Fun scrambling to the summit of Mount Monadnock! Took the White Dot trail up, and the White Cross trail back down. About 15-20 feet to the right of the last cairn on the White Dot trail, I spotted a cool looking slab to scramble up. Clear skies for some beautiful views!
My groom and I visited the beautiful Zion National Park on a weekday but it was still crowded. We drove the almost 3-hour drive from Las Vegas, NV, and got to the park entrance at 10am, local Utah time. Unfortunately, all the parking was full and the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive was closed. Since it was a weekday, the shuttle wasn't running. We were told that we could hike the Canyon Overlook trail but space at its trailhead was very limited. We could also hike any of the trails from the Visitor's Center. We stopped at the Visitor's Center so that I could purchase a Zion NP t-shirt and baseball cap, then headed to the Canyon Overlook trailhead.
The drive up and through the Zion Mt. Carmel Highway and tunnel was spectacular! Unfortunately, there was no parking available at the Canyon Overlook trailhead as well as along the road. Directly across the trailhead is another parking area but it's for "small vehicles".....which we didn't have (GMC Yukon SLT). There were so many people and cars! We drove past the trailhead and turned around and hoped we'd find parking on our way back, but no such luck. We ended up driving back to the Visitor's Center and hiked The Watchman Trail. The trail is very popular and views along the trail as well at the top of the foothill are amazing, photos don't do it justice! The trail doesn't bring you to the top of the Watchman mountain, just to the top of the foothill. But the views from the foothill of Watchman mountain and the southern area of the park are stunning, nonetheless!
We plan to re-visit Zion, stay overnight in either Springdale or Hurricane. Then get an early start in the morning to make sure we can get to those hikes along the Zion CanyonScenic Drive that I had originally planned for this trip - Riverside Walk and the Emerald Pools Loop. And the Canyon Overlook Trail along the Zion Mt. Carmel Highway.
Enjoy this YouTube video I put together of our visit to Zion National Park.
I visited Moab, Utah for a rock climbing festival and to continue my bucket list and do some hiking in the beautiful Arches National Park! I was not prepared to be so amazed when hiking and driving through the park. The colors of the rock in the morning light was vibrant and breath-taking. The park's paved road is a 36-mile round trip loop. The park entrance is only a 5-minute, 3-mile drive from the Holiday Inn Express that I was staying at in Moab. I wanted a morning start to avoid any heat and crowds, but I was prepared for a large crowd, especially on my hike to see the famed Delicate Arch. Fortunately, I started early enough and avoided large crowds on my hike up to and at the Delicate Arch. It was on my hike back down to my car that I encountered many hikers headed to the arch. Surprisingly, there were several folks on this hike that weren't prepared! They had no backpacks....not even a water bottle! I hope they didn't think there was water at the arch! It's fall but be prepared with food, water, a hat, sunglasses, layers, and sunscreen when hiking here. At the visitor center, I browsed the displays and bought an "Arches NP" t-shirt. Enjoy some photos taken on my hike through the park. Also, read about Moab Food & Shopping.
Today my groom and I headed out to the Custer Gallatin National Forest. On our way, we stopped at REI to pick up a Hyalite Canyon trail map ($5). The drive from Bozeman was only 20 minutes and the ride through the canyon was beautiful! We passed several campgrounds and at the pull-offs, several folks fishing at the creek. At the reservoir, there were many people taking advantage of the mild temperatures. Many were camping along the east shore of the reservoir. Many were enjoying the water in kayaks, canoes, or tubes. On our way out we stopped by Practice Rock to watch some climbers. Such a mellow day! Enjoy some photos taken of our day.
My groom and I had a wonderful vacation in Montana. We got to golf and visit both a national park and a national forest. Since we stayed at the Holiday Inn Bozeman in Bozeman, Montana, we entered the North entrance of the Yellowstone National Park via I90 & US89, coming through the town of Gardiner, MT. From the North entrance, the Albright Visitor Center is 5 miles and Old Faithful Geyser is approximately 56 miles. If you drive the speed limit and there's no traffic (ha!) and you don't stop (ha! again), it should take about an hour and a half. We entered the park at 8:16am, made several stops along the way, and watched the Old Faithful Geyser erupt at 1:20pm. And yes, even on a weekday, there is a lot of traffic!
