America’s Best State Parks
No matter where you live, there’s a state park near you. Broaden your hiking horizons without getting on a plane with one of these top trails. By Matthew Leib and Kristen Pope
The Enlightened Hiker
One thousand days of pain, suffering, and then, Nirvana: A Buddhist monk takes the path less traveled and discovers something all hikers should know. By Adam W. Chase
Best Outdoor Colleges
Hit the books then hit the trail: These universities will make you want to go—or go back—to school. By Jackie Bannon and Carolyn Webber
The Play List
Lake Blanche, UT
Hang onto summer for one last trip into the mountains.
Life List: Boundary Waters Done Right
Venture deep into the heart of this paddler’s paradise for the best fish-and-foliage adventure in the Lower 48.
The Experience: The Death March
All hikes end. Sometimes that’s a blessing.
Mohawk Falls, PA
Visit a moody cascade—and 20 others like it—on this fall-perfect hike.
Insider’s Guide: Mazatzal Wilderness, AZ
For the best weather, now’s the time to head into this high-desert preserve where springs and creeks knit together steep canyons and pine-fir forests.
Done In a Day: Second from the Top
Being highest doesn’t always mean being the best. These three penultimate peaks in Colorado, Connecticut, and Nebraska are worth your time this fall.
White Domes, NV
See a different kind of fall color on this hike to an arch.
Float a wild coast before hiking through a wildlife preserve in South Carolina, venture into Iowa’s rugged backwoods, and sample the newly restored Wild Rogue Loop in Oregon.
Geopinion: You’ll Pay For This
Go ahead and complain about user fees—just remember what they do for the wild places you love.
Save Your Knees
Use trekking poles the right way.
Cheat Sheet: 3 Essential Knots
Every hiker should master these shelter-saving knots.
Pass/Fail: Take a Cat Backpacking
Will our scout’s feline friend make a good trail companion?
Trail Chef: Trail Mix
Readers share their favorite DIY recipes.
Photo School: Shoot Like a Pro
Get the goods with tips on lighting, composition, and more.
Out Alive: Stranded
An 85-year-old shivers through a night on a ledge.
Unlock the power contained in humankind’s oldest tool.
Den Mother: Wounds
Manage backcountry infection.
Field Test: Basecamp Bags
Hit snooze with the year’s most comfortable sleeping bags.
Round Up: Dog Gear
Outfit Fido with these six canine-tested essentials.
An easy-access ski pack, a gadget for stargazers, and more