Routeburn Track (plus Greenstone-Caples) 

After a week of farming followed by a week of sitting on our butts, K and I were itching for a nice long a tramp in the park. Conveniently, the Routeburn Track runs right into the Greenstone Valley and Caples Valley Tracks, so we decided to link up the reputable Routeburn with a lesser known…

Aoraki/Mt. Cook and Mueller Hut

Mount Cook (aka Aoraki) may not be the deadliest peak in New Zealand, but it is the tallest and has claimed the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of climbers. Tucked at the tip of Lake Pukaki, this 12,218-foot giant stands at the physical and metaphorical epicenter of New Zealand’s mountaineering culture. In this small…

Abel Tasman Coastal Track

No shirt, no shoes, no problem is the mantra for most New Zealand shops, restaurants, and supermarkets. It is also the most fitting motto for trampers on the Abel Tasman track. Touted as New Zealand’s best beach tramp–with sea kayaking, fur seals, and little blue penguins abound–the Abel Tasman attracts every type of beach lover,…

Tongariro Northern Circuit

Tongariro is New Zealand’s oldest and most popular park. Encompassing a cluster of active volcanoes on the North Island, this area is sacred to the Maori people in New Zealand. But, per usual, European conquistadors and early settlers gave little regard to native people’s customs and beliefs. In 1887, in an attempt to protect their…

126 Miles thru Glacier National Park – Part III

Day 7: Granite Park to Fifty Mountain Campground (12 miles + 3-mile return side trip to Sue Lake) Our luck with the weather had run out. It rained all through the night and we woke up in a wet tent under a thick cloud cover. The trek to our next destination, Fifty Mountain Campground, was…

126 Miles thru Glacier National Park – Part II

Day 4: Red Eagle Lake To Gunsight Campground (19.8 miles) Though our daily mileage had been increasing each day, our pace (and the daylight hours) stayed the same. So this morning we ate breakfast in the dark, attempting to get an extra early start on our first 20-miler. We had 13 miles of flat walking…

126 Miles thru Glacier National Park – Part I

The average tourist spends 2.5 hours in Glacier National Park, which is about what it takes to drive the Going to the Sun Road. But you can’t even scratch the surface of Glacier’s 1 million acres of preserved wilderness in 2.5 hours. To experience more of what this park has to offer, we decided to…

Olympic Coast & Ozette Loop Trail

For those planning a backpacking trip in Washington State (or any popular trekking destination, really), I offer you this simple advice: shoulder season. The Olympic National Park is one of the most touristed areas in the Pacific Northwest. Over 4 million people travel to view and explore the nearly one million acres of wilderness the…

Mount Saint Helens – Loowit Trail

Fourth of July weekend is a great time for a tramp. While the hoards head for the city to partake in the parades, fried food and fireworks, K and I prefer to travel in the opposite direction: to the parks. This year we decided to celebrate Independence Day on the Loowit Trail, a 36-mile loop…