All-American

Remote trips right here at home

    Photo: Illustration by Mark Matcho

THE ALASKAN CLIMBER [ALASKA]
Many peaks in the Chugach Mountains of southeast Alaska remain unnamed and unclimbed. Your objectives are the 12,000-foot summits of Mount Valhalla and Mount Witherspoon, but even with a ski-plane flight into the range, you'll still spend 20 days hauling, trekking, and climbing on this self-supported trip. Outfitter: KE Adventure Travel, 800-497-9675, www.keadventure.com. When to Go: April. Price: $2,895, including flights within Alaska. Difficulty: strenuous. DOGSLEDDING AND WINTER CAMPING [NORTHERN MINNESOTA]
Forget your leisurely visions of being whisked from campsite to campsite: Dogsledding is serious work. During four days in the wilderness bordering the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, you'll learn how to handle your team of malamutes and brush up on winter camping techniques. Outfitter: The Northwest Passage, 800-732-7328, www.nwpassage.com. When to Go: January-February. Price: $895. Difficulty: moderate.

RAFTING THE OWYHEE RIVER [NEVADA, IDAHO, AND OREGON]
This 17-day, 220-mile trip on the rarely rafted, Class II-IV Owyhee takes you down one of the longest and most remote stretches of runnable river in the Lower 48, through rugged canyon country. Need something shorter? Several sections can be run in four to seven days. Outfitter: River Odysseys West, 800-451-6034, www.rowinc.com. When to Go: May. Price: $3,735. Difficulty: moderate.

HALEAKALA CRATER SEA-TO-SUMMIT HIKING EXPEDITION [MAUI]
Go from sea level to 9,886 feet on this three-day trek from Maui's sandy shores, through Hawaiian rainforests, to the moonlike floor of Haleakala Crater. You'll climb 11 miles and 6,380 feet on the first day alone—good thing horses are hauling your gear. Outfitter: Summit Maui, 866-885-6064, www.summitmaui.com. When to Go: year-round. Price: $1,190-$1,390. Difficulty: moderate.

GRAND GULCH TRAVERSE [UTAH]
What's better than backpacking the 52-mile length of the Grand Gulch Primitive Area in southeastern Utah? Llama-trekking for much of the same seven-day route, past ancient Anasazi ruins and more recent historic landmarks—including Polly's Island, where Butch Cassidy, some say, crossed the Gulch. Outfitter: Mountain Travel Sobek, 888-687-6235, www.mtsobek.com. When to Go: April. Price: $2,590. Difficulty: moderate.

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