Hiking News

Ultimate guide to hiking Coachella’s hidden canyons

Posted by on Nov 5, 2018 @ 6:15 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Ultimate guide to hiking Coachella’s hidden canyons

With all the chic midcentury galleries and groovy tiki bars populating Palm Springs’ downtown, you could easily spend a weekend hunting for Eames chairs and sipping retro cocktails. Browse and brunch all you want — no one will judge. But sooner or later, you’ll glance up at the furrowed hills that hug the city and feel an urge for something wilder.

The desert does that.

Tucked into an abutment of the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountain ranges, the Coachella Valley offers a wealth of wildness. Beyond the manicured golf courses south of Palm Springs lie 35,000 acres of rugged desert, the ancestral home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. More than 60 miles of trails ramble through four canyons, where bighorn sheep clatter across the hillsides and glistening waterfalls appear like a revelation.

To the south, the San Andreas Fault knifes through the Mecca Hills, exposing the earth’s skeleton. Footpaths lead through colorful canyons formed by the mighty forces of plate tectonics, water, wind and time. And on the Coachella Valley’s north side, seismic activity has forced underground water to the surface to create wetlands, marshes and ponds at the 17,000-acre Coachella Valley Preserve.

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Why do otherwise smart people do such dumb things in the great outdoors?

Posted by on Nov 2, 2018 @ 6:46 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Why do otherwise smart people do such dumb things in the great outdoors?

Two hikers died last week after falling from Yosemite’s Taft Point, located high above Yosemite Valley. What exactly happened is still unclear, but they almost certainly stepped off the trail, past the guardrail and passed warning signs before tumbling hundreds of feet over the cliffs.

There’s been an exponential increase in the number of lost hikers, injured hikers and, worst of all, hikers who die on the trail. In recent weeks, we’ve learned of a California woman who slipped and fell to her death while taking selfies on a trail high above Lake Superior in Michigan, and thrill-seekers suffering severe injuries while leaping off cliffs into shallow pools — just to put the video on their Instagram feed.

There was a particularly horrible incident in the summer of 2011 when three college students stepped past the guardrail at the top of Yosemite’s 317-foot high Vernal Fall and into the Merced River. Other visitors pleaded with them to get out of the water, but one hiker slipped and started a chain reaction that ended with all three falling to their deaths.

Why do otherwise smart people do such dumb things in the great outdoors?

Bad hiking advice pollutes comments on hiking blogs, Facebook posts and Yelp reviews, so it’s tempting to blame social media. The fault, however, lies not in Instagram stars, but in ourselves. It’s a disconnect from nature, a lack of even basic survival skills, and poor judgment that cause most troubles on the trail.

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900 acres of Little White Oak Mountain become public land in Polk County

Posted by on Oct 31, 2018 @ 7:19 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

900 acres of Little White Oak Mountain become public land in Polk County

Conserving Carolina made 900 acres of North Carolina’s Little White Oak Mountain public, donating 600 acres to the state to expand the Green River Game Lands and 300 acres to Polk County for a local park.

Conserving Carolina said that together, the 900 acres of conserved land in Mill Spring protect views of a local scenic landmark, approximately 13 miles of streams flowing into White Oak Creek and then to the Green River and rare natural communities such as an endangered wildflower, the white irisette.

The land added to the Game Lands, including the summit of Little White Oak Mountain, will be open to the public for hunting, hiking, wildlife viewing and other outdoor activities. The local park will connect to the county’s recreation complex next to Polk County Middle with plans for a network of seven to 10 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking.

“We are excited to see this park expand outdoor recreation opportunities for local residents by adding new hiking trails and creating the first mountain biking trails in Polk County,” county Parks and Recreation Director Jerry Stensland said in a news release. “This park has the potential to make Polk County more of a destination for outdoor recreation and benefit local businesses.”

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Discover heart healthy hiking trails in Oklahoma

Posted by on Oct 29, 2018 @ 9:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Discover heart healthy hiking trails in Oklahoma

Fall is arguably the best time to get outdoors and enjoy physical activity. Autumn weather seems to create in us the urge to stir about for various reasons. The air is charged with the odors of the autumn season and one can feel and smell nature in its natural rotation.

While squirrels are storing food for the winter, maybe we as humans are seeking a little food for the soul, stocking up for the coming gray winter days that will keep us housebound too long.

So what better way to get into step with fall than trying to stay a few steps ahead of the winter chill and get some outdoor activity?

