Smith Rock is a super fun place to visit, but it is crowded. Depending on your reason for visiting, you might be better off checking out the public lands that border the state park to the north. This area of the Ochoco National Forest, known as the Crooked River National Grassland, offers dispersed camping, mountain…

  To kick off my 40 in 40 Peak Bagging challenge, I took my birthday off from work and hiked the first summit. My target was Peak 4230, a summit named only by its elevation, overlooking Smith Rock State Park. I highly recommend this hike as a way to get away from the crowded main trails…

Hikers have been eagerly awaiting the reopening of the Lassen Peak Trail, which closed in 2009 after a tragic accident. In the years since, the park has been rebuilding and stabilizing the route. It reopened to the public last summer and the official dedication event is this coming Saturday, July 30, at 10 am.

Everyone in the San Francisco Bay Area knows Mt Umunhum, even if they don’t know its name. The large concrete box that sits atop the summit was one the base of a Coastal Defense Radar at the Almaden Air Force Station. Visible from all over the Bay Area, the “Cube” has been a landmark since the base…

Carrizo Plain is a wilderness area in the middle of nowhere between Kern county oilfields and Paso Robles. At first glance one wonders why this is a special place, but it has a lot going on. In particular, the spring wildflower displays are legendary. Our last visit, in 2010, was an amazing experience of exploration and photography.

After my ‘rest’ day on San Joaquin Mountain, I drove up to Tioga Lake campground to meet up with Sooz and Pavla for the weekend. They had secured some campsites at the always-full Tioga Lake campground, and I was excited to see some friends, sleep at elevation, and prepare for another peak that has been…

I made no specific plans for the day after my Cloudripper climb since I wasn’t sure how I would feel. I woke up early with no lingering aches and pains, but I didn’t feel up to a complicated mental (i.e. route finding) challenge. I decided to choose an easy peak on the SPS list –…

I recently returned from a fantastic two week peak bagging trip to the Sierra. While I try to sort through the massive amounts of content I created on that trip (photos, GPS tracks, and journal entries), I thought I’d do some housecleaning by revisiting a climb I did back in July. I posted the pictures…

Two weekends ago we took Thor on his second camping trip. We headed out, as usual, to the Eastern Sierra to camp, fish, hike, and bag peaks. Our first night was spent at June Lake where we got to do a little swimming with the pup as well as visit the new June Lake Brewery.…