Isabelle Glacier

Isabelle Glacier Trail (11 miles, +2,500/-2,500 feet). It was great to have a zero day yesterday after our backpack around the Maroon Bells!  But since we finished a day early, we had a chance to do a day hike today.  We decided to hike up to one of Colorado’s disappearing glaciers, the beautiful Isabelle. The…

Day 3: Buckskin, ‘Bundy’, Willow, and East Snowmass Passes

West Maroon Creek to East Snowmass Trailhead (17 miles, +3,800/-6,200 feet). Okay, let me apologize right away.  There are over 90 pictures in this post!  I spent a lot of time deleting pictures, but this was one of those days where I just couldn’t kill my darlings. We awoke to crystal clear skies and a…

Day 2: Hasley, Frigid Air, and West Maroon Passes

Lake Geneva Trailhead to West Maroon Creek (18 miles, +5,800/-4,700 feet). So I guess it was a little too slopey last night.  MixMaster and I kept sliding towards the river.  I got good rest but not much sleep.  Oh well. We got an earlier start this morning and that was a good thing because we…

Day 1: Trail Rider Pass

Snowmass Creek Trailhead to Geneva Lake Trailhead (17 miles, +4,600/-3,400 feet). Time again for my annual trip with MixMaster and ChiaGlyph.  Woo hoo! So far we’ve done the Trans-Zion Trek and Paria Canyon.  This time we decided to head for Chia’s home turf, Colorado.  Chia has had his eye on the famous “Four Pass Loop”…

Crow Pass

Crow Pass Trail to the pass and back (7 miles, +2,300/-2,300 feet) We’ve had an amazing time in Alaska, and this was probably my favorite of all our great hikes. Unlike the Harding Icefield Trail which started below treeline, this one started above, which greatly reduced our anxiety about running into a grizzly.  This was…

Portage Pass

Portage Pass Trail (5 miles, +1,000/-1,000 feet) On our way from Seward to Anchorage we passed a turnoff for Whittier that would take us through the world’s longest tunnel shared by trains and automobiles.  It is one lane with railroad tracks down the middle, so each side gets a turn once an hour, alternating every…

Harding Icefield Trail

Harding Icefield Trail to Top of the Cliffs (5 miles, +2,500/-2,500 feet). I have been looking forward to this hike for a very long time.  When we started planning our trip to Alaska, this was the first trail to make the “must do” list.  And today didn’t disappoint. We started out very early at the…

Eielson Alpine

Eielson Alpine Trail (2 miles, +1,000/-1,000 feet). We got so, so lucky today!  To get near Denali you have to take a 4 hour bus ride (and 4 more hours back out!), and I scheduled that ride months ago, not knowing what the weather might be.  About 70% of the people who take the bus…

Savage Alpine

Savage Alpine Trail to Savage River (4 miles, +1,400/-1,600 feet). Today we had a full day for hiking so we decided to try something bit more challenging.  The farthest you can drive on your own into Denali National Park is Savage River, and there is a trail that starts a couple of miles away, climbs…

Hello Denali!

Taiga Trail to Horseshoe Lake Trail (4 miles, +600/-600 feet). Time for one last nuclear family trip with the four of us before DoubleSub goes to college! Where to go?  We originally thought about Iceland, but the time change for a short trip can be brutal, so we decided to stick closer to our own…

Farewell Canyon

Lower Franklin Lake to Sawtooth Trailhead (6 miles, +600/-3,100 feet). Today was an easy day, but that’s just alright with me given the last two days and my impending 7 hour drive back to San Diego. Last night was peaceful and calm again.  You’d think I would have slept well, but I kept having dreams…

Franklin Pass

Little Five Lake 10476 to Franklin Lake 10331 (19 miles, +4,800/-4,900 feet). It was calm and peaceful in my perfect campsite last night.  But in spite of my big day yesterday, I did not sleep much.  My legs still twitched from the cramping yesterday, and I was restless.  By the time the sky started to…