I was looking for a challenging, largely off-trail backpacking trip to do just before the arrival of summer. The mountains sandwiched between Canmore, an increasingly busy and overgrown former mining town, and Lake Minnewanka, the longest lake in the mountain parks of the Canadian Rockies, are surprisingly untraveled despite being so close to so many people. With three days to spare, I decided to hike a (nearly complete) loop from the industrial town of Exshaw to Canmore’s Cougar Creek. At 60-km long and choked with flood debris, this proved to give me just the right amount of challenge. Continue reading “Backpacking from Exshaw to Cougar Creek”
Glacier National Park is only a few hours away from where I grew up but, up until last month, I’d never visited. I’m not sure what took me so long. This southern most part of the Canadian Rockies is stunning! Continue reading “Waterfalls of Glacier National Park”
I first cycled the Icefield Parkway three years ago with a great group of friends. It was a really fun and memorable trip. We stayed together in hostels and shared delicious meals every night. There were lots of stories and laughter. That trip was at the end of summer and I’ve been thinking about returning to see this famous scenic road in spring ever since. I finally had the chance this year. Continue reading “Cycling the Icefield Parkway”
I passed through Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument four years ago after visiting some of the classic highlights of the US South West, like the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. Escalante has far fewer visitors but it’s no less impressive. This rugged landscape, filled with endless twisting canyons, was one of the last areas in the United States to be mapped and explored. I’ve been excited to get a closer look ever since.
Continue reading “Backpacking in Utah’s Coyote Gulch”
I had the chance to visit Death Valley this spring. I loved exploring the desert, camping and backpacking throughout this vast park. The wildflowers were out-of-this world, adding a splash of colour to such a tranquil landscape. When I heard about the forgotten Panamint City ghost town I was really excited to make a backpacking trip to see it but I had no idea what sort of hike I was in for.
Continue reading “Panamint City Ghost Town Backpacking Trip”
Last December I visited Ballarat, the historic Australian gold boom town. Unlike many mining towns, the gold continued to flow for decades and the town grew large enough to survive even after gold production declined. Nearly 50 years after the discovery of gold in the hills not far from Melbourne, another rich gold find popped up, this time half way around the world. Taking its name from the now famous Australian city, Ballarat California was born in 1897. I’ve just had the opportunity to visit and the contrast between the two towns couldn’t be more striking.
Continue reading “Ballarat – A Tale of Two Towns”
Death Valley is exceptionally dry. To be considered a desert, an area must receive less than 10 inches of rain per year. Death Valley is fortunate to get even two inches. That means it’s really hard to find water. You have to carry a lot if you want to do a multi-day hike in the park. The Cottonwood-Marble Canyon loop is one of the few places where natural springs let you explore the wilderness for days without the need to carry gallons and gallons of water.
Continue reading “Backpacking Death Valley’s Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop”