Hiking News

Hikers united by lost hat connect over healing power of outdoors

Posted by on Dec 2, 2019 @ 12:12 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hikers united by lost hat connect over healing power of outdoors

Two men say a chance encounter on Mount St. Helens has given them a renewed perspective about the healing power of hitting the trails.

Scott Brown made a post on a hiking Facebook page Friday hoping to return someone’s hat. The post said, “did you or your friend get hurt on Helens on Thanksgiving? I found your hat!!”

Brown had no idea how special the hat was when he wrote the post. He could not have known what it means to John Wood and his son Tristan, who was wearing it when they left for their hike before dawn that day.

Wood and Brown didn’t actually come face-to-face on the trail. Wood had an unplanned face-to-face encounter with the ice on the trail when he slipped and fell.

His son, Tristan watched as his dad slipped and fell about 30-40 feet. “It was definitely scarier for me watching him slide down. It was a good thing we were close to the end of the icefall, so he just kind of leveled out very quickly,” he said.

Brown happened to be hiking with a friend up the hill and yelled down to see if they needed help, but Wood gave the thumbs up and said despite being a little banged up, he was ok. Brown watched to make sure the pair could get down ok and saw one of their hats blow away in the commotion.

“On the way down I found the hat, and it had a unique logo, Footprints of Fight I think it said, so it seemed like something significant, so I thought I would post it, see if we would find the owner,” he said.

Read full story…

 

British Army Veteran Becomes First Double Above-Knee Amputee To Climb Kilimanjaro

Posted by on Dec 1, 2019 @ 7:02 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

British Army Veteran Becomes First Double Above-Knee Amputee To Climb Kilimanjaro

  A British Army veteran who lost most of both his legs in an incident in Afghanistan recently became the first double above-knee amputee to make it to the summit of the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro.

James Rose was on a tour of Helmand Province with the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment in 2009 when he stood on the pressure plate of an improvised explosive device and his life changed forever.

As well as a broken pelvis and tail bone, James lost both legs above the knee and – in that instant – his ability to walk.

Naturally, adjusting to the new life that he’d been dealt took time. James gained weight, suffered with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression, but with the help of his family, he managed to get back to enjoying his life.

After deciding to better himself, James dropped a load of weight and began training. He regained his fitness, and with it, became a para-athlete and appeared at the Invictus Games in 2018.

During the games in Sydney, he competed in the Wheelchair Basketball and Sitting Volleyball events. He won silver and bronze medals at the games, but more importantly, made friends with another athlete named Darren Young.

The pair then decided to tackle Kilimanjaro together. Last month, they achieved their goal.

Read full story…

 

6 Trails with the Worst Weather—And Why You Should Go Anyway

Posted by on Nov 30, 2019 @ 6:24 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

6 Trails with the Worst Weather—And Why You Should Go Anyway

You may want to plan your next hike for a warm, sunny day—but where’s the adventure in that? Besides, the most memorable hikes are rarely the picture-perfect ones. If you want real solitude, and a raw, visceral experience in nature, go where everyone else refuses. These six weather-beaten, heat-blasted, totally untamed trails are the perfect place to get started.

A word of caution: To have these experiences, you need to be prepared. That means bringing enough food, water, layers, navigation equipment, and other protective gear to stay comfortable in the conditions you expect.

And in bad weather, the most dangerous part of your journey is rarely the hike itself. In fact, studies attribute more deaths in national parks to motor vehicle accidents than to wildlife, avalanches, heat, or cold exposure combined. So, if you’re on a quest to face down nature’s extremes, bring a dependable vehicle.

Come summer in Death Valley, temperatures regularly tick up to 120 degrees, and asphalt roads can get hot enough to melt sneakers. For that reason, most authorities recommend exploring the valley between November and March, especially if your body isn’t already acclimated to extreme heat. For the ultimate experience, start your adventure in the barren salt flats of Badwater Basin. At 282 feet below sea level, it’s the lowest point in North America.

