Brave Mountain Lion Fends Off Group Of Hikers


The Onion:

A local mountain lion came face-to-face with a group of hikers and made it out alive, sources reported Monday. Wildlife officials are crediting the courageous cougar’s quick thinking, catlike reflexes, and 150 pounds of coiled muscle with successfully fending off the human foot travelers. …


NEW – Kings Canyon High Basin Route

Andrew Skurka:

Seven years ago I thru-hiked with Buzz Burrell the Sierra High Route, which parallels the crest of the High Sierra between Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park. Its 200 miles represents less than 1 percent of the total miles that I have hiked, yet the experience proved to be one of the most influential: it revealed to me the grander sense of adventure when off-trail. …

A few months ago in “Short is the new long,” I wrote vaguely about my future backpacking plans. Rather than single expeditions lasting multiple months and covering thousands of miles, my emerging interest is shorter routes that showcase a single topographic feature like a mountain range, watershed, or canyon system. Not only are such routes more practical for a husband and home-owner, but they can sustain a higher level of overall awesomeness than longer trails or routes, which invariably include mind-numbingly boring “transition” miles between worthy sections.

Today I’m thrilled to introduce my first original project, which I stitched together over two summers. The 124-mile Kings Canyon High Basin Route circumnavigates the upper watershed of California’s Kings River and is encompassed entirely within Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. It’s an instant classic, and I believe it’s at least on par with the original, Roper’s Sierra High Route, for being the finest route in the High Sierra. …

Two-thirds of the Kings Canyon High Basin Route — specifically, 82 of its 124 miles — is officially off-trail. Five of these segments are longer than 10 miles, and one extends for 21! Save for the very beginning, very end, and 11 miles on the High Sierra Highway (aka John Muir Trail) in the middle, its on-trail miles are typically on lightly traveled pathways deep in the backcountry. …

Finest route in the High Sierra? Introducing the Kings Canyon High Basin Route.


If interested, here are the best links:

Kings Canyon High Basin Route and Kings Canyon High Basin Route Guide – Download $25.00

Rattlesnakes and Bald Eagles by Chris Townsend

Andy Howell – a review:

Chris Townsend walked the PCT over 30 years ago. Back then the trail was a reality but it was nowhere near as popular as it is today. I think the year Chris hiked it only 11 people completed it. It has taken 30 years for Chris to produce this book and it seems he only embarked on the task after encouragement from his new publishers, Sandstone Press. Sandstone should take a bow as this is a very fine book indeed. …

cover… what makes this a joy to read is the sharing of Chris’ discovery of life on a trail like this, the beauty of the desert, the joys of the high mountains, the fascinating variety of the forests and the glorious wildcamps along the way. I wish I could describe this all a bit more eloquently but you’ll just have to go and read the book! …

This is very firmly recommended.


Zebra Canyon and Tunnel Slot, Escalante

Utah Canyons STORE & COFFEE SHOP should be your first stop on arriving in Escalante, Utah.

We have fuel, custom annotated topographic maps, guidebooks and “desert tested” gear to help you fully enjoy your remote day-hike, canyoneering adventure or epic backpacking trip. …

Get local information on what hikes are best while you are there.

There are plenty of fantastic overnight and day hikes in the area.

Zebra Canyon and Tunnel Slot looks perfect to me.

… we decided to stop and check out the beautiful Zebra Canyon. The added bonus to this route was tunnel Slot, a very dark tunnel through the sandstone, filled with ice cold water. Visiting these two locations took us 3.5 hours.

We went as far as we could up Zebra first then turned around and hiked out then up the sandstone to the top of this canyon to look down it. Up top we found tons of moqui marbles in all various sizes. …

After this canyon we hiked straight towards Tunnel Slot by taking the obvious cut in the terrain connecting the two canyons. Arriving at the top of Tunnel we found that it was full of water whose depth was hard to determine and ended up being about thigh deep. Tunnel Slot is a very short oddity of a canyon due to its shape but was fun to visit. It also had the coldest water I think I’ve ever felt in my life. The short stint in the water, maybe 75 feet made my feet and legs feel like they suddenly belonged to someone else. …

trip report from 2012

2012 Escalante (65)

2012 Escalante (23)