Hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon is the trip of a lifetime

Because it’s one of the most famous national parks in the country, hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon is a prize on most outdoor lovers’ lists, and overnight permits must be secured well in advance. Getting to the bottom is like stepping back in time—two billion years back in time—to be precise. To reach your destination, you have to descend nearly a vertical mile...

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How to Prepare for Your First Day Hike

Spring is in the air, and now is the perfect time to pull on your best hiking boots and get on the trails. If you’re new to hiking, check out this infographic guide for top tips on how to plan your first day hike. This guide offers advice for beginners on hiking footwear, gear and clothing. It also gives 20 tips to bear in mind before, during and after your first day...

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The AT Legend Passing on Wisdom to Young Thru-Hikers

With nine thru-hikes and nine section hikes of the Appalachian Trail under his belt, Warren Doyle, 70, is a legend in the trail community. When he set the first known speed record of 66.3 days on the AT in 1973, he did it wearing blue jeans. The 38,000-miler has even been arrested for civil disobedience, an incident that occurred on Mount Katahdin in the late 1970s when...

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Flash flood in Utah slot canyon sweeps two young hikers away

  A 7-year-old girl has died and her 3-year-old sister is missing after flash flooding sent torrents of water into a narrow canyon in the Utah desert on May 11, 2020. At least 21 others escaped the flooding in Little Wild Horse Canyon, where the curving sandstone walls are so close at points that hikers must turn sideways to walk through. The girls were hiking...

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How to tell if it’s time to replace your old gear

Spring is finally here, bringing longer days and warmer weather along with it. Normally, that means it’s time to lace up your boots, hit your favorite trail, and enjoy a nice long hike. But hitting the trail for that first hike of the season isn’t the only spring tradition that outdoor enthusiasts look forward to each year. For many hikers, this is a time to...

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New hiking permits for Oregon’s central Cascades are delayed until 2021

Those hoping to set off into Oregon’s central Cascade Mountains this summer won’t need to scramble for a hiking permit after all – once trailheads closed due to the coronavirus reopen to the public. New hiking permits set to roll out this month in Oregon’s central Cascades will be delayed until 2021, the U.S. Forest Service announced, due to the ongoing pandemic. “Given...

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Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail & The 40 Hike Challenge

Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail is out! Edited by Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail resource manager Jim Grode and published by UNC Press, Great Day Hikes is available from the web store and your local booksellers, many of whom are providing delivery or curbside pick up while their doors are closed. All of Jim’s author events...

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National Park Service asks hikers to be mindful of nature after vandalism incidents

As people head outdoors to escape cabin fever during this stay at home order, local trail systems are seeing more garbage and even vandalism. The National Park Service recently posted pictures on their social media, showing graffiti on trees and rocks. This was done on several parts of popular trails, throughout the United States. NPS Chief of Interpretation and Visitor...

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ATC Begins Planning for Hikers’ Safe Return to Appalachian Trail

In March 2020, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) advised all visitors and volunteers to stay away from the Appalachian Trail. Increased visitor use made social distancing practically impossible and the potential to spread COVID-19 to other Trail visitors and vulnerable Trailside communities — and beyond — posed grave risks. Subsequent stay-at-home orders in most...

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To hike, or not to hike; That is the question

Ironically, through their inconsistency, dogs send a consistent message: The only thing we can control is our own behavior. That’s a good concept to embrace during the global coronavirus pandemic. Because of conflicting messaging, coronavirus stay-at-home orders have been particularly trying and confusing for hikers. We’re being told to both stay home and go out and hike...

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Some Perfectly Outdoorsy Things to do in the Black Hills of South Dakota

One of the great things about road tripping around America is that there is always more to discover. One of the the regions of the U.S. that may really blow you away is the Black Hills of South Dakota. Explorations will take you through vast windswept prairies, up pine-forested mountains, and around jagged rock formations carved by elements over millions of years. The...

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Day trips. Hiking with bandanas. What you should keep in mind as outdoors spaces reopen

After weeks of getting creative to stave off cabin fever — backyard grass skiing, living room campouts, retaining wall rappels, neighborhood trip reports — outdoor adventurers finally have some good news. In the next week, some state parks and public lands will reopen for day use in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and a few other states. But as hikers lace...

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This is where some of America’s best hiking boots are made

Rising up from the heart of New Hampshire, where the state’s main highway intersects the Appalachian Trail, are the woodlands and ranges of the White Mountain National Forest: a mix of rolling hills blanketed by trees and exposed ridges dominated by the cathedral of Mount Washington. Standing 6,288 feet above sea level, it’s the largest geological feature in the region,...

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Hiking games that keep kids engaged and motivated on the trail

Hiking with kids can be a wonderful experience that leads to cherished memories. But sometimes, things don’t go so smoothly. You’re about a third of the way into your planned hike. Everything’s going great. Then, all of a sudden, your 5-year-old hiking buddy decides he doesn’t want to hike anymore. Is he hungry? No. Is he tired? No. He just wants to do something else....

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What’s the Difference Between Hiking Boots and Hiking Shoes?