See the extreme places…

 

Winter Middle Tennessee hikes offer stark beauty and some good exercise too

Posted by on Nov 29, 2019 @ 6:59 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Lots of people think the primo Middle Tennessee hiking is in the fall with all of the color of the changing leaves. Or maybe in the spring when the trees are starting to leaf out with their new growth.

But there is a lot to be said for a winter hike too, according to state naturalist Randy Hedgepath, who says winter walks can offer some stark beauty and a few other advantages too.

“A walk in a forest can perk you right up and there are several other advantages to walking outside in the winter. There are few if any bugs to bother you and the crowds of other people are few as well.

“The winter woods hold surprises for you to discover,” he said. The scenery is open and many details of the land are visible. Some may think that winter is all brown and grey but evergreens and rocks add bits of color. Cool temperatures make strenuous walking more pleasant and very cold temperatures give you beautiful ice formations.”

See trail recommendations here…

 

A Nighttime Walk to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

Posted by on Nov 28, 2019 @ 6:43 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A Nighttime Walk to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

To celebrate the winter solstice – the longest night of the year – a nighttime walk to Hooker Falls will be hosted by Conserving Carolina on Saturday, December 21, 2019 in DuPont State Recreational Forest, at 7 p.m.

Meet at the Hooker Falls parking lot on DuPont/Staton Road in DuPont State Recreational Forest. There is no charge for this event and it is open to the public.

Participants can register by emailing Pam Torlina at, pam@conservingcarolina.org, or just show up on the day of the event.

The stroll will be along a one-fourth mile trail to the base of Hooker Falls. In the dark of night we’ll create soft moonlight by shining flashlights upon the falls…creating a quiet moment to celebrate the return of the sun to the northern hemisphere.

Participants are invited to bring a thermos with a warm (non-alcoholic) drink to toast the sun’s return when arriving back at the parking lot. Bring a flashlight for use when necessary. The event will be cancelled in case of heavy rain, snow, or ice. For more information about this hike, visit Conserving Carolina’s website calendar of events.

In case of inclement weather, the website event will be updated by 12 p.m. the day of the walk if cancellation is necessary.

For your safety, do not attempt any hike beyond your ability and experience. Walkers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear and bring plenty of water. Please be sure to also bring any personal medication that you may require.

 

Hiking the Sandias in central New Mexico

Posted by on Nov 26, 2019 @ 6:58 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking the Sandias in central New Mexico

From climbing massive mountains then skiing down them up north, to desert backpacking and rock climbing down south, there are outdoor activities year-round in New Mexico. For many students at the University of New Mexico, these outdoor activities are popular, but it is not always necessary to take a three-hour drive to have a good time outside.

Exploding 5,000 feet above the Rio Grande, the Sandia Mountains sit in Albuquerque’s backyard. No Albuquerque local can find the eastern direction without looking for them, but the Sandias are often forgotten when talking about New Mexico’s natural beauty.

For hiking, the La Luz Trail is the most well known in the Sandias. A seven-mile ascent from the foothills to the top of the crest, La Luz is steep and difficult to complete. The trail begins winding in the foothills to eventually end with you climbing into an incredible rocky valley that leads to the alpine terrain right below the summit. To come down, you can follow the trail the way you came or get a one-way trip down the Sandia Tramway.

For the less experienced — or simply for those interested in an easier hike— Pino Trail is three miles shorter and much less steep, covering similar ground. Starting from Elena Gallegos Park, Pino rises along a valley covered with ponderosas, passing streams and springs to eventually connect with the Crest Trail.

The Crest Trail generally runs along the ridge of the mountains and serves as a backbone for all of the trails in the Cibola National Forest that covers the Sandias. Going for a total of 26 miles, this trail is mostly used as a connection between other trails. After finishing Pino, a hiker can decide to turn around and go down or go further along the Crest Trail to other destinations.