Hiking is wonderful exercise, and to promote public health and wellness, the Oklahoma state parks division of the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation has created Heart Healthy Trails. Consisting of 12 easy-to-walk park trails, this initiative will inspire folks wanting to take advantage of the cooler temperatures.

Trailheads describe the length of the trail, and distance markers are provided along the way. Distance markers are placed at quarter-mile intervals along a Heart Healthy Trail. Along the way, you will find a pamphlet containing a trail map, a walking log to help the park guest track the date, distance and time of day they took their walk.

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Group hopes European style hiking in Cape Breton will draw in tourists

Posted by on Oct 28, 2018 @ 9:03 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Group hopes European style hiking in Cape Breton will draw in tourists

A group hoping to build a wilderness hiking trail in northern Cape Breton, Nova Scotia has now laid out its route.

The Seawall Trail Society has just completed a proposed trail development plan, which would see the trail run for about 50 km from Red River, near Pleasant Bay, to Meat Cove, hugging the coastline most of the way.

“It’s pretty epic,” said member Dave Williams. “One thing you want to aim for in an amazing hike is a large variance in terrain and scenery. And this trail has it all.”

The proposed route includes beaches, old growth forest, semi-arctic tundra, mountain scree and grassy fields. But what really sets it apart is the combination of elevation and coastline, he said.

“You’re walking along very high cliffs, right at the ocean’s edge. And for 180 degrees, all you see it water.”

In exchange for those vistas, hikers will pay the price of some steeps ascents and descents — with elevations ranging from sea level to 450 meters.

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Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway to Open

Posted by on Oct 25, 2018 @ 9:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway to Open

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announce the long-awaited section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley, TN will finally open Saturday, November 10, 2018. The 16-mile roadway will be drivable for the first time since construction began in 1966. The route will include the 1.65-mile section known as the ‘Missing Link’ which is now connected by a series of nine bridges.

The completion of the roadway was made possible thanks to a decades-long partnership among the State of Tennessee, Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division (EFLHD) of the Federal Highway Administration, and the National Park Service (NPS) at a total cost of $178 million. Funding for the final paving was provided through a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) VIII grant secured by the Tennessee Department of Transportation along with $15 million from the State of Tennessee and $7 million through the NPS Federal Lands Transportation Program.

The Foothills Parkway now consists of two finished sections at either end of the 72-mile corridor. The western section now extends 33 continuous miles from Chilhowee to Wears Valley, offering a new recreational experience for motorists and cyclists. The eastern section, completed in 1968, extends 6 miles from Cosby to Interstate 40 presenting breathtaking views of Mt. Cammerer.

Park officials plan to invite the public to preview the parkway by foot, if conditions permit,before it opens to motorists. This pedestrian opportunity is tentatively planned for Thursday, November 8, 2018 during the morning hours utilizing a shuttle operation. More details will be provided.

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Mount Umunhum National Recreation Trail, California

Posted by on Oct 24, 2018 @ 10:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Mount Umunhum National Recreation Trail, California

The Mount Umunhum Trail passes through chaparral, under pine and oak woodlands, and over the headwaters of Guadalupe Creek. The trail emerges near the rocky summit revealing 360-degree vistas of the valley below, ridgelines, and nearby peaks.

The mountain is sacred to local Native American people and is central to their creation story. “Umunhum” is an Ohlone word meaning, “resting place of the hummingbird.” The new 3.7-mile trail opened in September 2017, hosting over 1,00 people with guided tours of the trail and summit during the opening celebration.

The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, or Midpen, manages the mountaintop as part of the 18,000-acre Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. In 2009, the federal government funded the cleanup of contaminants and approximately 80 deteriorating buildings that were once part of the Almaden Air Force Station, which operated between 1958 and 1980. During the Cold War, service members and their families lived atop the mountain keeping watch over the Pacific Ocean for Soviet attacks. A concrete radar tower from this period remains, and is visible throughout the region as a reminder of the mountain’s history.

At the summit area, accessible pathways highlight views and feature a shade shelter, a cantilevered deck extending over the hillside and a stone ceremonial circle to honor the site’s Native American history. The Summit parking area provides accessible restrooms and a trailhead shelter with accessible picnic tables. Interpretive panels connect visitors with history, rare plants and resident wildlife. These include hummingbirds, golden eagles, butterflies, lizards, mountain lions, and rare purple martins.

