Day Hiking Issue

We asked and you answered.

15 Best Day Hikes: Readers’ Choice Edition

Here they are: the 15 best day hikes, as told by our readers. All of the words and images below are straight from your submissions to our GP best hikes competition. We edited and condensed as necessary (some of you really like to type) and shot for widest possible range of locations and types of stories. What we were left with is a diverse hodgepodge of outdoor activity, organized from west to east, starting with Hawaii in the Pacific and ending with St. John in the Atlantic. Without further ado: 15 favorite hiking destinations, as told by GP readers, for GP readers.

Hiking the Sleepy Cow

Photo Essay: Hiking Seoul’s Woo-Myun Mountain

Nearly one in three Koreans hike on a monthly basis — some consider it an “addiction” — where weekends at trailheads are backlogged with eager hikers dressed in brightly colored mountaineering gear. But several paces in, trails unfurl a multitude of unique sights to Westerners accustomed to sweeping landscapes. On a recent hike at Seoul's Woo-Myun Mountain we discovered a few for ourselves.

12 States, 15 Hikes

15 Best Day Hikes in the Midwest

With the Appalachians to the east and Rockies to the west, the relatively flat American Midwest doesn't call to mind a hiking destination. But that's dead wrong. Instead of coastlines there are lakeshores. Instead of continuous mountain ranges, there's rolling loess higher than anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere. In the north, terrain varies from the Badlands of the Dakotas and the Pictured Rocks of Lake Superior; in the south are lush forests nestled between the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Rethink the flyover states and hit the trailheads of the American Midwest -- these fifteen are your starting points.

Atop Guatemala's Third Highest Peak

Photo Essay: Hiking Guatemala’s Acatenango Volcano

Acatenango is Guatemala’s third highest peak, towering 13,041 feet above the nearby Pacific Ocean and about 8,000 feet above the city of Antigua at the mountain’s base. Photographer and GP contributor Jonathan Levinson hiked to the top.

15 Hikes, 13 States

15 Best Day Hikes of the West

The beauty of the West isn’t up for debate: it’s ubiquitous, grandiose and unchallenged. But hidden within these 13 states are secrets that can’t be seen driving an SUV through the “scenic” route. Only a true day hike can do the region justice. Consider this list your trailhead.

A Sandbox for Adults

Hiking the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado

Colorado's Great Sand Dunes in the San Luis Valley are the tallest dunes in America, reaching peaks of 750 feet. GP contributor Will McGough took off his shoes and played in the sand.

Hot, primordial ooze

Hiking in Hawaii’s Lava Fields

One of the most diverse islands on the planet, Hawaii Island plays host to all but two of the world’s ecosystems, including active volcanoes. GP contributor Will McGough summits Kilauea Crater for a firsthand look inside the Devil’s Kitchen.

Long Distance Hiker Extraordinaire

30 Minutes With: Andrew Skurka

The summer before his senior year at Duke University, Andrew Skurka thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, his first ever backpacking trip, alone and in only 95 days (that's 23 miles a day). He had caught the bug. He's since hiked 7,775 miles from Quebec to Washington and the Great Western Loop (6,875 miles) and has been named the 2005 "Person of the Year" by Backpacker Magazine and the 2007 "Adventurer of the Year" by National Geographic Adventure. We caught up with him to talk about success and failure on the trail.

Bring An Enemy

10 Most Dangerous Hikes

Stick anyone next to a cliff and they'll inch forward and peek over; put anyone in a supercar and they'll double the speed limit. We all want to stay safe and comfortable, sure, but in those moments when we lose our footing and time slows to a crawl, we are undeniably living in the moment. Call it suicidal or call it truly living. Here are ten trails that return hikers to their baser need: staying alive.

A Life Worth Saving

Repair Your Gear

Gear worth owning is pricey, and repairs used to be the path of least resistance. Today, it’s actually kind of a pain. Yet reviving well-worn gear has major payoffs.

15 Hikes, 15 Days

15 Best Day Hikes in the Northeast

These day hikes are not pretenders. We surveyed the northeastern U.S. to find the best 15 hikes, spread out across 9 states. If you have a car (in some cases you don’t even need one), you can find an accessible 10 miler with manageable distances, notable views and unique trails for a long, fulfilling Saturday.

Essentials for a quicky with mother nature

Kit: The Perfect Day Pack

Most day hikes require a peanut butter sandwich, a water bottle and maybe some bug spray. But for the weekend warrior who wants to crush in one day what most people stroll in three, there are a few indispensables. Here are our favorite necessities and extravagances for spending a day burning through some miles on the trail.

You've got twelve weeks. Get busy!

Five All-American Summer Adventures

We love winter and all it brings: fires, warm sweaters, skiing and flasks of Scotch. But come June, we’re ready to bust out and undertake some adventures that can only be done in the warmer months. Memorial Day is traditionally when bikes and boats and boots get dusted off and you hit the ground running until the Labor Day slow down. This summer, why not go a little further and tackle something truly epic? We’re here to help with five great summer-only adventures. There are only twelve weeks of summer, so get planning.

Lessons from Green Berets in the Colorado Rockies

Open Road | The Climb: GORUCK Ascent

“Open Road” is an ongoing series of dispatches written and photographed by guest correspondent, Foster Huntington, during his epic cross-country adventure for his upcoming book by Harper Collins. Foster is the creator of Arestlesstransplant and The Burning House. Check out previous parts of the series here. My alarm went off at 2:15am on Thursday, the...