Colombia’s Lost City trek

Geoff Bedeck:

Swarms of aqua-blue butterflies, foaming waterfalls, hidden swimming lagoons, lime-green parakeets and chirping songbirds high up in the trees – this was what I’d come to find in the verdant Colombian jungle, along the winding trail to the Lost City.

HIKING COLOMBIA’S LOST CITY OF TEYUNA

One of our best hikes in South America.

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.

mojave-map

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.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak, Arizona

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Like many others driving between Phoenix and Tuscon, I’d always wanted to climb this unique volcanic plug.

It looks challenging, but I found it not too bad.

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It’s not via ferrata, but there are cables and other assistance everywhere needed.

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Bring gloves.

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As a former gymnast, I was certainly overconfident on arrival at the trailhead.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

I’d already embarrassed myself pronouncing the name of the peak as Pikachu. That’s wrong.

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Though one hiker cried 4 times getting up and down, I found it fun.

I love the giant, individually unique saguaro cactus.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

On the way up it’s difficult to imagine there’s actually a hiking route.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

This beautiful day attracted many to the peak. Everyone made it to the top so far as I could see. Myself included.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

Certain birds and animals make a good living waiting on lunch crumbs here.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

The vista from the top is not all that spectacular.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

I made a sidetrip to a smaller peak. Here’s the vista looking back to the summit.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

Still, Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak is unique and interesting enough to be added to our list of best hikes in North America.

If you have two vehicles consider climbing up via Hunter Trail, returning via Sunset Trail. 

 

 

 

Guadalupe Mountains TX – Bowl Loop

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

  • 8.5 miles
  • 2380ft elevation gain
  • side trip to climb Hunter’s Peak

The Parks recommends a (strenuous) 6-8 hours. In a rush to finish before dark, I did it in 4.5 hours.

Trailhead is the Pine Springs Visitor Center. I checked in with a Ranger on trail conditions. She neglected to tell me there was a LOT of snow up in the Bowl.

My guidebook recommended to climb up via the Tejas trail.

Bowl Loop, Guadalupe Mountains TX Bowl Loop, Guadalupe Mountains TX Bowl Loop, Guadalupe Mountains TX

A very easy way gain all that altitude. Very well maintained.

Bowl Loop, Guadalupe Mountains TX

Up top in the bowl it looked like the Canadian winter I’d fled.

Bowl Loop, Guadalupe Mountains TX

I met only one other hiker. She too was surprised with the snow.

It’s a different ecosystem up here.

A beautiful coniferous forest of pine and Douglas fir … awaits those who are willing to hike up 2500 feet from the Chihuahuan desert below.

Bowl Loop, Guadalupe Mountains TX

Close to the turnoff for Hunter’s Peak I saw a herd of mule deer. I’m not sure why they are so high this time of year.

Bowl Loop, Guadalupe Mountains TX

Behind me is the highest point in Texas – Guadalupe Peak. I left a Summit Stone.

Great vistas.

Bowl Loop, Guadalupe Mountains TX

flat desert below

From there I needed to either backtrack. Or finish the loop.

Signage in Guadalupe Mountains National Park is not nearly as good as in Big Bend. The free Parks trail map is not detailed enough to do many of the hikes it recommends. Get a better map.

Happily I did find the sign to Bear Canyon Trail. The descent was much different — and much steeper — than how I got up.

water pipe

water pipe

I saw some strange wreckage. An airplane crash, I assume.

Bowl Loop, Guadalupe Mountains TX

It was much quicker down than up.

Bowl Loop, Guadalupe Mountains TX

In fact, for most people it’s better to climb on Bear Canyon, descend on Tejas. Easier on the knees. We’ve added The Bowl to our list of best hikes in North America.

related – Backpacker – Guadalupe Mountains National Park: The Bowl