Even just the word ‘hiking’ can be enough adventure for some. For others, getting outdoors is an obsessive hobby, filled with planning, reading material, and exacting your gear. When we’re not hiking, we’re talking about hiking, and when we’re talking about hiking, we’re often talking about new and interesting gear, and what gear would be best for what great adventure....

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The Invention of Hiking

The magic of the forest revealed itself slowly. Strange-looking boulders adorned the landscape “in the most diverse and bizarre forms,” wrote one observer, “like herds of monsters grazing at the bottom of a valley.” When the sun burst through winter clouds, stripes of sunlight penetrated the oaks and beeches and Scots pines, turning grayish grass an iridescent green....

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Thinking of Hitting the Trail During COVID-19? Answer These 5 Questions First.

Whether hiking, bicycling, riding on horseback or participating in motorized recreation nearly everyone uses trails for a similar goal – to spend time outdoors. This time outside, whether a short walk down a paved trail to work in an urban setting, or a hike to a point reachable to only a few Americans makes trail users happier people. We all know that spending time...

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50 States, 50 Trails: The Ultimate Hiking Guide For When The Trails Reopen

You’re sick of sheltering in place. We’re all sick of sheltering in place. But it’s what is necessary right now to flatten the curve, and we’re all in this together. So, while we’re all reading this in our pajamas, completely unsure what day it is, and even though all trails might be closed until further notice, here are some of the best hikes in all 50 states based on...

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Pisgah National Forest Temporarily Shutting Down Dispersed Camping and Several Roads and Trails

In alignment with current federal, state and local guidance for social distancing and to ensure health and safety of its employees, visitors and volunteers, Pisgah National Forest will temporarily shut down dispersed camping and the roads and trails listed at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nfsnc/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD724408 effective April 13, 2020. Forest order number...

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Guthook’s New Social Feature: An Overview and Early Analysis

The release of Guthook’s new Check-In Social Feature was fuel for the fire of our thoughts and discussion around how we socialize on and off trail. According to Guthook’s website, the new feature is “a way to keep in touch with family and friends back home or to follow the progress of your tramily while hiking.” Hikers can document their journeys with a series of GPS...

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Now is good time to offer Intro to Hiking 101

So how do you get started? What’s preventing you from getting outside and taking that first hike: Time, money, gear, skills? Even if you’re a complete outdoor newbie, or someone who has trekked for a while, perhaps this will help. One of the first issues to tackle is where to go. Start with easy trails. A mile or two at first; maybe just some walks around town,...

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The best travel films for hikers and nature lovers to watch during self-quarantine

While some may miss the bustling chaos of city life during the worldwide lockdown, others sheltering in place can’t wait to break out of their cabins and into the great outdoors — void of walls and screens. It may be awhile before we can break free and run wild — and in less than 6 feet of one another. But in the meantime, we can turn to storytellers and movie...

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“Through the Great Southwest:” A Documentary about The Arizona Trail

Through the Great Southwest is a newly released documentary film in which Darwin Rakestraw makes his directorial debut, in partnership with the Arizona Trail Association. The film follows the community behind the 800-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT) that spans the length of Arizona, between Mexico and Utah. A trail deeply diverse in geography and history, the AZT...

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The Best Backpacking Tents According to Thru-Hikers

To pinpoint the best backpacking tents, look for sage advice from thru-hikers who’ve tracked the toughest, longest miles with their gear. Thru-hikers haul their kit for thousands of miles through a spectrum of weather, terrain, wildlife, and obstacles. At a trek’s end, gear is either a benediction or extraneous dead weight. A handful of impressive thru-hikers help you...

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Hiking voted best recreation activity at Lake Tahoe

After the final tally of votes, hiking is the most beloved outdoor recreational activity at Lake Tahoe. Hiking beat out skiing/snowboarding in a close vote in the championship round to claim the recreation crown. It was a heavy-hitting semifinals with kayaking and mountain biking just falling short and finishing third and fourth, respectively. Other activities in the...

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‘Forest bathing’ is path to peace

Shinrin-yoku. The term originated in Japan. In the 1980s this label was attached to a physiological and psychological exercise. It translates to “forest bathing” — simply absorbing and appreciating the atmosphere of a forest. You don’t have to immerse yourself in some far-off wilderness. Just walking in any natural environment and making an effort to connect with your...

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Some common sense tips to keep you (and others) safe when hiking

Good hygiene and maintaining the appropriate social distance are central themes in this checklist of recommendations for hikers during this time of COVID-19: Keep your hands clean. Use wet wipes and hand sanitizer. Better yet, use biodegradable soap and water to scrub your hands, well away from water sources, of course. Don’t share anything. Your utensils, cup, bowl and...

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‘We’re closed for your hiking business.’ Communities near national parks urge non-locals to stay away.

Josh Berman, a Spanish teacher from Boulder, Colo., had been looking forward to his rafting trip with his 12-year-old for more than a year. As a father of three daughters, he annually alternates taking each one on an outdoor adventure. This year’s 45-mile rafting trip on the Green River from Colorado to Utah was easily the most off-the-grid excursion yet, and he and his...

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