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…

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…