20 articles Articles posted in Outside

Hike: Lawn Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Hike: Lawn Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

A nice mountain hike through varied forest to an alpine lake, with interesting eroded areas due to a 1982 dam failure. A long uphill climb brings you to a high valley surrounded by high peaks and with with scenic vistas to the South. Allow most of the day and watch for quickly changing weather conditions. Quick Facts Hike Lawn Lake Location Rocky Mountain National Park, off Old Fall River Road Map GPS, trailhead 40.407059,-105.626857 Overall …

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Hike: Blue Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado

Hike: Blue Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado

A stunning trek hike through taiga forest to an alpine lake, complete with late snowfields, a waterfall on the far bank, all surrounded by towering peaks. This trail is not too difficult for most hikers, yet the elevation gain can be quite taxing. You’ll be rewarded by impressive views and if you’re hiking in summer, the wildflowers are spectacular as you approach the lake. Quick Facts Hike Blue Lake Location Indian Peak Wilderness, accessed via …

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Kahtoola MICROspikes® for Winter Hiking

Rating: 5/5 You’ll love them! I’ve been using Kahtoola MICROspikes® for a few years, and they really help make icy winter hikes a lot more enjoyable. MICROspikes® are basically small crampons (spiked cleats that attach over a hiking boot or shoe) made easy. They consist of a rubber fitting and some chains that hold the 3/8 inch (10 mm) spikes in place underneath the sole of the boot. They have smaller spikes and are more …

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Hike: Chautauqua Trail Loops (Boulder, Colorado)

Hike: Chautauqua Trail Loops (Boulder, Colorado)

A spectacular Open Space and Mountain Park system around Boulder, Colorado gives residents and visitors access to mountain hikes just outside the city. Chautauqua Park provides access to many of the hiking trails on the foothills (west) side. There are many loop combinations from this trailhead, so you can make it a very short walk or a longer hike, depending on what you feel like and how much time you have. The city trails also …

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Book Review: The Last Season by Eric Blehm

We were browsing the shelves of Boulder Bookstore just before the holidays, and my wife handed me a copy of The Last Season by Eric Blehm. I’d never heard of the book, but it looked intriguing, with a photo of a man clinging to a cliff face while walking a very narrow trail, and the text “Randy Morgenson was legendary for finding people missing in the High Sierra…Then one day he went missing himself.” That …

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Hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim

Hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim

One of the West’s classic hikes, Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim is an epic walk that takes you through the heart of one of the most geologically interesting areas on Earth. At 22 miles (35.4 km) long and with 10,310 ft (3142 m) of elevation change and often hot temperatures, this is a tough hike for most people. It is usually recommended to break it up over the course of two or three days, using the designated …

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On Swimming, Summer Thunderstorms and a Birthday

On Swimming, Summer Thunderstorms and a Birthday

Summer is the best. Born in summer on this day, this is my time. I’m free and whole in summer. I live for three months without a trace of the bitter pain of the cold. I watch the monsoon clouds wisp into fantastical shapes. I go swimming with friends in creeks flanked by red rock cliffs, bubbling springs and towering cottonwood trees. Swimming: A Child of Water Growing up partly in Redding, California, I knew …

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Fossil Springs

Fossil Springs

I went for a beautiful, brutal, and much-needed overnight hike this weekend. The water was amazing, warm, and the air temperature was just warm enough (80s?) to make me want to swim. However, even after I filtered some of the water for drinking, the minerals made me feel unwell. The calcium carbonate in the water gives it a blue-green hue and leads to the rapid formation of travertine dams, with fallen branches, moss and debris. …

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Raven Playground

Raven Playground

Yesterday, while hiking and snowshoeing up Mt. Elden in Flagstaff, I saw ravens playing mid-air. The twirled and dived in groups, soared with thick sticks in their claws, and then seemed to enjoy dropping the sticks and watching them fall hundreds of feet down. Mount Elden’s top is barren and stark with only stone and old, dark dead trees. A forest fire set by campers 30 years ago made it this way, and new growth …

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Thousand Island Lake Sierras Hike

Thousand Island Lake Sierras Hike

On the July 4 weekend in 2008, we ascended the Pacific Crest Trail from Agnew Meadow to Thousand Island Lake, in the Ansel Adams Wilderness in the High Sierras. Swarms of mosquitoes cut our trip short, but we enjoyed the sweeping views, clear water, sculpted granite and serenity for a few days. We’ll be back a different time of year to avoid the mosquitoes next time. Resources: Ansel Adams Wilderness Trail Map Book: Ansel Adams …

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