Hiking and Climbing: The Bucket List

These trips are for travelers in the slow lane: Two miles an hour on their own two feet. It's for those who go over mountain and through forests, exploring the world one step at a time. From the snows of Kilimanjaro to the two-billion-year-old rocks at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, our writers have hiked, trekked, climbed, scrambled, ambled, tramped, and just plain walked through thousands -- yes, thousands -- of miles of the most scenic terrain on earth.

High Force

Seeking the Teesdale Assemblage, County Durham, England

The Durham Dales often take one a tiny step beyond the magic. While their more illustrious southern neighbours, the Yorkshire Dales have their own unarguable beauties, I always feel that Weardale and Teesdale offer just that little bit extra. And Read More

Devil's Lake from the top

Studying the Ice Age at Devils Lake, Wisconsin

The difference could not be more stark than if I had flown to the moon. Less than a half an hour ago, I'd been dodging shrieking, laughing kids headed for waterpark fun in one of the many family-oriented resort-and-amusement parks of the Wisconsin Read More

Blue Mountain coffee in bloom.

Getting High in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains

Folks are friendly in the mountains of Jamaica, but in an unpracticed way. They will tell you how to behave and it’s always best to listen for your own sake: They’re almost always right. Then they’ll tell you a funny story. Definitely listen to Read More

Carving at the Trees of Mystery park in Klamath, California (Photo MCArnott)

Pondering Old Growth Forests at the Trees of Mystery in Klamath, California

I am looking at the top of a tree that is so tall, I have to hug it to keep my balance. Let's do the math: It was a seedling around the time Christopher Columbus discovered America. Before the 1800s, the American Northwest was still a dangerous Read More

The entrance through the Passion facade (Ann Burnett)

Awe-struck at the Sagrada Familia Basilica, Barcelona, Spain

Our first view of the Sagrada Familia is from the top of Montjuic Hill at the end of the funicular ride up from the Ave Paral.lel. My eyes sweep over the panorama below Barcelona, and then, rising above it, the unmistakeable shape of Gaudi’s Read More

Canyons Chairlift (Canyons Resort)

Climbing Through Golden Aspens in Park City, Utah

As a New Englander, I’m spoiled for foliage. I have always smugly believed in the superiority of our country roads lined in red maples. Then I saw mile after mile of Utah mountainsides painted in bright yellow aspens; it broadened my view. And it Read More

'Roman Legionaries', Housesteads Fort

Following the Roman Legions Along Hadrian’s Wall

As I left the car park at the side of Cawfields Quarry, I was glad of the breeze, for the day promised to be hot. I followed the footpath along the pond’s edge, past the tall quarry face and gently uphill to the walls of Milecastle 42. The section of Read More

View of Machu Picchu from Mountain Machu Picchu (©photocoen)

Climbing the Machu Picchu Mountain in Peru

As Peru was going to be the next country on my itinerary in South America, I read the Buckettripper account of my colleague Grace Lichtenstein about climbing the Huayna Picchu, one of the mountains at the famous Machu Picchu ruins, with specific Read More

Lighthouse at Pot du Phare (Photo credit: Roberta Sotonoff ©2012)

Birding the Quebec Maritimes’ Islands near Rivière-du-Loup

The Quebec Maritimes are a haven for people like me who are into nature. This northern part of Quebec along the St. Lawrence River provides both a serene escape from the city and incredible scenery. Jagged rock formations erupt from the water. Birds Read More

Seneca Rocks WV

Squeezing Through Stones in Seneca Rocks, West Virginia

Sitting on the deck of the Front Porch Restaurant, chowing down on a slice of pizza, I had a grandstand view of the rock climbers scrambling up above me. Distinctly tilted and sparkling in the summer sun, the 900 foot tall wall of quartzite has Read More

Seymour Tower and Intertidal Reef (photo: Anthony Toole)

Crossing Jersey’s Intertidal Reef to the Seymour Tower

Along the south-east coast of Jersey, stretching from St Helier to Gorey, the seabed is so shallow that at low tide an area of 17.5 square kilometres becomes exposed, making this one of the largest intertidal reefs in the world. Because of this, the Read More

