Category archives for Hiking

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…

“While talent plays a role in these people’s feats and their successes, it’s not what makes their ideas a reality. It’s grit, creativity, passion, kindness, and love—that’s the human spirit.” Last Thursday we announced our new Adventurers of the Year. This year’s group includes 13 people who have pursued a life of adventure on their own…

The snarling, fierce gazes of mighty beasts illuminated by my headlamp light send a momentary jolt of adrenaline through my sleep-deprived body. Upon further inspection, the fearsome pair is revealed to be stone shisa statues, mythical dog-lion creatures that act as guardians from evil spirits. Here they sit, perched beneath the final tori gate high…

Trail Running Spain’s Costa Brava

By the time I reached the apex of a near-vertical rocky path, I’d been running for more than two hours. I had sweat dripping from my chin, blood oozing from my elbow and knee—courtesy of a hidden tree root—and dark thoughts crawling through my mind. (This is vacation???) And then, just like that, from one…

When I read Walden in 9th grade, I was convinced that Henry David Thoreau was a bit off. Spending over two years living in solitude on the shores of a pond seemed a recipe for madness. Now, I have begun to appreciate Thoreau’s search for isolation and communion with nature. I have become a seeker…

If there’s anything my family is determined to do, it is to live in style in backcountry. We don’t just want to survive the wilderness—we want to thrive in it. So last year, inspired by our learnings in outdoor living from working field courses for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), we embarked on our…

“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ~ John Muir Drawing wild-eyed wanderers and scruffy-haired men from around the world, the 211-mile John Muir Trail has a reputation of immeasurable proportions. Making its way onto the proverbial bucket…