El Captain from 4 Mile Trail

Trail Guide: Hiking Yosemite’s 4 Mile Trail to Glacier Point (3,250′ / 9.6 miles / 5-8 hours)

Trail Guides

I’ll admit it, the idea of hiking up a trail you can drive to the top of at times is a little strange but beyond the solid workout and sense of accomplishment, there’s something to be said for taking the scenic route– that something of course being the scenery. Yosemite Valley is home to many incredible hikes: There’s the Mist Trail, Half Dome Hike, The Upper Falls and on and on but don’t underestimate 4 mile. In winter (also early…

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Mount St. Helens Summit View in Spring

Spring Adventures: Photos from Climbing Mount St. Helens


After a late winter, Spring has most certainly rolled into the Pacific Northwest and things look great! Actually, it may be a little too nice out there, at least for those of us who like alpine climbs as the recent warm temps have the snow melting down fast so get to the mountains now. But for now there’s still snow up high and great conditions for adventures. (For more on climbing Mount St Helens in Winter & Spring, see my trail…

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Warning signs on the trail are there for a reason - mostly

Prepare for the worst, enjoy the best: A few words on adventuring safely…

Travel Talk

I write about trails, mountain climbs and other adventures. While it should be pretty obvious, let me perfectly clear: these are all inherently risky things to do. Under the best conditions, on the perfect day, and with all the right planning, things can still go wrong — very wrong.  If you want to be totally safe, stick to the photos. That’s not to be an alarmist or try and scare you out of an adventure, I’m just being honest. In…

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Coast Views from Route 1 to Big Sur

Road Trip: Driving California’s Highway 1 to the “End of the Road” at Big Sur’s Mud Creek Slide

Road Trips

It was a little over a year ago (that’s back in early 2017 depending on when you’ve stumbled on this post) that a series of winter storms wrecked havoc on stretch of Northern California’s Highway 1 around Big Sur. All told, something like a million tons of dirt and rock came down destroying bridges, road ways, and entirely altering the coast. Early on there were several slides and road closures but most of those have since been cleared with some…

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Vernal Falls Rainbow

Spring is the time for waterfalls! Photos from hiking the Mist Trail and Upper Yosemite Falls

Outdoor Adventures

Yosemite has something to offer in every season but when it comes to its waterfalls, nothing compares to Spring. This year, winter rolled in late and while the overall snow-pack in the high country is sadly well under average (67% as of 4/1/2018), the final storms have made for plenty of snow to melt on down and fill the rivers below. They even had to close the Valley for a few days as it flooded over. With less snow up…

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Unknown climber heading up Mount Shasta in Snow

Trail Guide: Hiking to Mount Shasta’s Horse Camp & Lake Helen (~6 miles / 3,500′ / 5-7 hours)

Trail Guides

Located at 10,400, Lake Helen is probably best known as a mid-point & camp on the climb up Mount Shasta but even if a summit is not on the list for today, making the nearly 3,500′ trek up is a great adventure — and way to train for a climb to come. Of course before I really begin to share this tale / part of the climb / intro to mountain day hike, it’s worth explaining that reaching Lake Helen…

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View from 4 Mile trail in Winter

Nothing Routine About It: A Winter Visit to Yosemite’s 4 Mile Trail

Trail Guides

Yosemite is magical any time of year but if you’re lucky enough to make a visit when winter hits the park, you’ll find that the magic rises to a whole other level. Of course, the stunning effects of winter bring a few new challenges to any visit, especially on the trails… and certainly those that climb out of the valley floor like 4-mile! I’ve hiked 4-mile trail to Glacier Point a couple times and while it’s a solid climb in…

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The bridge to point bonita lighthouse

Trail Guide: Hiking San Francisco’s Point Bonita Lighthouse (<200' / 1 mile / 1 hour)

Places to Visit Trail Guides

Usually I write about mountain climbs and day-long trails, but some adventures come without the big effort and yet are just as worthy of a spot on the bucket list. These gems are easy to miss in the quest for all-day adventures and it took me over 30 years as a Californian to cross this one off my own list but let me tell you, with it’s impressive history and exciting trail Point Bonita Lighthouse is definitely one of those places you have…

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Climbing Lassen Peak in Winter

Never underestimate the mountain: A winter attempt on Lassen Peak

Outdoor Adventures Trail Guides

I don’t imagine I’ll be setting any speed ascent records or making notable first ascents in the alpine world in this life time but after a few years of regular mountain adventures, I’ve become pretty comfortable with a solid day out climbing. So, when the idea of a winter trip to Lassen Peak came up, I figured it would be no big deal. That’s not to say we took it lightly — there was plenty of research, prep, all the…

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Trail Guide: Winter Hiking to Lake Tahoe’s Round Top Mountain (~2,000 / 8 miles / 4-6 hours)

Trail Guides

One of the reasons I’m drawn to big mountains is of course those summit views: the further up you go, the less is in the way and all. While getting above everything else often requires a lot of effort, sometimes we luck out and find an amazing view that’s a lot closer to the road (or at least a lot less uphill.) That brings me to Round Top Mountain, a Tahoe Area hike that tops out at over 10,000′. A…

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