The Blog

A Captivating Look at the “Big Four” North American Deserts

Ah, the desert: the “land of little rain”, the house of haboob and flash flood, the thirsty wilderness, the barren void wandered by nomads, exiles, spiritual seekers, bandits, prospectors, and UFO hunters—plus sidewinders, scorpions, tarantulas, and vultures, of course. Taken collectively, the deserts of North America are still overshadowed sizewise by the Sahara—at 3.6 million square miles, the greatest (non-polar) desert in the world—as well

Thru-Hiking With Your Significant Other: Tips on Staying Happy (and Together)

When I first suggested hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to my husband, Adam, it was, if not exactly a joke, at least an off-the-cuff idea. We were on a short section hike at the time, rambling along a 5-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail near New York City. In that environment, with the birds singing and leaves rustling in the wind, hiking for an additional

An Angler’s Guide to Helena: One of the World’s Top Fly-Fishing Towns

Nestled amid the rolling national forests of the Rocky Mountains and not far from the edge of the Great Plains, Helena is a quintessential example of Montana at its best. It’s also the logical home base for fly fishing many of the region’s great rivers—including the Missouri, Blackfoot, and Clark Fork rivers. Many smaller streams crisscross the local rivers, offering diversions for those more inclined

The 6 Best Trail and Ale Pairings in Durango

Nestled in the rugged Animas River Valley, Durango, Colorado, has everything an adventurer could possibly want: serious mountains, a big river, and a friendly mountain town vibe. It’s also home to six craft breweries, plus a winery and distillery. With so much adventure potential, it’s tough to narrow down the absolute best things to do, but you can bet a trail-to-tavern pairing is the most

15 of the Most Iconic Hikes in the World

The planet is crisscrossed with epic trails, from the Alps to the Andes. There are snowy summit trips for fleet-footed peak-baggers, long and leisurely rambles for wildlife lovers, and everything in between. While the options are almost infinite, here are a few epic hikes to add to that ever-expanding life list. 1. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania One of the planet’s Seven Summits, 19,341-foot Kilimanjaro is the highest

The 10 Best Hikes in Boulder

It’s so secret that Boulder boasts a wealth of top-notch hiking. The foothills and mountains above town represent the eastern terminus of the Rocky Mountains, rising up to elevations more than 8,000 feet—meaning a great workout is almost guaranteed if you’re starting from Boulder, which is roughly 5,400 feet above sea level. Meanwhile, the mesas and plains in east Boulder offer mellow terrain rich in

Mountain Biking at Joshua Tree? Exploring the Desert View Conservation Area

I’m not a fan of the phrase “hidden gem.” Beyond its rampant overuse, it’s not often all that accurate; most trails, peaks, or swimming holes either aren’t really that hidden or aren’t really gems. There’s no shortage of hyperbole on the internet these days, it would seem. But hidden in plain sight, just outside Joshua Tree National Park, is a small cluster of mountain bike

The Desert Adventure Bucket List: 9 Challenges in the 9 Cities of Greater Palm Springs

When it comes to planning outdoor adventures, often times the desert gets overlooked. Contrary to the dry and desolate perception, deserts can offer a plethora of diverse landscapes and wildlife, especially in the Greater Palm Springs area. To the east, you have the large boulders and strange-looking palms of Joshua Tree National Park; to the west, the looming Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountain Ranges;

How to Spring Clean Your Outdoor Gear

After getting home from spending time in the great outdoors, whether it’s a day hike or weeklong camping trip, the last thing anyone feels like doing is cleaning their gear. All too often, exhaustion and procrastination win out, and people tend to stuff their dirty, grimy gear in the far corner of a garage only to discover that, come spring, their tent or backpack has

5 Ways to Trek Through Time in Death Valley

Death Valley became a national park on October 31,1994 as a result of the passage of the California Desert Protection Act. But its history goes back much further: The 3.4-million acre park is a land of wonder for fans of both geological and human history. Here in this stark desert in Southern California, the passage of time is etched into the landscape itself. It’s evident

6 Days, 80 Miles: Backpacking a Wild Section of the Pacific Northwest Trail

“Has it ever snowed on your birthday before?” My husband’s question broke the tension. We were camped near Cathedral Lake on September 1, at mile 26 of the Boundary Trail, an 80-mile, 6-day section of the larger Pacific Northwest Trail that stretches 1,200-miles from Glacier National Park in Montana to the Olympic Coast in Washington State. Having both hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2014,

4 Southern California Hot Springs for Backpackers Only

Southern California is a hotbed of geothermal activity and plate tectonics, which can have the effect of creating an ever-creeping dread of the inevitable earthquake. But instead of living in perpetual fear of the “Big One”, outdoor-loving types in SoCal can take advantage of the plus side of an active geothermal region—proximity to an abundance of hot springs. And—bonus for backpackers—several of these magical spots

4 Reasons to Hike North Carolina’s Mount Mitchell in the Winter

Thousands of years ago, when extreme cold gripped the North American continent, flora and fauna most suited to northern latitudes migrated south, covering what is now North Carolina. As the cold retreated and temperatures climbed, the trees and animals more suited to warm weather returned. Except, that is, for those living on the highest peaks in the state. Like islands of alpine forest in a

ODT Snow Athlete Michelle Zeller Makes Cameo in Intel Commercial

One of our #ODTSnow athletes, Michelle Zeller (@Michellezellerkazami) made a sweet cameo in the Intel commercial playing throughout the 2018 Olympics. Check her out!    

3 Amazing Weekend Backpacking Loops in the Smokies

Across Great Smoky Mountains National Park, miles of interconnected trails meander through lush, green valleys, hug the banks of moss-laden, rocky creeks, and climb through thickets of mountain laurel and rhododendron to the blue-tinged mountain peaks. You could spend weeks backpacking through this rich landscape, but a weekend trip will also allow you to experience the best of the Smokies. To help you plan your