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The Oregon Desert Trail is just that, complete with canyons and rattlesnakes

Posted by on Oct 20, 2018 @ 12:32 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Oregon Desert Trail is just that, complete with canyons and rattlesnakes

Though Oregon is often depicted in terms of Douglas fir-filled forests, the truth is that half the state is a water-starved desert. It is pierced by the Oregon Desert Trail, a 750-mile, W-shaped path that weaves through the state’s most arid landscape. The trail shows off some of the state’s unsung attractions, including the Oregon Badlands, Lost Forest, Owyhee Canyonlands and picturesque Steens Mountain, a single mountain that stretches more than 9,000 feet high and 50 miles north to south.

Created by the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) conservation group as a way to spur appreciation for the lands it is trying to protect, the trail is unusual in many ways. A big one: It isn’t really a trail. Waypoints on a map will help guide you, but the route isn’t marked. One-third of the route is cross-country, so a GPS device and compass skills are necessary; finding your own way gives the journey a choose-your-own adventure quality.

Carving through the least-populated areas of the state, the trail is also remote — but that’s part of its appeal. Wildlife biologist and thru-hiker Sage Clegg, the first person to hike the trail end-to-end, said she really only saw other people when she went into a nearby town to resupply. Because she’s witnessed hikers clogging the Pacific Crest and Appalachian trails, she appreciated the contrast. “I love a lonely trail,” she said. “It helps me be able to interact with the natural world as if it were something that I could actually communicate with.”

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Blind Athlete Achieves Dream: Hiking Grand Canyon

Posted by on Oct 18, 2018 @ 1:03 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Blind Paralympic cyclist Shawn Cheshire, 43, recently faced her biggest challenge — a rim-to-rim hike through the Grand Canyon.

Cheshire crossed 68 kilometers of steep and uneven terrain, hiking through the night and finishing in 24 hours and 15 minutes — believed to be a record by a blind hiker.

“The last couple of years, I’ve been on this desperate purpose of grasping as much independence as possible,” Cheshire said. “And so for me, being able to walk in the Grand Canyon like that, that’s freedom.”

Cheshire lost her sight after an accident nine years ago and turned to athletics.

“I was in a really dark place and hated being blind.” But she said sports and physical challenges gave her “another opportunity at living.” She competed in the Paralympics in Rio in 2016 and hopes to compete in Tokyo in 2020.

In the meantime, Cheshire was determined to complete this challenging hike.

“I had a huge ball of emotion welled up in my chest — like I cannot believe we just did that — and just (felt) gratitude,” she said.

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The 7 most amazing pilgrimage paths you’ve never heard of

Posted by on Oct 16, 2018 @ 9:17 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The 7 most amazing pilgrimage paths you’ve never heard of

Pilgrims walked the St. Olav Ways in Norway from 1031 until the 1500s, when the Catholic pilgrimage was banned following the Protestant Reformation. In 1997, Norway revived the ancient routes and included signage for them. Today, you have your choice of six pilgrim routes, all of which lead to the impressive Nidarosdomen cathedral in Trondheim. If you’re unsure which route to choose, it’s hard to go wrong since all 1,200 miles of the St. Olav Ways pass through quaint villages and peaceful landscapes.

That said, the majority of pilgrims opt for the 400-mile Gudbrandsdalen Path, which starts in the old part of Oslo and takes a little over a month to complete. From the capital, the route heads north past lakes and through valleys before reaching the remote Dovrefjell mountains. If you’re a serious walker, you’ll revel in the challenge the Arctic highlands present. Once past the snowy peaks, the highest of which is 7,500-foot-high Snohetta, pilgrims make their way down into the country’s prized fjord lands. In general, the trail is well-marked, but beware of unpredictable weather — even in summer.

Although pilgrimmages were traditionally done for religious purposes, people today undertake them for a variety of reasons. Maybe you want to walk to enjoy an active vacation or experience a country in a different way. Perhaps you’re drawn to pilgrimages for the opportunity to reflect on life. Is that reset button calling your name? The reasons for wanting to do a pilgrimage are as varied as the pilgrimage paths themselves.

From the snow-capped peaks of Tibet to the deserts of the Middle East, this list of lesser-known pilgrimage paths has something for every pilgrim.

 

Armenia is emerging as a hiking destination. It’s not quite there, but oh, the views.

Posted by on Oct 14, 2018 @ 11:13 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Armenia is emerging as a hiking destination. It’s not quite there, but oh, the views.

For much of the last century, nobody would have considered the former Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic a hiking destination.

But a few decades of independence and a strengthening democratic government have given the little nation a growing reputation as an interesting, safe hiking place. Hikers from France, England, Canada, Belgium and Australia are all coming.

