Mount MacFarlane, Chilliwack B.C.

1800m elevation gain. Beast of a day hike.

The hike to the summit of Mount MacFarlane is steep, difficult and requires some scrambling. However, the hike can be shortened by stopping at Lower Pierce Lake or Upper Pierce Lake. Both lakes are worthwhile objectives of their own.

About 10 hours if all goes well.

Details on Outdoor Vancouver.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Excellent Swiss Hikes

Our top multi-day hike in Switzerland is the Haute Route.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Our #1 day hike in the world is Harder Ridge. In Switzerland.

Here is a list of more fantastic walks as posted by Lonely Planet:

  • Faulhornweg 15km; 4½ to 5½ hours
  • Lakes of Macun 22km; 7½ to 8½ hours
  • Gemmi Pass 13km; 5 hours
  • Via Alpina 390km; 20 days 
  • Rigi Panorama Trail 7km; 2 hours
  • Aletsch Glacier Hike, Valais 17km; 5 to 6 hours 
  • Höhenweg Höhbalmen 18km; 6½ to 7½ hours
  • Kronberg Treasure Hunt Trail 7km; 3 hours
  • Bisse de Clavau 8km; 4 hours 
  • 19 Days on the JOHN MUIR TRAIL

    Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles


    The John Muir Trail in California is our #2 hike in the world.

    Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

    Though I’d hiked almost every segment over the years, this was my first time hiking over 200 miles continually.

    There are hundreds of excellent JMT Trip Reports online. For example, I enjoyed Jai’s joyful photo journal from Aug 11-30, 2021.

    Rather than post a detailed day-by-day account, here I’ll simply recount some of my own HIGHLIGHTS.

    If this page is too long 😀 … watch highlights of my trip in less than 5 minutes.

    Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


    Jai’s group finished one day before Forest Fire closures were announced.

    We were lucky too. Aug 7 – 24, 2021. No closures. Haziest day was Aug 23rd near Whitney.

    Climate change will — in future — increasingly make thru hikes of the John Muir Trail more difficult.


    The other big worry on the JMT is afternoon lightning. This season Nicholas Torchia, 37-years-old, died after trying to take cover by leaning against a tree while hiking close to the John Muir Trail.


    For this adventure, I was happy to have my old hiking buddies Brian and Rocco join me for the first week.

    Hiking with friends is more fun. But logistics more complicated.

    Under my failed leadership in the past, we are known as the Backcountry Bunglers. AND we managed to bungle logistics again — though the hiking itself was superb.

    We had Pacific Crest Trail 500+ mile permits rather than JMT permits. PCT are much easier to get. BUT require that you start exactly the day and trailhead on the permit. Also, you have to carry a print copy. Lessons learned.

    Thousand Island Lake

    Near Reds Meadows we made the short detour to Rainbow Falls.

    And Devil’s Postpile.


    Rocco is a student of flora and fauna. He particularly enjoyed the many kinds of beautiful (and weird) trees.


    When in town we felt obliged to CARBO LOAD in advance of our freeze dried future.

    One of our favourite restaurants was Breakfast Club in Mammoth.

    On the trail my dinners were mostly based on ramen, instant mashed potatoes and instant stuffing. REAL bacon pieces were one of my treats as were Jelly Belly.


    Critical to a successful hike is footwear and foot management.

    What worked best for me in the California dry heat was trail runners and Injiji toe socks. In fact, I left my usual Merrell Moabs in Mammoth after the first 5 days.

    I cleaned and cooled my feet as often as possible during the day.

    Mid-day I’d stop for about an hour to use solar power to recharge my devices.


    In the Sierra Nevada there are plenty of opportunities to wild camp. Set up your tent anywhere not too close to water. … Unless it’s posted.

    Late afternoon we had set up our tents … before noticing this sign.

    It’s EASY to find fantastic places to tent. Actually.


    Many on the JMT stick to the trail, unwilling to miss even a single official step. Not me.

    I took 4 side trips:

    • Reds – Thousand Island lake on the PCT
    • southern Red Cone from Lower Crater Meadow junction
    • Goodale Trail to Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR) because the boat wasn’t running
    • Mt Whitney
    southern Red Cone


    On past hikes I’d never made the famed side trip to VVR.

    On arrival, the new owners welcome you warmly and offer a free cold beer.

    I’m really glad I did VVR this time, taking a ZERO miles recovery day. I met more people there than the rest of the days combined. Found myself at the same table with PhD students and veteran thru hikers.

    I stayed for the Saturday night all-you-can-eat barbecue. $26.

    Due to drought and low snow fall the previous winter, governments had held back water from Lake Thomas Edison. When this happens, the ferry can’t shuttle hikers to VVR. It’s a half day extra walking.

    For me it was well worth the side trip.

