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

Underestimating the mountain: Reflections on a winter visit to 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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Winter Views from Pyramid Peak

Trail Guide: Winter Hiking Lake Tahoe’s Pyramid Peak via Rocky Canyon (~7 miles / 4,000’ / 4-6 hours)

Trail Guides

Now that I’m officially a Californian again, I’ve been playing catch up every time I get a chance as I work to get caught up on all the classic Sierra hikes. Pyramid Peak’s notoriety (also the looks) quickly pushed it towards the top of my list so with a base of snow finally starting to cover Tahoe, I snuck out for a winter style climb and what a climb it was – but we bagged it and returned with beta…

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Mendenhall Glacier

The Great Alaska Cruise: Stops & Sights From My Day in Juneau

Places to Visit

Day four of my Alaska cruise started out under dreary skies as we sat docked at Juneau’s harbor. With a long day in port, we were in no immediate rush to get off the boat though the call of Mendenhall Glacier was enough to push us along just as soon as we finished breakfast! It would be more than ten hours before I set foot back on the boat — Juneau just has that much to do. Morning Tour: Exploring Mendenhall Glacier…

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Exit Glacier from the Harding Icefield Trail

Trail Guide: Hiking to Alaska’s Exit Glacier & Harding Icefield (8.2 miles / 3500′ / 6+ hours)

Trail Guides

Long before I reached the last marker post, the Harding Icefield Trail at Exit Glacier had earned a place as one of my top 5-day hikes ever. That may not mean much if this is your first time visiting my blog but after climbing glacier filled slopes on Mount Rainier, exploring the floor of the Grand Canyon, and ascending the cables to the top of Yosemite’s Half Dome, I may not have been everywhere, but I’ve seen enough to know…

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Views from Lassen Peak Trail

Trail Guide: Hike the Cascade Volcano’s Lassen Peak (5 miles / 2000′ / 3-4 hours)

Trail Guides

From the main highway through Northern California, it’s easy to underestimate Mount Lassen’s character as it sits quietly in the distance. In truth however, the mountain is quite impressive and certainly the couple hours it will take to hike up the peak! Rising to a height of 10,457′, Lassen is makes a formidable appearance within the southern part of the Cascades Mountain Range. The volcano is still considered an active having last erupted from 1915 -1917 and gets a crazy…

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The Alaska Cruise: An Adventure Traveler’s Take on Cruising the Inside Passage & Glacier Bay

Adventures

All you can eat buffets, shuffleboard, formal dining, air-conditioned driving tour; though nice indulgences, multi-thousand passenger cruise ships are hardly known as an adventurous experience. But at the same time, what better is there to get a taste for the vastness of Alaska than cruising from port to port, sailing through the famous inside passage and into the heart of the iconic Glacier Bay? Alaska has always been on my dream list. In fact, I’ve been so enthralled with the…

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John Muir NPS Site

A Visit to the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, CA

Places to Visit

For me, the name John Muir invokes the vision of an expansive glacier or redwood tree filled forest with a small log cabin nearby. Indeed, I’ve heard of at least a couple such spots past and present around the places Muir visited but as the Muir house site shows, there is more to the story than just the naturalist & explorer personas we generally hear of. These days Martinez may seem far too much a part of the urban world to…

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