Category archive for Trail Write-Ups

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Hiking Boynton Canyon

The red rock box canyon of Boynton is considered one of the most scenic in Sedona … which, if you’ve spent some time gawking at the rocks in Sedona, you know is really saying something. For visitors to the Arizona town, Boynton is a great choice because it doesn’t require any backcountry driving to reach — but for locals it…

read » September 23, 2016
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Hiking Long Canyon

A beautiful trek into red rock canyon country that keeps a slow but steady climb, Long Canyon is a great mid-length day hike near Sedona. You’ll pass some surprising riparian vegetation and head into ponderosa pine country. The keen-eyed may spot Sinaguan ruins and petroglyphs, while the vibrationally-tuned may tap into the storied Long Canyon Vortex. The trail to Long…

read » September 21, 2016
Big Baldy Ridge

Hiking Big Baldy Ridge

This prominent north-south trending ridge divides the Redwood Canyon and the Stony Creek Canyon along the boundary of Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Forest. The ridge gets its name from the large, barren exfoliation dome at the southernmost point of the ridge. From the summit of Big Baldy, you’ll gain a spectacular view across two major watersheds, several western…

read » September 21, 2016
Lost Lake

Hike the Lost Lake Trail

The Lost Lake Trail is a classic hike in Colorado. It’s also one of those “all around” hikes, not too long, not too difficult, and the scenery is the iconic stuff Colorado is made of. This makes it a very popular hike in the warmer months, but it is also a great trail for snowshoeing in the winter. It’s not hard…

read » September 20, 2016
Pipiwai Trail

Hiking the Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls

The Road to Hana is one of those quintessential Maui activities that, along with whale watching or watching the sunrise from Haleakala, every visitor feels obliged to do. This 64.4 mile drive along Maui’s northeast shore winds in and out of countless gullies, passing waterfalls and ocean vistas. For most people, the drive is the highlight itself, since the town of…

read » September 20, 2016
Cahuilla Mountain

Hiking Cahuilla Mountain

Standing aloof from the forested ridges and mountaintops bounding Anza Valley, the rugged, wooded heights of Cahuilla Mountain offer superb views, backcountry camping, meadows, wildflowers, and an unexpected forest of pines and black oaks. The peak lies within the Cahuilla Mountain Wilderness overseen by San Bernadino National Forest. Three to fours times a year, I head out to the Idyllwild area…

read » September 19, 2016
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Hike the Long Logs Trail to the Agate House

Walk through one of the largest concentrations of petrified wood in the park to the base of a 700-year old 8-room home constructed with the ancient logs. The Long Logs trail takes you along an ancient logjam, where years of floods and mudslides buried a pile of conifer trees, which eventually became one of the areas inside Petrified Forest National…

read » September 15, 2016
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Hike the Giant Logs Trail

An easy, paved walk behind the Rainbow Forest Museum that introduces visitors to an excellent grouping of petrified trees, including some of the largest and most colorful in the National Park. A log known as “Old Faithful” measures almost ten feet wide at its base! For first-time visitors to Petrified Forest National Park coming in from the south entrance, the…

read » September 15, 2016
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Hike the Crystal Forest

Crystal Forest is home to a moderately easy hiking loop through a dense collection of petrified wood, offering both expansive vistas of Petrified Forest National Park and some up-close experiences with the ancient trees turned modern day stones. If you’re headed to Petrified Forest National Park, odds are you’re eventually going to want to see some petrified wood, right? There…

read » September 14, 2016
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Hike Puerco Pueblo

Hike an easy, paved path at the largest archeological site in Petrified Forest National Park to take a step back in time to a pueblo containing around 100 rooms and a large plaza. A beautiful place to enjoy the history of the Southwest, this region is also full of petroglyphs — including one that puts on a special show on…

read » September 14, 2016
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Hike the Blue Mesa

This relatively easy, paved path into the heart of the otherworldly Blue Mesa member of the Chinle rock formation. Walk through and around badlands that look like strange melted ice cream, and spot chunks of petrified wood all along the ground. If you spend any time in the Colorado Plateau, you’re going to eventually become familiar with the Chinle Formation.…

read » September 13, 2016
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Hiking the El Prado Loop in Balboa Park

From 1915-1916, the city of San Diego held an exposition on the site of what was then known as City Park to commemorate the opening of the Panama Canal. In honor of the occasion, exposition planners re-christened the park after Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, the Spaniard who first sighted the Pacific Ocean during Spain’s exploration of Panama. Many of the buildings…

read » September 12, 2016
Chief Mountain Trail

Hike to Chief Mountain

Colorado is home to some of the tallest peaks in the country. With 53 peaks that rank taller than 14,000 ft., it’s safe to say Colorado is prime time “fourteener country”. Hiking to the top of one is something many strive for. Some might do it to see how fast they can summit, and some might do it because it’s a challenge. But…

read » September 7, 2016
Lundy Canyon (13)

Hiking Lundy Canyon

Whenever I embark on a discussion about the merits and demerits of the Southern California climate, inevitably somebody brings up the deplorable “lack” of fall color. People point at the ornamental liquid ambers on the street and scoff at the non-native trees as if this is California’s sorry excuse for one of the better spectacles the natural world has to offer. I…

read » September 6, 2016
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Hiking Tillamook Head Trail in Ecola State Park

From the northern Tillamook Head trailhead, hikers will be treated to a dense — and damp — coastal rain forest. The town of Seaside, just to the north of the trailhead, has an average of 194 days of precipitation each year and an average annual rainfall accumulation of more than 6 feet. So if you’re headed here for a hike, be…

read » September 1, 2016
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Hiking Oneonta Gorge

For years, Northwestern hikers were aware of Oneonta Gorge. They enjoyed it, the stories go, but nobody was crazy about it — certainly not worth dealing with a crowded trailhead or dozens of other hikers on the route, especially when there were so many other phenomenal hiking options so close by. But then, as is often the case, social media…

read » August 31, 2016
Lahaina Pali (11)

Hiking Lahaina Pali

Before the arrival of Europeans, ancient Mauians needed to find a way around a particularly rugged stretch of coastline dominated by sea cliffs, jagged lava outcrops, and rough surf. If one of these Hawaiians was not lucky enough to know somebody willing to lend a canoe, they’d have to find another way to get around this inhospitable terrain. The early…

read » August 22, 2016
Berry Creek Falls

Hiking the Berry Creek Falls Loop

Deep in the heart of California’s oldest state park lie a trio of waterfalls crashing into grottos shaded by towering redwood trees. The popular Berry Creek Falls loop visits these waterfalls via a moderately difficult loop passing through pristine, old-growth redwoods nestled into the large basin that lends this park its name. Big Basin lies in the western half of the Santa…

read » August 12, 2016
canyon de chelly

Hike the White House Ruins in Canyon de Chelly

This three mile trip from the rim to the floor of the canyon stops near the famous White House Ruins and is the only trail in the entire Canyon de Chelly National Monument that can be hiked without a Navajo guide or Park Ranger. Canyon de Chelly National Monument is a unique unit of the National Park Service for several…

read » August 11, 2016
Sugar Pine Trail

Hiking the Sugar Pine Trail

This moderate looping hike features the world’s tallest pine, the sugar pine. As the trail follows the southern rim of the Giant Forest Plateau between Moro Rock and Crescent Meadow, you’ll see numerous examples of this graceful tree. You’ll also enjoy sweeping views from Bobcat Point, a stop at Crescent Meadow, and a beautiful pond along Crescent Creek. Giant Forest…

read » August 10, 2016