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Bask in the beauty and grandeur of the backcountry. (Backpack).

BACKPACK RATINGS

Light (L) = Up to 35 miles, including layover days.

Moderate (M) = Up to 55 miles, often with cross-country travel.

Strenuous (S) = Up to 70 miles, with extensive elevation changes.

Women's Backpack, Paria Canyon, Arizona. March 30-April 5. Join this women's trek down one of the most spectacular slot canyons in the Southwest. We'll walk and wade through exquisite desert landscape. The Paria River has cut through the multicolored Carmel, Navajo, Kayenta, and Moenkopi canyons, exposing 200 million years of geological time. We'll see erosion-carved narrow side canyons, arches, amphitheaters, and petroglyphs. (Rated M.) Leader: Lacey Anderson. Price: $695; Dep: $100. [02490A]

Canyon de Chelly Rock Art and Archaeology, Navajo Nation, Arizona. April 14-20. Accompanied by a rock art specialist and Navajo anthropologist, we'll descend Canyon de Chelly from its origin in the Chuska Mountains, visiting prehistoric sites along the way. Other visitors, deterred by early spring's high water, won't disturb our appreciation of the canyon's splendor. Not a wilderness trip, but not easy, either. (Rated M.) Leader: Richard Fite. Price: $795; Dep: $100. [02032A] A

New Hance to Grandview Loop, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. April 20-26. Backpack a uniquely beautiful section of the Grand Canyon rich in human and geologic history. Camp along famous Hance Rapids, explore remote side canyons, marvel at spring wildflowers, and bask in brilliant sunrises and sunsets -- all at a leisurely pace. Two layover days and short hiking distances make this trip suitable for beginners in good physical condition. (Rated M.) Leader: John Melville. Price: $795; Dep: $100. [02033A] P

Redwoods and Condors of Big Sur, Ventana Wilderness, California. April 27-May 4. On this grand loop, experience the wild diversity of Big Sur's rugged backcountry, from cool redwood-filled canyons to soaring coastal ridgetops. Highlights include negotiating the newly reopened Black Cone Trail, soaking in a remote hot spring, and gazing skyward at a condor haunt. (Rated M.) Leaders: Steve Wilson and Boon Hughey. Price: $575; Dep: $100. [02034A]

North Rim Backpack, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. May 4-12. Join other experienced backpackers as we explore Kanab Creek, hike along the Colorado River to Deer Creek, cross Surprise Valley, and visit Thunder River. Spend an enchanted night atop the Esplanade, and immerse yourself in the wonders of the Grand Canyon. (Rated S.) Leader: Bert Fingerhut. Price: $775: Dep: $100. [02035A]

Paria Canyon Backpack, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area, Arizona. May 8-14. Experience the silence and beauty of this desert canyon sheltered by towering red sandstone. Walk the 38 miles of the quiet Colorado River and marvel at the incredible beauty of rock sculpted over the centuries. Expect frequent stream crossings, an opportunity to hike the Buckskin Gulch, and glorious free afternoons in the Southwest's favorite slot canyon. (Rated M.) Leaders: May Gong-Tenney and Chris Tenney. Price: $745; Dep: $100. [02036A]

Islands in the Sky, Chiricahua Wilderness, Arizona. May 11-18. Variety and contrast abound on our journey in the place the Chiricahua Apache called "Land of Standing-Up Rocks." Starting with day hikes, we'll then move toward Chiricahua Peak to backpack four days through canyons and over airy, exposed ridges. We'll experience four vastly different biotic systems, starting with desert seas and arriving at island tops of the Rocky Mountain Zone, where plants and animals thrive in moisture-rich soil. (Rated M.) Leader: Roger Grissette. Price: $595; Dep: $100. [02115A] D

Grand Gulch: An Anasazi Kingdom, Utah. May 19-24. We hike from "Island in the Sky" Cedar Mesa on a trail that winds down through steep canyon walls of multicolored sandstone. We'll be archaeological stewards to preserve the many Anasazi artifacts in the 20-30+ house ruins. Four llamas will lighten our load for this 30-mile trip in BLM land. (Rated M.) Leaden Jim Halverson. Price: $795; DeP: $100. [02116A] A

Dark Canyon Adventure, Utah. May 19-25. Dark Canyon provides a remote and magical journey that begins at 8,000 feet amid aspen and pine, then descends to desert at 4,000 feet. We'll hike with red sandstone walls towering more than 1,000 feet above, swim in pristine plunge pools, and explore beautiful side canyons. Along the way we'll see ancient Anasazi cliff dwellings and plenty of wildflowers. (Rated M.) Leaders: Bob Jordan and Carol MacFarlane. Price: $655; Dep: $100. [02117A] P

