Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I'm thinking Google Earth. Every hike on the planet is there somewhere.
But seriously, I realize you are a new member and maybe you are new at using the Internet and forums like this, but questions like this one will get you nowhere, literally. Like aimless said, it's a big world out there.
Therefore, if you expect to get answers you can actually use, you need to spend some time thinking about your questions before posting them.
Just ask yourself, how would you answer this same question for someone else you didn't know anything about, including where they live, what they want to see, how much experience they have or anything else other than a screenname?
ps. I'm not saying this to be mean or embarass you; take it as a lesson. The members here are very generous with their time and information, but they can't help you unless you are as specific as possible about what you want to know.
Don't get me started, you know how I get.
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I "Googled" "weekend backpacking" and found quite a few links that looked promising.
Then I Googled "weekend backpacking destinations" and that brings up some very interesting possibilities too.
Choose an area that interest you and add it to the google query like so, "weekend backpacking Taos" and that will bring up more specific info.
When you find a site with info on place that peaks your interests write the author an email and ask some questions. I get emails about the Ozarks from people that stumble across a site I have about hiking and outdoors stuff in the area. I'm always glad to help with directions, maps, and advice for areas I'm familiar with.
If you have a local backpacking shop, go there. Ask the staff (and even other customers that seem to know the staff) where they like to go. Also, most local shops have a book section; it usually isn't very large, but it contains mostly hiking guides, often with a heavy local tilt.
REI is usually also a good source. However, their book section tends to be a little more generic and a little less local.
Finally, go to the local bookstore (including Barnes and Noble or Borders.) Look two places: Local Interest and Sports (Outdoor Sports, Camping, Backpacking, Mountaineering.) Occasionally you can find something in the Travel section, too.
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