Birth of a Long Trail

Head north to Canada for a real thru-hike.

The Play List

McAfee Knob, VA

This airy fin off the AT is worth every step.

Done In a Day: The Dayhiker’s Triple Crown

We break the AT, CDT, and PCT into the best bite-size chunks.

The Experience: Hiking in the Zone

Walk far enough and you’ll find your rhythm.

Insider’s Guide: Mountains-to-Sea Trail, NC

Blue ridges, green gorges, and white-sand beaches await on this 1,150-mile path that bisects the state.

White Bear Lake, CA

The Sierra High Route delivers expert hikers to this unspoiled stunner.

Life List: The Never-Ending Journey 

For section-hikers, there’s only one constant through all of the ups, downs, and switchbacks of life: the trail.

Tonto National Monument, AZ

Arizona Trail thru-hikers shouldn’t miss this detour to 700-year-old cliff dwellings.


Sample Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail, California’s Bigfoot Trail, and Vermont’s Long Trail.

Geopinion: What’s the Rush?

We present the new Oregon Challenge for PCT thru-hikers: Take your time.


Toughen Up
Prep your mind and body for a thru-hike.

Cheat Sheet: Manage the Miles
Treat common long-trail aches and pains.

Pass/Fail: Go Stoveless
Is cold food the ticket to hassle-free hiking?

Trail Chef: Eat for Endurance
Stay energized with smart menu planning.

Photo School: Tell Your Story
Capture your hike with these techniques.


Thru-hiker Picks
2,000-milers select the best ultralight, comfort, and budget gear.