Yearly Archives: 2015

New book captures John Muir Trail’s hardships, glory

New book captures John Muir Trail’s hardships, glory

Those who have hiked the John Muir Trail know and adore its spectacular scenery, high passes and deep river canyons. Perhaps best of all, backpackers love the sense of adventure…

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

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…

Ebbetts Pass: “pleasurable and memorable”

Ebbetts Pass: “pleasurable and memorable”

Some of my best trips have been the result of aborted expeditions and the thereafter. Such was our late autumn hike to to Kinney Lake. Our original plan was to…

Happy hiking with kids, the “no nightmare” approach

Happy hiking with kids, the “no nightmare” approach

Zach suddenly stopped in front of me as we trudged uphill through the woods north of Yosemite. “Pole break, dad.” I shifted the pack on my back. I was carrying…

Hiking Lembert Dome

Hiking Lembert Dome

Take this fairly short and gentle hike to a novel perch atop a granite giant that commands an inspiring view of Tuolumne Meadows. Though the slanted traverse across granite may…

Journey through time on forgotten Yosemite road

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…

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

Rafting the Tuolumne: “Each visit here 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…

How the other half lives in Yosemite

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…

Musings of a Mono Lake kayaker

Musings of a Mono Lake kayaker

As I set my kayak down with a crunch on the rough sheets of limestone in a few inches of salty water, I disturbed a furious cloud of tiny black…

Angels help weary on Pacific Crest Trail

Angels help weary on Pacific Crest Trail

Though hundreds of hikers per year attempt the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail, my cousin Zach Padlo and I hit the wall around mile 26. We weren’t…