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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

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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Redwood Challenge Trail Map

How to Have a Fun Day at Disneyland as an Adventure Traveler

Places to Visit

Ok, you’ve stumbled across a blog that regularly talks about snow covered trails, far off mountains and wilderness trips to read about about Disneyland, confused? You shouldn’t be! While many adventure travelers go out seeking solitude and nature, it wouldn’t be very adventurous if not for the adrenaline and experience too — something which theme parks are all about! And I’ll gladly admit it, I’m a Disneyland fanatic; long before I moved to the Pacific Northwest or picked up my…

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Mount Shasta from Highway 5

Trail Review: Late Season Climbing on Mount Shasta via Clear Creek (16 miles, 7,600′, 1-2 days)

Adventures Trail Guides

Trail details last updated 10/5/2015. Around the start of October my climbing partner shot me a text with the impossible: we both had four days off and the weather was playing nice! After an adventurous year for both of us (our first full alpine season), we were left in a quandary as most of the good climbs were done and dirt or something we’d already been to and then Shasta came up. As a native Northern Californian you’d think I would know…

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Half Dome's Cables from a Distance

[Trail Guide] Hike Yosemite’s Infamous Half Dome Cable (14-16.5 miles, 4,800′, 10-14 hours)

Adventures Trail Guides

Trail details last updated 3/27/2017. At 8,842′, Half Dome is hardly the tallest peak in Yosemite National Park. Heck, if you drive in through Tioga Pass you’ll be near 10,000′ just passing by the ranger station (it’s well worth exploring the northern part of the park FYI. But what Half Dome lacks in prominence superiority it more than makes up for in visual dominance, iconic status and potentially fear factor. It is one of those wonders you can’t just see once so no surprise that hiking…

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Schonchin Butte @ Lava Beds Monument (1.5 Mile Out & Back / 500′ / 1-2 hours)

Trail Guides

Lava Beds National Monument is probably most visited for its endless caves and Native American history but with over 46,000 acres of land that appears more like Hawaii than California, just looking around is quite spectacular. Thankfully getting a great look is pretty easy as the main parts of the park are fairly flat and all you really need is a hill to get up and over it all. That’s where Schonchin Butte comes in. The butte its self rises…

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Lava Beds National Monument: The Hidden Northern California Road Trip Stop You Must Make

Places to Visit

Not long after I started this blog up I took a road trip to Oregon pretty much randomly driving north to get there. Along the way I quite literally stumbled upon a sign for Lava Beds National Monument which I took for some sort of peak or small display and off I went to find it. When I got there and discovered it was actually an entire park (monument is a classification I guess?) but had only a few hours…

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