Backpacking

The Cactus Eaters: A story of adventure--and misadventure--on the Pacific Crest Trail

June 24, 2010, 9:40 am
The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind—and Almost Found Myself—on the Pacific Crest Trail chronicles author Dan White’s journey from Mexico to Canada on the famed National Scenic Trail. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is the jewel in the crown of America’s scenic trails, spanning 2,650 miles through California, ...

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Neelymom
What advice do you have for hiking Grand Canyon to the bottom? I've heard you can do it in 3 days, 1 down and 2 back. What about lodging?
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Grand Canyon National Park, Backpacking, Food/Dining, Health & Fitness, Hiking, Lodging
7 years ago
0
Answers
morselmun...
3 Answers

Hello, I'm happy to send you a complimentary Grand Canyon guide, from American Park Network (Oh, Ranger!). It contains a wealth of info on the Grand Canyon, including lodging. If you're interested, e-mail me your mailing address, to info@morselmunk.com. Happy trails!

-Brigitte @ MorselMunk.com

7 years ago
00
dbarker
I am a fit 52 year old woman, running 18-25 miles a week. Can I comfortably hike Longs Peak?
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Rocky Mountain National Park, Backpacking, Health & Fitness
7 years ago
0
Answers
Judy Jone...
9 Answers
1Helpful Answer Rating

If you are not used to the high altitude of Colorado, you should allow a couple of days to get acclimated.  Altitude sickness is a serious condition and can result in death if not treated quickly.

Longs Peak should not be attempted alone and can be a difficult and dangourous hike.  Weather conditions change quickly and you must be prepared for snow/ice at any time of the year.   You must check in with the Longs Peak Ranger Station and if necessary secure any backcountry permits.

I would recommend going with a guide.  Several people have been injured or killed this summer due to the weather conditions and being unfamiliar with the Peak.

7 years ago
00
JLJudy
How much should we be concerned about mountain lions when hiking in and around the cascade mountains?
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Bumping Lake, Washington, Backpacking, Bears, Mountain Lions, Camping, Hiking, Safety
7 years ago
0
Answers
Expert Answer
85 Answers
31Helpful Answer Rating

Mountain lions, known is the Pacific Northwest as cougars, live in the Cascade Mountains. Since they are mainly nocturnal creatures and are rarely seen, they're sometimes called "ghost walker" and "ghost of the wilderness." Cougars favor dense forests that provide good stalking cover while hunting. They also take advantage of steep canyons and rock outcroppings to remain hidden.

If you visit the backcountry, you are in cougar habitat, in their territory. Keep this in mind and follow some basic rules. Cougars are shy, secretive cats and typically avoid contact with people. Few people ever see this elusive cat in the wild, but sightings and encounters have increased in recent years.

For your safety:

  • Never approach a cougar, especially a feeding one. Cats are unpredictable, but will normally avoid a confrontation -- give them a way out. In areas of known cougar sightings, do not hike alone.

  • Keep children close to you when hiking and pick them up if you see fresh signs of a cougar.

If you encounter a cougar:

  • Do not run. Avert your gaze and speak to it in a calm voice. Do not turn your back on the cougar. Hold your ground or back away slowly. Sudden movement or flight may trigger an instinctive attack.

  • Spread your arms, open your coat -- do all you can to enlarge your image.

If the cougar act aggressively:

  • Wave your arms, shout, and throw rocks or sticks. If you are attacked, fight back. Do not "play dead."

 

Reporting an Encounter

If by some rare chance, you meet the ghost cat of the Cascades, consider it a gift. Please make a report at any ranger station or park facility.

7 years ago
00
Tina
How to find Bucktank Draw and Birthday arch, we followed instruction and still could not locate the arch, please give details instruction.
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Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Archaeology, Backpacking
7 years ago
0
Answers
Expert Answer
85 Answers
31Helpful Answer Rating

We found these instructions to Birthday Arch in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on photographer Peter F. Flynn's blog:

Birthday Arch may be found by walking from the ruins of a ranch house apparently once belonging to a clan named Wolfe east by northeast up a sandstone slope.  After approximately three miles turn east and traverse around an impressive natural ramp that curves clockwise gaining a hundred feet or so.  The end of the ramp brings you to a narrow ridge from which to view Birthday Arch. 

GPS coordinates of Birthday Arch: N37°04'21.0" W111°41.3'46.0" (via utaharches.com)

7 years ago
00
jimdover
Planning a Half Dome summit and tent camping in little Yosemite Valley--mid-week. Can we just show up and pitch our tent?
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Yosemite National Park, California, Backpacking
7 years ago
0
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Expert Answer
85 Answers
31Helpful Answer Rating

Backcountry campgrounds at Little Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park are not part of the campground reservation system. A wilderness permit is required to stay at these campgrounds.

This also applies at backcountry campgrounds near the High Sierra Camps (Glen Aulin, May Lake, Sunrise, Merced Lake, and Vogelsang).

7 years ago
00
dick206@s...
Where can I get a trail map for the Smokey Mountains National Park?
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Tennessee, Backpacking, Hiking, Park Passes and Fees
7 years ago
2
Answers
Expert Answer
164 Answers
26Helpful Answer Rating

1) This is a map we highly recommend:  - MAP -

2) Another great resource is the Smoky Mountains Friends Group: http://www.friendsofthesmokies.org/

3) And you can download a copy of the park's trail map at this page from the NPS (though it is not as detailed as the map above).

4) Finally, for all the latest happenings in the park click here.

Have a great trip!

7 years ago
11
scottmana...
Want to climb Half Dome. No reservations for camping. What time can I arrive at front gate and where can I park closest to the trail head?
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Yosemite National Park, Backpacking, Park Passes and Fees
7 years ago
0
Answers
grumpy_20
2 Answers

I can answer part of your question.  Park somewhere in Yosemite Valley and take the shuttle to the trail head (or walk there).  Make sure that you have a permit to hike Half Dome (Friday - Sunday, and holidays).

 

These might help:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hours.htm

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/trailheads.htm

7 years ago
00
hesel
Exactly where on the Clark Point Trail can I take that bird's-eye view photo of Vernal Falls?
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Yosemite National Park, California, Backpacking, Hiking, Photography
7 years ago
1
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Expert Answer
164 Answers
26Helpful Answer Rating

The great views of Vernal falls are actually from the "connector trail" between the Mist Trail and John Muir Trail.  Clark Point is accesible via either though it's definitely shorter to just take the Mist Trail and then go up towards Clark Point on the connector.

Click here for more information on the hike.



Have a great trip!

7 years ago
00
donyoma
What time is dark at zion national park
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Utah, Backpacking, Trail Running, Health & Fitness
7 years ago
0
Answers
Ask_Larso...
69 Answers
12Helpful Answer Rating

The sun is currently setting at 7pm, Arizona time.  Dark follows shortly after.  If you need to know more about sunrise sunset in the area, or for a different time of year, you can check here: www.sunrisesunset.com

7 years ago
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