Category archives for Hiking

Walk one of the park’s newest, toughest trails, then enjoy an easy lake paddle. What Is It? Looking to get off the beaten path and avoid the crowds in one of Maine’s most heavily visited state parks? Try the Traveler Mountain Loop. It’s a lung-busting, 10.6-mile circuit that includes three separate mountain summits and climbs…

Hike the Wild Azalea National Recreation Trail. What Is It? Central Louisiana’s Wild Azalea National Recreation Trail, located in the southwest of Alexandria, travels the length of a marathon (26.2 miles). You could hike the whole thing in a day or spend three days backpacking through this rich, biodiverse region. Even though the Bayou State…

Slither, crawl, and climb on the Wild Cave Tour. What Is It? With more than 400 miles of explored area, Mammoth Cave National Park boasts one of the world’s longest cave systems. The Park Service offers an array of tours varying in length and focus so you can pick the best ones for your needs.…

Find solitude with a backpacking trip in a hidden Iowa wilderness.             What Is It? The nearly thousand-acre Coon Creek Wildlife Management Area offers hikers, backpackers, and nature lovers a largely untouched, rarely visited spot to explore. Spend a day or the weekend bushwhacking off-trail or wandering the dirt paths and roads that snake through…

Hike the Crown Jewel of Indiana’s State Park System What Is It? This series of 11-day hikes allows you to delve into the deep canyons, sandstone cliffs, and serene hemlock groves of stunning Turkey Run State Park. The trails are short, but don’t be fooled—most are rugged and challenging. Definitely don’t miss Trail 3, a…

Climb and hike in one of Illinois’ most pristine places. What Is It? Combining climbing and hiking is the preeminent way to explore this hilly, 4,055-acre oasis hidden amidst the largely flat Corn Belt. Rock climbers can score great sandstone, top-roped routes ranging from 5.6 to 5.13 at Shelter 1 Bluff and the Devil’s Standtable…

Climb, float, and soak among the serrated peaks of south-central Idaho. What Is It? A varied weekend full of high-adrenaline adventure starts with a quick boat ride across Redfish Lake. This shuttle ushers you to some of the best hiking and climbing in the state. After a short trek up the glacially sculpted Redfish Canyon,…

Top ultra trail runners gathered in Silverton, Colorado, last weekend to take on the glory and suffering of the Hardrock 100, considered one of the hardest trail races in the world. Competitors ran 100 miles with 33,992 feet of climb and 33,992 feet of descent for a total elevation change of 67,984 feet at an average elevation of…

Scale exquisite, vertical rock in a wilderness setting. What Is It? Lassen Volcanic National Park features a giant volcanic dome, hot springs, and a variety of secluded, high-country cliffs and outcrops that provide excellent climbing for all levels. Spend the weekend scaling cracks, arêtes, and crags that rival those of Yosemite. You’ll find that the…

Explore the Ouachita Mountains on foot, by mountain bike, or with fishing rod in hand. What Is It? Located in west-central Arkansas, the Ouachita offer a weekend full of options and a setting for being as active or as relaxed as you wish. The Ouachita Trail boasts 222 miles of sweet single-track perfect for riding…

Arizona: Hike Mount Humphreys

  Enjoy unfettered views from 12,633 feet after hiking to the top of the tallest peak in Arizona. What Is It? A moderately strenuous nine-mile round-trip hike to the apex of Arizona, a peak deemed sacred by many southwestern tribes. The Mount Humphreys Trail, located just 14.5 miles outside of Flagstaff, climbs over 3,300 feet…

Alaska: Hike Lost Lake

  Find your bliss in the Land of the Midnight Sun by backpacking one of the most scenic trails on the Kenai Peninsula. What Is It? This 15-mile moderately challenging point-to-point route begins at mile post 5 on the Seward Highway and climbs 2,000 feet. After the first 7.5 miles, you’ll link up with the…

