Montana, Day 5: Beehive Basin

Distance: 6.4Elevation Gained: 1,400'Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousTime: 3:15Critters: Marmots, Great DanesPros:- Alpine scenery- Alpine lake- Mountains surrounding the alpine lake- Wildflowers galoreCons:- Lots of dead pine trees that fell victim to pine beetlesDetails:Beehive Basin was the last of the hikes I had planned to do in the Big Sky area. I tagged it on almost as …

Montana, Day 4: Cinnamon Mountain

Distance: 8 milesElevation Gained: 2,650’Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousTime: 3:34Critters: NonePros:-          Expansive 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains in the Gallatin/Big Sky Area-          Meadows covered in wildflowers-          Legit mountain climbing with only half the effort!Cons:-          The thunderstorm that rolled in limited my time up topDetails:Cinnamon Mountain lies within Gallatin National Forest and rises above the canyon as a bump that …

Montana, Day 3: Lava Lake

Distance: 5.7 MilesElevation Gained: 1,600'Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousTime: 3:05Critters: One brown bearPros:- Lava Lake is stunning- The trail follows a busy creek the entire wayCons:- Bear gave us the heebiesDetails:Lava Lake was high on my to-do list for hiking in Montana. The lake itself closely resembles the classic glacier lake; it sits in a long, u-shaped …

Montana, Day 2: Porcupine Creek

Distance: 3.9 Miles (Porcupine Creek), 2.6 Miles (Snowmobile Trail)Elevation Gained: 500'; 700'Difficulty: Easy, ModerateTime: 2:02; 0:56Critters: NonePros:- Quality hiking time with Kelly and Dave- Beautiful open sagebrush, pine, and juniper woodland- Views of Lone Mountain and the surrounding mountainsCons:- None, unless wanting more is a conDetails:On our second day in Montana, Kelly, Dave, and I …

Rookie Mistake

This is what I get for leaving my camera at home. I saw a sea of clouds over San Diego, with mountains poking out like islands. The was shining through sage blossoms as birds sang their songs. All I have to show for it are a few iPhone snaps.Lesson: Always, always, always bring your camera.Daley …

Mission Trails Regional Park – Cowles and Pyles Peak

Big Rock Trail - Barker Way - Pyles Peak TrailDistance: 8 milesElevation Gained: 1,500'Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousTime: 3:00:00Critters: Quail, Dog of the Day Winner, Dylan to MaltyPros:- Good views of downtown San Diego, Mission Bay, and the surrounding mountain rangesCons:- Overcast weather diminishes the pros- Very crowded on Cowles PeakDetails:Kelly is in the midst of a …

Volcan Mountain

Volcan Mountain Fire Road - Five Oaks TrailDistance: 5.2Elevation Gained: 1,200'Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous Time: 2:00Critters: None to speak of Volcan Mountainhttp://www.everytrail.com/swf/widget.swfEveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near San Diego, Californiahttp://www.everytrail.com/trip/widgetimpression?trip_id=1551716Pros:- Great views of Julian, the desert, and East County- Beautiful oak woodlandsCons:- Jerry Schad did me dirtyDetails:Volcan Mountain is the high point of the mountains …

Mt. Woodson

Lake Poway Trail - Mt. Woodson TrailDistance: 7.6 MilesElevation Gain: 2,800'Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousCritters: Coots!Pros:- Fairly challenging workout- Good views of San Diego County- Boulders, boulders everywhere! Cons:- Very crowded- Full sun exposure from start to finish\- Hot, even when it's cool out. Details:Mt. Woodson looms pretty large over central San Diego County. It is a …