Friday, August 28, 2009

The Top 10 Outdoor Websites

The other day I decided to put together a list of my top 10 outdoor related websites. The list includes outdoor news, hiking, trails and blogs that I find useful and/or entertaining. Maybe you’ll discover a new site from this list for yourself.

Of course, to remain completely unbiased, I left out of this analysis - just to be fair…

So, in no particular order, here is my list:

Although I just said that I wouldn’t list these sites in order, I’m going to break that rule right from the start. For me, Summit Post is heads and shoulders above all other outdoor websites. Although the site is completely user generated, you’ll find most posters to be great story tellers. You’ll find excellent articles, stunning photography and informative trip reports for hiking, mountaineering and climbing spots all over the world. is another excellent website for people looking for detailed information on hiking and climbing the 53 peaks that rise above 14,000 feet in Colorado. The site is well organized, includes difficulty and exposure ratings, as well as plenty of route pictures and information on how to get to each trailhead.

Discovering Lewis and Clark - this website includes an overwhelming amount of information on the ultimate American adventurers. In addition to finding articles dealing with different aspects or events of the expedition, you can find excerpts from the journals, coupled with commentary offering historical background. You can also listen to the day by day radio accounts of the expedition that originally aired on Yellowstone Public Radio during the bicentennial (2004-2006).

Knowing that Smoky Scout finished her Girl Scout Challenge back in April, that is, hiking all 800+ miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains – in one year - to raise money for the Scouts, you would think that she would be ready for a long rest. That hasn’t been the case. In late spring, as her husband bicycled the Blue Ridge Parkway, she spent time hiking the many trails along the way. Just recently she returned from a backpacking trip in the Grand Tetons and is in the process of documenting that trip on her blog as well. With excellent articles and photos, her blog has become a great resource for hikers.

The National Parks Traveler is, as you might expect, everything about our national parks. The only way that you could know more about what’s going on across the entire national parks system is to work at the Department of Interior offices in Washington DC.

Anyone who has read this blog for a long time will know that I’m a cyclist and a pro cycling fan. There’s no better way to keep up with what’s going on in the cycling world than checking in on VeloNews. John Wilcockson in particular is an excellent features writer.

I recently discovered This is a great resource for organizing and researching multi-day canoe trips. Although I’ve never done any multi-day canoeing, I’ve had my eye on a few trips, including the Green River in Utah, the upper-Missouri in Montana (Lewis and Clark country!) and the St. Croix in Wisconsin.

The Adventure Blog is the best source for keeping up with all things adventure. Kraig Becker, the author, has all the latest news and updates on adventurers, expeditions and epic races from around the world.

The Highpointers Guide is an excellent resource for anyone seeking information about reaching the highest point in each state. My wife and I have been passively knocking out state high points during vacations over the last couple of years. To date we’ve reached the highest point in 13 states, including Colorado and New Mexico. There are a few we know we’ll never do, namely Denali in Alaska, but we do hope to settle for about 40 before hanging up our boots.

Buck Track is Bruce "Buck" Nelson’s personal website. Bruce is a modern day explorer. Although it appears he isn’t currently doing anything, it was fun tracking his blog last year as he hiked the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada. Prior to that, he did a solo 1000-mile trek across the Brooks Range of Alaska. He has a nice short video on his site documenting that trip (you can also buy the extended DVD).

Alright, what do you guys think? Are there any sites that I missed that should be included on this list?

Jeff Detailed information on trails in the Smoky Mountains; includes trail descriptions, key features, pictures, video, maps, elevation profiles, news, and more.

Smoky Mountain Day Hikers Store


Danny Bernstein said...

Hi Jeff:
I'm delighted that you named Smoky Scout one of your top 10 blogs. Her stories and pictures are great!
I want to put in a plug for my blog
if I may.
I blog about my hiking, mostly in the Souther Appalachians.
I'm a member of the Smokies Elk Bugle Corps in Catalooche and I always let you know what's happening with the elk.
Check it out and keep on blogging.

Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Danny - thank for the heads-up on your blog. I just book-marked it and will check it out soon.


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Josh said...

Great information! I really enjoyed it and have added some of the sites to my bookmarks. I would also like to suggest my outdoor store which has 100s of products needed for hiking and expeditions as well as a detailed learning center with lots of how to guides for tackling the outdoors. Let me know what you think about it!