Hostelling across the Unites States

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of August 28-September 3, 1997
Hostelling across the Unites States
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Hostelling across the Unites States
Question: I want to hike from Philadelphia to Colorado. Where would I find out about hostels and other places to stay along the way?

Troy Sheaffer
Chalfont, PA
[email protected]

The long roads of America offer endless
spots to take off the relax for awhile

Adventure Adviser: That sounds like quite a healthy ambition. Good luck. First of all, I'd decide ahead of time whether you want to hitchhike part of the way or get as far out of the traffic pattern as possible. The reason I say this is because the route you take will largely determine the kind of places in which you'll stay.

There are a ton of American Youth Hostels in the United States, but a good majority of them are either in major cities or in very out-of-the-way scenic spots overlooking mountains or ocean. To get an idea of what AYH offers, call them for their most recent copy of Hostelling North America. This handy, pocket-sized book gives you all of the pertinent information on every hostel in the country. It'll tell you the price, the necessity of reservations, whether it has cooking facilities, etc. Call AHY at 202-783-6161 or e-mail them at [email protected]

I'd also go to your local AAA office and scare up as many maps as you can get your hands on; you'll be able to locate ahead of time various state or national parks where you can camp along the way.

Also, I'd pick up a copy of The Rough Guide's USA ($19.95). The book is constantly updated with off-beat places to eat and stay, plus it'll give you a good description of not-to-be-missed sites.

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