How to Know How Hard a Hike Will Be

“How hard will that hike be?” That’s a question that all dayhikers and backpackers, from beginners to experts, think about all the time—and it’s not always easy to answer. But there are ways of evaluating the difficulty of any hike, using readily available information, that can greatly help you understand what to expect before you even leave home. Whether you’re new to...

Learn More

No, Sheltering in Place Doesn’t Include Hiking in Crowds

In locked-down America, the outdoors is one of the only places left to go. And everyone seems to be going. Leaders and health officials around the country are struggling to balance the need for separation with the need for escape and exercise. Southern California’s always-jammed roads were eerily quiet the first weekend of a statewide lockdown meant to slow the spread of...

Learn More

A Backpacker’s Guide to Maps

Overview maps normally have a scale of between 1:50,000 and 1:100,000, meaning that one unit on the map (e.g., an inch, a centimeter, a thumbnail) equals 50,000 or 100,000 units in the field. While planning a trip, use these small-scale maps to develop a general understanding of the landscape, including the main watersheds, road systems, and trail networks. They aid with...

Learn More

Despite the coronavirus, you can legally thru-hike the Appalachian Trail right now. But should you?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic that has dislodged the United States’ social order and crippled its economy, the question of whether or not to attempt a thru-hike has become an actual life-or-death conundrum—and a question of what it means to put strangers before yourself. A week ago, concerns about the coronavirus and thru-hiking centered mostly on supplies. With...

Learn More

Is It Safe To Go Hiking? Yes, With Caveats

With so many of us stuck at home self-isolating or temporarily unable to work, people may be thinking about going for a hike. But is it safe? “Of course, but maintain a safe distance from others. There is no issue with going hiking with the people you live with,” says Chunhuei Chi, director of the Center for Global Health at Oregon State University. If you go hiking with...

Learn More

Bonneville Shoreline Trail runs into dispute between trail advocates and environmentalists

Utahns of all political stripes enjoy trails that connect their communities to the outdoors, but efforts to expand one of the state’s premier trails threaten to divide two groups of stakeholders that are normally allied on public lands issues: trail users and wilderness advocates. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail, which contours along parts of the Wasatch foothills, tracks...

Learn More

Coronavirus advice for Appalachian Trail hikers from trail organization: distancing and soap

Coronavirus concerns have led the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to issue guidance for hikers already on the Appalachian Trail – like thru-hikers who started their 2,180-mile treks before or despite guidance on self-confinement and social distancing. “For Appalachian Trail hikers, distancing yourself from other hikers and maintaining good hygiene is the best defense for...

Learn More

How hiking can make you mentally and physically stronger

Serendipitously, her last name is Bliss. Perhaps that’s not such a coincidence when you realize the immense joy Lauralee Bliss has discovered during her 10,000 miles of hiking. She’s traversed some of the most beautiful, secluded parts of this country, trekking the entire Appalachian Trail two times. Bliss has also completely tackled the Colorado and Florida Trails,...

Learn More

Hiking Aconcagua: Tackling the Highest Peak in South America

A part of the Andes mountain range, Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside of Asia and, at 22,841 feet, is the highest mountain in both the Southern and Western Hemispheres. Brad Fain, CEO of Fain Signature Group in Prescott Valley, and fellow hikers Mark Peterson and Sean Fain began their journey up the mountain on February 5, 2020 with their two guides, Argentinian...

Learn More

New segment of Lake to Sound Trail opens, linking trails and transit

A new segment of King County Parks’ Lake to Sound Trail opened that will eventually connect Lake Washington to Puget Sound in 16-miles of paved trail. The trail will connect five South King County, WA cities – Renton, Tukwila, Burien, SeaTac, and Des Moines. It also connects to four regional trails – Eastrail, Cedar River Trail, Interurban Trail, and Green River Trail —...

Learn More

Hiking One of Hawaii’s Most Beautiful Trails Now Requires a Permit

If you want to take a hike on the famous and gorgeous Kalalau Trail, be prepared to make an advance reservation. Since severe thunderstorms and floods in 2018 ravaged the coastline on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, major recovery efforts have been underway to return Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park and Hā’ena State Park, and the Kalalau Trail to their original beauty....

Learn More

Man who hiked 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail 18 times headed to Hall of Fame

Warren Doyle, of Mountain City, Tennessee, has hiked the entire 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail 18 times, including nine thru-hikes. He also led eight group thru-hikes of the AT, seven of which saw a 100 percent completion rate among the hikers. But there’s so much more on Doyle’s resume that has earned him a spot among the Appalachian Trail Museum’s 10th class of inductees...

Learn More

Tips to prepare for your next hike

Hiking is among the best outdoor activities that can be both fun and exciting in the company of friends and family. But it’s one of those trips that require proper planning, and could be frustrating otherwise. Hiking involves walking uphill and downhill on unpredictable terrains. It is not like walking on a treadmill with high elevation. It can be hard on the body,...

Learn More

This San Francisco hike offers nature, history — and unobstructed views of the Golden Gate Bridge

Lands End is a rugged oceanside park within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the 82,027-acre expanse that includes many of the Bay Area’s most jaw-dropping landmarks and vistas. Lands End is usually less crowded than some of the other local spots. Hugging San Francisco’s northwest shore, Lands End offers an unobstructed view of the iconic structure that draws so...

