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.
The two-pound wilderness bed
Hammocks are supposed to call to mind carefree days of swinging lazily in the shade of coconut trees, while gentle tropical breezes toss sea-green waves onto sugar-white sand beaches. We tested the Kammok Roo to see if the lightweight hammock delivers on this age-old promise.
Looking for gold at the Leadville Trail 100 MTB
Leadville, CO, is the highest incorporated city in the United States. GP contributor Peter Koch went there for a 100-mile mountain bike race.
How the West was won
One month after he set out from King’s Beach, CA, on a 5,000-mile bike tour of America, GP contributor Will Eginton stood on top of the Continental Divide at Logan Pass in Glacier National Park and reflected on the mountains he’d climbed.
Live From Salt Lake City
You know it’s time for another Outdoor Retailer show when South Main Street in Salt Lake City is populated by fat bikes, single-wheeled skateboards and tan people with good beards. We had boots on the ground at the Salt Palace Convention Center for the summer 2014 edition of the biannual product show; of everything we touched, tasted and saw, this gear stood out most.
Everything old is new again
There was a time, believe it or not, when you could walk into an REI and buy camping gear without boning up on terminology — what the hell is cuben fiber?! — ahead of time. Feeling nostalgic?
Atop Guatemala's Third Highest Peak
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
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.
Maximizing the bare minimum
A guide to ultralight hiking: rethinking pack weight, preparedness, safety and more.
Not a mistake -- a challenge
GP contributor Will Eginton battles intense headwinds cycling up U.S. Route 101 toward Astoria, OR.
Ironman's fastest champion
7:00 a.m. ET | New York, NY — It’s the triathlete’s equivalent of shooting hoops with Kobe Bryant, tossing a football with Eli Manning or having a volley with Roger Federer: a morning run with Craig “Crowie” Alexander in Central Park.
Ride, or at least look, like a pro
The best in bikes trickles down from what professionals use on race day. These are the team bikes being used by pros in this year’s Tour de France — and you can get them right now.
A vigorous argument for one of sporting's best events
In 21 days, cyclists cover the distance from Manhattan to the Las Vegas strip in the Tour de France, one of the greatest sporting events on Earth. GP contributing editor Matthew Ankeny makes a strong case for the greatness of the Tour — and explains how the race works in the process.
Great Excuses For A Rubdown
We spend a lot of time outside, and the reality is that we’re often more fastidious about taking care of our bikes and boards than we are our skin. News flash: even if you don’t burn, you should be doing something to block the UV rays from permeating your dermis. These sunscreen options should cover whatever type of protection you need.
Storming the East Coast's best surf town
When we invited Forest Woodward, one of our favorite photographers, to Montauk for the weekend, we had no idea we’d be graced with the best waves we’ve seen in years.
Electricity: your new workout partner
We see if the Marc Pro, a muscle conditioning tool meant for improving athletic performance and hastening recovery, is the real deal.
Four days in Aspen and a lingering question
Ever wonder what happens at a yoga festival? GP dispatched a correspondent — and true yoga novice — on a four-day trip to find out.
A Sandbox for Adults
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.
Pool Hopping in Sweden, 26 Times
The Ö Till Ö run/swim race in Sweden is 46 miles long. That’s an impressive distance — especially when you consider that 6 miles are in the water and the remaining 40 miles take racers over the rocky terrain of 26 islands off the coast of Stockholm.
Massage on a Budget
Right up there with kettlebells and battle ropes, foam rollers are ubiquitous at gyms but nevertheless require a bit of explanation if you want to incorporate them into your fitness and recovery routine. We spoke with an expert to find out five easy exercises you can do at home or in the office.
More Shoe, More to Love
Is “maximalist” the next big thing in running? There’s certainly a lot to love. GP puts rubber to the pavement to see how seven different options stack up.
Outbound from California
Wondering what it’s like to set out on a 5,000 mile bike tour of America? GP contributor Will Eginton shares his thoughts from the first leg of the trip.
Upgrade Your Skivvies
Made from lightweight, wicking, breathable fabrics like merino wool, polypropylene and a host of proprietary fabrics, sports underwear designed for active guys keeps you cool and dry without bunching up when you move.
Business suit, leisure suit, tri suit
The apparel you choose in a race is important from a performance and comfort standpoint, too: while you can change clothes at each transition, a tri suit can take you from swim to bike to run to post-race pizza and beer.
Hot, primordial ooze
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.
Bikes versus Bars
Most people will attempt their first triathlon on a road bike before investing in a triathlon-specific rig; it’s only at full Ironman races that the transition racks are filled with superbikes. But instead of a triathlon bike, riders can get some of the benefits they afford by outfitting their road bikes with clip-on aero bars. In this Want This, Get This, we look at the advantages of going whole hog with entry-level Cervélo triathlon bike versus spending less on the relatively new Switch Aero System by Redshift.