Rim-to-Rim Family Backpack, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. May 19-25. See Family section, p. 77, for trip description. Leaders: Susanne George and Nelson Barnes. Price: adult $875, child $775; Dep: $100. [02215A] L

Blue Ridge Mountains Adventure, Virginia. June 2-9. Backpack the Appalachian Trail through the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Starting near Shenandoah Park, we'll hike for 75 miles through a realm of forests and mountain peaks with views of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Highlights include the wilderness areas of George Washington and Jefferson National Forests; Crabtree Falls, Virginia's highest waterfall; and, of course, the legendary Appalachian Trail. (Rated M/S.) Leaden Glenn Gillis. Price: $545; Dep: $100. [02118A]

Discovering Dark Canyon's Splendor, Utah. June 10-15. From the Sundance Trail, we'll enter the magnificent lower portion of the Dark Canyon Primitive Area. It's a splendid section where three major canyons come together, offering many chances to explore this unique area of waterfalls, plunge pools, towering sandstone walls, and intermittent springs. We'll round out our adventure of this spectacular area with a hike to Lake Powell. (Rated M.) Leaders: Larry Odoski and Mike Murphy. Price: $625; Dep: $100. [02119A]

Southern Pennsylvania Appalachian Trail: The Midpoint of Nature and History. June 23-29. Explore the ruins of Pine Grove Furnace, which supplied iron for the American Revolution, and Caledonia Iron Works, a 19th-century foundry destroyed during the Battle of Gettysburg. We'll hike along the Appalachian Trail from Caledonia State Park to Boiling Springs, with a one-day layover at Pine Grove Furnace State Park to swim, dayhike, and possibly restock our food. Participants must be able to backpack 7-10 miles a day over rough mountainous terrain, completing a total of 40 miles. (Rated L/M.) Leader: Dave English. Price: $765. Dep: $100. [02120A]

Shadows of Shasta, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California. June 29-July 6. Along the Pacific Crest Trail, this backpacking adventure covers moderate elevations in scenic forest explored by few people. We'll camp at lakes and enjoy fishing and raptor-sighting opportunities. On trail we'll seek out spectacular views of Mt. Shasta, Northern California's highest peak. One layover day is planned for relaxing or dayhiking to nearby peaks or lakes. (Rated L/M.) Leader: John Livingston. Price: $465; Dep: $50. [02121A] C E

Trinity Alps Retreat, Trinity National Forest, California. July 12-20. Spectacular views, a wide variety of flora and fauna, and time to relax combine to make this a memorable backpack adventure. Enjoy three layover days to take in the beauty of this national forest. (Rated L./M.) Leaden Kathy Wells. Price: $695; Dep: $100. [02123A] P

Absaroka Amble, Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Montana. July 13-20. Location is everything! Adjacent to Yellowstone, this hikers' wonderland provides a challenge to our senses as well as our bodies. Small pristine lakes are scattered like alpine wildflowers across the aptly named Lake Plateau. Our route will generally follow established trails into the jagged peaks of the Beartooth Range, the highest and most spectacular in Montana. (Rated M/S.) Leader: Roger Grissette. Price: $625; Dep: $100. [02122A] E

Stehekin Valley Family Backpack, Glacier Peak Wilderness, North Cascades National Park, Washington. July 13-21. See Family section, p. 78, for trip description. Leader: Wayne Martin. Assistant Leader: Rodger Faulknet Price: adult $825, child $725; Dep: $100. [02222A] I L P

[25] Lake, Lava, and Wildflower Lovers Backpack: Lassen Volcanic National Park, California. July 16-22. Camp at a different lake every night and explore many more on this six-day, 39-mile backpack visiting places like the Painted Dunes and Fantastic Lava Beds with our professional naturalist. Dayhike to the hot springs and mudpots of Bumpass Hell, and summit 10,457-foot Lassen Peak. One layover day for swimming, fishing, and botanizing in wildflower-bedazzled meadows, (Rated L/M.) Leader: Melinda Goodwater. Price: $625; Dep: $100. [02124A] C E P

[25] White Mountains Backpack, New Hampshire. July 21-27. Join this spectacular adventure as we hike the Appalachian Trail and view the breathtaking scenery for which New Hampshire is known. We'll traverse mountains ranging from 2,000-5,000 feet on this week-long backpacking journey of incredible views and rugged terrain. Participants should be experienced and fit. (Rated M/S.) Leader: Wendy Camara. Price: $765; Dep: $100. [02125A]

50+ Weminuche Wilderness -- The Window Loop: Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests, Colorado. July 22-27. From Rio Grande Reservoir near Creede, this 27-mile backpack loop crosses the Continental Divide, featuring Weminuche Pass ("The Window") and Rio Grande Pyramid (13,821'). Two layover days and one short backpack day provide additional hiking opportunities to pristine lakes and other peaks. Camp near freshwater springs with two nights at 12,320'. For fit, acclimatized backpackers and scramblers. (Rated L/M.) Leaders: Dick Worm and Beverly Full. Price: $595; Dep: $100. [02126A] K P

