How to Cope When You're Hiking Slowly
When the going gets tough, the tough start singing—and taking lots of snack breaks.
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.
When the going gets tough, the tough start singing—and taking lots of snack breaks.
It's easy to meet people on the PCT—but not all of them stick around.
Mt. San Jacinto is a gorgeous hike. Just watch the weather.
What are thru-hikers to do when fire scars block their path?
On the PCT, sometimes the laziest days are the most valuable.
A little creak in the joints didn’t stop them. Emotional maturity, discipline, and life experience helped these eight badass older hikers thru-hike as well as—if not better than—any younger trekker.
Dreaming of a truly long hike someday? Don't limit yourself to the famous options like the Appalachian Trail. Take this quick quiz to find out which trek is really right for you.
You’ve heard of the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide Trails. Now add one of these ambitious hikes to your bucket list.
Long distance hiking is awesome, but becoming a thru-hiker can have some…side effects.
I leave the Pacific Crest Trail for the Donner Pass Tunnel hike.
Start planning and training for next year’s long trail now.
Our PCTfield scout and his buddies enjoy Washington's Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Our PCT field scout meets his trail family.
Our scout heads out on the PCT.
Rowdy hikers and an ultrarunner's clash with park rangers have officials threatening to move the northern terminus of America's most famous trail.
Our correspondent endures hail and treks through Yosemite on the latest leg of her hike.
Our correspondent battles bugs as she continues her trek
Some highlights from my time on the trail in the high Sierra.
It's not all hiking in glory on the PCT.
I climb Mount Whitney off the PCT.
It's the day every PCT hiker waits for: we finally arrive at Kennedy Meadows, the gateway to the Sierras.
I am no endurance athlete, but the Pacific Crest Trail allowed me 30 sweet miles in a day.
The Pacific Crest Trail wants to test my sleeping bag's rating. Spoiler: it failed.
Finally getting trail legs on the Pacific Crest Trail.
The Pacific Crest Trail drums up a wicked four-day storm.
Register for our 24-hour thru-hike AT in a Day on August 20, 2016 and be part of something huge.
For long-haul hikers, time has a way of putting things into perspective.
Answers to your AT in a Day FAQs
The first 60 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail aren't what I imagined.
Our contributor makes the tough decision to step off the Appalachian Trail.
Our contributor checks off the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail—69.6 miles in.
If this trail wasn’t already on your bucket list, we guarantee it will be now.
What everyone asks about the Pacific Crest Trail, and what I want to know.
Our contributor prepares to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.
People expected less of me on the Appalachian Trail because I was a woman.
See colorful wildflowers and big views on the Appalachian Trail.
Summit nine peaks and graze on trailside blueberries in Maine.
Get this on your life list: It's the #1 trail our readers think every hiker should do.
Tag Mount Whitney, the Lower 48's highest peak, during this 42-mile trek into Sequoia National Park where there's more acreage of wilderness than you'll know what to do with.
In this 86-mile section, hike through Kings Canyon National Park into a series of JMT favorites.
Get the story behind the Appalachian Trail in Bear Mountain State Park, New York—and how to see it yourself.
Get the story behind the Kendall Katwalk, Pacific Crest Trail, Washington—and how to see it yourself.
One woman's journey to the brink of what's possible on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Most of this easy 7-mile hike passes under a tree-shaded ridgeline that insulates dayhikers from the outside world.
Wander through white pine, Eastern hemlock, and mountain laurel to the summit of Mt. Minsi on this 4.2-mile out-and-back sprinkled with lovely mountain overlooks.
This aggressive 20.2-mile loop snakes past canyon walls and up aggressive ridgelines to stellar views of the Laguna Mountains and beyond.
This rigorous but rewarding 9.8-mile out-and-back on the Pacific Crest Trail climbs more than 2,000 feet to a summit with splendid high-desert views.
Tackle a section of America's first National Scenic Trail on this 15.8-mile out-and-back overnight near Lake Tiorati in Harriman State Park.
A massive oak, a sprawling wetland, an atomic lake-this classic weekend trip packs it all into a 19.2-mile out-and-back on the Appalachian Trail. Bonus: Save the Earth by taking the train to the trailhead.
TUOLUMNE MEADOWS to SONORA PASS: This 65.8-mile section travels the remote regions of Yosemite. Our advice: Pack a good camera (the scenery is five stars), extra sunscreen (it's the High Sierra), and water shoes (swift rivers).
