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For climbers, no place represents America more than Yosemite. Climbing heroes from Yvon Chouinard to Lynn Hill cut their teeth on its gargantuan walls and domes. Its soaring granite faces and swooping valleys are a Mecca for dirtbag climbers, attracting the sweat and passion of the world’s best—and forging a mythology of revolutionary hard men…

See more photos like this in our Extreme Photo of the Week gallery. Twenty-year-old German climber Alexander Megos is quietly making quick work of some of the most famous sport climbing routes in the world. Just earlier this month he ascended Biographie, also known as Realization, one of the most famous sport-climbing routes in the…

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…

See the related National Geographic magazine “Empire of Rock” feature story, 3-D cave tour, and 3:30-minute video from the July 2014 edition. This expedition was supported with a grant from the National Geographic Expeditions Council. I’m teetering on a precarious stack of limestone “Jenga” blocks on a huge spire in Enshi Grand Canyon in southern China. None…

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…

On June 16, 1971, Bill Briggs stood alone atop Wyoming’s 13,770-foot Grand Teton, one of the most iconic peaks in North America. He surveyed his surroundings, saw a storm gathering in the distance, and quickly clicked into his 210-centimeter fiberglass K2 skis. Then, he skied off the summit and into history. Four hours later, when…

The journey planned is rarely the journey taken. The Nobody’s River expedition team had no idea how true this would be as they prepared to leave for a two-month expedition in Mongolia and Russia. Today, the team released the trailer to their film that documents their journey along the Amur River, one of the few remaining free-flowing…