Backpacking and Trekking: The Bucket List

Moving at the speed of your own two feet, living out of the contents of the pack on your back: this is life, simplified. That simplicity draws many to the trail, whether for a weekend getaway or a long distance hike.

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

Glacier hiking in Alaska

Glacier Hiking in Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

I’m no stranger to ice and snow. I’ve lived all my life in the Upper Midwest. But walking up a 60-degree slope of sheer ice? Well, that’s just something we don’t do in Michigan. Yet here I was, strapping crampons on my feet and making my way Read More

The Towers of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile (photo credit: Coen Wubbels)

Hiking in Chile’s National Park Torres del Paine

A thick black blanket steadily moved eastwards, threatening to block out daylight and announcing an impending storm. I took short gulps of air, exhausted from having legged it uphill to the 4000-foot John Gardner Pass. Instead of a postcard image of Read More

Mt. Ngauruhoe on New Zealand's North Island

Tramping Tongariro and Climbing Ngauruhoe in New Zealand

Authors update: Volcanic eruptions occasionally close the trails inthis region. Check the New Zealand Department of Conservation website for current information about the status of trails in and around Tongariro National Park.  It feels like Read More

View from Artists Point

Hiking Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park

I am not thinking about gesyers or fumaroles as I am walking; I am thinking about animals, specifically, about the grizzly bear the ranger told me might be inhabiting this slice of Yellowtone's backcountry, in the southern section of the park near Read More

Lakes of the Clouds, White Mountains

Hiking New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington

The battered but bright yellow sign is as subtle as a baseball bat to the side of the head. "STOP!" it says (in all caps.) "The area ahead has the worst weather in America. Many have died there from exposure, even in the summer. Turn back now if Read More

Hiking the High Sierra

Hiking the High Sierra Trail in California

My eyes are searching in the wrong place for a trail. They are searching in the wrong place because I simply refuse to believe that the obvious route -- up THERE and over THAT -- is the route we will actually have to climb. Two days into a hike of Read More

The Grand Canyon and the Colorado River

Hiking Arizona’s Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim

The Grand Canyon, Rim-to-Rim. 21-ish  miles, 5000 feet down from the South Rim then another 6,000 up the North; that's more than a vertical mile. If you're like most people, you'll only realize what that means when you're at the bottom looking back Read More