ZINIO logo

Backpacker January 2019

Published nine times a year, Backpacker is a magazine of wilderness travel, offering practical, "you can do it, here's how" advice to help you enjoy every trip. Filled with the best places, gear, and information for all kinds of hiking and camping trips, each issue delivers foldout maps and stunning color photography.

United States
Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC

in this issue

3 min
fill your bucket

WATERFALLS POURED down the slopes on either side of New Zealand’s Milford Track. Countless cascades—big, little, braided, some so wispy they blew apart before hitting the ground—spilled over the valley rim. “Countless” is usually hyperbole, but not here: There were so many thin ribbons and firehose streams that attempting to number them would have been as futile as counting the stars. It had rained for two days, and the fjordlands, already saturated with spring snowmelt, couldn’t contain the runoff in the usual channels. Now the sun had come out, glinting off the waterfalls, turning the whole scene into a fantasy garden: thickets of green, stripes of whitewater, and airborne droplets sparkling like diamonds. I recalled this scene when reading about a similar one in this issue (page 60), and it made me…

2 min

Dog Tired In October’s LNT Confessional (“Leash Law,” page 35), we provided guidelines for when to leash dogs on the trail, and readers responded with a flurry of comments both for and against. “Almost every time we have come across a dog off lead, that dog has attacked one of ours, said Carolyn Becker. On the other hand, Aaron Carpenter made the case that our furry friends should run free. “Canines need off-leash experience in the outdoors to strengthen their senses, among many other things,” he said. However, to Mark Martinez, arguing about leash laws is missing the point. “Keep your dog out of the wilderness,” he said. “Bad enough I have to listen to them howl, bark, and whine in town.” SNOW PROBLEM When we shared Deputy Editor Casey Lyons’s tips for…

1 min

Spring and fall are considered prime time in this desert park, but if solitude is what you’re after, winter takes the prize. Just chew on the stats: Canyonlands draws fewer than 10,000 visitors in January. In May? More than 100,000. It snows here in winter, but not too often, and daytime highs hover around 40°F. And if you catch the morning sun as it seeps through Mesa Arch, illuminating the sandstone maze of the Island in the Sky District 1,300 feet below, we’re confident it will give you a very, very warm feeling. See for yourself on the easy.5-mile loop this month. From Mesa Arch, pick out the spindles of the Washer Woman formation and let it whet your appetite for an extended trip in the Gooseberry-Lathrop Zone beyond Buck…

2 min
done in a day

PEAVINE SWAMP SKI TRAIL CRANBERRY LAKE WILD FOREST, NY Only in winter can people visit Cranberry Lake’s 38-plus islands without a boat. And they’ll want to: When the water freezes, the area is a virtual winter wonderland for hikers. Explore it on a 8.5-mile lollipop-loop from the Cranberry Lake 50 trailhead off NY 3. The cross-country ski trail hits 7,000-acre Cranberry Lake—one of the largest bodies of water in the Adirondacks—near mile 4. (Stay out of the skin track if you’re hiking or snowshoeing.) From there, it’s.5 mile east across the ice to Flatiron Point, a peninsula poking out of the Oswegatchie River inlet, and another mile to a mini archipelago, where you can explore the wooded islands and their icy peatlands on foot. Back on the shore, loop through red…

3 min
the experience

I SLIDE MY SKIS gingerly up the slick track, hoping my skins will hold on the rippled ice. New Hampshire’s Tuckerman Ravine Trail is a heady endeavor year-round, but especially when shellacked in hard rime. And the stakes are high when the traveler is carrying precious cargo. Slipping and toppling my pack would be disastrous, given the contents: eggs, sausages, pulled pork, a whole pepper, an onion, s’mores fixings, and bourbon, all mashed inside next to my sleeping bag. And a six-pack, of course, at the top, where it’s dangerously close to my head. Overkill for a two-night trip? Not a chance. After all, it’s New Year’s Eve. We’re heading to Harvard Cabin, tucked on the eastern flank of 6,288-foot Mt. Washington, just below treeline at the base of Huntington Ravine.…

5 min
insider's guide

THE INSIDERS The first time Bernie and April Hester set out to thru-hike the Palmetto Trail, April’s multiple sclerosis put a big question mark on the endeavor. “We weren’t sure if she could do it,” Bernie says. But she was strong, and the couple completed the trail in April 2017. They didn’t stop there. That October, they set out from the opposite trailhead and did it again, raising money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and becoming the first thru-hikers to complete the trail twice in one year. Then they did it a third time in 2018. TOAST THE COAST Myrtle Beach might get all the attention, but South Carolina has 2,876 miles of shoreline. Explore some of its best on a 7.1-mile hike along the coastal bluffs and marshes of Awendaw Creek.…