Refreshing Mountain Camp (RMC) is a very nice facility originally designed for non-denominational religious retreats. They have grown steadily over the years and now boast a variety of fairly large group lodging options, a swimming pool, recreational facilities and two very legitimate canopy/zip line tours. They are located between Lancaster and Reading, PA, easily accessible from Rt. 222 or exit 286 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The day I visited the place was pretty quiet being too early in the season for the summer activities to kick in. I had heard many positive comments about RMC so I decided to check it out with a few friends. Continue reading →
The Grand Canyon has long been our favorite spring getaway after a long snowy Sierra Nevada winter. 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 Continue reading →
Over the last ten years or so, Camelback Mountain Resort has undergone a pretty amazing transformation. It has always been one of the larger ski resorts in Pennsylvania but they have also branched out into summer activities in a big way. In fact, the word is that the summer business has actually surpassed winter in recent years.
As you know if you have read any of my prior posts, I am a big fan of facilities that lean more toward the rustic and natural side of things. Camelback is definitely not that. You get a strong amusement park vibe the second you step out of your car. At first I was a little put off by this, but then I saw someone flying down the mountain like a meteor on the new Zip Flyer zip lines and I knew that the day held promise. Continue reading →
In terms of bang for your hiking buck, the hike to Upper Yosemite Falls ranks right up there. You not only get to view the tallest waterfall in the country from angles that most people never see, but you also get great views of the valley as well as the chance to see Lost Arrow Spire up close. Not bad for a day hike!
The trailhead is easily accessible from the shuttle bus or on foot. If using the shuttle, get off at stop #7 (or at least it was #7 at my last visit). Even though the round trip is only a bit over 7 miles, the elevation gain is 2,700 feet so be prepared for a lot of climbing. You could probably complete the round trip in as little as 4 hours, but with all of the great views, I would allow at least 6 hours. In addition, Continue reading →
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