New from The Atlantic: Because place matters.

Scaling Alaska's Heights

The Editors

In February 1997, author Charles Thompson recommended travel "to this most naturally scenic of all U.S. capital cities," explaining that Juneau boasts five mountains that even novice hikers can conquer in a single day. It is "one of the few places where the casual hiker can gain entry into the mountaineer's mystical world without the climber's skills and trappings, and may better understand the mountaineer's love of high places and his urge to journey into otherwise unreachable wilderness."

Descending from the mountain, the hiker can walk all the way back to his or her downtown hotel in plenty of time to shower for the cocktail hour. But cleaning up isn't strictly necessary: Juneau is, after all, a frontier city.

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