proposed – Escalante Canyons National Park, Utah

Most in the hiking community hate what Donald Trump and his minions have done in Utah– shrinking the Bears Ears National Monument by 85%.

But here’s some good news out of Utah.

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, plans to introduce legislation to create a new national park in a piece of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. …

The proposed Escalante Canyons National Park …

The size and exact location of the proposed park is unclear.  …

Only Congress can set aside land for a national park, while a president has power under the Antiquities Act to designate a national monument.

 

Rep. Chris Stewart proposes national park in Grand Staircase-Escalante

It could be that this is just a GOP diversion to deflect criticism.

On the other hand, some future Congress could move on this proposal to right the wrongs done by the Trump regime.

 

 

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Spiraling Treetop Walkway In Denmark

The centerpiece of the construction is set to be a winding observation tower, topping out at about 150 feet (45 metres). The hourglass-like construction should rise in a luscious preserved forest an hour south of Copenhagen, in Glisselfeld Kloster, Haslev. It consists of a 2000 ft. (600m) internal ramp, which will take visitors from the forest floor, through the treetops culminating with a 360° view of the hilly landscape, characteristic for the region. …

Bored Panda

U.S. National Parks record visitations

Secretary Zinke Announces Record Visitation to America’s National Parks

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke must DEFEND the Parks system.

In 2016, the National Park Service set a record for recreation visits for the third year in a row. NPS units received nearly 331 million recreation visits, breaking 2015’s record by 23.7 million visits. …

National Parks Service

(via Huckleberry Hiker)

hiking the Gila Wilderness, New Mexico

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

You’ve heard of Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.

It’s adjacent to the Gila Wilderness.

600px-gila-aldo_leopold_wilderness

Gila Wilderness was designated the world’s first wilderness area on June 3, 1924. … part of New Mexico’s Gila National Forest. …

The Mogollon Mountains traverse an arc across the wilderness. The tallest peak within this range, Whitewater Baldy at 10,895 ft (3,321 m) …

I headed for the most popular Baldy trailheadCrest Trail #182.

I never made it due to mountain road improvements January 2017. ROAD CLOSED.

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So I read some of the Peakbagger trip reports instead.

The consensus was not good: bad roads, snow into July, forest fire recovery sections, hunters.  It will not go on our list of the best hikes in North America.

The most popular hike in Gila Wilderness is the Catwalk – “… a one-mile trail suspended above a rushing stream in a gorge only a few feet wide.”

It had been rebuilt over a period of 2 years costing over $4.4 million dollars. And opened again in 2016.

I’d been advised by a Ranger that only the catwalk part of the trail was open. Hikers often continue on to #207. I would have wild camped if it had been open.

Sadly, that Ranger was wrong. It was all closed due to flooding.

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Still, the Catwalk does look very cool.

catwalk

The 1.1-mile Catwalk National Recreation Trail winds through the canyon’s steep, pink walls of volcanic rock, following the path of a pipeline built in the early 1890s to provide water and electricity for the mining town of Graham.   …

Desert USA

LESSON LEARNED — Before driving out to hike the Gila Wilderness, phone first to be sure your trail is open.