Wind River Photo Workshop IV, Bridger Wilderness, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming. July 27-August 4. Join one of Wyoming's premier photographers and outdoorsmen, Fred Pflughoft, on this backpacking adventure in the central Rockies' most dazzling wilderness area. Rock-bound lakes and glacial peaks form the backdrop for an encore of this enjoyable and rewarding landscape photography workshop. We begin with an orientation day at a rustic lakeside lodge. Enjoy superb fishing on our layover day in the high and scenic Peak Lake area. (Rated M/S.) Leader: Paul Minkus. Price: $625; Dep: $100. [02127A] E J P

Best of the Beartooths, Beartooth-Absaroka Wilderness, Montana. July 28-August 4. Fifteen alpine lakes and soaring mountains beckon us up a gradual ascent through the East Rosebud River canyon outside of Red Lodge, Montana, to our trip's exit on the magnificent Beartooth Highway outside of Yellowstone National Park. This 26-mile backpack (with one layover day) takes us through the heart of the awesome Beartooth Range, part of the remote Beartooth-Absaroka Wilderness in beautiful south central Montana. (Rated M/S.) Leader: Donna Craig. Price: $625; Dep: $100. [02128A] A O P

Wind River High Country, Bridger Wilderness, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming. August 3-10. The southern Wind River Range provides a special wilderness experience! Our route takes us through a landscape dominated by granite peaks (many over 13,000') and more than 1,000 lakes. We'll take in endless, panoramic alpine views as we hike through high mountain meadows, camp at beautiful lakes, and cross the Continental Divide. (Rated M/S.) Leaders: Bob Jordan and Roger Grissette. Price: $625; Dep: $100. [02129A]

America's Alps: The North Cascades of Washington and British Columbia, Passyten Wilderness and Okanogan National Forest. August 3-11. The northernmost section of the Pacific Crest Trail has been referred to as "the most spectacular long walking route in the nation." Our 70-mile trip begins in British Columbia, stays close to the Cascade Crest as it traverses the Pasayten Wilderness, and ends at the North Cascades Highway. Trip price includes transportation between Seattle and the trailheads. (Rated S.) Leader: Margo Earley Price: $695; Dep: $100. [02130A] O P

50+ Squaretop Mountain Loop, Bridger Wilderness, Wyoming, August 4-10, From Green River Lakes we backpack from 8,000 feet to 10,700 feet over Porcupine Pass, circling massive Squaretop Mountain. Explore alpine lakes and enjoy spectacular vistas of towering peaks on the Continental Divide. During two layover days we may loaf, dayhike to secluded lakes, or climb Squaretop (11,695') and/or Granite Peak (9,892'). For experienced backpackers ages 50 and up. (Rated M.) Leaders: Beverly Full and Dick Worm. Price:S625; Dep: $100. [02131A] K

Pacific Crest Trail: Stevens Pass to the Suiattle, Henry M. Jackson and Glacier Peak Wilderness Areas, Washington. August 11-18. From Stevens Pass we'll head north on the Pacific Crest Trail through scenic lake basins and along the divides between them. This area has an extraordinary number of active glaciers that created innumerable lakes and cirques. We'll be on the move every day to cover a total of 65 miles, while enjoying outstanding views of Glacier Peak, one of the most remote and beautiful Northwest volcanoes. (Rated S.) Leader: Chuck Schmidt. Price: $675; Dep: $100. [02132A]

Beargrass in the "Bob," Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montana. August 17-25. Join us on this exciting trip and see Montana's beargrass in bloom! Here's your chance to finally hike the crown jewel of wilderness in the lower 48. Gateway Pass frames our entry into one of the most spectacular areas of this huge complex. Bask in the alpine splendor of panoramic views down heavily wooded, broad river valleys. We'll enjoy time out to fish and view wildlife. (Rated M/S.) Leader: Roger Grissette. Price: $625; Dep: $100. [02133A] E G

Adirondacks High Peaks Backpack and Base Camp, Adirondacks State Park, New York. August 19-24. Excellent photo opportunities await as we walk the peaks, lakes, and valleys of this recently glaciated area. We'll base camp for day hikes and backpack to move our base camp. We'll summit Algonquin Mountain (5,114'), New York's second highest peak, along with scenic Mt. Colden (4,714'). One of the trip leaders is a geologist and will describe the unique history, rocks, and land features of these continuously growing mountains. (Rated S.) Leaders: John Calandra and Zizi MacDougall. Price: $795; Dep: $100. [02134A]

