Bryce Canyon Backcountry, 2017
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I once hiked nearly half of Bryce Canyon’s Under-the-Rim Trail in a morning. Forty-two years later, my husband and I spent most of a day hiking this distance (along with a loop from Rainbow Point). We found this lightly used … Read More

Blue Range Primitive Area, 2017
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We used to admire the Blue Range—a sprawling hunk of high-elevation wild country on the Arizona-New Mexico border—during our student days in Tucson. We often hiked the nearby and better known Gila Wilderness, and could see the “Blue” ridge upon … Read More

Assateague Island Wilderness Study Area, 2016
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“Going to the beach” is an iconic ritual for many Eastern U.S. residents. Thousands make the spring or summer pilgrimage east seeking undulating coastal expanse, shorebirds, shells, salt air, and wild skies along humanity’s favorite wilderness: the ever-restless, ever-changing ocean. … Read More

Central Idaho Trek, 2016
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I finished the last long switchback to crest of Sleeping Deer Mountain. For past two days I had trudged up hot side slopes, clambered over logs, and fought chest-high brush in wet bogs, the 9,881-foot white granite peak in my … Read More

Catalina-Rincon Trek, 2016
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In January 1975, five of us set out in predawn dark in Pima Canyon to trek across the Catalinas and Rincons north and east of town. We would end Day 1 with a steak dinner at Summerhaven on Mt. Lemmon, … Read More

Galiuro Wilderness, 2016 & 2015
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The Galiuro Wilderness in southern Arizona once boasted 100 miles of legacy trails—still touted in recent articles and even shown on a map on the Forest Service (FS) website for the area. But two recent efforts to loop through this … Read More

Cumberland Island Wilderness, 2015
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It took two trips to Cumberland Island Wilderness to figure out how to visit it. Although the nation’s only barrier island wilderness available for backpacking offers miles of roads and trails, dikes for marsh access, sand dunes, and lonely beaches—you … Read More

Miller Peak Wilderness, 2015
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It was the first time we had hiking guests, and we wanted it to be perfect. My younger sister, Chris, and brother-in-law, David R, were active hikers and cyclists but this was their first backpack trip. Cousin Mike was an … Read More

Stone Mountain Wilderness, 2014
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We were about three miles from the trailhead and about 2000 feet straight up, breaking camp on Olinger Peak in the Stone Mountain Wilderness, when we heard a mechanized hum in the distance. An ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) rolled into camp, … Read More

Southern Blue Ridge wilderness areas, 2014
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A mile into Little Wilson Wilderness, we were deep in wet leaves on an eroded trail. Jackie Street Trailhead was well marked from the road and a nice walk through a gate and past cattle in a green pasture. When … Read More

Southern Ridge & Valley wilderness areas, 2014
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Our Virginia Wilderness Project was going well. Between 2012 and mid-summer 2014, we had visited 16 of 24 wilderness areas. But other work and life caught up, and we didn’t hike for two months. In September 2014 we squeezed in … Read More

Central Ridge & Valley wilderness areas, 2014
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The long ridge of Potts Mountain runs for miles along or near the Virginia-West Virginia border north of Interstate-84 between Pulaski and Roanoke. Six wilderness areas on or close to Potts could offer interesting backpacking opportunity in remote country—with a … Read More

Northern Ridge & Valley wilderness areas, 2014
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It was getting dark and David had lagged behind. But I was determined to find the lovely green flat and chimney remnant from Sexton cabin on Jerry’s Run Creek. Years ago my preteen daughter and I lolled on the greens … Read More

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