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Trail Guides

Ralston Peak Summit View

Trail Guide: Hiking Lake Tahoe’s Ralston Peak via Camp Sacramento (~2,800′ / ~6 miles / 5+ hours)

Trail Guides

Every time I reach the top of one of the peaks around Lake Tahoe, I feel like I spot a dozen more that I need to explore, it’s an endless adventure! For that reason (and some misunderstood advice), it took me almost a year to get to hike Ralston Peak so let me spare you from my mistake and say this: you want to do this trail, it’s truly one of the best! Ralston may not be the highest mountain…

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Trail Guide: Hiking Yosemite’s Mist Trail for Vernal & Nevada Waterfall Views (2,000′ / 5.4 miles / 4-5 hours)

Trail Guides

If you love waterfalls (and really, who doesn’t) and don’t mind getting a little wet to stand right beside not one but two incredible ones, than the Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls is for you. Unfortunately it’s not just for you; on a nice spring or summer day literally thousands of people make this hike so while it’s one to experience, it’s not one to find solitude on. None the less, with an early start (think sunrise, or…

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Me on the summit of Tallac

Trail Review: Hiking Tahoe’s Mount Tallac Trail (3,300′ / 10 miles / 5-8 hours)

Trail Guides

There are trails that are popular because of hype and trails that earn their crowds and Mount Tallac is definitely in the later group. Hiking Mount Tallac was my first adventure in the Lake Tahoe area when I moved to California and while others have added to my love of the area, there’s a reason why I’m glad to return to it at any time. Why is that you ask? Well, there’s just so much to make Mt. Tallac worth…

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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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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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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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