It’s the classic backpacking adventure: load up the pack, quit your job, and strike out for a thru-hike on one of America’s classic long trails. Whether you’re an Triple Crown aspirant or a weekend warrior, we’ve got the info, tips and tricks you need to have more fun on the U.S.’s longest paths.
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The Pacific Crest Trail is one of America's most storied trails. Plan your thru-hike adventure with BACKPACKER's definitive guide.
The Appalachian Trail didn’t become the world’s most famous path for nothing. Our detailed guide will prepare you for starting and successfully completing this 2,184-mile adventure.
Gear up for the United States' toughest long path with these expert picks.
You could eat a half-gallon of ice cream in one sitting, or hike 100 miles eating only Pop-Tarts: On a long trail, anything goes.
The PCT doesn't just have some of the country's best scenery—it has some of its best brews, too.
Going on a long hike is complicated under the best of circumstances—but kids and a partner open up a whole new world of challenges.
When one of the winningest ultrarunners in the sport set out to break the AT's supported record, the path's elder statesmen gave him one piece of advice: respect the trail. Eight years later, he knows why.
California's monster blizzards were good news for skiers—but thru-hikers will need to be on their toes.
Reality check: Not everyone can quit their jobs to hike the Pacific Crest Trail or Appalachian Trail. But if you have a week or two of vacation, you can complete one of these long trails.
Find solitude on thru-hikes with A-list scenery and B-list crowds.
In a cabin in the Maine woods, two men cook up "the best trail magic" of the entire Appalachian Trail.
The hardest part of hiking from Mexico to Canada? Coming home.
Six months on the AT means a whole lot of time for singalongs under the stars. But as Case Conover discovered, taking along an instrument on America's most famous walk isn't easy.
Wend beneath sugar pines, Pacific yews, mountain hemlocks, and Shasta firs on this remote section of the Bigfoot Trail in Northern California. BY LAURA LANCASTER
Sample the 310-mile Superior Hiking Trail on this overnight past Oberg Mountain and Lake Agnes. Fall bonus: Northern Lights. BY KATHLEEN FERRARO