7 great hikes S.W. USA

1. BUCKSKIN GULCH AND PARIA CANYON | 31 MILES | 4 DAYS

2. GRAND CANYON – DEER CREEK/KANAB CREEK LOOP | 55 MILES | 8 DAYS

3. GRAND CANYON – NANKOWEAP TRAIL | 40 MILES | 7 DAYS

4. ZION NARROWS | 14 MILES | 2 DAYS

5. COYOTE GULCH | 25MILES | 4 DAYS

7. ARIZONA’S GALIURO MOUNTAINS, THE PLACE TIME HAS FORGOTTEN | 32MILES | 4 DAYS

details – Take a Hike: 7 of the Grandest Adventures in the Southwest

adventures-in-the-southwest-coyote-gulch

Coyote Gulch

Garibaldi Lake hike, Whistler B.C.

• 7.5km to Taylor Meadows campground one way
• 920m elevation gain to Garibaldi Lake
• #1 hike in Garibaldi Provincial Park
• option to climb Black Tusk

I tented free north of Whistler on the river at the Wedgemount turn-off.

After a Tim Horton’s stop, I drove south to the easily accessible, always crowded, Rubble Creek parking lot trailhead.

Minutes after starting up the switchbacks you can no longer hear highway traffic. The big trees of the temperate rain forest are tranquil.

It’s a long easy climb to Taylor Meadows campsite. I had a choice of platform or gravel pad choosing the gravel since it was dry.

You must book online or by phone. I paid C$16.30 total.

After touring the large campsite and some relaxation time in the tent, I headed up towards Black Tusk, another 5km up and up.

The trails are excellent.

Many come for the wildflowers.

Nice. But I’d recommend they book a trip to the Rockies instead. Waterton National Park, for example.

I love alpine meadows. These are terrific.

There’s the big attraction.

At this point I was still considering trying the summit. A 100m scramble up a chute, easier up than down. Weather was perfect for it.

Though this hike is called Garibaldi Lake, I didn’t actually get to the lake.

I could have called it the Black Tusk Viewpoint hike.

Here’s the final approach to the Viewpoint.

People were up top.

One group coming down told me they’d started up the chute and climbed most of the way up … before opting to descend. Sketchy was their opinion.

It was late in the afternoon. So I decided to stop here at the Viewpoint.

I have an excuse to return.

So … I enjoyed the unbelievable vista around Garibaldi Lake. Then headed back to camp with plenty of daylight to spare.

See all my high resolution photos on flickr.

For more information click over to Outdoor Vancouver – Garibaldi Lake Hike near Whistler

The Perfect Hike – Joffre Lakes B.C.

Pemberton’s most popular day hikeJoffre Lakes — is famous for 3 stunning turquoise glacier-fed lakes.

  • 11km round trip plus scramble above the highest lake
  • elevation gain 350m
  • access from high elevation, paved highway 99

Seems to me Joffre Lakes is the perfect hike. Let’s say you want to take non-hikers or small children to wilderness. The first lake is only a few minutes from the parking lot on very good trail.

Groups that turn back here have a good experience in a rich, temperate rain forest.

Most hikers continue on to Middle Joffre. The trail gets increasingly rugged. It’s a challenge, actually.

Still, everyone looked extremely happy here.

The bravest venture out like gymnasts on the “fallen log”.

English is not the first language of the trail. I heard more Mandarin and German.

A surprise. I bumped into Canadian Olympic gymnast Scott Morgan. He and his girlfriend had come up to Whistler for a couple of days getaway.

Holloway Falls

The climb to Upper Joffree is a scramble at times though some sections have been improved. A hike you’ll not forget.

I carried a tent up the mountain despite the trailhead sign saying the campground was permanently FULL. (Worst case scenario I planned to wild camp.)

As expected, campsites were not nearly full. Many who book online for $5 later decide not to go. 😦

Only a few continue to scramble up the scree above the lake to the face of the cliff.

I left a Summit Stone on a large boulder.

At this point it was about 2pm. Too early to set up the tent, I thought. Should I circle Upper Joffre and then set-up?

Finally I decided to pack my tent back down to my rent-a-car. Get ready for tomorrow’s hike. (I tented for free on the river from the Wedgemount turn-off, a cyclists hangout.)

Still, I highly recommend Joffree to everyone.

See my high resolution photos on flickr.

Guidebook – 103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia

 

Elfin Lakes hike, Squamish B.C.

