Granite Springs Trail Camp – Cuyamaca moon

East Mesa highpoint, almost to Granite Springs Trail Camp

Summer had just come to an end, but it sure didn’t feel like it. It was sweltering in the lowlands and in the past I’d headed to the hills to get some relief. Since my daughter had a day off on Monday, we decided to go backpacking. We had already backpacked to Arroyo Seco in […]

Sequoia National Park – Where my love of the outdoors began

My first trip to Sequoia National Park - Age 6 in 1978 at Squatters Cabin

Sequoia National Park. The first time I visited was when I was six. From my parents’ recollection, my memory, and faded photos, it was the quiet alternative to the more popular and iconic Yosemite National Park. Is it where I earned my first patch from picking up trash along the trail, ate my first s’mores, and saw […]

Not Every Adventure Needs to be Epic

Sunshine Mountain from the trailhead

On TV, YouTube, and social media, we constantly see images of people trekking over hundreds of miles, scaling ice walls, sailing across oceans, living out of their vans, and traversing crevasse-ridden glaciers. Then there’s the rest of us. Leading normal lives, yearning to taste even a little bit of what these sponsored athletes are doing. […]

Peak 3339 – Peak 71 – A rocky peak at the edge of the desert

View to the east from Peak 3339

Peak 3339 Elevation: 3,339′ Miles: 6.6 Trailhead Agency: McCain Valley National Wildlife Area (BLM) When scanning the list of remaining peaks I have on the San Diego 100 Peaks list, I realized there was one that wasn’t either a 2-hour drive or had double-digit mileage. As you see, I appeared to have saved the best and most […]

Big Black Mountain – SD Peak #70 – My first section hike

The summit of Big Black Mountain comes into view

Big Black Mountain Elevation: 4,051′ Miles: 14.2 Trail head Agency: Cleveland National Forest Section hiking: hiking a trail one section at a time, without continuity and not necessarily in sequence with the other sections. While section hiking usually refers to a method of completing longer trails, like the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail, this time I was […]

Why I Hike Alone

Doesn't this guy look happy?

About 2 and a half years ago, I posted the tweet below: There's a lot of sensible talk about never hiking alone, but there's something magical about having a mountain to yourself. — 100 Peaks (@100peaks) October 27, 2012 I should have probably called this post Why I (Typically) Hike Alone. Don’t get me wrong, I […]

Lanilili – A fun and muddy hike to a peak on Maui

The view north from Lanilili

While scanning the map of Maui, I was struggling to see where I could hike to a peak. There’s Haleakala, which is a drive-up peak, and there’s Pu’u Kukui, where you have to know someone in order to get access. I wanted it to be reasonable hike, as I was on vacation, so I found […]

Cemetery Hill – SD Peak #69 – A Short Backpacking Trip Bathed in Sunset Light

Our tent on Cemetery Hill

Cemetery Hill Elevation: 3,459′ Total Mileage: 3.6 Trailhead Map Agency: Cleveland National Forest I had gotten settled back into San Diego. It had been a couple of months since the Muir Taco trip to the Sierra. I had only gotten out for some short hikes around my house. I’ve been curious about a place in Cleveland […]

Square Top – San Diego Peak #67 – Celebrating Brian’s 100th Peak

Square Top, looming above us

Square TopElevation: 4,649′ Distance: 8.4 miles Trailhead Agency: Anza Borrego Desert State Park When I got invited to this hike, I felt privileged. I have been following Brian’s progress on San Diego Peaks for several years on Google+, but I really didn’t know him. His frequent summits all around San Diego County left me homesick for […]