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…

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…

Lassen Peak

Lassen Peak Trail (5 miles, +2,000/-2,000 feet). Today was another day intimately tied to my youth.  On one of my cross country trips in the early 1980s between Oklahoma and Oregon my family stopped at Lassen Peak and I climbed it with my dad.  I still remember how amazed I was by the experience.  I…

PCT Taster

Subway Cave to Old Station via PCT (3 miles, +200/-200 feet). We lazed around a bit after our Cinder Cone hike and then decided to do another excursion this afternoon.  A lava tube called the Subway Cave was about a mile away from our airbnb in Old Station and the plan was for Half Cookie…

Fantastic Lava Beds

Butte Lake Campground to Cinder Cone and back (5 miles, +1,000/-1,000 feet). Last night we drove down to Old Station to spend a couple of days in Lassen Volcanic National Park on our way back from the eclipse.  We were originally going to stay at Crater Lake, but the Spruce Fire has caused lots of…

Eclipse!

Forest Road 797 to 395 and back (1.5 miles, +300/-300 feet). Okay, so this is kind of a fake entry. True, Pasta Jay and I got up early and took a nice walk down the forest road near where we camped in the Malheur National Forest.  We even turned it into a loop with some…

Slip Sliding Away

Canyon Oak – Desert View Loop (4 miles, +800/-800 feet). I almost decided not to go on this hike today.  My recent trip to the Channel Islands really zapped me, and the forecast called for rain, but Half Cookie persuaded me to keep to our plan of a family hike.  And I am really glad…

A Summit Whirlwind

Ruby Lake to Mosquito Flats via Summit Lake (6 miles, +1,100/-2,000 feet). Today was Day 2 of my Father’s Day trip to the John Muir Wilderness, and I can say without a doubt that it was my favorite day of hiking ever! It started around 5am as we awoke to alpenglow on Ruby Lake. We…

A Ruby for Father’s Day

Mosquito Flats to Ruby Lake via Mills Lake (5 miles, +1,700/-1,000 feet). This morning we set out on a trip that was gifted to me by my sons—a Father’s Day camping trip to Ruby Lake and Mono Pass in the John Muir Wilderness. For a couple of weeks I have been watching the snow melt and…

Sky Pond

Glacier Gorge Junction to Sky Pond (9.0 miles, +1,800/-1,800 feet). It’s our last day in Rocky Mountain National Park, and boy did we end it with a bang!  DoubleSub was not feeling up to a hike today, so Half Cookie, Pasta Jay, and I left him cozy in our cabin while we hit the trail….