Stingy Nomads do Fish River Canyon, Namibia

We based our Fish River information page much on Stingy Nomad’s trip report:

Some guide books says this is the toughest hike in Africa …

Fish River is definitely a hike to add to your must do hiking list.

Total distance of Fish River canyon hike 86km, the river itself is longer but due to many shortcuts your walking distance is about 14km less. …

Fish River canyon hike, Namibia. Itinerary, tips, map

Click PLAY or watch some drone footage on YouTube.

Laugevagur hike Iceland – day 2

Day 0 | Landmannalaugar | 1 | 2 | 3 | video | info

Hvannagil to Þórsmörk (Thorsmork)

26km, 10-12hr

Hoping to make a huge day, I was one of the first to leave camp. In the fog.

Bleak and flat to start.

Bridge! Thank God.

What an epic landscape!

Quite quickly you arrive at this pretty tourist area built 1995.

I had some hot brunch in the cook tent. Then moved on quickly. Some stop here to climb one or two summits as day hikes.

More bridges!

Interesting geology at every turn.

I was missing that brief bit of blue sky from yesterday. Everyone wore their rain gear today.

This is volcanic ash. Worse than sand, it gets into everything.

Oh my. This is amazing.

My first … tree !?

Trees are rare in Iceland. But there are plenty in Þórsmörk (Thorsmork)… Thor’s forrest.

(Iceland was actually 25% forested at one time. Timber cutting resulted in only about 1% remaining.)

When you finally arrive Þórsmörk you need choose between 3 separated campsites: Húsadalur, Langidalur or Básar.

Husadalur is biggest and has a natural hot springs.

But if you plan to continue hiking next day to Skógar, Básar is the best choice. It’s closest to the exit trail for next morning.

That’s where I headed.

Langidalur is pretty, however. The tenting looks superb.

I met again two Canadian women waiting for the bus. They’d had enough of rugged Laugevagur. Here’s the vista that dissuaded them from climbing up to the glaciers next day.

It does look intimidating.

If you do decide to linger at one of the 3 campsites, there’s even more day hiking here than at Landmannalaugar

Básar is sprawling. Busy with campers and day hikers.

I asked for advice on a quiet tent spot.

While I was eating dinner Mark from Boston arrived.

He and I were the only two from the start who had made it this far, this fast. We both planned to get an early start next day and finish to Skógar. It would be the toughest and best day of all.

Day 0 | Landmannalaugar | 1 | 2 | 3 | video | info

Laugevagur hike Iceland – day 0 AGAIN

Day 0 | Landmannalaugar | 1 | 2 | 3 | video | info

Stuck in Landmannalaugar

Though it had rained all night off and on, it hadn’t rained hard. I was optimistic poking my head outside the tent in the morning.

No go. 

Recommendation from the information office was that we should stay in camp another night. Forecast for the following day was “improving“.

Sigh …

A hiker recently died on this section during a big storm.

I did grab a cancellation for a spot in the 110 bed tourist hut operated by Ferdafelag Islands. (Others had booked at least 6 months in advance.)

In fact, I got in early and had my pick. Farthest from the door, against the wall. It cost $90 – no meals. The most expensive bunkbed of my life. Tenting is $20 / person.

Landmannalaugar tent city was packed.

Many — including me — heeded the advice that we should stay. As day hikers rolled in it got more and more crowded.

At the time I trusted the advice. They know a lot about alpine rescue here.

So … a lazy day to read my book. Take a nap. And, of course, do the rest of the local day hikes.

I made my own routes including parts of the Sulphur Wave trail (towards Brennisteinsalda). Wandered the Laugahraun lava fields. I climbed part way up Blue Peak (Bláhnjúkur).

The weather never really got any worse.

In fact, this was some of my best hiking of the trip.

I enjoyed another hot springs soak, of course.

And hung out in the cook tent as late as possible. Before climbing into my warm, comfortable bunkbed. Those out in tents were getting soaked.

If you want to know more, check out HOW TO VISIT AND WHERE TO HIKE IN LANDMANNALAUGAR, ICELAND.

Day 0 | Landmannalaugar | 1 | 2 | 3 | video | info

Laugevagur hike Iceland – day 0

Day 0 | Landmannalaugar | 1 | 2 | 3 | video | info

Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar

Years ago I tried and failed to do this hike. Roads and rivers were impassable in June of that season.

Since then it’s been near the top of my bucket list.

Click PLAY or watch on YouTube to see why.

I bought my fuel at Iceland Camping Equipment in Reykjavík. It’s VERY expensive.

Later I learned that every hostel and campsite has plenty of free fuel canisters left behind by foreign hikers who will soon fly out.

I enjoyed my last restaurant meal – traditional Icelandic meat soup.

There are a number of ways to get to Landmannalaugar. Reykavik Expeditions and TREX are the two biggest bus services.

I went early to catch the 4pm bus. … Last bus leaves at 1pm. Never believe anything you read on the internet.

click for bigger map
click for bigger map

Next morning I was surprised to see young people from Alaska loading bikes. I’d not heard of people cycling Laugevagur. Turns out it’s a bad idea.