The drive from the North entrance was simply amazing. Traveling southbound along the Grand Loop Road, the Washburn Range was to the east and the Gallatin Range to the west. Ronnie and I drove in silence, taking in the grand views of the peaks of the ranges. Some had snowy tops and I wondered if anyone had climbed them. I took it all in as we drove. Flanked by those glorious mountains, I felt blessed. Our first stop, from the North entrance, was the Albright Visitor Center and the General Store. At the General Store, I picked up a Yellowstone t-shirt and baseball cap. Visiting the different national and state parks, I like to pick up a t-shirt and/or baseball cap as a souvenir and to also use for climbing and golfing. Our next stop was the Mammoth Hot Spring Terrace.
Mammoth Hot Spring Terrace From the visitor center, you can see the Mammoth Hot Spring Terrace. Mammoth is one of two major geothermal areas within Yellowstone, characterized by hot springs bubbling and steaming down a hill of travertine terraces. There are several parking lots for the terraces and Ronnie and I parked in the lower lot, then walked the boardwalk over the hot springs.
Mammoth Hot Spring Terrace Such a beautiful and fascinating area! There are several sets of steps along the boardwalk, but a lot of it is flat and wheelchair accessible. There are also benches along the boardwalk so you can sit and enjoy the different springs along the boardwalk.
Beryl Spring Pronounced "Burl" - this is a little beautiful roadside spring on the way to or from the Norris Geyser Basin. There is a small parking lot on the west side of the road, giving easy and short access to the spring. We were lucky that it wasn't crowded at all when we viewed it.
The parking lot was a nightmare, so many cars, RV's and motorcycles entering and exiting the two entrances of the parking lot. But it's such an easy and gorgeous waterfall to experience! I can just imagine what it looks like, totally frozen in the winter!
Old Faithful Geyser We finally pulled into the Old Faithful Visitor Center at about 12:15pm and we had just enough time to grab some lunch at the cafeteria, the Veggie Hummus sandwich was delicious as was the Chili!! The next eruption was predicted to be at 1:20pm, so Ronnie and I quickly ate our lunches, then headed over to the boardwalk to grab us a seat. I've never seen a geyser in person, so I was anxious to watch Old Faithful. When Old Faithful finally erupted, it was such an impressive sight and an amazing experience!
Wildlife We exited the park via the West entrance into the town of West Yellowstone, MT. Just past the Madison Campground, we encountered traffic and it was at a standstill. I told Ronnie there's probably wildlife and sure enough, there was a herd of Buffalo on the north side of the road. This gave me a good vantage point for videotaping and taking photos without having to get out of the car. Yeehaw!
We only spent one day visiting the park and saw just a tiny bit of it. There is so, so much more to see and experience. It would probably take several days to see it all!
Can't believe its been 5 years since I last ice climbed here! Joined Phil for some cragging at Stonehouse Pond in Barrington, NH. The place has changed but for the better! Phil pointed out that several new trails were put in. Besides reducing impact, these trails keep hikers and climbers off of the private properties of the surrounding residents. The parking is at the new Kiosk at the second pullout on the left. The approach from the parking lot starts through a gate and the hike is a scenic walk through the woods, taking you along the edge of the pond. There are trail markers on some of the trees and the elevation gain is mellow. Today's temps were in the teen's and as the day wore on, the rope iced up. But it was a good day for swinging and kicking laps and getting outdoors. And thanks Phil for your help and support for my "Turning 60 and Climbing About It" project! Enjoy a few photos taken of our day.
North Pack Monadnock (2,276ft) Elevation Gain: 1,350 feet Trails: Ted's, Cliff and Carolyn's Distance: 5.6 miles roundrtrip So much fun rock scrambling in the rain! Gray skies couldn't keep us away from hiking. Got together with 4 others of the Metrowest Retirees (or not yet) Ready For Adventure meetup group for a rainy day hike to the summit of North Pack Monadnock. Great hiking company, peaceful woods, wildlife surprises and fantastic lookout views near the top more than made up for the challenge of the brutal mosquitoes. We hiked in the clockwise direction taking Ted's trail to the Cliff trail to the summit, then descended via Carolyn's trail. Enjoy some photos of our fun, rainy day hike!
This is my favorite photo of our group as we ascended. Although foggy, I really love the background. A marvelous hike!