Mary’s Nipple and Peak 9943

Mary's Nipple and Fred's Mountain

Elevation Profile for Mary's Nipple

Elevation profile for Mary’s Nipple
Elevation and route courtesy of Route Scout

Mary’s Nipple and Peak 9943 are perfect if you’ve ever wanted to climb a peak in the Tetons, but didn’t want to go more than a few miles. The top of the Dreamcatcher Lift at Grand Targhee provides access to a trail that brings you to Mary’s Saddle, where you have the option to climb both peaks from there. The trailhead can be accessed by either taking the Dreamcatcher Lift up, or by hiking up the Bannock Trail. Continue reading “Mary’s Nipple and Peak 9943”

Upper Escalante River Alcove

Hiker in Sandstone Alcove

Elevation Profile for the Escalante River Alcove

Elevation profile for the Escalante River Alcove
Elevation and route courtesy of Route Scout

Distance: 3 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy
Best time of year: Fall, Spring

The Upper Escalante River Alcove is a great alternative to the increasingly popular Hole-in-the-Rock Road. The out-of-the-way trail brings you into a landscape like something right out of Zion National Park. You follow a healthy desert river through an enormous sandstone canyon with massive golden cliffs. Though you could theoretically follow the Escalante River for dozens of miles all the way down to the destructive waters of Lake Powell, a great half-day hike brings you down the wild river to a giant eroded alcove, larger than a mansion, complete with ancient art that’s unfortunately been damaged by simpler minded people. Regardless, it’s still well worth the trip. Continue reading “Upper Escalante River Alcove”

Bannock Trail

Bannock Trail on Rocky Ridgeline

Elevation Profile for the Bannock Trail

Elevation profile for the Bannock Trail
Elevation and route courtesy of Route Scout

Distance: 3 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Strenuous
Best time of year: Spring, Summer, Fall

The Bannock Trail is a great way to experience all the dramatic elevation change that Grand Targhee has to offer. The trail brings you through stunning aspen groves and up to rocky ledges that overlook massive canyons and basins in the Teton Mountains. Continue reading “Bannock Trail”

Spooky Slot Canyon

Slot Canyon Abstract

Elevation Profile for Spooky Slot Canyon

Elevation profile for Spooky Slot Canyon
Elevation and route courtesy of Route Scout

Distance: 1.2 miles (one way – to Spooky)
Difficulty: Easy, but tight spaces and some scrambling
Best time of year: Fall, Winter, Spring

There’s a great loop that connects Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon to Spooky Slot Canyon, which was my original plan for a hike. As it turns out, ascending into Peek-A-Boo Slot can be very tricky and downright dangerous. It was a little too much for me while solo, and even too much for another couple that caught up to me in Spooky. This helped to reinforce my decision to only venture into Spooky. Even Spooky Slot had a part that made me feel a little uneasy alone, so hopefully I can come back one day and do this loop properly with the help of a hiking partner. In the meantime though, I did get a bit into Spooky Slot Canyon, and it was a pretty amazing trip through many very tight squeezes. Continue reading “Spooky Slot Canyon”

What I Learned from The Arizona Trail

Huachuca Mountains

The dust has long since settled and I’m now well beyond many of the priorities and responsibilities that forced me to end my thru-hike of the Arizona Trail early. It now just seems like a clichéd distant memory, though I still remember enough of it to know that I’m very anxious to get back there to give it a more legitimate attempt, and of course, finish it. The main reason I believe the memories already seem so distant is because I spent much of the trail stressed out, and a good portion of it wondering why I wasn’t happier while in the process of making a dream come true. The realization of this is what ultimately led to my bittersweet decision to leave the trail and head back home. Continue reading “What I Learned from The Arizona Trail”

Why Digital Can’t Beat Tangible

Fall Colors Under Stars

I occasionally get into a rut where I spend a lot of time on the computer. I’m not necessarily doing anything terribly productive, but often I feel as though I should be, binding me to the monitor. I tell myself I need to get out and go for a hike, even a short one, but that ultimately proves to be futile. On the flipside, I’ll have days where I’m incredibly productive at the computer, editing photos, editing videos, helping a local non-profit or two, doing web design work, etc. And yet, at the end of the day, all of it feels empty, like I did nothing at all. Not even my standing desk can counteract those feelings. Continue reading “Why Digital Can’t Beat Tangible”