American Prairie nature reserve

American Prairie is a massive prairie-based nature reserve in northeastern Montana being developed as a private project of the American Prairie Foundation (APF).

This independent non-profit organization is creating a wildlife conservation area …

… opportunities such as hiking, mountain biking, hunting and fishing …

Within large but securely fenced areas, APF is developing a bison herd free from cattle genes. …

americanprairie.org

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Walking First SNOW of the Year

I woke up surprised to see a winter wonderland outside my window.

October 22nd, Calgary, Canada.

I put on my winter jacket and headed out quickly to enjoy the clean, white fresh stuff — watching for Bobcat tracks. My neighbourhood is the only place I’ve ever seen Bobcat.

Sarcee Meadows, Calgary
My Junior High School, A.E. Cross.
My Elementary School, Glamorgan.

Super/Natural | Disney+

Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.

If you think you know nature, think again.

Executive-produced by James Cameron, this TV series uses special effects.

It’s funny. And punny. More lighthearted than most nature documentaries.

… reveal the secret powers and super-senses of the world’s most extraordinary animals, inviting viewers to see and hear beyond normal human perception to experience the natural world as a specific species does — from seeing flowers in bee-vision to eavesdropping on a conversation between elephant seals to soaring the length of a football field with glow-in-the-dark squirrels.

Disney+

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Hiking the Drakensberg, South Africa

The Drakensberg escarpment stretches for more than 1,000 kilometres (600 miles). Some of the best hiking in Africa.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. One of the best hiking videos I can recall. Ever.

Harmen Hoek:

In March 2022 I solo hiked for 8-days in the Drakensberg mountains on the border of South Africa and Lesotho.

My route started in Cathedral Peak in uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.

I hiked up to the escarpment via Organ Pipes Pass where I headed north towards the Mnweni area. I got down the escarpment via Rockeries Pass for resupplies and back up (bushwacking) via Fangs Pass.

North at the top of Tugela Falls in the Amphitheater of Royal Natal National Park I met up with my dad to spend one last night up the escarpment.

We got down via the infamous Sentinel Ladder.

Favorite hike in the world. The weather, terrain, views, people and remoteness make this hike really unique. Also the most challenging hike to date.

#10 – Overland Track, Australia

Tasmania’s Overland Track is one of our top 10 hikes in the world.

Why?

Our favourite multi-day tramp in Australia. 😎

  • surreal, unique Tasmanian vistas
  • pretty lakes, tarns and waterfalls
  • exiting by ferry, it’s minimum 62km (38.5mi) carrying a pack plus many possible sidetrips without a pack. Elevation Gain: +4,793 ft / 1,461 m
  • Elevation Loss: -5,160 ft / 1,573 m
  • 8000-9000 walkers / year
  • 60 walkers start / day in high season
  • Oct 1 – May 31 Overland Track Pass reservations online
  • access by public transportation
  • easy-moderate hiking IF the weather cooperates
  • add challenging sidetrip peak scrambles if the weather is good
  • Nov – early May best months
  • possible to hike year round (snow travel during the winter)

World → AustalasiaAustralia → Overland

Overland_Tassie_location_map
Gorgeous graphic via Warwick Sprawson

Click PLAY or watch a 1 minute preview on YouTube. 

For details click over to our Overland Track information page.

Hiking out of Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

The Tenacious Trekkers flew up to Longyearbyen and took a guided glacier hike.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. North of mainland Europe, it is about midway between the northern coast of Norway and the North Pole. …

The largest island is Spitsbergen

The largest settlement is Longyearbyen. …

Approximately 60% of the archipelago is covered with glaciers

The three main industries on Svalbard are coal miningtourism, and research. …

Tourism is focused on the environment and is centered on Longyearbyen. Activities include hiking, kayaking, walks through glacier caves, and snowmobile and dog-sled safari. Cruise ships generate a significant portion of the traffic …

Population of Svalbard is around 3000.

I’d love to get up there one day.

Climbing Fløya, out of Tromsø, Norway

I flew to Tromsø to begin a long bikepacking tour of the west coast.

Sadly, SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) accepted money from me ➙ then didn’t deliver my bicycle and gear to Norway. It sat untouched at Heathrow airport for days. 🤨

Airlines should not offer flights if they don’t have what they need to deliver.

On the upside, there is excellent hiking out of Tromsø.

Click PLAY or see highlights on YouTube.

Tromsø is 350 kilometres (217 mi) north of the Arctic Circle.  The summer sun doesn’t set until July 27th.  I was there July 24th.

At 69°, it is north of Reykjavík, for example. 

On my only other hiking trip to Norway I made it as far north as the Lofoten Islands, but not to Tromsø.

I climbed over 1200 stone steps built by Nepalese starting 2016. In Norwegian, they are called the Sherpatrappa.

Most people stop at the restaurant atop the cable car. There’s an excellent view from the deck and atop a nearby rock cliff.

But if you continue UP look for a climbing hut known as Steinbøhytta. You can sleep there for free.

This day there were a number of reindeer grazing. They seemed unperturbed by hikers — but this big male reacted badly when encountering my backpack unexpectedly. Perhaps it looked something like a carnivore in the rocks.

You can drive or take a bus to the start. But many simply walk across the bridge from town, visiting the Arctic Cathedral on the way.

By Oursinbenjamin

If you get to remote Tromsø, don’t miss this vista.

I took the Sherpa stairs back down. But there are alternative trails descending.

AllTrails recommends a loop they call Sherpatrappa and Dalbergstien.

related – 7 Easy Hikes With Spectacular Views In Tromso, Norway

#7 –  Otter Trail, South Africa

The Otter Trail is one of our top 10 hikes in the world.

Why?

Lush forests, rugged shorelines, river crossings, waterfalls and fragrant fynbos make this adventure at the southern tip of Africa unique. It’s strenuous, with lots of ups and downs …

  • non-stop superb hiking
  • one of our top 10 coastal hikes in the world
  • Storms River Mouth to Nature’s Valley
  • 42km
  • 5 days, 4 nights
  • huts or tenting
  • permits are difficult to get as only 12 hikers start each day. December and Easter holidays are highest demand.
  • Recommended to book 12 months in advance. (Because folks book so early, it’s often possible to get a last minute cancellation spot.)

World → AustralasiaNew Zealand → Tongariro Circuit

CNN
... one way to cross the Bloekrantz
River crossings are a challenge.

Click PLAY or watch a 1 minute preview on YouTube.

For details click over to our Otter Trail Information page.

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