Reykjavík to Landmannalaugar is about 4 hours … if you don’t get stuck.

It would be FUN to drive your own rental monster truck.

Landmannalaugar is a sprawling mess of a campsite.

While the rest of the world was suffering a heat wave, Iceland has had the worst summer weather in recorded history (100 years).

Forecast was not good. We worried whether or not we’d be able to attempt the hike.

I put my Hubba up on a platform in case of flood during the night.

At the information office you can buy a crappy day hiking map for about $3.

Most recommended is the Suournamur loop (about 9km). I first took a detour up the Ljiotipollur ‘Ugly Puddle’ trail and found myself this lookout for lunch. Ljiotipollur is an explosion crater lake.

If you find any trail crowded in Iceland, you only need walk a few minutes on any side trail to feel like you have the island to yourself.

Suournamur trail is gorgeous. It climbs up above the campsite.

I left a Summit Stone atop one of the cairns.

Not much can live up here.

I really liked this ridge walk section.

I got my feet wet on the river crossing after coming down. Situation normal hiking Iceland.

The highlight of Landmannalaugar for many are the natural hot springs.

FIRST you need to get there down a long boardwalk without freezing.

Having had hernia surgery just a week prior, I wasn’t suppose to soak the wound … but couldn’t resist.

When weather is bad, everyone crowds into the warm, bright cook tent.

After having dinner with a lovely couple from Austria, I hit the tent early hoping for good weather next morning. Forecast was for a BIG STORM. ☹️

Day 0 | Landmannalaugar | 1 | 2 | 3 | video | info

great Hot Springs in the USA

Guest content contributed by Keilah Keiser.

The United States is home to over 1,661 known thermal springs across the country. Some are far too hot to soak, others have been turned into weekend wellness resorts that will melt your worries away while others have been left “au natural” — tucked away in nature.

Because hot springs are a product of geothermal heat, they are often found in areas with unique geological locations. Most hot springs in the U.S. are found west of the Colorado Rockies. Tucked away at the base of snow-capped mountains, among acres of protected forest, perched above whitewater rivers or set in the middle of grassy plains, hot springs are defined by the landscapes that surround them.

So how do hikers go about finding these hot springs?

While locations that have been turned into weekend resort getaways are easy to locate with a local director GPS on your phone, more remote locations are not. From California to Colorado and even farther north, hikers can use this guide to help plan their road trip and scout out some of the best and off-the-beaten-path-soaks in the Western U.S.

Click over to this page for Google map links for each destination.

Laugavegur trek, Iceland

I’m starting Iceland’s most famous walk July 24, 2018. Wish me luck.

My first attempt a few years ago failed. Wanting to hike in June, the trails were far too muddy.

One of the best hikes in the world is the Laugavegur

 (Landmannalaugar to Skógar route)

by clesenne
by clesenne

AT A GLANCE

  • IcelandIceland‘s best hike
  • weird and wonderful landscapes
  • best route is Skógar – Landmannalaugar 77km (48mi) in 4-6 days in either direction
  • shorter options 55km (34mi) or 22km (13.6mi)
  • tent or sleep in huts
  • permits not required
  • steep rough, rocky and slippery slopes
  • in good weather, this trek is only moderately difficult
  • up to 100 hikers starting each day during high season July and August
  • it can be dangerous in bad weather. About every second year someone dies.

Click PLAY or watch Alastair Humphrey’s highlights on Vimeo.

Check our Laugavegur information page on how to organize this adventure for yourself.

Ausangate Trek, Peru

Drew posted the best Ausangate page we’ve yet seen.

Ausangate is one of our top 10 hikes in the world.

Distance: 42.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 9406 ft
Minimum Elevation: 12498 ft
Maximum Elevation: 16,828 ft
Time: 5 days
Permits: No
Visa: Single entry tourist visa to Peru for US citizens
Trail Condition: Wide fired road on the start which narrows to single track and alpaca trails
Cell Phone Reception: None

Trail to Peak – A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE AUSANGATE TREK

If you are considering this amazing adventure, that page is MUST READ.

3 beautiful places for Hiking in Japan

guest post by Louise Brown

Japan offers many beautiful hiking trails. After all, the land is full of mountains, volcanic peaks, valleys, and many other landscapes.

japan-1

What’s more is that most of these places have some significant religious and cultural influence that will make your journey even richer.

#1 Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trails

Kumano Kodo is a network of pilgrimage routes in South Kansai Region, particularly in the mountainous Kii Peninsula. The trails on each course vary in difficulty level and will lead you to any of the Kumano shrines.

japan-2

Though the intention is to reach these shrines, the trails in themselves are quite a religious experience.

There are five different routes: Nakahechi, Ohechi, Iseji, Kohechi, and Omine Okugake.

• Nakahechi is somewhat an easy hike that ends an extraordinary view of the shine and the torii gate. The trail goes through hills, forested landscapes, and some local villages. It starts from Tanabe and is about 35 kilometers to Hong.

