Lassen Volcanic National Park

A Hike to Lassen’s Bumpass Hell … and Back

The trail to Bumpass Hell at Lassen Volcanic National Park gently rises along a lightly wooded ridge with views of Lassen and other iconic peaks before plunging into a steaming geologic cauldron. Acidic water boils. Mud belches. The stench of sulfur hangs in the air. We brought the grandsons.

Bumpass Hell (Aug. 5, 2022) – 2.7 miles

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Rocky Mountain National Park

Fall Color on the Trail at Rocky Mountain National Park

Planning a fall color tour at Rocky Mountain National Park is an exercise in timing and luck. We started late, which added to the challenge. After consulting the online foliage forecasts, we chose the last week of September 2021 for our visit. With Labor Day already past, we scrambled to snap up one of the last remaining rentals in Estes Park, made a set of suboptimal timed entry permits, and drove east via Southern Utah. We got lucky.

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Bryce Canyon National Park

An Ice Cream Fever Dream on the Trail at Bryce Canyon

The Fairyland Loop Trail at Bryce Canyon National Park begins with a lengthy walk along the canyon rim overlooking the canyon’s fantastical limestone walls, curtains and columns. The trail offers a close-up view of the pastel-colored formations and desert scrub as it descends steeply into the canyon to Bryce Creek and back up to the rim.

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Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

A Desert Waterfall on Calf Creek at Grand Staircase-Escalante

The sandy trail to Lower Calf Creek Falls at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument begins at a popular campground along Utah State Route 12. The first half of the trail winds up the side of the canyon above a reedy wetland. As the canyon narrows, Boxelder shade the trail as it moves closer to the creek bed and arrives at the falls.

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A Drive-by Visit to Zion National Park

We stopped at Zion National Park on a late September drive from San Francisco to Estes Park, CO. Unfortunately, we booked late and could not find a satisfactory hotel room within 50 miles of the park. Instead of back-country hiking, we settled for a drizzly stroll above Kolob Canyons and the scenic drive on Utah State Route 9.

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‘Ode to Autumn at Crested Butte’ – A Fall Hiking Adventure in Verse & Images

Neither of us are poets. Yet our hike on a blustery fall day through trembling Aspen groves in the Gunnison National Forest at Crested Butte, CO, inspired us to give poetry a try. And so, with a nod to junior high English teachers everywhere, we present: “Ode to Autumn at Crested Butte.”

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