Read full story…

 

A Complete Guide to Grand Canyon Hiking: The Best Tours, Trails, and Tips

Posted by on Nov 23, 2019 @ 6:01 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A Complete Guide to Grand Canyon Hiking: The Best Tours, Trails, and Tips

Hiking in Grand Canyon National Park isn’t for the faint of heart (or weak of quads). The canyon is a vast, desert landscape, full of cliffs, steep drops, and loose, rocky earth. Weather is a mixed bag that can range from intense heat to severe thunderstorms, depending on the season and which part of the canyon you choose to explore.

“There is no easy trail in the Grand Canyon,” says Andrea Ross, a former Grand Canyon park ranger and hiking guide. From the East Rim to the West Rim, the Grand Canyon reaches 277 miles long. It’s about 18 miles wide from the North Rim to the South Rim, and more than 6,000 feet deep from the top to the canyon floor.

But for those who are physically prepared for the steep descents and seemingly steeper ascents, hiking in this, the grandest of canyons, pays off with jaw-dropping views and epic wilderness experiences.

From day hikes to multi-night backcountry excursions that take you past slot canyons, waterfalls, and more, it’s no wonder the Grand Canyon is a top flight destination for any adventurous hiker.

Learn more here…

 

Easy Ways to Break in New Hiking Boots

Posted by on Nov 20, 2019 @ 7:07 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Easy Ways to Break in New Hiking Boots

You’ve got plans for a big hike—a multi-day backpacking trip or a long day hike to a high point—but your suitable footwear is either worn out or nonexistent. Here’s what not to do: buy brand-new hiking boots right before your outing, ensuring you have no time to wear them before you start trekking up a mountain. That almost guarantees trip-ruining foot problems like blisters.

Here’s what you should do instead: break in your boots—and more importantly, your feet—before the hike, by wearing the new shoes as much as you can on diverse terrain. That doesn’t have to be mountain trails if you don’t have easy access; you can break in hiking boots in the city, too.

Old-school leather boots or boots made from stiffer, less breathable fabric definitely need time to break in. But there’s also a lot of hiking footwear that you can break in over a couple of short walks. Hiking shoes that are made of mesh or more breathable fabric and have less restriction, similar to sneakers, take less time.

Pay attention to hot spots when first wearing your new boots. You’re not just breaking in your boots, you’re also breaking in your feet. They’re developing calluses and protection against friction and rubbing. If you have limited time, wear a thin sock so you can feel the rubbing sooner. Get used to it, and build up those calluses.

More tips here…

 

Evidence of Many Varieties of Economic Benefits Linked to Trails

Posted by on Nov 19, 2019 @ 6:56 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Evidence of Many Varieties of Economic Benefits Linked to Trails

Trails and greenways impact our economy through tourism, events, urban redevelopment, community improvement, property values, health care costs, jobs and investment, and general consumer spending.

Americans do spend a great deal on outdoor recreation. A 2006 Outdoor Industry Foundation study found that “Active Outdoor Recreation” contributes $887 billion annually to the U.S. economy, supports 7.6 million direct national jobs, generates $59.2 billion in annual state and local tax revenue, and $65.3 billion in national tax revenue. Active recreation is defined as bicycling, trail activities, paddling, snow sports, camping, fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing.

Looking at our public lands, a recent study shows the importance of national parks and Bureau of Land Management area to the economy:

“The 437 million recreational visits to Interior-managed lands in 2010 supported more than 388,000 jobs nationwide and contributed over $44 billion in economic activity. Many of those jobs were in rural communities, including 15,000 jobs in Utah, 14,000 jobs in Wyoming, 9,000 in Colorado, and 8,000 in Arizona.”

Another way that we all benefit from trail facilities is increased public health.

Read full story…

 

Panthertown Valley in Nantahala National Forest selected for recreation impact intervention

Posted by on Nov 18, 2019 @ 6:44 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Panthertown Valley in Nantahala National Forest selected for recreation impact intervention

Panthertown Valley is one of 14 locations nationwide to be selected as a 2020 Leave No Trace Hot Spot.

Hot Spots identify areas suffering from severe recreational impacts that can thrive again with Leave No Trace solutions. Each location receives a unique, site-specific blend of programs aimed at healthy and sustainable recovery. Since 2012, Leave No Trace has carried out just under 100 Hot Spots in 35 states, with 14 more coming in 2020.

