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Article updated: 4/28/2013 8:57 AM

Hard-core hiking a backcountry adventure

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By going on guided trips with accomplished hikers like Andrew Skurka, you can discover places most others can't, like Banner Peak in the Ansel Adams Wilderness in Yosemite National Park in California.

Associated Press

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Hikers make their way through an area of Yosemite National Park that lacks trails in Stubblefield Canyon. Outdoor adventurer Andrew Skurka, right, has hiked tens of thousands of miles alone in wild areas across the U.S.

Associated Press

Getting off Yosemite National Park's extensive trail system means hikers can see pristine areas like this where fewer people pass through.

Associated Press

Hikers on a guided backcountry trip in Yosemite National Park near Stubblefield Canyon. For hikers looking for a challenge, off-trail trips to the backcountry offer adventure and access to less-crowded, pristine areas of the park.

Associated Press

About this Article

A few loose, fist-sized rocks tumbled by as we hiked down a steep mountain pass over unstable terrain, off trail deep in Yosemite's wilderness. Our guides were two of the world's most accomplished hikers, Andrew Skurka and Brian Robinson. We were far enough from help that Skurka had reminded everyone that a serious injury here would probably mean the most expensive helicopter ride we would ever have. This was fun.
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    • By going on guided trips with accomplished hikers like Andrew Skurka, you can discover places most others can't, like Banner Peak in the Ansel Adams Wilderness in Yosemite National Park in California.
    • Hikers make their way through an area of Yosemite National Park that lacks trails in Stubblefield Canyon. Outdoor adventurer Andrew Skurka, right, has hiked tens of thousands of miles alone in wild areas across the U.S.
    • Getting off Yosemite National Park’s extensive trail system means hikers can see pristine areas like this where fewer people pass through.
    • Hikers on a guided backcountry trip in Yosemite National Park near Stubblefield Canyon. For hikers looking for a challenge, off-trail trips to the backcountry offer adventure and access to less-crowded, pristine areas of the park.
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