View of Sugar Loaf from Cristo Redentor Statue (©Coen Wubbels)

Marveling from the Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Thus far thick traffic and having to watch my back had made me wary of the city but after a leisurely walk up the Sugar Loaf, I took in the view and suddenly understood the spell that visitors as well as Cariocas – Rio de Janeiro's residents – fall Read More

The Beautiful Blue Coast of Heybeliada

Ferrying to the Princes’ Islands in Istanbul

On the ferries to Princes’ Islands, I would always drink copious amounts of tea. Waiters with dangling trays roamed up and down the decks touting chai for less than a dollar, delivering a tear-drop Turkish tea cup on a little glass saucer, complete Read More

The Lone Swimmer

Swimming in Sacred Water: Semuc Champey of Guatemala

As I look down from the heights of El Mirador, the pools of Semuc Champey appear as expanses of turquoise set between limestone ridges. It occurs to me that El Mirador -- it means a viewpoint -- is a name far too common in Central America or, at the Read More

Beautiful tufa towers of Mono Lake. Photo by Yvette Cardozo.

Wandering The Tufa Towers Of Mono Lake

Years ago, I stopped at California’s Mono Lake on a bike trip. I was hot, tired and ready for the day to end. I briefly looked at the lake’s famous tufa mounds, felt the greasy, salt-laden water and left. I’ve always wanted to go back. And Read More

Macaws rescued from illegal trafficking in Bolivia (©Coen Wubbels)

Taking a Break at Biocentro Güembé in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

"Another Inca ruin?" "Again so many hours in a bus?" "Can't we go swimming somewhere?" "More markets? I want to go swimming! Please!" I don't have kids but I can imagine this being a frequent scene between kids and parents on vacation (or Read More

Looking into the grand Canyon

Day Hiking the Grand Canyon in Northern Arizona

The trail doesn't seem especially steep going down, but the faces of people hauling themselves back up tell a different story. Truth is: While the grade might not seem rigorous when you're descending, it is constant. Constant equals relentless on the Read More

Catwalk to watch the Garganta do Diablo from up close (©Coen Wubbels)

Watching a 360-degree Rainbow in Iguaçu National Park, Brazil

The waterfalls of Iguaçu have been credited with all kinds of superlatives: the best, the highest, the largest, the most spectacular, the deepest, the most impressive. They create expectations and because my partner Coen and I like to get what we Read More

Machu Picchu seen from Huayna Picchu

Hiking Above Machu Picchu: Peru’s Huayna Picchu Climb

Machu Picchu is almost a cliché on Bucket Lists. It’s the most famous destination in South America. Still, I wanted to spend my Christmas birthday there. Some friends said "don’t bother, it’s been overrun. You won’t be able to see the stones because Read More

Sunrise Prayers at the Jinding Temple of Mount Jizu in Yunnan, China (©photocoen)

Hiking up the Holy Mountain of Mount Jizu in Yunnan, China

It's 2am and we're up and about to climb a 3248-meter-high mountain: the Chicken Foot Mountain, which is the translation of Jizu Shan. By leaving at this time we will be ahead of the crowd of visitors that will start climbing in an hour or so, and Read More

Wild horses on Cumberland Island

Backpacking Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia

A quiet snuffle, and a snort, awakens me from slumber. Silhouettes of live oak branches laden with Spanish moss pattern the roof of my tent in the pale moonlight. I roll over in the sleeping bag and peer out through the tent screen. Horses! The Read More

Harvesting tea leaves with pruning shears. (©Coen Wubbels)

Hiking Through Munnar’s Tea Plantations in Kerala, India

The world is an ocean of green. We're surrounded by undulating hills blanketed with dark green and soft green tea plants. So many tea plants, all immaculately pruned without an inch sticking out anywhere, is no less than overwhelming. It's a work of Read More

Birds like to use the dead trunks and branches as lookout points (©Coen Wubbels)

Bamboo Rafting in Kerala’s Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, India

Tiger footprints. We stop in our tracks. Excitement rises. Our guide kneels and studies them, and concludes they are old ones. Disillusion comes with a hidden sense of relief. There is a gun-carrying guard with us, but still. We set off once more Read More