• Ohechi is an entirely different view because it follows the coast of the Kii Peninsula. However, parts of the original route no longer exist because of modern roads being built. Still, it offers quite an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. It starts from Tanabe and ends in Nachi Taisha.

japan-3

• The Iseji trails start from the east coast of Ki Peninsula. It connects Ise shrine to the Kumano. Like Ohechi, parts of the original trail were replaced with modern roads, but you will still encounter many scenic views. It will bring you through a bamboo forest, rice fields, and some beaches.

• Kohechi is a trail that connects Kumano with Mount Koya. This trail is 70 kilometers long and is quite challenging because of the many steep slopes. There are hardly any lodging or villages along the way, so better not do it alone.

• The Omine Okugake trail is another challenging and dangerous, even to the most experienced hikers. It connects Kumano to Mount Omine and Yoshina, which is in the Nara Prefecture. Like Kohechi, this trail barely passes any towns or villages.

#2 Mt. Fuji

One of Japan’s most famous places is an almost perfectly shaped volcano, Mt. Fuji.

japan-4

It’s also the highest peak of the country, rising to 3776 meters. Many people climb this active volcano each year, especially during July and August (hiking season). Outside of these months are not a safe time to hike up the volcano, but there are some shorter trails around the area. Of course, it’s nothing like reaching the summit of Mt. Fuji, but they’re still pretty amazing trails.

The climb to the summit doesn’t require any particular skill. It has some steep and rocky points, as well as areas where there may be falling rocks and sudden gusts of wind. However, the most challenging part of the climb is that it is exhausting. Also, the air gets thinner as you get higher up, which doesn’t help with the exhaustion.

Other than that, the ascent will be relatively manageable. You may not need to hire a guide because you’ll probably be hiking with many other people. There are four different trails up to the summit and with ten different stations. Overall, it takes roughly about 5-10 hours to ascend, and about 2-6 hours to descend, depending on your route. For more information, you can go here.

#3 Yakushima

Japan is full of beautiful places, but Yakushima has got to be one of the best ones. After all, it isn’t a UNESCO World Heritage site for nothing. On the coast are beautiful beaches and onsens (hot springs), while the deeper parts of the island are mountainous. With the diversity it offers, it’s got to be one of the best places to hike in Japan.

japan-6

There are many trails all throughout the island. One of the most popular ones is the one that takes you to the oldest cedar tree in the Isle, Jomonsugi. It’s only 25 meters tall, but the trunk is huge – 5 meters in diameter! On your way to Jomonsugi, you will see other famous trees, including the Meotosugi, which looks like a couple embracing. Then there’s Diosugi, one of the largest ones on the island, and Wilson’s Stump, which is a hollow remains of a giant cedar.

Aside from hiking, the island also offers other activities and attractions. To name a few, there’s snorkeling, waterfalls, hot springs, and scuba diving. Around the months of June and July, you might be able to see some sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs. But you will need to make special arrangements or guided tours to see them.

Conclusion

Now, most of these trails are not for the faint-of-heart. It will require some levels of fitness and preparation. You will need a backpack and comfortable footwear fit for the hike and the weather. You will also need proper protective clothes, especially for rain and for the cold.

So, there you have it – three of the most beautiful places in Japan for hiking. There is so much more, but this is what we’ve got. We’d love to hear about your experiences and your favorite trails too. So, let us know by commenting below.

Author Bio

image012Louise is the founder of TheAdventureLand.com, where she and her associates blog about Outdoor experiences, tips & tricks that will help you have an exciting adventure. She is also a tour guide of travel company where she learned many things about wilderness. “Let’s pack our bags and explore the world!”. Follow me on Twitter and on Google+.

Hot Springs Rim, Big Bend TX

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Note: We were there Jan 2017. Accessibility may change depending on what happens with Trump’s border wall promise.

One highlight of Big Bend National Park you should not miss are the Hot Springs.

A reminder of the park’s past volcanic turmoil, the Langford Hot Springs (or just “hot springs”; everyone will know what you’re talking about) is a small, jacuzzi-sized pool of naturally occurring 105°F (41°C) water from deep below the earth. …

Edge of the Rio Grande
Edge of the Rio Grande

It’s a short walk from the parking lot. Bring a flashlight at night.

Even better is to hike the Hot Springs Rim trail first. Finishing with a dip.

The trailhead features the amazingly well preserved buildings from the Livingston family days.

Hotsprings Trail, Big Bend

I started up the Hot Springs Trail.

Hotsprings Trail, Big Bend

Hotsprings Trail, Big Bend

Continued on to the Hot Springs Rim Trail high above the Rio Grande.

Hotsprings Trail, Big Bend

Hotsprings Trail, Big Bend

I left a Summit Stone at a nice viewpoint.

Hotsprings Trail, Big Bend

Relaxed there looking over the river into Mexico. Very tranquil.

Hotsprings Trail, Big Bend

I backtracked to the Hot Springs just in time for dusk. 🙂

This is the life.