My Ten Best Hikes of 2014

2014 was an epic year for hiking in a lot of ways. While I will detail those ways in a separate post, this post reviews the ten hikes out of the 200 total times I hiked that I enjoyed the most. As with any list like this, there was a lot left out, including the …

High Sierra Trail, Day 2: Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake The High Sierra Trail runs between Crescent Meadow in Giant Forest and the summit of Mt. Whitney. This trail traverses the high country of the Southern Sierra protected by Sequoia National Park. Highlights include Giant Forest, Bearpaw Meadow and the High Sierra Camp, Hamilton Lake, Kaweah Gap and the Great Western Divide, Big …

Mt. Rainier National Park – Ranger Falls/Carbon River

The Carbon River and Ranger Falls occupy a canyon on the northwest corner of Mt. Rainier National Park. This area supports a rare inland temperate rain forest featuring towering trees, ferns, and moss for days. Distance: 8.5 Elevation Gained: 1,000 Difficulty: Moderate Time: 3:30 Critters: None Get there like this. Note: There is a $15 …

Granite Springs Backcountry Camp

Granite Springs Backcountry Camp is a backpacker's campground accessible via East Mesa in Cuyamaca State Park. This park is one of two dedicated to backpacker campgrounds - the other being Arroyo Seco. It features a water pump (needs filtering), dedicated campsites, and vault toilets. Distance: 8.8 Elevation Gained: 1200' Difficulty: Moderate Time: Overnight Critters: Hawks, …

Soapstone Grade/Green Valley Loop

The view from Soapstone Grade   Green Valley This long, elliptical loop travels through some of the less-traveled portions of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. The first half, Soapstone Grade, grants wide-open views of meadows and far-off mountains, while the second half, Green Valley, travels along the headwaters (dry) of the Sweetwater River through gradually-recovering riparian …