Backpacking – Backcountry Sights https://backcountrysights.com Photos and stories from the outdoors Mon, 13 Aug 2018 14:10:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 https://backcountrysights.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cropped-favicon-1-200x200.png Backpacking – Backcountry Sights https://backcountrysights.com 32 32 Pine Creek to Piute Pass Thru Hike https://backcountrysights.com/pine-creek-piute-pass-thru-hike/ https://backcountrysights.com/pine-creek-piute-pass-thru-hike/#respond Sun, 22 Jul 2018 16:00:53 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=7292

A handful of small streams wind through the meadowlands, feeding the numerous lakes below. The evening light plays across the peaks, including the magnificent form of Mount Humphreys. The juxtaposition of the stormy clouds and soft light make for some great sights and photo opportunities!

The post Pine Creek to Piute Pass Thru Hike appeared first on Backcountry Sights.

]]>
https://backcountrysights.com/pine-creek-piute-pass-thru-hike/feed/ 0
Sierra High Route: A First Taste https://backcountrysights.com/sierra-high-route-first-taste/ https://backcountrysights.com/sierra-high-route-first-taste/#comments Sun, 08 Jul 2018 12:00:50 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=7138

By the time we reach the top, Amanda and I are both exhausted. Breathing heavily, we take in the view and start laughing. Laughing at the ridiculousness of the fact that we're miles from the nearest trail, laughing at the terrain we have to cross next, a difficult slope of loose talus, laughing at the mind-numbing grandeur of the peaks that surround us; fear, awe, despair, excitement, exhaustion, pride... all kinds of emotions wrapped up in laughter. It's far too soon to continue hiking, so we sit for a while and admire the views while building the resolve necessary to navigate the next section of the Sierra High Route.

The post Sierra High Route: A First Taste appeared first on Backcountry Sights.

]]>
https://backcountrysights.com/sierra-high-route-first-taste/feed/ 1
A Night Atop Cucamonga Peak https://backcountrysights.com/cucamonga-peak-overnight/ https://backcountrysights.com/cucamonga-peak-overnight/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 11:00:11 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=7068

With waning daylight, we set up our tents and cook/eat some dinner. The summit of Cucamonga Peak supplies tons of fantastic campsites, some beneath trees, others out in the open among rocks and chaparral. Coco and I set up our tent near a small stand of pines, but David and Nihal opt for a spot with more expansive views.

The post A Night Atop Cucamonga Peak appeared first on Backcountry Sights.

]]>
https://backcountrysights.com/cucamonga-peak-overnight/feed/ 0
Smoky Mountains Winter Backpacking: Part II https://backcountrysights.com/smoky-mountains-winter-backpacking-ii/ https://backcountrysights.com/smoky-mountains-winter-backpacking-ii/#respond Wed, 14 Mar 2018 12:00:30 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=6743

We refill our water bottles at the nearby spring, and several of us take advantage of the privy at Double Spring shelter; there isn’t one at Silers Bald. While waiting, I spy a tent-shaped patch of grass out in the sunshine and walk over to investigate. To my great pleasure, I discover that the grass is dry! I waste no time stretching out on the snow-free, sun-bathed turf and sigh with satisfaction. This is the life.

The post Smoky Mountains Winter Backpacking: Part II appeared first on Backcountry Sights.

]]>
https://backcountrysights.com/smoky-mountains-winter-backpacking-ii/feed/ 0
Smoky Mountains Winter Backpacking: Part I https://backcountrysights.com/smoky-mountains-winter-backpacking-i/ https://backcountrysights.com/smoky-mountains-winter-backpacking-i/#respond Sun, 11 Mar 2018 12:00:24 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=6632

Further up the trail we take shelter under some trees to eat lunch and rest. A few minutes after we've all made ourselves comfortable, a blast of wind shakes the trees and showers us with snow, eliciting gasps. We don't stay long; it's nice to rest, but walking keeps us warm!

The post Smoky Mountains Winter Backpacking: Part I appeared first on Backcountry Sights.

