Browsing Tag

national parks

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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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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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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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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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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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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