22km round trip to Elfin Lakes campground (600m gain) + Gargoyles side trip
• LOTS of snow at the end of July
• be prepared for very wet trails
• BUGGY !
• registration online or by phone required to stay overnight

From the start I had problems. First finding the trailhead out of Squamish, B.C. – street signage is not all that clear. I asked different mountain bikers to find the right gravel road.

Elfin Lakes is popular. The parking lot was full. I squeezed my rent-a-car in on the side of the approach.

The first 5km to Red Heather Meadows campground is a road.

You share most of this trail with mountain bikers. And chipmunks.

Breaking out of the trees first vista is impressive Diamond Head. Actually, that’s Atwell Peak. Many make the same mistake I did.

We’d enjoyed dry sunny weather for weeks at this point. Still many parts of the trail were wet with snow melt. Some sections have been improved.

On a hot day like this, walking snow fields was fun.

I’d read the hike was on Paul Ridge. True. But it’s not a ridge walk. Normally you are on one side of the ridge or the other, not the top.

Elfin Lakes campground. A beautiful scene.

You can sleep in a large shelter or tent on one of these side slope platforms.

Elfin Lakes are not lakes, they are meltwater ponds. One for drinking water. One for … swimming.

Earlier in the week a mouse had somehow gotten into my Ursack food bag while up on the line, so I switched to a dry bag.

I enjoyed a siesta in my tent (escaping the voracious bugs) and was sluggish getting going for the recommended side trip to the Gargoyles.

Here’s the trail from Camp leading to the Gargoyles. More interesting but wetter than the Elfin Lakes approach.

Climbing up to the Pass was easy but long. Snow conditions good, you simply walked in footprints or kicked in your own steps.

Looking over to the other side.

A trail runner came down recommending I scramble the Gargoyles.

Instead I listened to my audiobook and relaxed.

The next 3 hikers arrived keen to climb. One had been here before. I climbed up the first Gargoyle to take some photos. Wow.

Suddenly inspired I scrambled the ridge myself to the end to get to this view – scenery reminding me of the Himalayas.

That’s the 11.5km trail continuing to the new Rampart Ponds Campground (Mamquam Lake Campground is permanently closed).

Tempting.

See all my high resolution photos.

Guidebook – 103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia

 

 

 

Chelsea and Joseph complete the GR 20

The Meandering Mayans just posted their 2017 trip report:

Though the trail doesn’t offer the “classic” high Alpine experience, it makes up for it with crazy amounts of bare rock, stunning sunsets and mountain top sea views. …

It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful setting for a trail than the semi-autonomous French island of Corsica.

With a single mountain chain occupying almost two-thirds of the island, Corsica is a rugged place that hosts miles of beautiful beaches and untamed wilderness. The GR 20 spans roughly 180km, North to South …

Charcuterie, Wine and Hard Miles: A Walk Across Corsica – the GR 20

Most hike north to south. The Mayans preferred south to north.

With this information we’ve updated our GR 20 information page.

Escalante Overland Route

Extreme hiking, scrambling and navigation.

The Escalante Overland Route (OLR) traverses the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, arguably the best, true wilderness in the lower 48. Compared to the millions who visit the Grand Canyon each year, the vast expanse of the Monument below Highway 12 has no trails and few people. Many of the canyons only see a few visitors a year, if any. You are unlikely to see another person on the route. …

Just to be clear, this is Steve Allen’s route. He describes an “Overland Route” in a few terse paragraphs at the end of a 1997 guide book. He presents it more of a challenge than a guide. In the ensuing 20 years it’s remained off the radar, with almost no known completions. In this sense, the OLR is closer to a “revived” route than a new one. Don Wilson, Andrew Skurka and I hope that this trip report will inspire more people to experience the wonders of the Escalante. …

A Very Different High Route – Escalante Overland Route

Guadalupe Peak, Texas

Highpointers are all interested in getting to the top of this mountain. The trailhead is near the Pine Springs Visitor Center.

Guadalupe Peak, also known as Signal Peak, is the highest natural point in Texas, with an elevation of 8,751 feet (2,667 m) …. It is located in Guadalupe Mountains National Park …

560px-guadalupe_nima2

The peak can be climbed by a maintained stony trail (4.25 miles or 6.8 kilometres each way) at any time of the year. …

A stainless steel pyramid marks the summit. It was erected by American Airlines in 1958 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Butterfield Overland Mail, a stagecoach route that passed south of the mountain. …

800px-guadalupepeaktexasoctober2012

Once there you might want to scramble down and back up to the top of El Capitan, the most impressive face of the massif.

el-capitan

If interested in climbing Guadalupe, click over to SummitPost for details.