]]>
https://backcountrysights.com/smoky-mountains-winter-backpacking-i/feed/ 0
Cottonwood / Marble Canyon Loop https://backcountrysights.com/cottonwood-marble-canyon-loop/ https://backcountrysights.com/cottonwood-marble-canyon-loop/#comments Sat, 13 Jan 2018 17:00:55 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=6575

I crunch through the gravely soil and am startled when a gray blur speeds out from behind some sagebrush. The small mammal continues to bound away as I shout, "jackrabbit!" Its quite large for a rabbit - much larger than the ones that live in the flat grasslands of northern Indiana. We're also on the lookout for kangaroo rats but don't see any, though I do spot another small herd of wild horses on the ridge!

The post Cottonwood / Marble Canyon Loop appeared first on Backcountry Sights.

]]>
https://backcountrysights.com/cottonwood-marble-canyon-loop/feed/ 6
Morgan-Monroe SF: Low Gap Trail https://backcountrysights.com/low-gap-trail/ https://backcountrysights.com/low-gap-trail/#respond Sat, 16 Dec 2017 17:00:43 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=6350

When I received an email on the Purdue Outing Club mailing list about a backpacking trip in mid-December, I was not immediately enthusiastic. However, after noting that the weather forecast called for sunshine and temperatures in the upper 40’s, I warmed to the idea. The plan was to hike the Low Gap Trail, a 10-mile […]

The post Morgan-Monroe SF: Low Gap Trail appeared first on Backcountry Sights.

]]>
https://backcountrysights.com/low-gap-trail/feed/ 0
Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness Loop https://backcountrysights.com/mark-o-hatfield-wilderness-loop/ https://backcountrysights.com/mark-o-hatfield-wilderness-loop/#respond Fri, 25 Aug 2017 16:00:45 +0000 http://backcountrysights.com/?p=6040

It's a warm, sunny morning in Cascade Locks on the banks of the Columbia River. Diane and I pull our packs from the trunk of the rental car in a small parking lot beneath the Bridge of the Gods. The Columbia River is not swift, but it is massive. Its serpentine form disappears into the hazy morning air far to the east and west of the bridge. On our side of the river, pine-covered slopes rise steeply toward the sky, forming one side of the Columbia River Gorge. We're both eager to get going, so we shoulder our packs, cross a busy street and stride up a grassy slope toward the trailhead.

The post Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness Loop appeared first on Backcountry Sights.

]]>
https://backcountrysights.com/mark-o-hatfield-wilderness-loop/feed/ 0
John Muir Trail – At Altitude https://backcountrysights.com/john-muir-trail-altitude/ https://backcountrysights.com/john-muir-trail-altitude/#respond Mon, 07 Aug 2017 16:00:15 +0000 http://backcountrysights.com/?p=5875

As I navigate the switchbacks, I leave the lakes, trees, and then vegetation in general behind. The climb is hard work, but I'm rewarded with incredible views and a sense of adventure; there's something inherently gratifying about trekking through this barren alpine landscape. Even though the trail is clearly defined, it feels as though nobody else has ever been here.

The post John Muir Trail – At Altitude appeared first on Backcountry Sights.

]]>
https://backcountrysights.com/john-muir-trail-altitude/feed/ 0
John Muir Trail – Rainy Days https://backcountrysights.com/john-muir-trail-rainy-days/ https://backcountrysights.com/john-muir-trail-rainy-days/#respond Thu, 03 Aug 2017 16:00:19 +0000 http://backcountrysights.com/?p=5869

To read about earlier or later segments of my John Muir Trail thru-hike, use the navigation links below. Beginning Resupplies Rain Altitude Ascent to Evolution Lake August 3, 2017 | 17.1 mi | +4100′ / -1100′ | View On Map My watch alarm beeps annoyingly at 5:30, alerting me that it’s time to get up. […]

The post John Muir Trail – Rainy Days appeared first on Backcountry Sights.

]]>
https://backcountrysights.com/john-muir-trail-rainy-days/feed/ 0