brief report: Yellowstone National Park – Union Falls, Dunanda Falls, Bechler Canyon, Mr. Bubbles, & Shoshone Geyser Basin; August 2022

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

trip video: Yellowstone National Park – Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, & Grand Prismatic, June 2021

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.

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trip report: Yellowstone National Park – Old Faithful & Upper Geyser Basin, May 2021

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.

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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.

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trip report: Wyoming – decisions & planning, June 2021

With the shots in our arms and more than a year of being mostly at home, we were ready for the hot vax summer of 2021. Our possible destinations were still limited internationally, but there are plenty I wanted to see in the United States, specifically the state of Wyoming. For something new, it was about time that I visited Yellowstone National Park, the first national park established in the United States in 1872. And for something loved, I looked forward to returning to the Wind River Range where we had a grand adventure the first time around. Of course with any good trip, there would be something unplanned and surprising as well.

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This is the first entry of our Wyoming trip series covering our pre-trip planning (1). You can navigate to the other parts in the index below as they are posted.

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trip report: Wind River Range – Ross Lakes, Bear Basin, Grasshopper Glacier, & Dinwoody Creek loop, September 2020

At one point on our eight day off trail backpacking trip into the Wind River Range, we set up our tent on a bluff overlooking a turquoise colored lake. No matter how often I’ve encountered them, they seem so surreal every time still. Across from us was the terminus of Connie Glacier spilling down into the lake. The funny thing was, we joked that probably the closest person from our five star camp this evening was at least 5 hour, 5 miles, or at least another valley away from us. We were roughly 1 to 2 days of tough and technical travel across talus & scree from the nearest trail, making those prospects not surprising at all. This was our experience in the northern portions of the Wind River Range, it beat us up and I still look forward to returning.

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This is part 1 of 2 of our trip out to Wyoming and Colorado. In this part, we cover our eight day off-trail backpacking trip in the Northern Wind River Range. Get ready folks, this is a long read or very much “magazine” style.

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good ideas: three road trips out west

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the idea

Seeing how this is the first real post, I thought I’d start it off with excitement and hope for the future. That is a few road trip ideas out west. Additionally this is also an example of the kind of research that goes into planning my trips. There are a few elements that came about to creating these three specific trip ideas.

The first element is that I have the southwest companion pass until the end of 2016 and 70k miles left to blow through (more to come about it in the future). Since southwest is mostly a domestic carrier (though Costa Rica for Spring Break ’16 is possible, anyone want to join?), I started to think about places in ‘merica I wanted to visit.

The second element is that despite having lived in California, there are still a lot out west that I have not explored. I took to google maps a while back to create a list of places I’d like to visit or would like to return. Additionally, it’s been three years since I’ve gone back to Cali to hang out with the gang there (where we’ve had a few pretty awesome trips) and I’ve recently had a few messages with them about heading out there again.

The last element was hearing a podcast about roadtrips on The Extra Pack of Peanuts, especially since they’ve mentioned a few I’ve done. Anyways, that got me thinking. With great hanging out and camping with Kevin two weekends ago (post to come), we’ve identified three trips. Since these are ideas, feedback would be great.

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