About Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

tramping Stewart Island, New Zealand

There are three main multi-day hiking trails on Stewart Island:

Rakiura Track (3 days)
North West Circuit (9-11 days)
Southern Circuit (6 days)

Stewart Island can be visited all year round, and it possible to do the aforementioned hikes at any time of the year. But, our recommendation is to visit sometime during the peak summer months, when the weather is warmer, sunny days are (slightly) more likely, and the daylight hours are longer.

We suggest visiting December through March. …

Ultimate Gear Lists – STEWART ISLAND HIKING GUIDE

The weather is notorious. But your biggest problem is not likely to be mud … it will be sandflies.

cycling Vegas to Red Rock Canyon

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

My favourite destination in Vegas is Red Rock Canyon.

It was Alistair Humphreys who first got me thinking about microadventures.

… short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding. …

Visiting friends in west Vegas it was only about 10 miles to the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center on excellent dedicated cycling lanes.

I cycled from their house short of the Conservation Area, turning one street early into the Calico Basin (no fees).

You can access similar gorgeous wilderness while avoiding crowds, parking hassles and entrance fee.

For the first time ever I cycled out onto the Kraft Mountain trails.

It was busy with locals climbing the Kraft Boulders.

Aside from April wildflowers, it was typical Nevada desert.

I did see one large desert tortoise, Nevada’s State Reptile.

At dusk I set up my tent in a quiet, hidden spot.

Next morning starting at 5am I began hearing voices.

As it turned out I’d accidentally set-up close to an unmarked but popular local trail.

Oops.

Charles Darwin was a hiker

He got into hiking in his 20s, but it was trekking and scrambling in little know wilderness on four continents visited on his five-year-long H.M.S. Beagle voyage between 1831 and 1836 that cement him as one of the most worldly hikers in history.

 “Mount Darwin” is the highest peak in Tierra del Fuego. On February 12, 1834, Captain FitzRoy named a mountain after him on his birthday. …

Mt. Darwin

Darwin walked mainly to discover plants and animals unique to those regions.

I learned all this by reading his travelogue Voyage of the Beagle.

By the way, the famous phrase “survival of the fittest” comes from Herbert Spencer’s 1864 publication, “Principles of Biology.” The term is largely thought to have been coined by Darwin regarding his thoughts on evolution; however, this is a wrong assumption.

Bikepacking the Great American Rail-Trail

By BestHike editor Rick McCharles

This summer I plan to cycle the western end of the new Great American Rail-Trail.

I’ll camp and also hike the best trails en route.

The preferred route connects 125+ existing rail-trails, greenways and other multiuse paths spanning more than 3,700 miles. About half of the route is on dedicated trails now, the other half in the works.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

GUEST POSTS on BestHike.com

By site editor Rick McCharles

Every week I decline requests for sponsored posts. Those are mostly advertisements that look like a regular post.

But we do post guest articles.

So, if you’d like to summit something to this site, here are our guidelines for submissions:

What Content Do We Want?

  • Information of interest to independent hikers.
  • Things that are NEW. DIFFERENT. ORIGINAL.
  • Insider information not available elsewhere.
  • Hikes in parts of the world not well covered on the internet now: Africa, China, Russia, etc.
  • Technology / Apps being used by hikers

The more succinct, the better. But include visuals: graphics, photos, videos.

Send an email to RickMcCharles (a) gmail.

Include the following:

Your hiking history. Any links you’d like included.

If your post is simply to sell some hiking gear, it’s not likely it will be posted on this site.

There’s no payment or remuneration of any kind. This site now runs ad free.

Hiking to Bob Hope’s estate, Palm Springs

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

Known as the Araby Trail, a short day hike takes you up to the Bob Hope estate, a saucer-shaped home once owned by Hope and also at different times by Steve McQueen and William Holden.

Not far from the airport, the trail starts above a trailer park — somehow symbolic of the divide between rich and poor.

It’s about a 1,000-foot ascent over 1.6 miles one way to get to the top.