This last minute trip came together as my young brothers-in-law (Sean & Shane) wanted to go backpacking for the first time and they wanted to do it in Yellowstone. After zooming with them about how to prepare, it was clear they weren’t and I would be heading out to west to lead them. Also with us was their friend (Ozan) and my friend (Chris). I met Chris on the John Muir Trail a few years ago and hiked again with him last year in Glacier National Park. I was able to recruit him to help me out on leading the kids on their first backpacking trip by offering a free flight via my Southwest companion pass and free hotels. I was very happy having someone I knew the capabilities of and trusted in the backcountry. So we were a group of five for this trip, but with the flexibility of splitting the group up at times to accommodate the different goals and paces of the kids as they got use to backpacking.
Note from John (website editor & author): Motivation to work on my website this last year has hard to come by for me. The reasons are probably familiar to many out there as we learn to live and normalize the world of COVID. As such, I am backlogged more than a years worth of hikes and travel. So it will take me a while to write my typical detailed trip reports and produce the videos. In the meantime, these brief reports (as cross-posted on the Backcountry Post forums) will serve as a teaser and place holder for the full reports to come. Read More
As a companion video to a few of our day hikes at the most popular spots in Yellowstone National Park, we do our best to capture the typical road trip experience through the park. That includes plenty of geothermal features from erupting geysers to colorful pools to cascading terraces. Along our way, we also so a grizzly bear, a coyote, and plenty of bison roaming the fields.
You can our full detailed report of our hikes below in the index as they are posted.
Old Faithful and Yellowstone National Park are synonymous with each other. The geyser is a must stop for all visitors to the park and as such has an entire village built around it including the historic Old Faithful Inn, visitor center, backcountry office, store, gas station, and a massive parking area. Part of what makes Old Faithful so prominent is how frequent and regular it erupts, every 2 hours, as its name suggest. However it is not the tallest at 106 to 185 feet (Wikipedia) and you can’t particularly get close to it due to its popularity these days. So while you are here, it is worth your time to check out one of the other 6 geysers whos eruptions are predicted by the NPS or the many geothermal features around the Upper Geyser Basin.
This is the second entry of our Wyoming trip series covering our day hike around Upper Geyser Basin and visiting Old Faithful (2). You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.
Tramping (aka hiking) and New Zealand are synonymous when we think of traveling to the small island nation. However, there is much more to the hiking scene there than just the Great Walks (DOC). I have met locals that have exclaimed that the Great Walks, while very worth it, aren’t the best scenery that New Zealand has to offer. With our hike of the Rees-Dart track, I completely understand that sentiment.
This is the six entry of our Australia and New Zealand trip series covering our tramp of the Rees-Dart Track in Mt. Aspiring National Park. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.
The experience at Milford Sound can sound like a big tourist trap with the many visitors all boarding the similar boat cruise. It was an experience we had to settle for during our first visit to the famed fjord when weather canceled our original plans. To my surprise, the natural aesthetics of the sheer rock faces and tall waterfalls among the moody clouds was more than enough to overcome the tourist crowds on these cruises and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience that day.
It only added to my desire to return and see the wonderland from below. Fortune would have it, a couple of diving spots opened up for Mark and I and I would get my wish the second time around.
This is the fifth entry of our Australia and New Zealand trip series covering our dives in Milford Sound and our subsequent stay in Queenstown. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.
If you are looking for an easy hike that provides for plenty of cascading stream views, the hike to Stiles Falls provides for a high views to work ratio. So it is a great hike for beginners or kid friendly hike. But it is a busy one for those same reasons.
The hike was closed shortly after we hiked here back in March, so I delayed in writing it up until now.
Being opportunistic is a good way to avoid the crowds when it comes to popular trails. It may mean getting up before sunrise, starting out late in the day, or still heading out when it’s rainy. With many of the frontcountry campgrounds still closed, certain trails are a little less crowded than normal. This included the Sherando Lake area, which is known as the jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains and typically sees hundreds of campers a day.
Sometimes a trail is about the summit or endpoint, but the ones I’ve always enjoyed the most are the trails that’s about the whole experience. The Iceline in Yoho National Park is one of those hikes. The Iceline took us onto a bench sitting under the Presidential Range and Emerald Glacier. For there, we could see the peaks and glaciers of the Waputik Range the Yoho Valley below. Once we were off the Iceline, we were then treated with green lake and roaring waterfalls. Sure there were stretches of forest, but they served more as breaks than the main course.
This is the third entry of our Canadian Rockies trip series. You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.
This is the companion preview videos to our trip report detailing our day hike loop of the Iceline trail, Celeste Lake Connector, & Yoho Valley Trail. The highlights of the hike were the views from the alpine bench along the Emerald Glacier and the Presidential Range (the Canadian one of course).
You can find the detailed report of our hike linked in the index below.