Laugavegur trek, Iceland

James Handlon signed on with adventure travel company Arctic Adventures to finally trek Laugavegur.

After several hours of bumpy off-roading we finally arrived late in the day at the Landmannalaugar campsite, a weird mix of surreal landscape, Glastonbury Music Festival and refugee camp all thrown together creating the most bizarre of places to start a trek .…

Landmannalaugar campsite

Gorgeous.

weird landscape

Read his entire trip report following the links from the bottom of THE LAUGAVEGUR ICELANDIC TREK – DAY 1 page.

Mt Muller loop, Washington

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

In Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula (2007) by Romano, one adventure caught my eye:

Mount Muller
13mi loop
3200ft elevation gain

click for larger map
click for larger map

En route to the (easy to find) trailhead we stopped at the excellent Olympic Bagel in Port Angeles.

CARBO loading
CARBO loading

13 miles … how tough could it be?

Muller trailhead

… a low-elevation peak located in the northern region of the Olympic Mountains. … Clallam County …

Mount Muller is, however, the county’s point of greatest prominence (also known as the COGPP) and the county’s only peak with over 2000′ of prominence. …

… If the Mount Muller summit is the only goal, it can be reached in 5.3 miles from the west end of the trail system, or it can be reached in 7.5 miles from the east end of the trail system.

Many trail users opt to hike the entire 12.8-mile loop. The mountain is accessible year-round, and the Mount Muller Trail is open to non-motorized use only (i.e. hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, snowshoers).

… The ridgetop of the peak is primarily comprised of thick evergreen forests on its west side and rocky outcrops interspersed with forests on its east side …

ridgewalk

… views from the mountaintop can be spectacular. Mount Olympus, Lake Crescent, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Sol Duc Valley, among other notable areas …

Crescent

A recreational use pass is required for each vehicle parking at/near the Mount Muller Trailhead.

Summit Post

This hike was a labour of love for Forest Service employee Molly Erickson. She and a crew of friends designed and built the trail, naming many of the landmarks after themselves. 🙂

Jasmines

The wildflowers are GREAT. I was surprised to see beargrass this far west.

beargrass

Turns out it’s …

… found mostly in western North America from British Columbia south to California and east to Wyoming, in subalpine meadows and coastal mountains, and also on low ground in the California coastal fog belt. It is common on the Olympic Peninsula and in the Cascades, northern Sierra Nevada and Rockies. …

After the loop, James and I enjoyed a soak in nearby Sol Duc Hot Springs.

more photos

related – 6min horseback trip VIDEO

High Divide Loop, Olympic Park

We hiked to Lake Angeles in May, early season in Olympic National Park, Washington.

Stopping at a couple of Ranger stations, this summer overnight hike was recommended.

High Divide Loop 18.2 miles (bear canister required for overnight)

Phil Armitage ranks High Divide one of his top 10 day hikes in America. (LONG day hike, mind.)

Click PLAY or watch Kenny Rowe’s slide show on YouTube.

It’s close to Sol Duc hot springs, as well.

Bugs are a problem, so the later in the summer, the better.

related – Olympic Wilderness Trip Planner

Lake Angeles, Olympic National Park

by site editor Rick McCharles

The North Olympic Peninsula, Washington State, enjoyed some high-temperature records for early May.

Not the Vampires of Forks, Washington, of course. Instead of rain and overcast it was a blistering 88 degrees on May 5th, 2013.

Diana

My friend Diana and I drove out that day to talk to Park Rangers. The usual question:

What’s the best hike this early in the season?

First best was Lake Angeles Trail.

Lake Angeles

As promised, the trail was dry.

bridge

Moving steady, we reached the lake in 1hr 37min.

The only delay was getting lost confused on the hard packed snow just at the lake campground.

Angeles

Above the lake is Klahhane Ridge where a hiker died after being gored by a 370lb mountain goat.

One day (later in the season) I’m going to get a ride to Hurricane Ridge, hike down the 9.9mi to the Lake Angeles trailhead at the Park gates.

After leaving a Summit Stone close to the lake, we dashed back down and instead drove up to Hurricane Ridge.

Hurrican Ridge

I was told the rest of that road would not be plowed this season. Budget cuts. 😦

We finished this fine day with a soak and dinner at Sol Duc Hot Springs, first opened 1912.

see more photos of this perfect hiking day

USA hikes with Gorgeous Finales

A good list from divine caroline by Vicki Santillano:

Kalalau Trail, Hawaii
Half Dome, California
Conundrum Creek Trail, Colorado
Bright Angel Trail, Arizona
The Hollywood Trail, California
Mount Riga State Park Trail, Connecticut
OldRag Mountain Hike, Virginia
Raven Cliff Falls Trail, Georgia
Mount Whitney Trail, California

… The ends of these popular hikes can replenish the most tired and weary of walkers and instill an invigorating sense of accomplishment in them. … the more motivation you’ll have to keep walking when the trails get tough …

click through for details and photos of each – Nine U.S. Hikes with Gorgeous Finales

(via Chris Weiss on uncooped who adds Angel’s Landing, Utah)

I’m liking Conundrum Hot Springs.

… located at a staggering 11,200′ within the famous Maroon Bells in the Snowmass wilderness. These steamy pools are 8.5 miles up the Conundrum Creek trail just outside of Aspen. …

click photo for details