Category Archives: Travel

Giant sequoias’ namesake park deserves a visit

Grand as they are, it’s easy to overlook giant sequoias, even for those who visit the Sierra Nevada range often. Tahoe skiers and Yosemite climbers don’t even pass close to…

Like father, like sons on Dad’s High Sierra Hike

For a middling fisherman like me, a nibble in a backcountry lake is a big deal, especially the first one after eight days on the trail. I eagerly reeled in…

How the other half lives in Yosemite

When my wife and I carried our bags down the red carpet into a plush lobby, I could still hardly believe it. In all the years we had visited Yosemite,…

Find free fun in San Francisco

After the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco took the nickname “The City That Knows How” as it rebuilt itself from the rubble. Today one might call it The City…

Moab: more climbing, more hiking, more fun

Those who climb the Kor-Ingalls Route of Castleton Tower, a classic adventure on a coveted desert tower, face a choice on the third pitch. There are two ways to scale…

Journey through time on forgotten Yosemite road

Dawn arrived on a clear and chilly day, revealing a gentle stream, wooded hills and a dirt road that extends beyond the horizon. From this spot beside Bower Cave in…

Yosemite’s “Little Big Wall”

My turn to lead on Yosemite’s Washington Column arrived about halfway up the 1,100 foot rock face. The climb’s sixth pitch was a suitable choice because it’s the easiest segment…

Rafting the Tuolumne: “Each visit changes your life forever”

As we headed towards a raging Clavey Falls, I took a deep breath and gripped my paddle with white knuckles. During the biggest runoff in a decade on the Tuolumne,…

Peak bagging, paragliding highlight Bavarian trek

Though we’ve climbed our share of mountains, we’d never ascended one like this. Instead of trudging uphill for days in boots and backpacks, my brother Dan and I didn’t even…

Walk back in time among ancient pines

A great attraction of touring the mountains is their sense of timeless beauty, offering visitors a window into the land’s distant past. California’s peaks and valleys have changed little since…

Utah: Desert, sandstone, canyoneering and polygamy (sort of)

Zion National Park boasts awesome scenery, like Yosemite Valley painted cherry red. But for climbers, sandstone doesn’t compare to Sierra Nevada granite, and the desert sun burns hot enough to…

Cycling through snow in a Yosemite spring

Exploring Yosemite’s snowbound high country, quiet and deserted, richly rewards hardy trekkers who labor to reach it in winter. Though there’s also much to like about the easy access mountain…

German mountains, culture reward visitors to Berchtesgaden

Even before the party started, our Bavarian trek was proving worthwhile. Few mountain ascents feature hot sausages and cold beer in a comfortable cabin, but my brother and I ordered…

Sea life attracts divers to Great Barrier Reef

Two gray reef sharks glided effortlessly across our path, their razor-sharp teeth gleaming in the beams of our flashlights. In that moment, nothing else was visible in our pitch-black underwater…

Avoiding epics from Yosemite to Mammoth

Four days into a 50-mile winter trek, our team reached a steep and formidable ice slope. We quickly recognized that this grade was our most hazardous obstacle so far, because…