Hiking In California – Half Dome

Yosemite National Park, CA
Family Friendly?:  Only for the most ambitious and experienced hikers
Age Range:  Teens +
Recommendations:  This is a long hike with potentially deadly drops in places.  You should be an experienced hiker in good shape to undertake this adventure.  People who are afraid of heights should think long and hard before attempting the cables.  However, if you are up to it the payoff is huge!

When it comes to the all-time classic hiking in California, Half Dome in Yosemite National Park has to be right at the top of the list.  It features spectacular waterfalls, beautiful forests and you will never forget the last 400 vertical feet – guaranteed.  This article is meant to share what I have learned from enjoying the hike multiple times and to encourage you to put it on your list as soon as possible!

Before we get to the fun, a little housekeeping.  The National Park Service has instituted a permit system for the Half Dome hike limiting the number Read more ›

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Hiking In Arizona – Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

The Grand Canyon has long been our favorite spring getaway.  During a previous hike on the South Kaibab trail, we got the bug to walk from the south rim to the north rim and back. Our plan was to hike in May to take advantage of the slightly cooler temperatures without the risk of the north rim being snowed in.

It’s about 25 miles each way with over 20,000 feet of total elevation changes (you’re either walking up or walking down most of the way), but the biggest challenge came before we ever set foot in the canyon.  At the time we did our trip, you could apply for a back country permit up to four months prior to arrival. For details and an application, please visit the Grand Canyon National Park website.  We requested a permit that included Bright Angel camp on the first day, Cottonwood camp for the second day, a Read more ›

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Hiking In Arizona – The South Kaibab Trail

The vast majority of visitors to the south rim of the Grand Canyon never leave the rim. Of those that do venture below the rim, the Bright Angel Trail is usually the chosen path. What many people don’t know is that the South Kaibab trail offers better views and far fewer people only a couple of miles to the east. Even though this trail is well maintained, it offers less shade and no reliable water to be sure to carry enough to get you through in the case of an emergency.

The South Kaibab Trail trailhead is located near Yaki Point. Unfortunately if you are visiting during the busier months, you either need to walk, ride the shuttle or have someone drop

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Backcountry Skiing – Hole In The Wall

Mammoth Lakes, CA
Age Range:  Teens +
Recommendations:  Advanced skiers and riders only.  Avoid after a heavy snowfall.  Go with someone experienced in the backcountry.

My first “backcountry” experience many years ago was a trip through Hole in the Wall on the backside of Mammoth Mountain. It is just barely out-of-bounds, but it offers some challenging terrain, great scenery and a really unique chance to ski through a cave. Not bad at all! My favorite time to ski it is late morning in the spring when the snow softens into classic Sierra Nevada corn – smooth and silky.

Start your adventure by riding the gondola to the summit. From there, hang a left and head for Dave’s Run. There really isn’t a single route to Hole in the Wall, but I prefer to ski out toward Dragons Back before dropping off the backside. Since it is Forest Service land, out-of-bounds skiing and boarding are legal, but it is always nice to side-step over the ski area boundary to let the patrol know you meant to go out-of-bounds. Read more ›

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This site is dedicated to reviewing great family-friendly adventures. We focus on activities that exercise the body, challenge the mind, or both. We hope you find something to enjoy with your family!

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