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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Camp fires prohibited sign (winter in the gorge )

The West Coast is On Fire and It Sucks

Travel Talk

I promised myself that I would spend this afternoon catching up on stories about the wonders of my Alaska trip last week but as I look through my windows to the haze, smoke, and ash from the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge, Alaska seems like another world. If you’re not familiar, fires are raging all around the west coast. Here in the Portland area, the Eagle Creek fire (named after the iconic trail where the fire started)…

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Rainier Up Close!

Trail Guide: Hiking Mount Rainier’s Burroughs Mountains (6 miles / 1,700’+ / 3 hours)

Trail Guides

For the few months of the year it’s accessible, the Sunrise Area in Mount Rainier offers an incredible view of the Emmons glacier and the mountain from the Northeast. While it can be a long drive  across the windy roads, the area is full of impressive sights, life, and of course hikes. After a few visits exploring around on my own this summer, I decided to stop in at the Visitor Center to get the Ranger’s recommendations on where to trek…

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Sunrise from Camp Muir

Weekend Dispatches: Sunrise Hike to Camp Muir (Mount Rainier)

Outdoor Adventures

Climbing Mt. Rainier alpine style, I’ve caught a couple incredible sunrises along the upper slopes of the mountain over the years but never had the chance to sit down and enjoy the view. This weekend after getting shut out on permits, I decided to fix that and set out in the dead of night on Sunday morning to make the 4,680′ hike up to Camp Muir (elevation approx. 10,100′). Even heading up  in the darkness, it was obvious just how…

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Standing by the Side of Lake Ingalls

Trail Guide: Hiking Lake Ingalls in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness (11 miles / 2,500’++ / 5-6+ hours)

Trail Guides

An up close view of the mighty Mount Stuart, distant glances to Rainier and Adams, hills covered in wildflowers, streams cutting through grass valleys, rocky scrambles, regular mountain goat appearances, and a massive alpine lake? I suppose it should come as no surprise that it only took a few days from the time I saw a photo of Lake Ingalls until I was on my way to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest to check it out for myself. If you’re reading this…

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