Smithsonian magazine earlier this year identified Armenia as one of the next world-class hiking destinations.

The country’s beautifully wooded Dilijan National Park resembles Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The plateaus of volcanic Mt. Aragats look something like the Sierra Nevada’s high country, with its barren igneous rock, gravelly slopes and snow-covered peaks.

Lake Sevan is twice as large as Lake Tahoe and a thousand feet higher in elevation. Though its waters don’t have the clarity that makes Tahoe so spectacular, you won’t find a traffic jam around the lake’s perimeter or dense neighborhoods of mansions.

What the country lacks in affluence is offset by the warmth of the people, whose identity is anchored to its long history. Yerevan, the capital, was founded in 782 B.C., decades before Rome. Between hikes, you can visit ancient temples and some of the oldest Christian churches in the world.

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Hikers In Breckenridge Are Being Greeted By A Giant, Mysterious Troll

Posted by on Oct 13, 2018 @ 9:04 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hikers In Breckenridge Are Being Greeted By A Giant, Mysterious Troll

Generally, encountering a literal troll is a pretty sedentary activity because they don’t exist, so you are only going to roll up on one in a book, movie, tv show, tabletop game, or the comments of an internet article. And this is an overwhelmingly good thing, as trolls tend to be incredibly ugly, aggressive and slow-witted.

Now, however, people in Colorado can both go for a hike and meet a troll, and though it might sound scary, it’s actually quite awesome.

In August of this year, Danish artist Thomas Dambo finished installing a 15-foot tall troll named Isak Heartstone on the easy and family-friendly East Wellington Trail in Breckenridge. Suddenly, social media is alight with pics of Isak and people are making it a point to visit the fantastical gent.

Dambo is known for the trolls that he has constructed all over the globe, but this is the first one in the Western United States, which is awesome for people who don’t have the resources to make it to one of the other 39 trolls erected in places like Denmark and Korea. Each of them varies in size and he tends to create them using recycled materials. In this instance, Isak Heartstone is made of scrap lumber and downed trees collected over the ten-day construction period.

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Joshua Tree National Park: Into the wild, hours from L.A.

Posted by on Oct 12, 2018 @ 7:17 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Joshua Tree National Park: Into the wild, hours from L.A.

We were surrounded by trees that could have been drawn by Dr. Seuss. A desert hare had just crossed the trail in front of us, its ears translucent in the still-rising sun. But it was something else that caught my 28-year-old son’s attention.

“I can’t believe how silent it is out here,” he said. This was an offhand comment. I agreed, but said nothing. We walked on.

So I think I know the answer to the questions I brought with me to Joshua Tree National Park that morning. Can a person find isolation, silence and beauty in a visit measured in hours? Is it possible to experience a national park’s wildness in the time usually allotted for a blacktop tour?

We left Los Angeles at 10:58 a.m., an hour later than planned. Twenty miles west of the park, we began seeing the Joshua trees.

They’re not actually trees, but a species of yucca. One could be forgiven the confusion. Their trunks are shaggy with the desiccated foliage of previous seasons, which eventually falls off to reveal treelike bark. The new growth at the ends of branches looks like exuberant pineapples. They’re a kindergartner’s version of a tree.

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Hiking a new mega-trail in the Balkans

Posted by on Oct 10, 2018 @ 9:50 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking a new mega-trail in the Balkans

Close to the top of Mount Maglić, on the Bosnia-Montenegro border, a deafening clap of thunder rips across rugged Piva national park. The summit of the 2,386-metre limestone peak is not far away, but with a glance at the darkening sky, the guide decides it’s best to turn back.

We weave our way down towards perfectly heart-shaped Lake Trnovačko, just reaching a forest as the downpour hits. When the storm passes, the view across the valley is our reward – glittering, luminous and streaked with post-squall mist. The slopes are lined with tufted grass and a golden eagle floats overhead. The scene silences us, and we walk in quiet contemplation until the guide stops us to point out a sign: “Welcome to Bosnia.”

There’s no checkpoint and no fuss – perhaps surprising, given the history of these once war-torn Balkan countries. We’re hiking part of a new mega-trail – the Via Dinarica – and up here, the conflicts across the former Yugoslavia feel firmly in the past.

The main artery is the White trail, from Slovenia to Albania – via Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montengro, and soon to be extended into Kosovo – following the Dinaric Alps for 1,260km, taking in the highest peaks. Opened fully in 2017, it has mapped and united old trails, shepherd paths, royal hunting grounds and military routes, with accommodation in mountain huts, riverside cabins and lodges along the way.

