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The past year showed us all that having access to the outdoors is essential for our health and well-being. It also magnified the inequities inherent in that access. For 2021’s Best Towns package, we chose 13 of the country’s most diverse places and evaluated them according to the factors that matter today: sustainability, affordability, and outdoor equity. Here are the cities of tomorrow.

Surfing in Baja. Summit-to-sea skiing in Alaska. Hiking in Death Valley. There’s no shortage of epic adventures to be had in winter. We’ve rounded up our favorite trips to make sure you get your fill of thrills.

A daring advice columnist sets off on a road trip with a singular goal: to ask strangers if they make love outside—in towns named Eden

A long-distance rambler named Bearsun is walking from L.A. to New York, dressed like a very large Pokémon. This is his story.

Reconciling the maps we made in the 18th century with modern reality is nearly impossible. But their lines, drawn long ago, are still legally binding.

Here’s how President Biden plans to address climate change, pollution, and public lands in the greatest detail we’ve seen so far

In Ours, a digital exhibition for the New Museum, artist Samuel Marion imagines a not too distant future in which outdoor brands use slick advertising to mask more sinister aims

Hiking was in vogue in 2020, but COVID-19 closures decimated the thru-hiking ranks. What did prospective hikers do with their unexpected time back home?

For most Americans, the naming of a secretary of the interior is of little consequence. However, as a Navajo man, who holds this position has defined much of my life, and the recent appointing of Deb Haaland marks a groundbreaking moment.

This side-by-side will get you up the gnarliest roads on the planet, and it's scream-out-loud fun to drive

Southern Civil War symbols have been a flash point in towns and cities for years, but at places like the Gettysburg battlefield and Arlington National Cemetery—which are run by the Park Service and the Pentagon—there's a new, escalating conflict over monuments that honor the Lost Cause

We put together our favorite in-state itineraries in every region of the country, to make it easy for you to explore your own backyard

Beat back summer-vacation boredom with these seven games for the family

Locked-down cities have opened streets to cyclists and pedestrians. But what happens when the traffic comes back?

As the sport is poised to enter the Olympics, a veteran climbing writer delves into its past in 'High Drama: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of Competition Climbing'

In a new novel, 'How Much of These Hills Is Gold,' author C. Pam Zhang presents the fantasies and struggles that defined western expansion through the eyes of two Chinese-American characters

Despite the coronavirus, you can legally thru-hike the Appalachian Trail right now. But should you?

Although the coronavirus has shuttered schools and events across the country, outdoor spaces can be a healthy outlet for families—but it's important to stay informed and cautious

Last year the jackpot was $311,652. Watching ice melt just got really interesting.

The United States leads the world in spending for health and fitness but still ranks lowest in measurements of actual health. How do we break the cycle?

Italian students will soon be required to learn about global warming. American kids? Not so much.

Tucked away among farms and barren grasslands in a forgotten corner of the state lies one of the best bouldering destinations in the country. Our video producer, a Roy fanatic, outlines how to visit the growing location without harming its fragile ecosystem.

Australia's Uluru has closed for climbing. That sheds light on other bucket-list destinations you could be doing better.

America's parks are confronting the past in an effort to create more inclusive wilderness spaces

We prioritized natural beauty—and lack of crowds

A new startup called Vast Terrain taps U.S. suppliers to make top-shelf goods

To kick off National Park Week, the park service is waiving all entrance fees on April 20

For more than a century, the African American cowboy has been almost absent in popular media. This photographer wants to change that.

Alpine scrambles and beachfront strolls; multi-day singletrack adventures and quick urban escapes; soaring trees and rolling sand dunes—every state in the country has something to offer intrepid hikers. So we rounded up a bucket-list-worthy, best-of-the-best guide.

The Youth Climate Strike is working to shut down schools across the country on March 15 to demand that world leaders act on preventing climate change

All signs point to active weather continuing into the warmer months, which will bring a litany of new hazards

The Points Guy is hooking up one fortunate traveler with $13,000 worth of airline points

The fast-food behemoth announced plans to vastly reduce the use of antibiotics in its beef supply. This is a big deal.

Meet the daredevils who crossed from the Santa Elena Canyon to Big Bend National Park to make a point about unity and trust

For those of us chasing powder, here's what the meteorologists say winter likely has in store

Result: You’ll never miss a flight again! Okay, not really, but these innovations should reassure you about flying in inclement weather this winter.   

