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Winter Weekend 
Getaways Near You

Heli-ski backcountry British Columbia, set up a camp in
a North Woods igloo,
dogsled to a Wyoming yurt. Here are 11 out-the-backdoor wonderlands.
Weekend escapes

Ouray Ice Park
Photo Gallery
Photo: Ice Climber

Ace photographer Steve Casimiro takes us up a vertical ice rink while ice climbing in Ouray, Colorado.
Ice-climbing photos

Ask Dr. Extreme

Q: I'm going to Laos for a
trip down the Mekong. Should I let bird flu alter my plans?
Find out the answer and send in your own question

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Paddling Croatia Photos and Video

Digital Cameras Review

Audio: Ed Viesturs

Travel Directory 

Adventure Travel

Adventures in Travel Expo

Robert Young Pelton's Travel Tips

Make Your Own Maps in 3-D
Become a virtual trail scout with National Geographic's new TOPO! software
Map: Trail Fly-Over
Fly over your favorite trails with TOPO!'s 3-D technology.

It has never been so geographically stimulating to stare at a computer screen. Over the past year, digital mapping's upgrades in navigation and functionality have swallowed the globe.

You will need a Flash Player to watch this fly-through of Colorado's stunning  Weminuche Wilderness Area. Download it here >>  To watch the fly-through again, refresh this page in your browser.

In February, National Geographic Maps releases its updated topographic mapmaking software for all 50 states, integrating the best of the desktop with the "live" benefits of the Web. What's new? With the new TOPO! Outdoor Recreation Mapping Software ($100 for each title; Mac and PC compatible;, you can draw a route through your favorite park on the high resolution maps, then launch an animated, 3-D "fly-through" along the trail.  To-be hikers can take in the view from atop a mountain or down a slot canyon to really get a feel for the terrain before leaving home.

Seamless United States Geological Survey (USGS) quad maps can now be updated through the Live Map Update feature, which automatically downloads updated quads to your desktop.  The program generates GPS waypoints and elevation charts for routes, and with Pocket TOPO!, you can download personalized maps to your Pocket PC or Palm.

The new TOPO! also links to maps available through National Geographic's mapXchange (, a network of customized maps posted by TOPO!'s other recreational cartographers.

Photo: Cover

Pick up the February 2006 issue for 36 amazing Hawaiian adventures, the most spectacular treks in Australia, 11 weekend escapes near you, and more.

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Image: Map mapXchange
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