John Muir Trail Day 5 – Past Donahue Pass to Red’s Meadow. 19.5 mile lake tour hike.

John Muir Trail Hike

Light broke on my tent early this morning. My air mattress popped during the night. That sucked!

My lower back still ached from yesterday’s painful hike, but the nausea had passed and I was feeling much better. I took my time getting ready and made sure to drink lots of water and eat a good breakfast be…

Read more

John Muir Trail Day 4 – Tuolomne Meadows over Donahue Pass. 16.4 mile shakedown hike.

John Muir Trail Hike

Woke up at 4:30am to wait in line at the Visitors Center for walk-up permits out of Yosemite. My morning routine needs work. Don beat me there by 45 minutes and was first in line for permits.

The early morning paid off and we received day-of permits for exiting Yosemite via Donahue Pass. Don and I said goo…

Read more

John Muir Trail Day 3 – Sunrise Lakes to Tuolomne Meadows. 10.1 mile hike for hunger.

John Muir Trail Hike

I awake at dawn with frost on my sleeping bag. It’s cold out, but my 10 degree sleeping bag kept me toasty warm all night. Soon everyone in camp is awake and we all gather to watch the sunrise over the meadow. The early morning light warms us up as we take down camp, sip on hot coffee and eat our breakfast…

Read more

John Muir Trail Day 2 – Little Yosemite Valley to Sunrise Lakes. 8.6 mile acclimation hike.

Hiking the John Muir Trail

We have another lazy start this morning, leaving Little Yosemite Valley for Sunrise Lakes Campground at around 9:00 am. Most of the trail today takes us along a wandering path through a forest that was devastated by a wildfire back in 2013. Blackened and charred trees dot the hillsides.

New growth …

Read more

John Muir Trail Day 1 – Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley. 4.8 mile kickoff hike.

Hiking the John Muir Trail

In June 2014, four friends and I embarked on a 3 day backpacking trip through Yosemite along a section of the John Muir Trail that started in Tuolomne Meadows and ended in Yosemite Valley. In mid July 2016, I started a similar trip with the same group of friends, but this trip was different in two signifi…

Read more

Coyote Canyon Hike – Two Days Backpacking the Anza Borrego Desert

Coyote Canyon Hike

The hike through Coyote Canyon takes you along the same path that Juan Bautista de Anza followed during his 1775-6 colonizing expedition from Sonora, Mexico to the San Francisco bay. With water running year around in the creek, it’s easy to understand why de Anza chose to take this route throu…

Read more

Hiking the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim in Just Two Days

Grand Canyon Bright Angel Trail

How Saying “Yes” When You’re Uncertain Can Change Your Life Forever

My mind was racing as I scrolled through Instagram photos on my cell phone while sitting outside a Chipotle restaurant in Rancho Cucamonga. In a few short minutes I was going to meet the other five members of my Gr…

Read more

Willet Hot Springs: Hiking and Camping in Los Padres National Forest

Willet Hot Springs: Hiking and Camping in Los Padres National Forest

Tucked away deep inside a lush green forested canyon and perched high up on a cliff in Los Padres National Forest is a hot tub built for five. Assembled and still maintained by some incredibly resourceful, and apparently anonymous folks, the Willet Hot Springs hot tub is a rewarding experience at the …

Read more