Lost Mine Trail, Big Bend TX

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Very close to Chisos Basin Campground in Big Bend National Park is the super popular Lost Mine Trail.

  • 4.8 miles return
  • perhaps the best half day hike in the Park
  • starts at 5,650 feet, ends at a dramatic rocky ridge at 6,850 feet

On the way up you can look back to the campsiteLost Mine, Big Bend

Pretty views non-stop.

Lost Mine, Big Bend

Surprisingly large trees.

Lost Mine, Big Bend

This is heaven on a nice day.

Lost Mine, Big Bend

I left a Summit Stone atop this feature. You’ll need to scramble to find it.

Lost Mine, Big Bend

I didn’t spend much time at the end of the ridge. It was too windy.

Lost Mine, Big Bend

There is no Lost Mine I’m afraid. That’s an old legend.

But I do highly recommend this hike. Weather permitting.



hiking Ivvavik National Park

David Webb:

… Tucked away at the tip of the Yukon, with its base camp set at 69 degrees north and hundreds of kilometres from the nearest road, only a handful of people will ever visit this park. Untouched by the last Ice Age, it’s a place of unique rock formations, abundant wildlife—we saw muskox, caribou, grizzlies and Dall’s sheep—jaw-dropping mountain vistas, clearwater rivers and vast open tundra. …

And the hiking… wow. There was no point in the five days I spent in Ivvavik where Iwasn’t surrounded by an awesome panorama. From deep gorges carved by a frothy river; to tundra dotted with bright lupins; to multi-coloured slate stabbing from mountaintops like the spines on a dragon’s back; to the midnight sun circling the whole expanse like a halo. It is the most beautiful natural environment I have ever seen. (And I’ve seen a lot.) …

Video Post: Jaw-Dropping Ivvavik National Park

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

trekking the Huemul Circuit, Argentina

Steve Hänsch:

El Chaltén is the trekking capital of Argentina and I spent more than 2 weeks there to do exactly that: hiking.

The Huemul circuit in El Chaltén is a lesser known route for experienced hikers and absolutely worth the efforts as you are able to experience real adventures and see massive ice fields and panoramic views that will blow your mind! …

Trekking the Huemul circuit in El Chalten, Argentina

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

related – 2 Drifting CoconutsHuemul Circuit: Our Best Trek in South America

We’ve added this adventure to our list of Best Hikes in South America.

cycle hiking Chilco, Idaho

A classic training session for Dave and Jeni is to cycle up to the Chilco trailhead out of Coeur d’Alene. The big push is a relentless 4.2 miles up to the saddle. Some were left gasping.


Next a steep hike up to great views on the summit ridge.




This was Dave’s first real test of his knee since surgery. It survived. 🙂

It’s often windy up here. Today the weather was perfect.


Jeni’s traditional summit handstand

The ride down on gravel I found sketchy. Dave and Jeni are Adventure Racers and found that challenge fairly trivial.

We were 4 hours up and down from Dave’s home. Hot tub and red wine was my reward.

cycle hiking Mayne Island

Cycle hiking the Gulf Islands – trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Mayne Island is a rustic 21-square-kilometre (8.1 sq mi) island in the southern Gulf Islands chain of British Columbia. …

… a population of 1071. Mount Parke in the south-central heart of the island is its highest peak at 255 meters (837 feet). …

I arrived early enough on Mayne to do some sightseeing. First stop, historic St. Mary Magdalen, Anglican Church.



Nearby on Georgina Point is the most scenic light station on the island, built 1885.



One species not endangered anywhere. Canadian geese. 🙂



The previous two nights I was hidden away in the trees. But this wild camping tent site was worthy of a photo. Perfect.


I packed up next morning, stashing my panniers in the the trees. And cycled to the most popular hike on the islandMount Parke.


I did a loop: Haliday Ridge Trail to the (appropriately named) Old Gulch Trail to the Lowland Nature Trail. My best hike in the Gulf islands, so far.

On the Haliday ridge I left a Summit Stone in an Arbutus tree. It seemed appropriate.


A highlight was watching Turkey Vultures pretend to be Bald Eagles.



The vistas are magnificent up here. My best weather, so far.


I was starving by the time I got down off the ridge. Happily Farm Gate Store is located near the trailhead. I had a burrito, coffee and muffin. All unbelievably healthy. 🙂

The rest of the day would be easy.


I peddled on to Campbell Point.


And was quite impressed with the facilities at the Adachi Community Pavilion.

It was here that the Kosumi family lived. Until 1942 when the Canadian government rounded them and all the other Japanese immigrants on the island and moved them to an internment camp. 😦

Today, the Japanese Gardens, located near Dinner Bay, are dedicated to the memory and legacy of the Mayne Island’s Japanese-Canadian community.

Of all the beautiful retirement homes I’ve seen so far, this one caught my eye. Elegant simplicity.


So … in the end I did only the one big hike on Mayne. Island Parks and Recreation does produce a brochure. But most of the other walks are very short.

After all this good weather it began to POUR liquid sunshine while I waited for the ferry to Victoria.


Hmm. What does a cyclist do in the rain?

cycle hiking Galiano Island

Cycle hiking the Gulf Islands – trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Galeano Island is 27.5 km long, 6 km at its widest point, and 1.6 km across at its narrowest point …

… population of 1258 inhabitants. …


Seeing a campground an hour out from the ferry landing at Sturdies Bay, I went to check out Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park.

Nice setup. But the cost was $25 / site for up to 4 people. I prefer the pricing model $10 / person.

So I turned my bike around and wild camped nearby.

In the morning I packed up early and rode back to the campground to make coffee. There’s a good hike there called the Gray Peninsula Trail. About 2km.





I cycled on to the Pebble Beach hike trailhead. Breakfast was cold pizza on this bench.


You reach the coast at Cable Bay. Then saunter over to Pebble Beach.






On a trail map it looked like I could cycle a mountain bike trail to Laughlin lake, the largest body of water on Galiano. That’s a bit risky on a hybrid bike. Happily, it worked.



Four guys in this boat arrived for a picnic. Boat and kayak are the best ways to get to Dionisio.


I returned via the dead end Bodega Beach Drive seeing only 2 vehicles in 3 hours. An ideal place to cycle.

The best hike on the island was yet to come – Bodega Ridge.

Bodega started much like any other hike, a welcoming soft temperate rain forest trail.


The fun starts when you get up on the ridge. A steep drop with marvellous views.




Galiano was a hard day for me. I could barely keep my eyes open on the ferry to Pender.


I’d like to return one day. Kayak to camp at Dionisio. And climb Mt Galiano, the highest point on the island.