KENNEDY MEADOWS to TUOLUMNE MEADOWS: The highlight reel of this 209-mile section includes three national parks, several high passes with heavenly views, two stunning wilderness areas, and not a single road. Option: Detour up Mt. Whitney, the tallest peak in the Lower 48.
CA 36 to DRAKESBAD RESORT: Pick up some steam on this 17.4-mile segment through the puffing geysers and thermal lakes of Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Every hiker's life list should include the 270 miles between Mt. Whitney and Sonora Pass. It may take a month, but it's a trivial sacrifice to make for the most unrelenting wilderness eye-candy you'll ever feast on.
Sample a classic stretch of the Appalachian Trail on this 11.5-mile route around a 1,000-foot gorge, with overlooks and eye-candy vistas of the Smokies.
Get away for a night or three on this 12.8-mile lasso loop that delivers you to the high reaches of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Climb 1,300 feet to a sparkling alpine basin dotted with summer wildflowers on this 6.25-mile out-and-back along the Pacific Crest Trail.
In less than 7.5 miles, you’ll visit quiet woods and a secret Underground Railroad spot, and cross the midpoint of the Appalachian Trail.
Hop off the train and onto a quiet, well-marked trail. Hike as far as 12.2 miles; see deer and turkey, and, if you choose, camp in a classic AT shelter.
Big climb. Big crowds. Bigger reward. This classic 9.8-mile route climbs the tallest peak in Maine, a hiking high point in every sense.
Go 5 or 10 miles on this dayhike, which features skyline views of migrating hawks, the Shenandoah River Valley, and nearby towns.
Hit this 15-mile out-and-back on the Appalachian Trail via train and bus for sprawling views and Massachusetts' high point.
This 10-mile out-and-back climbs a summit with far-reaching views and ends at a rustic Appalachian Trail shelter.
Hop a train for a weekend on Blue Ridge trails near the headquarters of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
To enjoy the stretched-out ridgeline views on this 10-mile out-and-back, you'll first have to navigate an interesting hand-over-foot scramble.
Go 6.9 miles on the Blue Ridge, mostly tracing the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, to one of the largest balds in the Southern Appalachians.
This succinct 3.8-mile dayhike winds across Brushy Mountain’s ridgetop, traverses a small saddle, then crests Locust Mountain before a final descent.
This 11.8-miler traces the Appalachian Trail along an idyllic ridgeline to New Jersey's highpoint, 60 miles from Manhattan.
Gaze down the barrel of a waterfall and visit a secluded pond on this 10.2-mile section hike of the Appalachian Trail.
Save this 13.6-miler for a weekday in the spring when crowds are thin and haze-free views stretch for miles (patches of flowers and wildlife, too).
Connect the tops of two Berkshire peaks and catch views into three states on this 4.4-mile out-and-back in Mount Everett State Reservation.
This weekend trip strings together cool ravines, desert canyons, and sunset views over the Pacific Ocean.
Perfect for a weeklong jaunt, this 38-mile section climbs mountains, winds through deep gaps and passes a short side hike to Standing Indian Mountain, where Indian lore says a bolt of lighting struck a lone Cherokee sentinel and turned him to stone.
Trace the high brow of the Appalachians on this 12.3-mile segment past several campsites and overlooks--including Annapolis Rocks, a popular crag for climbers.
This 14.6-mile leg promises long views on Blue Mountain and ends at Unicoi Gap where hikers can find an original 1934 metal AT trail marker.
Start by walking through Mountain Crossings at Walasi-Yi--the only indoor section of the AT that runs through a stone building built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934--and then climb up into Raven Cliffs Wilderness.
The hotspot on this 9.8-mile section is Blood Mountain, a 4,450-foot peak where historic battles between the Creek and Cherokee Indians stained the ground red.
Civil War battlefields, the original Washington Monument, and a rolling ridgeline await dayhikers and overnighters on this lovely historical section of the AT.
Three shelters, rolling hills and beautiful vistas reward hikers as they connect Springer Mountain to Woody Gap where a recently renovated shelter sits under a leafy canopy.
This 10.4-miler passes Jefferson Rock, climbs Weverton Cliff for jaw-dropping views, then continues on temperate terrain to Gathland State Park.
It's not the officially the AT but this 8.8-mile hike climbs past Amicalola Falls to Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail.