climbing Croagh Patrick, Ireland

The most popular mountain on the island, perhaps 100,000 attempt the summit each year. St Patrick offers Holy Water at the trailhead.

Croagh Patrick (Irish: Cruach Phádraig), nicknamed the Reek, is a 764 metres (2,507 ft) tall mountain and an important site of pilgrimage in County Mayo, Republic of Ireland.

It is 8 kilometres (5 mi) from Westport, above the villages of Murrisk and Lecanvey. It is the third highest mountain in County Mayo after Mweelrea and Nephin. On “Reek Sunday“, the last Sunday in July every year, over 15,000 pilgrims climb it (some barefoot) …

Saint Patrick reputedly fasted on the summit of Croagh Patrick for forty days in the fifth century and built a church there. Popular legend says that at the end of Patrick’s 40-day fast, he threw a silver bell down the side of the mountain, knocking the she-demon Corra from the sky and banishing all the snakes from Ireland. …

This small chapel dates back to 1905.

St. Paddy camped here. I left a Summit Stone as a token of respect for his good works.

Because many amateur, under dressed non-hikers make the pilgrimage, there are more incidents on this peak than any other on the Emerald Isle.

I was in good hands, guided by Mike from the Mayo Mountain Rescue Team.

More photos from our day hike.

The other big celebrity attraction of the remote, rugged region is John Wayne. He filmed The Quiet Man (1952) here. Cong’s gorgeous Ashford Castle, featured in the film, is the centre of the tourist hub bub.

Þingvellir National Park, Iceland

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Historical hiking.

Þingvellir is a site of historical, cultural, and geological importance and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. It is the site of a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Due to acoustics, historians feel this rift is the most likely spot for people to assemble.

… Parliament or Alþingi was established at Þingvellir in 930 and remained there until 1789. …

It’s speculated that Clan Chieftains from across the island met here regularly for a 2wk Assembly.

I quite enjoyed wandering the area, imagining times past, ancient and modern.

See more photos.

Chilkoot Trail eGuide

The Chilkoot Trail, which begins on tidewater in Alaska and climbs up over mountains in British Columbia, presents a unique backpacking opportunity, as this is a trail rich with history.

It was the main trail used in the famous Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1800′s, one of the biggest rushes the world has ever seen.

An international crowd of literally tens of thousands, fueled by dreams of riches, used the Chilkoot Trail to chase the gold in the Yukon. Most suffered incredible hardship, many never even made it and only a few got rich. Today on the trail you’ll find plenty of reminders of their epic journey.

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Download a FREE Trail eGuide from the Hike Bike Travel Free Adventure Guides page. There are plenty more just like this one.

They download as .ZIP files that then need to be opened as PDFs.

Canadian Rocky Mountain ghost town hike

Barry posted a fascinating trip report on one of his Wilderness Adventures. Though it’s right out my back door, I’d never heard of this ghost town. Nor seen this stove worthy of the Chilkoot Trail.

Bankhead is an Alberta ghost town which existed between 1903 and 1923. On the road to Lake Minnewanka, about 2.5 KM (1.6 miles) north from the TransCanada, Banff Townsite exit, there is a turnout on the right where a short and easy 1.1 KM (0.7 mile) interpretive loop hike through old mine processing ruins is worth the time if you are willing to negotiate the steep stairs in and out of the site. The mine is located on the east base of Cascade Mountain.

… relics of their short existence including old foundations, derelict buildings and the debris of life in those times. …

read more – Hiking with Barry