When two further trails have been completed (blue, along the coastline, and green, connecting small villages), the route will also take in Serbia, uniting seven Balkans countries.

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New Mountains-to-Sea Trail segment completes path from Clingmans Dome to Stone Mountain

Posted by on Oct 9, 2018 @ 6:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

New Mountains-to-Sea Trail segment completes path from Clingmans Dome to Stone Mountain

Leadership from state and national parks, volunteers, local officials, and trail enthusiasts gathered at Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Oct. 3, 2018 to celebrate the completion of a 300-mile connection on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea State Trail (MST).

State trails staff, members of the Carolina Mountain Club and other volunteers and supporters recently completed construction on a linchpin 8-mile section near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Swain County. That segment completes a continuous footpath from Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Stone Mountain State Park.

Development and construction of this trail section included negotiating difficult terrain east of the Great Smoky Mountains, working around the tunneled sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and through the Qualla Boundary lands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee.

In 2016, the Eastern Band agreed to host a section of the trail through reservation lands, enabling the connector trail’s completion. In June of this year, the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, the National Park Service’s Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Carolina Mountain Club collaborated to complete the final section of this connection.

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The Bay Area Ridge Trail: Bays, Bridges, and Some Really Big Trees

Posted by on Oct 8, 2018 @ 7:00 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Bay Area Ridge Trail: Bays, Bridges, and Some Really Big Trees

Despite the San Francisco Bay Area being highly occupied, a lot of land within it is protected and set aside for recreational use.

Like any loop trail, starting and ending points can be wherever a thru-hiker wants. The Bay Area Ridge Trail’s southern tip sits below farmland in Gilroy, known for its pervasive (and delicious) garlic aroma. Going clockwise, it travels north along the Santa Cruz mountains and up the peninsula, cutting next to the coast before taking a sharp right upon reaching San Francisco so you can go over Twin Peaks.

It crosses the Golden Gate Bridge and continues north in Marin, sidestepping Mount Tam and circling around Napa. It then turns south back toward the Bay, crossing the Carquinez Strait and through the mountains that overlook Richmond and Oakland before continuing down the East Bay, over Mission Peak and past San Jose to the farmland it began in.

It passes through a number of Bay Area landmarks, including the old Army base in the Presidio, Jack London’s grave, and some of the area’s most iconic redwood forests.

Perhaps the trail’s biggest downside is its severely limited camping options. Dispersed camping is rarely allowed in county and state parks in the Bay Area, with all backpackers staying in designated backpacking camps when out in the backcountry. There are campgrounds, but more in some areas than others and not conveniently placed a day’s hike along the route.

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Jenny Lake, the breathtaking centerpiece of Grand Teton National Park, gets a refresh

Posted by on Oct 7, 2018 @ 8:54 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Jenny Lake, the breathtaking centerpiece of Grand Teton National Park, gets a refresh

Named after Jenny Leigh, the Shoshone wife of British fur trapper Richard “Beaver Dick” Leigh, Jenny Lake is a hole formed about 12,000 years ago by glaciers pushing rock and debris out of Cascade Canyon. The many cascades and creeks in this canyon filled the hole, which is about 420 feet deep, with water. When Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) was founded in 1929 it was only about one-third the size it is today, and Jenny Lake was one of only six lakes included in it.

For the first time since the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the earliest official trails around the lake in the 1930s, its built environment is worthy of its natural environment. Jenny Lake has long been the park’s flagship attraction — more than half of its visitors stop here — but this was despite the man-made improvements to the area.

Previously, Jenny Lake visitors suffered crumbling retaining walls, excessive and buckling paved pathways, a lack of signs and confusing visitor-created shortcuts. Once they reached the lake — it’s several hundred feet from the parking lot — it took away their breath: Jenny Lake sits at the mouth of Cascade Canyon, in the perfect spot to reflect the snaggiest of the snow-capped Teton peaks to the west, which rise more than 6,000 feet.

When the Civilian Conservation Corps built trails around Jenny Lake in the 1930s, only several thousand people visited the park annually. Since then, the number of visitors to the park has grown; in 2017 the park got 4.9 million visitors, which is less than half of what the country’s most-visited national park, Great Smoky Mountains, got, but enough to land Grand Teton in the Top 10. Over the decades new trails were hastily added around the lake. Also, visitors looking for shortcuts created “pirate” trails that were used enough they came to look like real trails. The South Jenny Lake area was a mess.