Pacific Crest Trail Ramble, Goat Rocks and Mt. Adams Wilderness, Washington. August 31-September 7. This week-long backpack includes some of the most spectacular sites of the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington. We'll marvel at myriad peaks and glaciers, including breathtaking vistas of Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens, up-close views of Mt. Adams (12,000'), and the giant frozen waterfall of the Adams Glacier. This trip is designed for experienced backpackers. (Rated S.) Leaders: Daniel Becker and Paul Smith. Price: $615; Dep: $100. [02135A]

Changing Seasons Along the Continental Divide: Bob Marshall Wilderness, and Lewis and Clark National Forest, Montana. September 5-12. Our 55-mile route, a National Scenic Trail, is highlighted by autumn's golden hues as it hugs the continental divide. A professional naturalist interprets the geology and flora of high parks, hanging gardens, and knife-edged cliffs that we'll hike. One layover day and 7,300' maximum elevation make this trip suitable for strong beginners. (Rated L/M.) Leader: Melinda Goodwater. Price: $625; Dep: $100. [02136A] B C

Grand Teton Fall Backpack, Grand Teton National Park and Targhee National Forest, Wyoming and Idaho. September 8-14. Join us on this classic hike through the heart of spectacular Grand Teton National Park. Our 40-mile route takes us past high meadows tinted with fall colors, into stunning canyons, and beside pristine lakes -- all surrounded by the world-famous Teton peaks. Soaring golden eagles, bugling elk, ptarmigans, and other wildlife accompany us on this scenic and awe-inspiring journey. (Rated M/S.) Leaders: Kevin Breen and Brian Cook. Price: $795; Dep: $100. [02137A] B D

In John Muir's Footsteps: Big South Fork National Recreation Area, Tennessee. September 15-21. Join us for this easy backpack on the John Muir Trail in a little-known, vast, and hilly plateau that features deep gorges, endless woods, monumental sandstone cliffs, and rushing rivers. We'll immerse ourselves in the natural and cultural history of this beautiful region in an attempt to envision the Tennessee that John Muir witnessed in 1867 on his "1,000-mile walk to the Gulf." (Rated L/M.) Leaders: Helene Baumann and Bill Porter. Price: $475; Dep: $50. [02138A] C

Mesa de Anguila Backpack, Big Bend National Park, Texas. November 17-23. Explore a remote corner of Texas' frontera country via rarely used trails and cross-country routes. Relish magnificent views of the Chihuahuan Desert, and camp while perched high above the depths of the 1,500-foot-deep Santa Elena Canyon. We'll explore unnamed side canyons and take time to relax by the waters of the Rio Grande, just a mere stone's throw from Mexico. (Rated M.) Leader: Rich Schiebel. Assistant Leader: Bill Sheppard. Price: $535; Dep: $100. [02139A] N
Special Interest Icons

Look for these icons to select a trip that's right for you.

A Archaeology
B Autumn Colors
C Beginners
D Birding
E Fishing
F Mountaineering
G Music
H Native American Culture
I Pack Support
J Photography
K Seniors
L Teens
M Vegetarian Available
N Vegetarian Only
O Vehicle Support
P Wildflowers
Q Women

[25] Youth Scholarship
(See page 103 for details)

(25) Sharon Churchwell Fund
(See page 103 for details)


RELATED ARTICLE: In the Footsteps of Lewis and Clark.

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson sent Captains Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and their Corps of Discovery west with orders to "find the shortest and most convenient route of communication between the U.S. and the Pacific Ocean." Lewis and Clark traveled 8,000 miles on their journey, mapping and naming two-thirds of the American continent. Because of Lewis and Clark, we know what America looked like 200 years ago. We can measure the wildlife and wildlands that have since been lost, and most important, work to protect what's left.

Only one percent of the country's native tallgrass prairies remain, grizzly bears roam less than two percent of their historic range in the lower 48 states, and wild salmon populations in the Columbia River basin are one percent of what they were at the time of Lewis and Clark's fabled expedition. The wilderness and wildlife that have survived are in jeopardy -- from logging, oil and gas drilling, dams, off-road vehicles, and suburban sprawl.

The Sierra Club is working with other conservation groups, Native American tribes, scientists, and economists to protect and preserve this beautiful area. Our goal is to permanently safeguard 56 million acres of wildlands in Lewis and Clark country; preserve and restore key wildlife habitat; and protect endangered species like bison, wolves, grizzlies, and salmon. We aim to do this through wilderness designation, lands acquisition, smart growth, and ending commercial logging on federal public lands.
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Publication:Sierra
Date:Jan 1, 2002
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Previous Article:There's no time like now for some Northern exposure. (Alaska & Arctic Canada).
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