Ute Trail up Aspen Mountain

June 4, 2021

Hiking Aspen Mountain

Aspen, Colorado needs no introduction. But here it is anyways: a former mining town turned real-estate powerhouse, home to four world-class ski areas. Folks can and do spend entire weeks in Aspen simply shopping and dining and relaxing by glitzy hotel pools. But the outdoor recreation opportunities here are just as jaw-dropping as the nightly hotel rates.

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Mount Sherman via the Southwest Ridge Trail

May 28, 2021


I arrived via Four Mile Creek Road, shortly after dawn. I parked just after “horseshoe bend” and the last improved structure, in a large parking lot around 11,400′. Among Colorado’s Fourteeners, Mount Sherman is known for having perhaps the shortest vertical ascent. In summer, the “trailhead” begins at a locked gate in the road at 12,000′. But in late May, you need to park roughly 600 vertical feet further downhill.

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Rattlesnake Arches (McInnis Canyons)

May 2, 2021

Arrival at Pollock Bench

I found myself back in Grand Junction on a Sunday in May for round two of my COVID-19 vaccination. The next morning I’d receive a jab at a local pharmacy before driving back to Denver and the Front Range. Four weeks prior, vaccine appointments were impossible to book in the Front Range and high country, but Mesa County had plenty of free slots. Sadly, as of this writing (August 2021), Mesa County remains largely unvaccinated, with rapidly rising case counts.

But on this Sunday my goals involved something entirely different: a long hike through desert canyons to see the remote and beautiful Rattlesnake Arches.

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Mount Bierstadt in Spring (1.8 times)

April 24, 2021

Guanella Pass Road

We arrived in the pre-dawn hours at Guanella Pass campground. Or more accurately, I arrived. My hiking buddy that day decided to camp out in his truck at 11,000′ on this cold, snowy spring morning. I tapped the frosted, translucent glass a couple of times to let him know I arrived. And a moment later, an incandescent glow filled the cab, letting me know he was in fact conscious.

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Cinder Cone Nature Trail (Lassen NP)

October 24, 2020

Arrival at Butte Lake

California lays claim to nine national parks, as of 2021—more than any other state. Some parks attract millions of annual visitors: Yosemite and Joshua Tree clocked 4.4mn and 3.0mn visitors, as of 2019. Luckily for NorCal adventurers, Lassen Volcanic flies comparatively under the radar. The park has seen just over half a million visitors, annually, over the past few years.

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South Sister

South SIster's summit glacier.

September 4, 2020

An Early Start

The day began well before dawn at the South Sister trailhead. It’s always smart to start a hike as early as feasible. But today this was doubly the case since it was Labor Day weekend and the forecast called for soaring temps by midday. Sure enough the parking lot was already starting to fill around 4:30 am.

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