100 Days of National Parks: Day 60 – Upper Royal Basin, Olympic National Park

Upper Royal Lake Basin

One of the things I love the most about Olympic National Park is the remoteness of its most stunning attractions. With the vast majority of the park designated as a wilderness area, with no roads or easy access routes into the interior, the park courts exploration and wandering, and doesn’t make it easy on intrepid hikers to get back and find the amazing places hidden in the depths of its forests and mountains.

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Upper Royal Basin

Upper Royal Lake Basin
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One of the things I love the most about Olympic National Park is the remoteness of its most stunning attractions.  With the vast majority of the park designated as a wilderness area, with no roads or easy access routes into the interior, the park courts exploration and wandering, and doesn’t make it easy on intrepid hikers to get back and find the amazing places hidden in the depths of its forests and mountains.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 60 – Upper Royal Basin, Olympic National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 48 – One of Us, Canyonlands National Park

One of Us

One of the coolest parts of the Joint Trail in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park isn’t the narrow slot canyon itself, but rather the hundreds of stone cairns that litter the canyon walls and floor. Like a village of small rock piles, you walk through the narrow canyon and feel compelled to add to the pile, so to speak. Soon, you’re on your hands and knees, stacking progressively smaller stones atop one another, trying to get as many as possible to balance before stepping away with the satisfaction of a job well done.

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One of Us

 

One of Us
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One of the coolest parts of the Joint Trail in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park isn’t the narrow slot canyon itself, but rather the hundreds of stone cairns that litter the canyon walls and floor.  Like a village of small rock piles, you walk through the narrow canyon and feel compelled to add to the pile, so to speak.  Soon, you’re on your hands and knees, stacking progressively smaller stones atop one another, trying to get as many as possible to balance before stepping away with the satisfaction of a job well done.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 48 – One of Us, Canyonlands National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 47 – Double Falls, Zion National Park

A few weeks back, someone asked me what my favorite place in Zion National Park was, and I froze, not sure how I should answer. How could I pick just one place in my favorite National Park, one example of the boundless examples of natural beauty around every corner, in every tucked-away canyon, up every seemingly unremarkable streambed. When I finally answered, I offered up the Right Fork of North Creek, which seemed to catch them off guard.

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Double Falls

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A few weeks back, someone asked me what my favorite place in Zion National Park was, and I froze, not sure how I should answer.  How could I pick just one place in my favorite National Park, one example of the boundless examples of natural beauty around every corner, in every tucked-away canyon, up every seemingly unremarkable streambed.  When I finally answered, I offered up the Right Fork of North Creek, which seemed to catch them off guard.   Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 47 – Double Falls, Zion National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 45 – The Wave, Vermillion Cliffs National Monument

The Wave

There are few more iconic photography destinations in the American Southwest than the Wave in Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, in Northwest Arizona. It’s a mecca for professional and aspiring amateur photographers, along with scores of regular wanderers who’ve done a little pinterest research before setting out on their southwest road trip. The undulating, seemingly unnatural natural curves and striations in the rock pull in visitors from around the globe, and its extreme exclusivity make its permits the hottest ticket in town (that town being Kanab, Utah).
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The Wave

The Wave
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There are few more iconic photography destinations in the American Southwest than the Wave in Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, in Northwest Arizona.  It’s a mecca for professional and aspiring amateur photographers, along with scores of regular wanderers who’ve done a little pinterest research before setting out on their southwest road trip.  The undulating, seemingly unnatural natural curves and striations in the rock pull in visitors from around the globe, and its extreme exclusivity make its permits the hottest ticket in town (that town being Kanab, Utah).

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 45 – The Wave, Vermillion Cliffs National Monument”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 44 – Chimney Peak, Olympic National Park

With the spring melt in full affect throughout Washington, I find myself looking toward the mountains of Olympic National Park, ready once more to get out and explore its vast wilderness areas.

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Chimney Peak

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With the spring melt in full affect throughout Washington, I find myself looking toward the mountains of Olympic National Park, ready once more to get out and explore its vast wilderness areas.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 44 – Chimney Peak, Olympic National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 37 – Cable Mountain, Zion National Park

Atop Cable Mountain

There’s something about climbing to the top of a mountain or ridgeline and looking out across the landscape laid out below that always appeals to me. I think it’s the sense of perspective, literal and figurative, that I get on the world and the places I travel. There’s no place I like to do this more than along the rims of Zion National Park.

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Cable Mountain

Atop Cable Mountain
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There’s something about climbing to the top of a mountain or ridgeline and looking out across the landscape laid out below that always appeals to me.  I think it’s the sense of perspective, literal and figurative, that I get on the world and the places I travel.  There’s no place I like to do this more than along the rims of Zion National Park.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 37 – Cable Mountain, Zion National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 36 – Mist Falls, King’s Canyon National Park

My first taste of hiking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains came in August of 2012, when I took a three day weekend and traveled up to King’s Canyon National Park in California, not knowing what to expect. It was my first solo camping trip in ages, and I’d just heard the Park existed. I knew about Sequoia, naturally, which extends to the south of King’s Canyon and forms one massive National Park area covering the majority of the southern end of the High Sierras, but King’s Canyon was a mystery.

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Mist Falls

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My first taste of hiking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains came in August of 2012, when I took a three day weekend and traveled up to King’s Canyon National Park in California, not knowing what to expect.  It was my first solo camping trip in ages, and I’d just heard the Park existed.  I knew about Sequoia, naturally, which extends to the south of King’s Canyon and forms one massive National Park area covering the majority of the southern end of the High Sierras, but King’s Canyon was a mystery.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 36 – Mist Falls, King’s Canyon National Park”