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Europe’s best wilderness cabins and mountain huts for hikers

Posted by on Oct 6, 2018 @ 8:31 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Europe’s best wilderness cabins and mountain huts for hikers

From designer dens to remote refuges, there are thousands of – often free – walkers’ huts in amazing locations across Europe.

Finland has a huge network of open wilderness huts across its 40 national parks, where hikers, skiers and canoers can spend one or two nights for free. Most are log cabins, some dating back to the 1900s; more unusual huts include a former lifeboat rescue station on Koivuluoto Island and an ex-military canteen on Ulko-Tammio Island, both in the Gulf of Finland national park; and a former fire guard’s home in Rokua national park. Facilities are generally basic, but a few have saunas. Vargis, a hut with a jetty on the banks of a small channel in the Kvarken archipelago, is a fantastic place to stay on a canoe trip.

The Swedish Tourist Association owns 40 or so cabins in areas of outstanding natural beauty, spaced 10-20km apart along skiing and hiking trails. They are good places to meet fellow explorers, stock up on supplies and get local tips. Guests chip in with tasks such as chopping wood and fetching water, and cook in the communal kitchen. Many are on lakes, such as Lunndörren Mountain Cabin, where you can fish, swim or forage for cloudberries before warming up in the wood-fired sauna. It’s on Lunndörr pass, a 1,000-year-old trail near stunning Issjö Valley.

In Crete, local mountaineering clubs manage about a dozen shelters on the main mountain ranges. The most popular is Shelter Kallergis in the White Mountains, which has views over the north and south Crete seas; Shelter Greleska in the same range overlooks the Agia Irini gorge and doubles as an observatory for the endangered Cretan ibex. Others include a circular stone tower in the Ida (Psiloritis) range in central Crete, and a sanctuary next to a windswept chapel on the top of Stavromenos, the highest peak in the Thripti range.

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A New, Majestic High Route Through Yosemite

Posted by on Oct 3, 2018 @ 1:49 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

A New, Majestic High Route Through Yosemite

This loop through Yosemite could just be the finest high-altitude thru-hike in the country.

Where the boundary of Yosemite National Park overlaps with the Sierra Crest, from Dorothy Lake Pass in the north to Rodgers Peak in the south, there exists a world-class high route around the upper headwaters of the Tuolumne and Merced rivers that stays entirely within the park.

South of Rodgers Peak, the park boundary straddles the divide between the upper Merced and the North Fork of the San Joaquin, two major westbound rivers. This topography remains conducive to a high route to Triple Divide Peak, beyond which the watershed divide and boundary fade into less interesting foothills.

Thankfully, here the seldom visited Clark Range T-bones the boundary, providing worthy terrain for another ten miles.

North and west of Dorothy Lake Pass, the park boundary roughly follows the watershed divide between the Tuolumne and Clavey rivers, the latter of which drains the Emigrant Wilderness.

The route is majestic, remote, and largely off-trail but still technically practical for a backpacker. It shares just one pass with the Sierra High Route, and utilizes the Pacific Crest Trail/John Muir Trail for only a half-mile. The wilderness experience matches and sometimes exceeds that of other established high routes.

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Marriage Proposal Goes Awry After Hiking Couple Gets Lost

Posted by on Oct 2, 2018 @ 8:59 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Marriage Proposal Goes Awry After Hiking Couple Gets Lost

  A marriage proposal in Boulder, Colorado, went awry because of some overly ambitious hiking plans.

Joshua Mason, 27, and his girlfriend, Katie Davis, 28, had set out on an eight-mile hike from the Fourth of July Trailhead to the nearly 13,000-foot summit on Jasper Peak. When the two came upon an isolated, scenic spot along the trail, Mason surprised Davis by popping the question. Davis accepted the proposal, and the happy couple continued their trek to the peak.

However, Davis and Mason had gotten a late start for a hike of this length, embarking at around noon. There are also no clear trails to Jasper Peak, and as darkness fell, the hikers lost their bearings. They had neglected to bring enough water, clothes for the cooler temperatures, or overnight camping supplies. They followed the ridge line until around midnight, when they came to a cliff and could go no further. With few other options, the two began to scream for help.

Fortunately, a nearby hiker heard their calls. At that point, Mason and Davis were showing signs of severe dehydration and altitude sickness—the path to Jasper Peak has an elevation gain of more than 3,000 feet. The hiker brought them back to a campsite where a group of his friends had settled in for the night. They ushered the newly engaged couple into a warm tent and provided them with food and water. One of the campers walked two miles back to her car and then drove down to a nearby town to call 911.

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