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California

Prepping For Your First 14er Hike

There are 96 14ers in the US and hiking at least a handful of them is on most hiker’s bucket list! You’re pushing your body to new limits, you’re climbing high, and there are quite a few of them so you can really turn peak-bagging into your own personal sport for the coming seasons.

Ultimate Guide to Visiting & Exploring Channel Islands National Park

Although it’s an underrated park, it’s one you must visit! It’s beautiful! Because it’s so difficult to get to, it’s such a pristine park, and it makes you appreciate the experience more. Plus there is wildlife everywhere!

Kayaking in Channel Islands National Park

I spent the day kayaking around Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park. We explored a narrow sea cave and learned more about this island. The water below the kayak was so clear you could see the fish below!

Taking a Road Trip Across The Western US

I started from home in California and drove through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, and Oregon. If you are planning a similar trip, even to a couple of these places, this blog post breaks down tips and places to explore in the different states.

Guide to Visiting Yosemite National Park

Yosemite has something for everyone at every skill level. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly trip, easier hikes, harder backpacking trips, rock climbing, rafting down a river, swimming in lakes, biking, photography, star gazing, and so much more.

6 Pretty Backpacking Trails in Yosemite National Park

In Yosemite, you can see granite walls and domes carved by glaciers, meadows, wildflowers, wildlife, waterfalls, lakes, and so much more. In this blog, we’re going to go over some of the prettiest hiking and backpacking trails in Yosemite.

Hiking the Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park

The Mist Trail is one of Yosemite’s most iconic hikes. It’s the start of the Half Dome trail but it also goes past Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. It’s called the Mist Trail for a reason because you get misted by the falls on your hike! On a hot summer day, it’s so refreshing.

A Guide to Hiking Half Dome in Yosemite

On a whim, I applied for the Half Dome permit on the last day of the preseason lottery opening. Surprisingly I got a permit! And for my second choice day! This hike was anything but easy. To this day, Half Dome is still one of the most challenging hikes I’ve done.

Best National Parks to Visit in the Winter

Who says that national parks are just for summer months? Winter can be a beautiful time to explore, especially since there are usually less crowds in the winter months! I’ve compiled a list of the different national parks that I and several other bloggers have visited in the winter months.

Visiting & Camping in Death Valley, CA

I’ve driven up the 395 countless times, I’ve spent my whole life in California, and this trip was another first for me! I’ve seen endless pictures of sand dunes at sunrise, different rock formations, and salt flats and needed to finally experience it in person.

Experience Fall Colors in the Eastern Sierra, California

The Eastern Sierra is one of the best places to experience fall colors in California. The foothills turn into a gradient of greens, yellows, and oranges as the weather cools. It’s fall-wonderland!

Hiking to Long Lake in Bishop, California

This is a short, family-friendly hike that takes you to postcard-worthy scenic views with a glistening alpine lake in the shadow of the High Sierra.

Hiking to Minaret Lake in Mammoth Lakes, California

The hike to Minaret Lake was one of my favorite hikes. It’s challenging but the elevation gain is spaced out enough that you don’t feel the burn as much. The views are stunning and around every turn, they just keep getting better and better.

Mt. Whitney Trail Report

I’ve seen the most beautiful sunrises on Mt. Whitney time and time again, nothing compares to watching the whole mountain light up pink in the sunrise glow. Now that you’ve gotten your permit, you know what you’re getting yourself into, and you are getting prepared for this stunning hike, let’s get into the trail report.

Snowshoeing from the Giant Forest Museum to Crescent Meadows in the Sequoia National Park

In the summer, this trail is a road, but in the winter, it’s unplowed which makes it the perfect trail to follow, and perfect for a beginner snowshoer or someone looking for a stroll through the woods.

Getting John Muir Trail Permits For Backpacking

I break down the whole permit system, including permits leaving Yosemite heading SOBO, permits heading NOBO, section hikes and basically every way you can get a permit to end up on the John Muir Trail.

Finding Hot Springs in Mammoth Lakes, California

Hot springs are one of the best ways to soak your sore muscles after a day hiking or on the slopes. They’re also in a prime location to take a soak and enjoy views of the Eastern Sierra’s.

10 Things to Do in Mammoth This Winter

Whether you’re coming back to Mammoth to partake in winter activities or it’s your first time, here are 10 things to do in Mammoth this winter.

Planning for Mt. Whitney

When to go? Where to camp? What rules to follow? Sample itinerary? Read on!

Mt Whitney Permit Process For Backpackers & Hikers

With over 6,700 feet of elevation gain on the trail, Mt. Whitney stands at 14,505 feet and is the highest point in the lower 48 states. So you’ve decided to hike to the top?

High Sierra Trail Permits & Packing List

The 72 mile trail starts in the West from Crescent Meadows in the Sequoia National Park and runs to the East across the mountain range to the Mt. Whitney summit and down to Whitney Portal.

High Sierra Trail: Day 1 – Crescent Meadows to Panther Creek

This was the easiest part of the hike. It was moderately level for the entire 3 miles, it was on dirty instead of rocky terrain, it was well marked and not exposed.

High Sierra Trail: Day 2 – Panther Creek to Hamilton Lake

The Camp overlooks the Great Western Divide which we started to ascend to get to Hamilton Lake. Get the brownie, it’s an amazing treat after the last 2 mile climb. And it’s HUGE!

High Sierra Trail: Day 3 – Hamilton Lake to Big Arroyo Junction

Our day 3 hike on the HST was arguably the most beautiful stretch on this 72 mile journey.

High Sierra Trail: Day 4 – Big Arroyo Junction to Kern Hot Spring

We woke up chilly to frozen socks (I had an extra pair that did not freeze) and frozen shoes. I brought toe warmers with me and did jumping jacks to warm up while making breakfast and packing up.

High Sierra Trail: Day 5 – Kern Hot Spring to Junction Meadow

My sore feet and blisters were soaked, my hair was clean, I was well rested and ready to take on the rest of the HST.

High Sierra Trail: Day 6 – Junction Meadow to Guitar Lake

I prefer to knock out the hardest part of the day in the dark. We watched the sunrise over the Great Western Divide and the Kaweah Peaks we hiked over a few days ago to the West.

High Sierra Trail: Day 7 – Guitar Lake to Mt. Whitney to Whitney Portal

It became about the journey, the other places I saw along the way, and the people I shared the experience with. We literally saw some of the most beautiful places in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range.

Hiking Ediza Lake Trail in Mammoth Lakes, California

Ediza Lake in the Ansel Adams Wilderness is a strenuous 13 miles round trip hike with 1,774 feet of elevation gain. After Shadow Lake, you will keep going. You’re about 3 miles from Ediza Lake.