Located in the Nantahala National Forest near Cashiers, Panthertown Valley has 30 miles of public trails. Friends of Panthertown is an official member and partner of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and the organization has a Leave No Trace Master Educator on staff to educate community members on the seven principles of Leave No Trace.

Those principles are: plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife and be considerate of other visitors.

Impacts addressed by Hot Spot evaluation include user conflicts, undesignated trails, litter, pet and human waste, unintended trail widening, and removal of natural and cultural resources.

 

Explore the great outdoors by hiking

Posted by on Nov 16, 2019 @ 9:01 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Explore the great outdoors by hiking

Why not get outside and take a hike this Sunday on National Take a Hike Day? Your mental and physical health might depend on it. If you knew that nature could make you happier, healthier, and more creative, would you make more of an effort to spend time outdoors?

In her book, “The Nature Fix,” Florence Williams shows that nature does in fact make us happier, healthier, and more creative. Williams explains that humans “suffer from an ‘epidemic dislocation from the outdoors,’ and it’s destructive to our mental and physical health.” More and more, people are moving inside and gluing themselves to screens, which could be contributing to depression, anxiety, and stymied creative growth. Williams suggests that spending time outside is the prescription for combating these mental health struggles.

National Take a Hike Day may be the incentive we need to celebrate the great outdoors and get back to our roots. Just 15 minutes spent in the woods can reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. Raise that to 45 minutes, and intellectual capability increases. Imagine what nature can do for your brain and overall health if you decide to go for a walk in the woods just a few times a week.

“Shinrin yoku” is a Japanese term that means “forest-bathing.” This does not involve jumping into a creek to wash up, rather it is the practice of feeling the trees, smelling their bark and leaves, and listening to the wind rustling through it all. It’s about completely submersing yourself in nature. Paying attention to the details may give you a greater appreciation for them, and an appreciation of the land that we come from. The Japanese have shown that this can stimulate creativity, concentration, physical health, and life expectancy.

National Take a Hike Day is this Sunday, November 17, 2019.

Cite…

 

The Best Day Hiking Near Seattle

Posted by on Nov 15, 2019 @ 7:24 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Best Day Hiking Near Seattle

Within an hour or two of downtown Seattle, you can be in desolate wilderness, hiking through evergreen forests with views of Puget Sound, Mount Rainier, and the Olympic range. The Seattle, WA area is full of great hikes, but some of them are more well-known and crowded than others.

The hike up Mount Si is hardly a secret. You can find half of Seattle here on sunny weekends, trudging the eight miles round-trip and sweating through a lung-busting 3,300 feet of climbing to a scenic outlook with views of Mount Rainier, the Seattle skyline, and the Olympic range.

Ebey’s Landing Loop is a 5.2-mile round-trip hike on Whidbey Island, located within a national historic reserve. To get there, take a ferry from Mukilteo, north of Seattle, to Clinton, then drive 29 miles to the town of Coupeville, where you’ll find the trailhead across from an old cemetery.

On the days you don’t have time to drive a ways out of the city for a hike, head to the Issaquah Alps, the name for the highlands near the town of Issaquah, 30 minutes from downtown Seattle. The area, which includes the popular Cougar Mountain and Tiger Mountain trail networks, can see a lot of people.

Learn more here…

 

Get big views of downtown Phoenix on this less-used South Mountain hiking trail

Posted by on Nov 14, 2019 @ 7:33 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Get big views of downtown Phoenix on this less-used South Mountain hiking trail

South Mountain cuts an impressive profile in the skyline south of downtown Phoenix.

The “mountain” isn’t a singular massif as the name implies, but a conglomerate of three parallel ranges that sit within the park boundaries and dovetail in a way that creates a fascinating environment of canyons, washes and rugged pinnacles. Over 50 miles of trails explore the park’s nooks, alcoves, high points and heritage sites.

