May 2008 Issue
Secret Agent Man
Animals can’t talk. But Ed Newcomer can. As an elite U.S. Fish and Wildlife detective, he goes undercover to protect threatened raptors, bears, even butterflies—and bring poachers and smugglers to justice. We go inside the agency’s latest covert operation.
by Bruce Barcott
Hiking the Sierra High Route
On this burly, 210-mile traverse, which crosses 33 passes and barely touches established trails, you can find Alaska-size scenery, complete solitude, and just enough risk to keep things interesting.
by Steve Howe
The CDT Project
We dispatched 209 readers to map—for the first time—the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail, the biggest, baddest thru-hike of them all. Here’s what they found—and their favorite sections along the way.
by Kelly Bastone
Summer Fitness Special
Want to perform at your peak when you hit the trail this season? Follow our three-part plan, and you’ll make short work of big miles.
Get trail fit in just six weeks with this hiker-specific strength and cardio plan. Crunched for time? Try the accelerated version.
by Grant Davis
To reach your biggest backcountry goals, you need to eat right. Here’s how—with recipes, nutrition tips for men and women, and the 10 healthiest hiking foods.
by Dorothy Foltz-Gray and Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan
With a little help from a half-dozen friends, two high-tech gadgets, and one hypoxic chamber, a rookie attempts the tallest peak in Colorado. PLUS: Top guides reveal their summit secrets.
by Jim Thornton
The Backpacker Interview: Apa and Lhakpa Gelu
Two record-setting Sherpas embark on their most ambitious expedition: trading Everest for Salt Lake suburbia.
The best canoes for every trip and paddler.
We find out everything you need to know about the green truth behind bamboo, a hyper-efficient cookpot, and a bargain three-person tent.
Land of the Lost
Journey to Utah’s remote Range Creek, where stunning Native American artifacts remained a local secret for decades.
Quick Fix: Great Smoky Mountains
Check out the steepest trail, the best swimming hole, and the widest vista in America’s most popular national park.
Best Damn Weekend Ever: Cascades Gem
An hour from Seattle, Kaleetan Lake offers killer Rainier views.
Vacations: Paddle Voyageurs NP
With a thousand islands and countless passages, this little-visited treasure is a watery maze. Here’s the way in—and out.
Trace Canada’s Spine
Hike the best section of the Great Divide Trail.
Hiking with Nukes?
How Cold War weapon sites are becoming America’s most unusual preserves.
These vertical hurricanes are rare—but deadly.
See More: Deer
Learn the difference between elk, white-tails, and mule deer.
Grab a fly rod and learn how to catch—not carry—your dinner.
Food: Hook-and-Cook Recipes
From chile and cornmeal to lemon and olives, here are four ways to feast on fish.
Better to the Last Drop
The best coffee, tea, and wine upgrades for the backcountry.
Health: First Aid for Fido
Heal your four-legged trail partner.
Keep Your Feet Happy
Get foot-care tips from an (ultra) ultra runner.