Escalante Overland Route

Extreme hiking, scrambling and navigation.

The Escalante Overland Route (OLR) traverses the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, arguably the best, true wilderness in the lower 48. Compared to the millions who visit the Grand Canyon each year, the vast expanse of the Monument below Highway 12 has no trails and few people. Many of the canyons only see a few visitors a year, if any. You are unlikely to see another person on the route. …

Just to be clear, this is Steve Allen’s route. He describes an “Overland Route” in a few terse paragraphs at the end of a 1997 guide book. He presents it more of a challenge than a guide. In the ensuing 20 years it’s remained off the radar, with almost no known completions. In this sense, the OLR is closer to a “revived” route than a new one. Don Wilson, Andrew Skurka and I hope that this trip report will inspire more people to experience the wonders of the Escalante. …

A Very Different High Route – Escalante Overland Route

NEW – Backbone Trail, California

the Backbone Trail, stretches about 67 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains that ring Los Angeles, and opened in June after more than 50 years in the making.

The trail, which connects Point Mugu State Park in Malibu to Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades, has evolved slowly over the years. Non-government volunteers worked with state and federal park employees to fund and build the path, and to acquire the land necessary to connect the pieces….

USA Today

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Guadalupe Peak, Texas

Highpointers are all interested in getting to the top of this mountain. The trailhead is near the Pine Springs Visitor Center.

Guadalupe Peak, also known as Signal Peak, is the highest natural point in Texas, with an elevation of 8,751 feet (2,667 m) …. It is located in Guadalupe Mountains National Park …

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The peak can be climbed by a maintained stony trail (4.25 miles or 6.8 kilometres each way) at any time of the year. …

A stainless steel pyramid marks the summit. It was erected by American Airlines in 1958 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Butterfield Overland Mail, a stagecoach route that passed south of the mountain. …

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Once there you might want to scramble down and back up to the top of El Capitan, the most impressive face of the massif.

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If interested in climbing Guadalupe, click over to SummitPost for details.

 

man and dog 60 days off-trail

Ace Kvale turned 60 last fall, and to celebrate, he planned a 60-day, off-trail backpacking trip around Utah’s Canyon Country, leaving from his front door.

He had a dozen friends join him for different sections of the trip, and one friend who joined him for the whole thing: his blue heeler, 10-year-old Genghis Khan aka ‘Desert Dog’. …

Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.

related – Desert Dawg Adventure Blawg

(via Outside)

hiking across Mojave Reserve, California

Next time I get to Vegas I plan to cross the Mojave National Reserve south to north.

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I’ll start from highway 40 heading towards the Granite Mountains. Refill at Kelso Depot. Hike on to Mid Hills Campground , refilling my water bottles. And exiting at Nipton.

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Surprisingly, water will not be a problem.

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water sources

I won’t count on natural springs, however. Let’s leave that for the wildlife.

I’ll carry the Tom Harrison map. Wish me luck.

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Northeastern Arizona.

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Named for its large deposits of petrified wood, the fee area of the park covers about 230 square miles (600 square kilometers), encompassing semi-desert shrub steppe as well as highly eroded and colorful badlands. …

The site, the northern part of which extends into the Painted Desert, was declared a national monument in 1906 and a national park in 1962. About 800,000 people visit the park each year and take part in activities including sightseeing, photography, hiking, and backpacking. …

The park’s seven maintained hiking trails, some paved, vary in length from less than 0.5 miles (0.8 km) to nearly 3 miles (4.8 km). …

Hikers and backpackers may also visit the park’s wilderness areas. Free permits are required for overnight stays …

I enjoyed the 1 mile hike at Blue Mesa. Reviews.

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Entry fee.