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Adventure Magazine

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Sizing Up the Classics
Find out how the Grail Trails compare in elevation, wilderness, and vertical gains and losses. By Jim Gorman

Stairmaster Graph
The Stairmaster
While shorter in length and lower in elevation than its peers to the west, the AT nonetheless packs a vertical wallop: Mile for mile, the AT gains (and loses) nearly twice the vertical footage of the others. Triple Crown hikers who have trod all three long trails concur: The AT is the toughest to hike.

Greenest Miles Graph
The Greenest Miles
The PCT passes through more federal wilderness areas (47 separate units) for significantly longer stretches than its rivals

The High Road Graph
The High Road
Across its 800-mile (1,287-kilometer) Colorado segment, the high-flying CDT averages 11,000-plus feet (3,352-plus meters) in elevation. At right are the highest 40- to 50-mile (64- to 80-kilometer) stretches of each trail.

Illustrations courtesy of Ryan Fleming

For the complete guide to America's Grail Trails, including three spectacular maps, pick up the June/July issue of Adventure.

From the print edition, June/July 2004

Grail Trails: The Appalachian, The Pacific Crest, and The Continental Divide
- Sizing Up the Classics
Off the Face of the Earth: Holocaust survival in the underground labyrinths of western Ukraine
Southbound on the Mekong: The pristine mountain jungle, ancient Khmer ruins, and sacred Buddhist caves of tiny Laos
Health: A World of Hurt: What's ailing the next generation of outdoor athletes

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June/July 2004

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