October 8, 2022
Departure from Ketatahi
I arrived around sunrise at an empty Ketatahi Park and Ride. Several other hikers pulled in as I waited for our 7 am shuttle to Mangatepopo trailhead. But the massive car park would remain largely empty throughout the day. Early October was hardly “high season” for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. And shuttle service was still fairly limited.
Continue reading “Tongariro Alpine Crossing”
August 28, 2022
South Colony Lakes
Our truck ambled slowly up the rough road to the South Colony Lakes Trailhead. It was mid-morning on a gorgeous, sunny Saturday in late August. Puffy white clouds had begun to coagulate as we donned our packs and divvied up the climbing gear.
Continue reading “Crestone Needle via the Ellingwood Arete”
August 6, 2022
An early start
I set off from my campsite around 4:30 am. The beam of my headlamp produced a glowing cone of refracted light as it passed through the thick, foggy air. I signed the trail register at the ranger station. And then I began my trek towards Katahdin.
Continue reading “Katahdin and the Knife Edge via the Cathedral Trail”
May 16, 2022
Skógafoss lies in the south of Iceland roughly 2 hours from Reykjavik. The famed waterfall sits just off the “ring road” near the eponymous town of Skógar. The massive falls appear from the Ring Road, and tower above the large, dirt parking area.
Continue reading “Skógafoss and the hike of never-ending waterfalls”
November 24, 2021
The Nā Pali Coast of Kauai
You may not know it, but you’re probably quite familiar with Kauai’s Nā Pali Coast. Jurassic Park ostensibly takes place on an island near Costa Rica. But the original film sourced its lush, tropical landscapes from Kauai. And the iconic helicopter shots bookending the movie’s main events prominently feature this stunning, rugged coastline.
Continue reading “Hanakapi’ai Falls via the Kalalau Trail”
August 26, 2021
Views for Days
Colorado boasts an impressive roster of four national parks. Everyone knows Rocky Mountain National Park. It ranks among the most popular in the country, with roughly 4.4 million visitors in 2021 alone. But way over in the southwest corner of the state lies Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde ranks as Colorado’s least-visited, but arguably one of the nation’s most unique.
Continue reading “Mesa Verde National Park”
July 10, 2021
Loss of Traction
They say getting there is half the fun. Well, for many high trailheads in Colorado, getting there is half the struggle. Approaching the “summer trailhead” for Grays and Torreys proved no exception.
Continue reading “Grays and Torreys: the Great Divide”
June 3, 2021
They say the early bird catches the worm. But in Moab, Utah, the early bird catches brisk hikes to incredible sunrises—and way fewer crowds. And so I found myself breezing past a shuttered entrance booth at Arches National Park around 4:30 in the morning.
Continue reading “Delicate Arch at Sunrise (Arches NP)”
June 2, 2021
Arrival at the Devil’s Garden Trail
After entering the park at the crack of dawn, we drove in towards the very back of the main, paved roadway. The Devil’s Garden Trail is easily the biggest “main attraction” in the park. Its many spurs lead to 8 marquee arches, some more accessible than others. You can make this an easy two-mile out-and-back to Landscape Arch and call it a day. Or you can do a full 8-mile journey along the full loop + spurs, making this Arches one true “hiker’s hike”.
Continue reading “Devil’s Garden Trail (Arches NP)”
May 31, 2021
Arrival at Maroon Lake
Maroon Lake sits tucked away in the Elk Mountains, just southwest of Aspen, Colorado. A paved roadway winds its way up the narrow valley from town to the trailhead, just above 9,500′ above sea level. The trailhead serves as a portal to the vast Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness—a favorite among backpackers and alpinists alike.
Continue reading “Maroon Lake to Crater Lake (Maroon Bells)”