Jennifer Pharr Davis holds the speed record on the Appalachian Trail, a feat which made her an Adventurer of the Year. See our featured hikes. Here’s how to be smart, feel safe, and get the most out of your hike. 1. Test drive your backpack and shoes. The two pieces of gear that can make…

See more of our favorite hikes, including our feature World’s Best Hikes: Thrilling Trails I am not a mountaineer. In fact, I’m not particularly athletic. But when I found myself traveling around the island of Borneo, I could not resist an attempt at climbing Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in the Malay Archipelago and the…

Fiordland National Park, tucked away far within New Zealand’s South Island, has the notorious claim to fame as one of the wettest locations in the southern hemisphere; and with a mean annual rainfall of 268 inches, it is not just a claim but a rudely saturated reality. For those who wish to experience the spectacle,…

For veteran expedition kayaker Ben Stookesberry, an Adventurer of the Year who is known for running the world’s wildest whitewater, and up-and-coming Nepali kayaker Surjan Tamang, the original plan was to trek to Everest Base Camp and then check out the Dudh Kosi, a storied yet “tame” river fed from the meltwater of Everest’s infamous Khumbu Icefall…

See our picks for the World’s Best Classic Hikes >> As we topped out on Prehodavci Pass in Slovenia’s Triglav National Park, our guide, Ken Fuhrer from Ryder Walker Alpine Adventures, recounted the legend of Zlatorog, a celebrated Slovenian myth about a local girl who demanded that her suitor, a hunter from the neighboring Trenta…

Navigations: Tombstone White

Read Mark Jenkins’s previous “Navigations” essays. We left the moraine and crossed onto the glacier. It was speckled with black stones that had plummeted down the Matterhorn’s east face. Some were small as fists, some big as barrels, but all had fallen thousands of feet at a fatal velocity. The glacier was gravity’s missile range,…

More Hikes: Best Hikes in the National Parks >> It doesn’t matter how you access the Grand Canyon, so long as you actually get down into it. It’s too big to fathom just from above. Whether by boat or by foot, you’ve got to get into it. Matt and Agnes Hage and I planned on…

See all our guide to the world’s best hikes and trails. Utah’s Zion National Park is a place of immensity; huge sandstone walls tower far above the valley floor, the sheer magnitude is unreal. Alas, tourists and tour buses are the most common sight to be seen here, yet there are places void of this…

Adventure educators Amy and Dave Freeman have built their lives around using technology to bring outdoor adventure into the classroom through their organization Wilderness Classroom. The Minnesotan couple, two of our Adventurers of the Year, just completed their three-year, nearly 12,000-mile North American Odyssey, which engaged more than 85,000 schoolkids. Here, learn more about their story and how they…

I flicked the 10th leech from my left sock before noticing the blood soaking my midsection. Seven fat leeches had feasted there, and they were now dropping off one by one. But who can complain—this comes with the territory when you are in one of the earth’s last great rain forests. Surely it is worth…

Navigations: Last Stand in Tasmania

Read Mark Jenkins’s previous “Navigations” essays. I’m crawling on my hands and knees through a labyrinth of limbs when it occurs to me that a hundred years ago, this was the haunt of the Tasmanian tiger. The striped, doglike, carnivorous marsupial would have slipped easily through this criss-crossed deadfall of myrtle, sassafras, and musk. Six…

Read Mark Jenkins’s previous “Navigations” essays. “The big day,” John said. “Yup,” I replied, rubbing my eyes. It was three in the morning. We were standing on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon aiming the beams of our headlamps down the South Kaibab Trail—a mule-stomped trough of glistening ice running between snowbanks. The trailhead…

The Kilauea volcano is one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles. Located on Hawaii’s Big Island, just south of the sleepy coastal city of Hilo, its ebbs and flows have been battling the great Pacific Ocean for eons. Like a furious and erotic dance between two old and distant lovers, these powerful forces of nature…