    Lake Thomas Edison – DRY in 2021

    I skipped the Ranch.


    Highlights for one and all. Yet I’m disappointed I didn’t take more photos. I should have woken up more often to see the Milky Way.


    The story of the southern JMT is climbing a high pass every day.

    I enjoyed it. By Seldon I was feeling fit. My feet were great. In fact, I was in the BEST physical shape for hiking at the end of 19 days. It would have seemed EASY to hike back north.


    Weather was good — but cold and windy when I reached famed Muir Pass hut.


    Navigation is easy on the John Muir trail with most of the popular hiking apps.

    I used Guthook and the free app.

    Another I really appreciated is the free PeakFinder app. You must download the regional data when online as there’s very little service on the JMT.


    Of many, many impressive peaks en route — including Whitney — my favourite was Fin Dome.

    Fin Dome and Arrowhead lake


    The south gets higher and bleaker. I re-read DUNE on this section as it was appropriate to the environment. Hiking alone I was able to finish quite a few audio books, in fact.

    Here’s the final push to the top of Whitney.

    I was briefly the highest person in the lower 48.

    Since the weather was good, I decided to have dinner atop the peak. Stay for sunset. It was very hazy.

    A highlight, however, was walking down to Trail Camp on the far side of the mountain by headlamp and moonlight. My only night hiking of the trip.

    Next morning I was up for dawn to enjoy my final morning on the John Muir Trail.

    Whitney massif at dawn from Trail Camp

    Finally down at Portal, we celebrated with the traditional burger and fries. Relived highlights with hikers whom I’d been walking with in parallel for many days.

    A wonderful trip.

    Climbing Mt Adams, Washington

    Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

    My first international trip since start of pandemic was to Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington state.

    As part of that, Adlards invited me to join their group climbing the Mt Adams volcano in Washington.

    Our base camp was in the deadfall of the 2012 Cascade Creek Fire.

    The most popular route is South Climb trail.

    I’d climbed Adams with Adlards in 2008.

    This time daughter Delaney Adlard joined in the adventure.

    In fact, Dave and Lisa were celebrating their 19th wedding anniversary.

    We had great weather … on the way up. That’s Mount Hood in the distance.

    Dave explained that one difference between hiking and mountaineering is using crampons and/or ice axe.

    We set up our tents at the Lunch Counter, a relatively flat portion of Suksdorf Ridge.

    Siesta until 3pm. Then we set off towards “Pikers Peak”, the visible false summit that looks close.

    It gets steeper.

    I loved the clear vistas.

    Unfortunately, due to low snow fall and MANY hot days in 2021, Dave had never seen worse snow conditions. We were slow.

    In fact, we didn’t quite make the false summit, turning around in time to make it back to camp in daylight.

    That night it got very WINDY. None of our 3 tents broke, but we collectively got very little sleep.

    Next morning dawned clear again. It was fast and easy downhill on both scree and morning cold ice.

    This was Delaney’s personal elevation record.

    NEXT TIME we’ll do the middle-of-the-night start with harder snow and ice for the crampons.

    Overall, an EXCELLENT adventure. A lot of fun.

    Not making the summit was no big deal.

    Pro tip — Society Hotel and Hostel in Bingen, Washington — en route to Adams and Hood — is my favourite hostel in the USA, so far. Very cool, you get a complimentary spa and hot springs visit with each stay. That costs $25 by itself.

    Great Hikes in the Italian Dolomites

    The Dolomites are one of our top 10 hiking regions in the world.

    The wikiloc app compiled a list of some of their favourite adventures:

    • Lake Sorapis
    • Marmolada Peak
    • Viel dal Pan refuge from the Pordoi Pass
    • Tre Cime di Lavaredo
    • Sassolungo circuit
    • Adolf Munkel Trek
    • Trekking of the Thinking Christ
    • Fanes Cascades
    • … and more

    The Dolomites

    Discover one of Italy’s most beautiful paradises of valleys and mountains

    Dientes de Navarino, Chilean Patagonia

    One of the #BestHikes in the world.

    Suzie Dundas posted a terrific trip report for Outside magazine:

    Dientes de Navarino is a trek of superlatives.

    It starts from the southernmost town in the world—Puerto Williams, on the 55th parallel. …

    Our upcoming trek would cover anywhere from 35 to 45 miles, depending on what route we chose and how accurately our trackers would monitor our steps through mud and snow.

    First trekked in the late 1990s but only officially (and partially) marked in 2016, around 200 people attempted the trail annually before its blazing. Since then, the number has gone up to between 1,000 and 1,500 per year. …

    A Trek to the Edge of the World

    How to tackle Chilean Patagonia’s Dientes de Navarino, considered the most unpredictable trek in the world

    related – our failed attempt at Dientes de Navarino