The Blog

A Guide to Dispersed Camping in the Mountain West

A loud bugling throws my eyes open. I’m curled up in the back of my car, zipped tight into my sleeping bag. The windows have frosted over a little bit in the cold. The night before, I’d sped south from Yellowstone in search of some place to sleep before heading to Grand Teton National Park in the morning. It was dark when I pulled in,

Discovering the Scenic Byways of Moab

There’s magic in the name Moab. The word conjures up dreams of sandstone landscapes dissected by canyons and lorded over by buttes and mesas. The town of Moab, Utah, nestled beside the Colorado River, casts a special spell on every visitor, enchanting them with the surrounding bare-bones landscape and a sense of limitless space. Spectacular scenery fills the Moab area, offering long views, a rainbow

Pro Tips for Hiking with a Hangover (According to a Bartender and a Physician)

I haven’t even put my truck into park before Derek swings the door open and jumps out. He post-holes his way through knee-deep snow over to the tree line and doubles over, retching into the pines. The trailhead hurl has become something of a tradition for Derek. The rest of us barely acknowledge it. We’re dealing with our own demons. As I see it, this

Backpacking the 83-Mile Uinta Highline Trail

The prominent Uinta Mountains of Utah rose from Precambrian rock about 600 million years ago. These geologic giants are the northern-most high altitude massifs formed by glaciers during the Ice Age without present-day glaciers and are the longest east-to-west oriented mountain range in the lower 48. My friends Craig Benson, Bob Wenger, husband Lee, and I flew to Salt Lake City for an eight-day thru-hike

The Fascinating History of Hueco Tanks, the Birthplace of Modern Bouldering

For anyone who loves to boulder, a pilgrimage to Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site is inevitable. And it’s no wonder: This beloved Texas landmark is considered the mecca of modern bouldering, with a style of climbing found nowhere else in the world, all set against the backdrop of stark desert and reddish-brown rock. It’s the birthplace of the V-grades, the national bouldering standard,

The Ultimate Weekend Getaway in Durango (No Matter What Kind of Traveler You Are)

There’s only one question you need to answer to determine whether Durango should be your next weekend getaway destination, and that’s whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway, period. While Durango is a year-round destination, winter is a particularly good time to visit. Whether you enjoy skiing, snowmobiling—or even ice climbing—the region is filled with scenic options for enjoying the winter weather. It’s also got

Where to Go for Last-Minute Backpacking Trips in NorCal

With the summer solstice behind us, it’s now officially camping and backpacking season. In the Bay Area, this means that it’s officially time of year to escape the thick fog often blanketing the city. The only problem? Popular campgrounds in the area have long since been booked for every weekend in the summer. But fear not: With a little savvy planning, you can still snag a spot—and

5 Best End-of-Season Mountain Biking Trails in Lake Tahoe

The first major storm of the year recently blew through the Lake Tahoe Basin, bringing gallons and gallons of rain at the lake level and dumping one to two feet of classic Sierra Cement on the upper elevations. This brief period of unsettled weather makes it very tempting for locals and visitors alike to store away their summer toys, relegating them to gather dust for

How to Travel 18,000 Miles With Your Dog

For two years, I worked toward a lofty life dream: to outfit a van and drive from California to Patagonia. By last winter, plans were finally coming to fruition. I quit my job, my boyfriend and I set a date to move out of our house, and our van was, well, a work in progress. But one month before we planned to leave, he called

Why Central Montana Should Be at the Top of Your Travel Bucket List This Year

Imagine a land where the towering Rocky Mountains meet the sweeping horizon of the Great Plains. Where vibrant modern life is interwoven with a rugged, storied history, and where seemingly endless recreational opportunities are balanced by moments of historical and cultural exploration. Tucked between Yellowstone National Park to the south and Glacier National Park to the northwest, Central Montana is an intersection of authentic Western

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