Trails range in difficulty from the barrier-free Judith Tunell Trail near the South Mountain Environmental Education Center to the challenging routes that ascend the three ranges for panoramic views of the Valley.

As the park undergoes a major freshening-up in advance of its 100-year anniversary in 2024, there are more reasons than ever to take a hiking trip to this 16,000-acre municipal park and Phoenix point of pride. Improved facilities, more and better trails and upgraded trailheads will undo much of the spoilage caused by nearly a century of use.

Hikers looking for a trail with a moderate level of difficulty and enough elevation gain for outstanding mountaintop vistas will find the Ranger Trail is an excellent choice.

Read full story…

 

Ghost Ranch provides a prime fall hiking destination

Posted by on Nov 13, 2019 @ 9:24 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Ghost Ranch provides a prime fall hiking destination

Scenes from more than two dozen films and television specials have been shot here, and it’s no wonder why. Taking in the majestic views while traversing the expansive ranch in the high desert of New Mexico, visitors feel immersed in a cinematic Wild West setting.

The Ghost Ranch offers multiple trails that guide hikers along the area’s brilliant red, white and yellow cliffs and canyons, with some venturing into U.S. Forest Service land. The longest trail is five miles, which allows for stringing multiple trails together in a day.

During the summer, with little opportunity to find shade, the sun and heat can make for a harsh hike. But as cooler temperatures set in, Ghost Ranch is a prime fall hiking destination.

Note: Visitors are asked to check in at the Ghost Ranch Welcome Center before hitting the trails so the ranch staff can account for hikers in the rugged desert setting. There is a $5 site fee for use of Ghost Ranch’s facilities, but this is not a hiking fee or a requirement for hiking.

Here is an overview of the three longest and most popular trails at Ghost Ranch…

 

How Egypt’s Red Sea Mountain Trail set new tracks into the wild

Posted by on Nov 12, 2019 @ 7:12 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How Egypt’s Red Sea Mountain Trail set new tracks into the wild

Finding a way to experience a country away from other groups of tourists is a challenge in 2019. It doesn’t take long for once underexplored areas to become popular as the word gets out.

A surge in interest in long distance trails has seen long-established hikes such as Spain’s Camino de Santiago and even parts of the vast Appalachian Trail in the United States become congested.

But new, multiday hiking routes are opening up dramatic and largely unspoiled landscapes for walkers hoping to escape the crowds and challenge themselves in wild terrain.

In Egypt, two long distance routes, the Sinai Trail and the Red Sea Mountain Trail, are among this new crop of pathways offering different adventures in a country already on the tourism map.

They are the work of Ben Hoffler, founder of the Sinai Is Safe initiative, designed to bring tourists back to the area following the revolution that took place between 2011 and 2013.

Hoffler helped open the Sinai Trail in 2014, initially passing through land belonging to eight tribes. It takes roughly 54 days to complete, with tribes taking hikers across their land.

In 2018, Hoffler and his team helped open the 170-kilometer Red Sea Mountain Trail, which takes 10 days to complete. It’s the first long distance hiking path in mainland Egypt.

Read full story…

 

New Orleans veteran becomes first African American male to earn hiking’s Triple Crown

Posted by on Nov 11, 2019 @ 6:51 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

New Orleans veteran becomes first African American male to earn hiking’s Triple Crown

The Triple Crown is a fabled summit in sports, a seemingly impossible trio of wins in horse racing and an even more impressive collection of batting stats in baseball, but when it comes to hiking, few people have ever achieved that summit, known as the Triple Crown.

“There are less than 450 Triple Crown hikers. More people have gone into space, more people have climbed Everest,” Will “Akuna” Robinson, a New Orleans native, said.

Robinson is one of the few, achieving the Triple Crown in hiking earlier this year, becoming the first recorded African American male to complete the feat of finishing the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail.

“It’s pretty overwhelming when you think about it. It’s humbling to know that you’re in a group of so few people,” Robinson said.

It took Robinson more than 8,000 miles to get his crown but taking the first step wasn’t easy.

