NEW – Backbone Trail, California

the Backbone Trail, stretches about 67 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains that ring Los Angeles, and opened in June after more than 50 years in the making.

The trail, which connects Point Mugu State Park in Malibu to Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades, has evolved slowly over the years. Non-government volunteers worked with state and federal park employees to fund and build the path, and to acquire the land necessary to connect the pieces….

USA Today

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hike Dipping Springs, New Mexico

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

The #1 thing to do in Las Cruces is a visit to nearby Dripping Springs Natural Area.

From the city the peaks look impressive. I saw mule deer on the drive up.

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This is part of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument designated by Obama in 2014.

From the Visitor Center I headed straight up to Dripping Springs Resort built as a tourist attraction in the 1870s.

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When it went bankrupt the new owner converted it to a sanatorium. His wife had tuberculosis.

Today I was mostly reminded that the works of man are fleeting. The environment will retake this part of the desert, given time.

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I backtracked then connected to the La Cueva loop.

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The best part was this hermit cave.

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There are a number of stories told of the man who lived and died here.

“John Mary Justiniani, Hermit of the Old and New World.” He died the 17th of April, 1869, at 69 years and 49 years a hermit.”

Better in the early morning would have been to visit the cave first, the ruins last. I would have gained sunlight.

Tramway Trail, Albuquerque

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

I took the Sandia Peak Tramway trip on one of the snowiest days of the year.

It’s one of the top tourist attractions in New Mexico.

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I first tried hiking to the top. Planning to ride down on the Cable Car. That would have been GREAT.

The La Luz Trail (Trail 137) … on the west face of the Sandia Mountains near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The trail begins at the La Luz Trailhead and proceeds approximately eight miles to either Sandia Crest or the Sandia Peak Tramway. The hike is strenuous, with 3,775 ft (1,151 m) of elevation gain and a grade of 12%. …

click for larger map

click for larger map

I started at the Tramway parking lot on the Tramway Trail (82). Planning to connect to the La Luz.

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It’s a pretty traverse above lovely residential homes.

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I’d heard a foot of snow had fallen up top. It did not look good for me getting up there.

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I – happily – backtracked to my vehicle.

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At one point I stumbled off trail. Easy to do in the desert. While scrambling an arroyo to regain the trail I kicked a cactus and drove a spine into my foot.

Lesson learned = STAY on the trail in the desert.

The main reason to go to Albuquerque are the 200 miles of Sandia hiking trails many of which are off limits to mountain bikes.

We’ve added the La Luz Trail to our list of best hikes in North America.

 

scrambling Red Rock Canyon, Vegas

I met up with my friends from Couer d’Alene, Idaho. Their gymnasts were competing at the Lady Luck Invitational.

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Branch Whitney:

Red Rock Canyon (20 miles west of Las Vegas) is home to the best scrambling (climbing up, over, around, and down rock) routes in the world. If you liked mazes when you were a kid, you will love Red Rock Canyon. …

Las Vegas’ best kept secret: Hiking and rock scrambling just minutes from the Strip

We’d never seen Red Rock Canyon so busy. Seems my favourite tourist destination in the city is no longer off the radar.

Entry fee.

hiking the Stairway to Heaven, Oahu

The Haʻikū Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven or Haʻikū Ladder, is a steep hiking trail on the island of OʻahuHawaii. The total 3,922 steps span along Oahu’s Ko’olau mountain range. …

The City and County of Honolulu has stated that there is currently no plan to open the stairs for public use, citing liability concerns …

Dozens of people, however, routinely hike up the stairs every day …

Andy Beth Miller hiked it.

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trip report – Hiking Oahu’s Forbidden Stairway to Heaven

6 Best Hikes Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro may be famous for it’s beaches, but it’s so much more than that- the city is also home to the Tijuca National Forest, the world’s largest urban forest full of hiking trails, breathtaking views and endless rainforest terrain to keep you busy off the beach.

If you’re coming to Rio, you won’t want to miss hiking at least one of these trails so you can see the other half of Rio de Janeiro’s beauty. There’s something for everyone here, so whether you’re a dedicated mountain climber or just a curious traveler ready to wander off the beach for the day, you won’t be disappointed. …

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Borderless Project

If you don’t speak Portuguese, logistics are more complicated than expected. Asking a bus driver to let you off at the correct stop not easy. GPS advised.

Hiking is not yet much developed in Brazil. 😦