Hiking the Drakensberg, South Africa

The Drakensberg escarpment stretches for more than 1,000 kilometres (600 miles). Some of the best hiking in Africa.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. One of the best hiking videos I can recall. Ever.

Harmen Hoek:

In March 2022 I solo hiked for 8-days in the Drakensberg mountains on the border of South Africa and Lesotho.

My route started in Cathedral Peak in uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.

I hiked up to the escarpment via Organ Pipes Pass where I headed north towards the Mnweni area. I got down the escarpment via Rockeries Pass for resupplies and back up (bushwacking) via Fangs Pass.

North at the top of Tugela Falls in the Amphitheater of Royal Natal National Park I met up with my dad to spend one last night up the escarpment.

We got down via the infamous Sentinel Ladder.

Favorite hike in the world. The weather, terrain, views, people and remoteness make this hike really unique. Also the most challenging hike to date.

Gocta Falls, Peru

Gocta (SpanishCatarata del Gocta) is a perennial waterfall with two drops located in Peru‘s province of Bongara in Amazonas, …

… its existence was not made known to the world until after an expedition made in 2002 by a GermanStefan Ziemendorff, with a group of Peruvian explorers. …

Citing various encyclopedias, reference books, and webpages accessible through Google, Gocta Cataracts are unofficially listed as the world’s fifth-tallest, after adding Ramnefjellsfossen (Norway) and Mongefossen (Norway).

Furthermore, The World Waterfall Database ranks Gocta as the 16th tallest. …

Tourists can now hike the trails by foot or horse to the misty base of the waterfall. The nearby town of Chachapoyas is located at an altitude of 2,235 meters (7,333 feet). 

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Ammonite Falls the HARD WAY 😀

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

Keith and I headed out to Ammonite Falls near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

Having failed badly my previous time there 😀 out of the Weigles Road trailhead, this time I tried the Jameson Road trailhead. We immediately got lost.

Doh.

Happily, returning hikers explained how we could do a bit of road walking to get to the actual trail to Ammonite Falls.

A nice walk.

Below is my original trip report from January 2021:


Without checking in advance, I cycled out for my first visit to Ammonite Falls near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

Most convenient for me was the Weigles Road trailhead.

January 15th was the best weather we’ve had in 2021. A perfect day.

And it’s an easy day hike.

What could go wrong?

Turned out the BENSON CREEK trail to the Falls was closed for MAJOR improvements. I had to find another way.

Later I found out that other trails to the top of the Falls were open. 😀

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

related – Outdoor Vancouver – Ammonite Falls Hike

Click PLAY or watch the hike from the Jameson road trailhead on YouTube.

Hole in the Wall, Port Alberni BC

Hole in the Wall, a short day hike, is a is fast becoming a major attraction for the Vancouver Island community.

The hole is all that remains of a decades old water line.

Check in at the Port Alberni Visitor Centre for directions.

Parking is difficult though the trail itself is only an easy 1.3km return walk.

Rather than following the normal route as posted on AllTrails Port Alberni Hole in the Wall, I walked instead from an industrial park end of Sherwood Road.

Definitely muddier and less traveled, I did find it interesting. Nobody else parked there.

Here are the rough trails as shown on Maps.me.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse of my hike on YouTube.

BestHike #2 – John Muir Trail, California

John Muir Trail is one of our top 10 hikes in the world.

Click PLAY or watch a 1-minute preview on YouTube.

John Muir Trail

If there’s a hiker’s paradise on earth, it’s the JMT in the Sierra Nevadas.

213 miles without a road. Fantastic weather. 11 high passes. Unbelievable nonstop vistas. And Mt Whitney.

AT A GLANCE

Yosemite map
  • Yosemite, Ansel Adams and John Muir wilderness, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks
  • start in stunning Yosemite, Muir’s “Range of Light”
  • 223mi (360km) to Whitney Portal adding sidetrips to Half Dome, Vermillion Resort and Mt. Whitney 14,505ft (4,421m)
  • 15-21 days recommended
  • carry your own food and tent
  • JMT about 10% the length of the Pacific Crest Trail

Read more on our John Muir Trail information page.

Nile Creek waterfalls in Winter

Nile Creek Trail is at least 10km (6mi) out and back near Qualicum on Vancouver Island.

AllTrails does not recommend it November through March as it’s very wet and muddy during winter.

Slippery too. Many rough boardwalks and log bridges.

On the other hand, water is high. The waterfalls and cascades even more impressive than in summer.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. Starting from Charlton Drive, Qualicum Beach.

related – trip report of the second half – Get out and Play – Nile Creek

Little Qualicum Falls, Vancouver Island

Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park, established 1940 to protect the old growth forest, offers a terrific 1 hour hike if you are driving between Nanaimo and Port Alberni.

There are plenty of other nearby attractions including Cathedral Grove.

Swimming is possible in good weather. But know that people have drowned here.

Outdoor Vancouver – Little Qualicum Falls Loop

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Englishman’s River Falls B.C.

BestHike editor Rick McCharles. 

Many, many times I’ve walked the spectacular 2km loop at Englishman River Falls Provincial Park near Parksville B.C.

Often I cycle there from Parksville. Then walk or run the loop a number of times.

Click PLAY or watch a November run on YouTube.

B.C. Parks website.  The campsite has over 100 spaces.

Read more – Bikepacking.com – Miles Arbour – ENGLISHMAN RIVER OVERNIGHTER

Click PLAY or watch a summer run on YouTube.

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