After a five-year stint in the Army including fighting overseas in Iraq, Robinson found himself battling demons. “I didn’t sleep much I had nightmares I had flashbacks,” Robinson said.

Read full story…

 

Taking a hike has many implications

Posted by on Nov 10, 2019 @ 7:05 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Taking a hike has many implications

The phrase “Take a Hike” no longer carries the same connotation as it did when you were young and your older siblings just wanted you to make a quick, and extensive, exit. It was defined simply as: buzz off.

Today, that hiking expression more often means you have received an open invitation to explore a park, discover what is around the next bend, work on your cardio exercise program, and enjoy the outdoors.

While taking a hike is a sound venture on just about any day, on Nov. 17, 2019 the U.S. marks its official “National Take a Hike Day”.

“Take a Hike Day” seems like a very sound addition, and it has significantly more health benefits than Key Lime Pie Day (Sept. 26), National Sausage Pizza Day (Oct. 11), or National Moonshine Day (June 5). So take a hike on Nov. 17, and any and every other day where the schedule and the meteorology allows.

For more information on Take a Hike Day, and a list of many hiking options, visit the nationaltoday.com/national-take-a-hike-day/ website.

Cite…

 

Here’s the top reason unprepared hikers need to be rescued

Posted by on Nov 7, 2019 @ 6:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Here’s the top reason unprepared hikers need to be rescued

  A hiker found herself in the dark, alone and lost for a second night in a row. She lacked a basic, fairly cheap piece of equipment: a headlamp.

The night before, New York forest rangers found her in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks after she called 911, escorted her out and gave her some friendly advice:

A headlamp would have saved her — and the rangers — a lot of trouble.

But that advice went unheeded, and there they were again earlier this fall hiking season rescuing the same woman for the second day in a row.

Forest rangers say that not having a headlamp is among the most common mistakes they encounter when they are rescuing hikers in the Adirondacks and on other trails in the state.

But it’s not the only problem. Too often, hikers are simply unprepared for the rigors of the outdoors. Part of the problem stems from a false sense of security, rangers say.

Read full story…

 

The Best Hiking Spots Across Hawaii, from the Big Island to Oahu

Posted by on Nov 6, 2019 @ 6:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

With its 750 miles of total coastline presenting idyllic beaches, clear, warm waters, and some of the best surfing, fishing, diving, and snorkeling spots on earth, of course, many people associate Hawaii’s opportunities for outdoor recreation with the water. But if you fail to look inland, you’re missing out.

Like the biggest mountain on earth, if you measure Mauna Kea from its base under the ocean to its summit at 13,803 feet above sea level. Like Hi’ilawe Falls, a waterfall with a main drop some 1,200 feet in height. Like miles of perfectly pristine beaches completely devoid of human development.

You can get to the summit of Mauna Kea by car, you can see Hi’ilawe falls by helicopter, and you can reach spots like Kauai’s Kauapea Beach, AKA Secret Beach, by boat, but what ties these and dozens of other spots together? They are best reached by hiking. Sure, surfing is great and all, but Hawaii is just as much of a paradise for the hiker who loves logging miles afoot.

See the recommendations…

 

20 tips for safe hiking before you hit the trails this winter

Posted by on Nov 5, 2019 @ 7:02 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

20 tips for safe hiking before you hit the trails this winter

Just because winter is here doesn’t mean hiking season is over.

With the right gear and preparation, you can keep hiking through the snow and ice. The chilly temperatures might be challenging, but the blanket of snow makes everything simply beautiful.

Snowy and icy conditions are more difficult than summer hiking since you slide around. Pick an easier trail than normal seeing as winter hikes often take longer than summer ones.

Know how cold it’s going to be and if it’s going to snow, and dress accordingly. Don’t forget to check the wind as well — wind chill is no joke.

Carry a first aid kit just in case. A foil emergency blanket is also great and folds up super small in your backpack.

There’s safety in numbers, so going with a group is always a good idea. Plus, breaking trail through the snow is hard work. When you hike in a group, you can take turns going first.

Here are some tips for making sure your winter hike is safe, warm, and fun…