PEAK FINDER

Some­times, the best moun­tain is the clos­est one. We asked BACK­PACKER read­ers for the top peaks in their states to help you find a climb near you.

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If the best moun­tain is the one clos­est to you, bet­ter know the top peak in your state. BACK­PACKER read­ers voted on their fa­vorite lo­cal sum­mits so you can find yours.

WA Best use of an ice axe in the Lower 48: Climb Mt. Rainier. With 25 glaciers, it of­fers an Alaska-style sum­mit ex­pe­ri­ence. Hire a guide and tackle the clas­sic Dis­ap­point­ment Cleaver route from Par­adise to rest­step your way around crevasses and over ice bridges to the crater rim.

OR High­point Ore­gon’s iconic peak on the South Side route, a 3-mile, class 2 walk-up from the Timberline Lodge that stays away from the steep-and-tech­ni­cal stuff. But don’t let Hood’s short-dis­tance sum­mit fool you: The weather up there can be un­for­giv­ing. Bring an ice axe, cram­pons, and moun­tain know-how.

AZ Nab a camp­site along Lem­mon Creek (usu­ally flows year-round) in the Wilder­ness of Rock to bed down be­side hoodoos and canyons on the 10-mile loop con­nect­ing the Mt. Lem­mon (#5) and Wilder­ness of Rock Trails (#44).

MT For a two-day as­cent of Trap­per, hike in 2.3 miles on day one from the Baker Lake trail­head to camp at Gem Lake, be­neath the moun­tain’s north­east ridge. The next morn­ing, as­cend the boul­der-strewn, class 3 gully near the lake to gain Trap­per’s sum­mit.

ID To avoid the crowds on Sun Val­ley’s most pop­u­lar moun­tain, take the 10.4-mile back way by con­nect­ing the Warm Springs and Broad­way Trails. The re­ward: views over the val­ley and the rugged Pi­o­neer Range to the north­east.

SD Link the Har­ney Peak Trail, Trail 4, and the Nor­beck Trail on a 6.8-mile loop to South Dakota’s high­point. Along the way, you’ll slalom past gran­ite tow­ers as you grad­u­ally rise above them.

CO This Colorado clas­sic takes an en­tire day. Leave the Longs Peak trail­head by 3 a.m. for the 14.5-mile round-trip, which gains 5,000 feet be­fore pass­ing through the class 3 Key­hole en route to the top of Rocky Moun­tain Na­tional Park and the Front Range.

TX Start­ing at the Pine Springs Camp­ground, the Guadalupe Peak Trail rises 4.1 miles through in­ter­mit­tent stands of pinyon pine and Dou­glas fir (and nav­i­gates around some cliff bands) to the moun­tain­top. To stretch your mis­sion into a two-day trip, make camp at mile 3.1 (first-come, first-serve).

MO Af­ter sum­mit­ing Mudlick Moun­tain via the 12-mile loop trail, go ex­plore Big Creek on the moun­tain’s north­ern and eastern sides. The area is home to the Big Creek cray­fish, a 2-inch-long crus­tacean found only here. LA In need of peace and quiet amid the Big Easy’s ca­coph­ony? Read­ers rec­om­mend a stroll through City Park, to a small rise all of 43 feet above sea level. “Oxy­gen and Sher­pas are avail­able upon re­quest,” says the park’s web­site. AL The Alabama por­tion of Look­out (the true sum­mit is in Georgia) is home to Lit­tle River Canyon Na­tional Pre­serve. Tackle the 1.5mile Eber­hart Trail, which de­scends from Look­out into the park’s name­sake canyon.

ME Aca­dia’s Cadil­lac Moun­tain some­how edged out this iconic mas­sif in reader vot­ing, but we’re go­ing to use our veto power. Not only is Katahdin the north­ern ter­mi­nus of the Ap­palachian Trail, but un­like Cadil­lac, you don’t have to share the scene with a park­ing lot.

VT The Hell Brook Trail up Mt. Mans­field is short, steep, and sweet. You’ll gain 2,736 feet of el­e­va­tion on the 1.2-mile climb to the top. As you catch your breath, take in views of Lake Cham­plain and the Green Moun­tains.

MA Tackle the 6.2-mile Cheshire Har­bor Trail in fall. You’ll wind your way to Grey­lock’s sum­mit and back— pass­ing a bu­colic pond on the way— all while ad­mir­ing New Eng­land’s fa­mous au­tumn fo­liage.

NY Known as “Ice­face” in win­ter, White­face of­fers ex­pan­sive views over Lake Placid and the Adiron­dacks. Bonus: Af­ter the 9.3-mile sum­mit trail, tick off an­other Adiron­dack 46er by hik­ing the 4.8-mile out-and-back to nearby Es­ther Moun­tain.

DE In Cape Hen­lopen State Park, take the 2.6-mile round-trip to view the At­lantic from atop this lofty dune field.

FL On the north­ern reaches of the Florida Trail, the foot­path rises along with the shore­line above foam­ing Big Shoals rapids on the Suwan­nee River. Set out for a 5.6-mile out-and-back from Bell Springs and bring your camp­ing gear: Bluff-top views and a river sound­track will make you want to stay awhile.

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