Category archives for Trails

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…

We take our selection of the Adventurers of the Year very seriously. We want to find just the right mix of people who are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of adventure, whether that’s through feats of elite outdoor athleticism and exploration or giving back to the community in authentic ways. We…

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…

Anyone who has picked up a camera has heard of  the “magic hour.”  It’s that perfect, golden light that appears an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset that landscape photographers, in particular, fall over themselves to use to capture iconic scenes across the globe. Think Yosemite, Delicate Arch, Santorini, and the likes. And…

Have you ever considered quitting your job and hitting the trail for something like, say, 3,100 miles? Sounds like a pretty extreme backpacking trip, huh? My coworker, Peter Sustr, just left Outdoor Industry Association to tackle the Continental Divide Trail, a fabled route that follows the spine of the United States from Canada to Mexico.…

You have to have a healthy respect for people who tackle ultra running races. Especially off-road races. It takes a special personality to grunt through the pain and suffering that comes with running dozens of miles through the woods—particularly if it involves rain. I have a coworker, Loraine, who’s crazy about running. She gets up…

Ultra trail runner and adventurer Lizzy Hawker wins the holy grail of epic trail races for the fifth time. Vote for Lizzy Hawker for the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year See photos of all ten Adventurers of the Year in action! When Lizzy Hawker first entered the famed Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), a staggering…

A lower section of the Grand Canyon, as seen from Cape Royal at the less-frequented but more-spectacular North Rim. Photograph by Alex Noriega, My Shot On September 23 at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, 75 endurance athletes representing 15 different countries will take off on a self-supported, seven day, six stages,160-mile, adventure called…

See our Best Trails guide, including World’s Best Hikes: 20 Epic Trails. Tucked away in the most northwestern part of the Pacific Northwest, Olympic National Park is a waterlogged wonderland befitting of its name: any place so magical must be a dwelling for the gods. Surrounded by bodies of water to the north, east, and…

“Team Foote” was the slogan on the T-shirts Missoula, Montana ultra trail runner Mike Foote sold to make his way to his first The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) in 2011. He ended up taking eleventh and was the first American finisher in the 100-mile race looping around Mont Blanc in the French, Swiss,…

If you get the chance to hang out with a bunch of ultra trail runners, take it. This breed of friendly, supportive, humble endurance athletes pulls off incredible distances in challenging mountainous terrain without uttering a complaint—except maybe that 100 kilometers instead of 100 miles is “a fun run,” as one The North Face Ultra-Trail…

I’m guessing that you’ve got a few favorite and well-loved trails in your neck of the woods. Maybe it’s time pitch in and help maintain them? This isn’t any sort of guilt trip, so you can keep reading. I’m the first to admit that I don’t roll up my sleeves often enough to contribute to…

Spanish ultra runner Kilian Jornet Burgada did not run last night’s The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, though he has won it three times (2008, 2009, and 2011). He is here in Chamonix, France, base camp for the decade-old race. The 24-year-old champion sky runner and ski mountaineer has been storming through records and across…

Racers will take on 100 kilometers within France instead of 100 miles in France, Switzerland, and Italy. The approximately 2,300 trail runners that were primed for the 10th The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), scheduled to depart Friday evening, were rattled by news that their 100-mile race would be cut short. Weather reports of…

Weather forecasts for Friday predict three to five inches of snow during The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), the 100-mile trail race around 15,771-foot Mont Blanc through France, Switzerland, and Italy. That makes gearing up for the endurance event even more complicated. Breckenridge, Colorado-based ultra trail runner Helen Cosplich, sponsored by The North Face, will…

On Friday some of the world’s best ultra trail runners will compete in the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), the 103-mile trail race though the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps. The runners’ combined ascent will take them higher than Everest. With flash weather changes from rain to snow to hail, hypothermia is a great concern. Oh, and there…

See our National Geographic Adventure Best Trails guide for hikes, gear, maps, and more. Running over 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep, the Grand Canyon is one astonishing geologic feature. It’s exactly for that reason hiking the Rim-to-Rim trail, which takes you from one rim, down through the…

Anyone who knows me might say I eat, sleep, and breathe running. And yes, it’s totally true. However, my life as a professional distance runner and running coach reaches far beyond the seemingly apparent expectation that all I do is run, fuel, recover, and teach others how to then run, fuel and recover! Running has…

This video feels like a hiking reality show (luckily the only annoying buzzing sounds come from mosquitoes, not Kardashians). Exhilaration. Exhaustion. Bugs. Sock issues. Witness a seven-day hike of the entire 224-mile John Muir Trail from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney. Hiking guru Andrew Skurka guides Gerry Morton, President and CEO of EnergyFirst, an industry…

Upchuck 50K Trail Race from Rock/Creek on Vimeo. By Andrew Kornylak, The Blind Monkey The Upchuck 50K is one of the toughest trail races in the country, and in just a few years has become a cult classic, and a sought-after hardman notch in the belt. It tackles some of the most wild and technical…

Best Adventure Destinations for 2012

Our list is out: Each of these ten best adventure destinations for 2012 has new access, be it new parks, trails, hotels, crazy weather patterns, or cosmic events. Combined, it's enough to make a well-traveled world feel full of new frontiers again. And the best adventure destinations are… Skiing + Snowboarding Mammoth Mountain, CaliforniaRafting the…

By Kate Siber Ice Age National Scenic Trail Eskers, kames, and potholes are a few of the trippy things you might see on Wisconsin’s 1,000-mile-long Ice Age Trail. (Translation: the elongated ridges, small marshes, and teardrop-shaped hills that the last continental ice shelf left behind.) And one section of it, in the northern unit of…

By Kate Siber Sandstone Peak Hollywood’s star power easily mesmerizes most of Los Angeles’s visitors, which is good news for hikers. For a big city, trails can be relatively unfrequented, and with a dramatic seaside locale, several mountain ranges, and canyons, L.A. has a surprising menu of scenic hikes, like those in the Santa Monica…

 By Kate Siber  Middlesex Fells Reservation From downtown Boston, it takes approximately 16 minutes to drive to Middlesex Fells Reservation, a 2,500-acre swath of hills, ponds, meadows, wetlands, and hemlock groves. Though located only nine miles north of the city, it can feel a planet away, particularly the southeast corner, free of the dog walkers…