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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Top Ten Wild Places to Hike (Before You Die!)

Grand Canyon, Arizona
Backpacking the Grand Canyon's
South Rim, Arizona. Photo by Tony Fuentes
Which of the world's wild places should every hiker try to experience at least once in their lifetime?
Here's our unofficial "bucket list" of not-to-be-missed favorites in Alaska, Hawaii, the Lower 48, and beyond. Click on each destination to read more about a Sierra Club trip that's headed there soon.
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The Northeast's only national park boasts an extensive system of foot trails leading to incredible views of islands, valley lakes, Frenchman Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.

2) Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska
This jagged landscape is home some of Alaska's most spectacular and challenging mountains, as well as grizzlies, wolves, dall sheep, musk ox, and caribou.

3) Dolomites, Italy
Don't miss this sunny corner of the Alps packed with dramatic and colorful mountains, jutting peaks, fertile valleys, and a diversity of local cultures.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska
Italy's Dolomites. Photo by Gene Goldberg
4) Grand Canyon National Park,
One of the world's most enduring natural wonders and a hiking paradise, this ancient and brilliantly-colored chasm is rich in human, geologic, and natural history.

5) Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina
Choose from a multitude of hiking
options in the last large piece of the
southern Appalachian forest which
contains some of the richest biological diversity in the U.S.

6) John Muir Wilderness, California
Visit the wilderness wonderland named
after Sierra Club founder, John Muir,
dotted with alpine lakes, glaciers, towering granite peaks, and lush green meadows.

7) Kauai, Hawaii
A trip to Hawaii's "Garden Isle" means diverse trails, breathtaking views, lush
flora and fauna, and a refreshing dip in
warm surf at day's end.
Wind River Range, Wyoming
The rugged North Cascades,
Washington. Photo by Sascha Paris.
8) North Cascades National Park,
"America's Alps" offer jagged peaks, ice fields, brilliant lakes, alpine meadows, and a variety of hikes from densely-forested trails to ridge routes with panoramic views.

9) Patagonia, Chile
Embark on one of the world's classic hikes, the "W," through this massive, untamed wilderness teeming with turquoise lakes, snow-capped volcanoes, and calving glaciers.

10) Wind River Range, Wyoming
Cascades, wildflower meadows, sprawling glaciers, and lakes filled with trout make "the Winds" a favorite for destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Don't forget your fishing pole!

BONUS! Your own backyard
Discover a variety of trails near you on one of the Sierra Club's many local outings!


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