Learn More

Treasure hunt pays off for Las Vegas hikers

Most people come to Las Vegas with dreams to win big in a casino, but one hiking group managed to cash in without all the bells and whistles. Eloros is a company that puts on treasure hunts in various outdoor locations across the country.. This past weekend, treasure found its way to southern Nevada. Those participating in the hunt had to pay $30 to search a designated...

Learn More

Hikers behaving badly: Appalachian Trail partying raises ire

More than 830 people completed the 2,189-mile Appalachian Trail last year, up from just 182 in 1990, according to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, based in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. At Baxter State Park in Maine, the northern terminus of the AT, the number of registered long-distance hikers grew from 359 in 1991 to more than 2,000 in 2014. The growing number of...

Learn More

New Rules Will Help the PCT Combat Overcrowding

On October 1, 2019, the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) announced a new permitting system that will affect all of the trail’s prospective thru-hikers starting in the 2020 season. Stricter regulations have been added to both north- and southbound hikes to more evenly distrubute crowds in both directions. The changes are intended to combat the significant increase...

Learn More

Italian hikers rescued in Alaska after visiting infamous bus featured in ‘Into the Wild’

An Italian man suffering from frostbite and four other tourists were rescued in the Alaska wilderness after visiting an abandoned bus that has become a lure for adventurers since it was featured in the “Into the Wild” book and movie. Alaska State Troopers say the five Italians were rescued from a camp they set up after visiting the dilapidated bus on the Stampede Trail...

Learn More

How to react if you come across a rattlesnake while hiking

Snakes will become more active as the temperatures start to warm up. The good news is there are safety tips to keep you on the trail and out of the emergency room. “Rattlesnakes anywhere are most active and most likely to be out…from about 78 degrees on up to about 90 degrees” says Joe Hymes, who is with the Venom Curator at the Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary in...

Learn More

Officials battling fire at popular hiking site at Delaware Water Gap

Crews worked through the night battling a fire that started in the February 23, 2020 in Worthington State Forest in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Hikers were asked to avoid a section of the recreation area as state and federal agencies responded, and hot spots remain early morning. The fire started on Mount Tammany off the popular Red Dot Trail on the...

Learn More

Hikers rescued after more than a week in the forest

An intense search in Northern California ended joyously when rescue teams found a couple in their 70s who went hiking more than a week ago and got lost in dense forest, said Sgt. Brenton Schneider of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office. Carol Kiparsky, 77, and Ian Irwin, 72, are now recovering in a hospital after being located near Shell Beach in Tomales Bay State...

Learn More

Knoxville woman takes on Appalachian Trail solo hike

Gretchen Pardon is a computer programmer, wife, YouTuber and avid hiker. On Thursday, February 20, 2020 in Amicalola Falls, Georgia, she began a journey she has been dreaming about for several years. She is thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail solo. Pardon has always been active but started hiking and backpacking as a serious hobby more than 5 years ago. She became a...

Learn More

Backpacking for Beginners: Sky Campground in Point Reyes National Seashore

Backpacking isn’t for the faint of heart—it takes a bit of careful planning and, yes, you have to carry all your stuff. But the rewards are well worth it: no cars, no RVs, no crowds. Take baby steps toward becoming an intrepid backpacker by first setting off on short hikes into campsites that will check all your boxes for privacy, lush foliage, and killer views. A...

Learn More

Greater Zion Is a Multisport Paradise

Few places in the country—or the world—can hold a candle to Utah’s bounty of wild geography and epic natural playgrounds. And within the Beehive State, it’s hard to beat the awe-inspiring dreamscape that is Zion National Park. But you knew that already. What you might not know is that Greater Zion, the region surrounding the iconic park, is similarly blessed and even...

Learn More

Empire State Trail to Open This Year

The Empire State Trail was first envisioned in 2017 and is set to open this year. The question still remains of when exactly will the trail open? The Empire State Trail will bring together fellow New Yorkers along with millions of visitors. It allows exercise enthusiasts, nature lovers and travelers to explore all of the beauty throughout New York. Fellow historians will...

Learn More

Hikes in Los Angeles: 9 trails with spectacular endings

Los Angeles’s wealth of outdoor activities is no secret, and in Southern California, it’s hardly ever a bad time to get outside. Hiking is a cheap way to enjoy the fresh air sunshine. But for those more reluctant hikers—folks who need a little carrot to dangle in front of them as they trudge up a hill—here is a list of Los Angeles-area hikes that come with spectacular...

Learn More

DuPont, Friends seek input on management of wildly popular forest

Horse safety and the need for trailer parking, overcrowded hiking trails, the desire for single-track mountain bike trails and more trail etiquette education at DuPont State Recreational Forest are just some of the issues swirling around the much loved, multi-use state forest, which is entering its 20th year. The 12,000-acre state forest in Henderson and Transylvania...

Learn More

USDA Forest Service announces challenge to increase focus on problems facing nation’s largest public trail system

USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen today emphasized the need to find innovative ideas to tackle the nearly $300 million maintenance backlog on the nation’s largest public trail system. Christiansen called on individuals and organizations to work with the agency to address trail maintenance and sustainability to improve access, keep people safe, and support...

Learn More