Saving a life is as easy as checking for cyclists. So naturally nobody does it.

Unsurprisingly, the dates are getting later and later, according to the records we have

A few years ago, more than 60 percent of the country fell under some level of drought. The worst thing? These warm, dry conditions tend to lead to even warmer, drier ones.

It's the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and our waterways are in more danger than ever. These reads explain what's going wrong—and how to fix it.

Pioneers, the government, even John Muir helped kick out Native Americans from their homes on national parks. But in Yosemite, the Miwuk Tribe is getting its village back.

The proposed 10 percent tariffs on bikes and bike parts imported from China would be a blow to the U.S. cycling industry

The new mega fires raging across the West are polluting the air above states like Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming the worst

Our readers submitted their favorite moments from cross-country adventures

A couple from Florida got sick of trekking into the backcountry only to contend with hordes of other people. So they embarked on a search for the most remote spots in every state.

It's not just a hatred of the federal government that motivates the scofflaws—it's their deeply held faith

The fight to keep a 300-mile pipeline out of Jefferson National Forest is heating up. The Forest Service has cut off all food and water supplies to the protesters, and supporters are becoming desperate to help.

For decades, park leaders have predicted that swarms of tourists could ruin public lands. Is anyone heeding their advice?

The USOC has failed to do enough to protect American athletes from abuse for years. Getting rid of its chief executive won't do anything to solve the problem.

The outdoor community made filtration a must for a reason

By slashing the Utah monuments without listening to the sovereign indigenous voices, the secretary of the interior regressed to a time when the feds oppressed and disrespected the tribes

This month's massive government climate report sounds the alarm about the rising risk of wildfire. Will the Trump Administration listen?

The GOP doesn't think the feds should oversee our national heritage. Here's why they're wrong.

We raise $3 billion every year for conservation, then we go out on those public lands and help manage wildlife populations—for free

After decades of being thought of as a pseudo-sport for longhairs, ultimate Frisbee is attracting elite athletes who are landing professional contracts. The hero of this new breed is Beau Kittredge, who looks like an NFL wide receiver, sprints like an Olympian, and jumps like Jordan.

Gary Rall opened a rock gym 29 years ago. Then he helped invent indoor climbing.

The Outdoor Industry Association tacks on another $200 billion in direct consumer spending to their 2012 estimate, but we won't get the official number until 2018

Almost 50 years ago, Richard Nixon commissioned a photography project called Documerica to illustrate miles and miles of environmental degradation, advocating for the need for the agency. The following are some of the most striking images from that project.

Living car-free doesn't mean you have to sacrifice time outside

Dixie is bursting with adventures, hip breweries, and a new river to raft (we’ll explain). And it hasn’t lost any of its down-home charm.

We teamed up with Instagram to determine the most-photographed national parks of 2015. Here we present our favorite images from the 25 parks that appear most frequently in your photo feed.

You don't have to live in a mountain town to pursue a life of adventure. Presenting the life-changing strategies urban dwellers can adopt to play harder.

Don't hike a trail just because you saw it in a movie.

Thirty years after it was officially decommissioned comes Bicycle Route 66—the first all encompassing cycling map of the iconic byway. So finally, you can ditch the car and explore the most historic road in the U.S. on two wheels.

Most of the time it's as simple as asking, but there are a few other tricks to keep in your bag.

Ready to race? Check out these 20 events, carefully curated to provide intrepid newbie skiers, rock climbers, and trail runners a thrilling and welcoming competitive experience.

As America's favorite ski racers compete at the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships, a new book tells how they changed the game forever.

Regional airports put you closer to the action and feature great perks. Their biggest downside? Cost. So stop booking with money. And start saving.

In a new effort to protect national parks and wilderness areas from commercial photography, the feds have started going after amateur filmmakers with big social media followings.

This month, a bill was introduced that would limit presidential authority to protect the natural wonders of the U.S.—and it is far more likely to pass than its predecessors. Here's why that's a very bad idea.

The newest urban bike parks are bigger, better, and more beginner-friendly than ever

These backcountry lodges welcome dedicated skiers with warm bedding, home-cooked food, and sometimes even a sauna.

The Director of Programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council on the fights she faces in 2015, and how to get involved.

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