Photo Journal & Trip Reports (Backpacking & trekking)

Summer Green in the San Juans
July 2019  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

After the enormous winter of 2018-2019 in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, by the end of July the snowpack has finally melted off enough to call it summertime in the alpine now. Last weekend we hiked a very pleasant three-day shuttle route through the vibrant green mountains west of Silverton...

Mosquito Warfare in the High Uintas
July 2019  |  High Uintas Wilderness, Utah

In late July we backpacked into the High Uintas Wilderness in Utah, to a couple high basins at the head of the Stillwater Fork of the Bear River. These lakes form the headwaters of the Bear River which flows north out of the Uintas, through Wyoming and Idaho, then back around south into Utah and the Great Salt Lake, making it the largest river in the North America that doesn't eventually reach the ocean...

Late Early Summer in the San Juans
June-July 2019  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Last year in the spring of 2018 I was talking about how that winter's meager snowpack had caused summer to arrive a full month early in May, and I was able to trek from Ouray to Telluride in mid-May when normally that would be a mid-June type of thing to do...

Through and Around the Great Sand Dunes
June 2019  |  Colorado

Eager to go backpacking while the mountains are still filled with snow, in early June we returned to the Great Sand Dunes in southern Colorado to trek for three days all the way through the dunefield then back around them...

Explorations in the Mojave Desert
March 2019  |  Nevada, California, Arizona

As is usual in late winter, Claudia and I have been itching for some desert hiking and backpacking time, so this March we spent three weeks camping and backpacking in various mountain ranges and wilderness areas in the Mojave Desert in Nevada, California, and Arizona...

Snowy Ice Lakes
October 2018  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

With fresh snow in the San Juan Mountains and dreams of winter I couldn't resist heading up high for a quick early season winter camp at Ice Lakes Basin near Silverton. I got a little more than I bargained for with two feet of fresh powder and knee-deep postholing through a snowstorm up there! In the morning I was treated to some fiery light for a few moments at sunrise, for a different kind of autumn color...

Hut Tour around Grindelwald
September 2018  |  Switzerland

In mid-September after our treks in the Bernina Range and Val Masino in southeast Switzerland and north Italy, Claudia and I traveled north to the famous Jungfrau region near Interlaken in Switzerland...

Val Masino
September 2018  |  Bernina Range, Italy

Eight days into our trek around the Bernina Range, we took a little train and bus detour and visited Val Masino in Italy on the southern end of the same greater range. The mountains around here are sometimes referred to as the Val Masino Alps, or the backside of the Bergell or Bregaglia Range...

Around the Bernina Range
September 2018  |  Switzerland/Italy

In early September we flew to Zurich, Switzerland, took a train to St. Moritz, then embarked on a 9-day trek around the Bernina Range in the Rhaetian Alps. Named after the tallest peak in the range, Piz Bernina, the Bernina Range is a rugged and heavily glaciated mountain range along the border of southeast Switzerland and Italy...

8 Days in the Weminuche
August 2018  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

In mid-August Claudia and I backpacked for eight days into the Needle Mountains in the Weminuche Wilderness of the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. This was I think the sixth or seventh time I've done a week-long trek in this particular range, but I was still able to find some new routes to take and new places to camp and photograph along with some old favorites...

Through the Grenadier Range
July 2018  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

In late July we went on a 6-day backpack trek in and around the rugged Grenadier Range in the Weminuche Wilderness of the central San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Along the way we scrambled up several 13ers, hiked over numerous high passes, and visited some gorgeous remote alpine lakes...

Trek Around Ausangate
June 2018  |  Ausangate, Peru

In June after our Salkantay trek to Macchu Picchu, our next big Peruvian adventure was a 7-day trek around Nevado Ausangate, a giant 20945 ft (6384m) peak in the Cordillera Vilcanota south of Cusco...

Salkantay Trek to Macchu Picchu
June 2018  |  Cordillera Vilcabamba, Peru

In early June we flew to Cusco, Peru for some mountain adventures south of the equator. Our first hike was the famous Salkantay to Macchu Picchu trek. Of course Macchu Picchu is the #1 tourist destination in all of Peru and perhaps all of South America for that matter...

Hiking from Ouray to Telluride the Long Way
May 2018  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

The towns of Ouray and Telluride in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado are only 10 miles apart as the crow flies, but are separated by the rugged Sneffels Range. In the summertime it's possible to hike, run, bike, or even drive 17 miles over 13,114 ft...

Buckskin Gulch/Paria River Backpack
April 2018  |  Utah/Arizona

With 15 miles of continuous narrows, Buckskin Gulch in southern Utah is renowned as the longest slot canyon in the world. Buckskin flows into the even longer Paria Canyon and hiking through both these canyons forms a famous backpacking trip requiring permits reserved months in advance...

Narrowing Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
April 2018

In mid April we hit the road again for more desert time, and spent a week camping and hiking through various narrows and slot canyons in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in central southern Utah...

Backpacking in the Superstition Mountains
March 2018  |  Arizona

After our time in the Kofa Mountains in March, we drove east through Phoenix and immediately embarked on a two-night backpack trip through part of the Superstition Mountains. We hiked a clockwise loop from the Peralta Trailhead around the prominent Weavers Needle spire via the Peralta and Dutchman's Trails...

Kofa Mountains
March 2018  |  Arizona

In the remote Sonoran desert of southwest Arizona rises a rugged volcanic mountain range called the Kofa Mountains. The mountains are named after the King of Arizona mine located in the center of range, from which millions of dollars worth of gold and silver were extracted in the early 1900s...

Backpacking through Salt Creek
November 2017  |  Canyonlands National Park, Utah

In early November a friend and I backpacked about 30 miles through Salt Creek and the Peakaboo Trail in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, Utah. This canyon is renowned for its numerous Ancient Puebloan ruins and pictographs; in fact I've never seen so many ruins outside of the Cedar Mesa area!

Highlights from 2 Months of Backpacking in Colorado
August/September 2017  |  Colorado

For all of August and September 2017, my wife and I lived out of our truck and tent while traveling around and backpacking in our great state of Colorado. We did over a dozen backpacking trips in various mountain ranges throughout the state, including the Flat Tops, Gore Range, Sawatch Range, San Juans, Sangre de Cristos, and Indian Peaks...

Autumn Backpacking in Northern Colorado
September 2017  |  Colorado

In mid-to-late September we went on a bunch of short backpacking and camping trips in various central/north mountain ranges of Colorado, including the Sawatch Range, Gore Range, Indian Peaks, and Rocky Mountain National Park...

Crestone Needle & Humboldt Peak
September 2017  |  Sangre de Cristos, Colorado

In late August/early September, we spent five days camped at South Colony Lakes in the Sangre de Cristo range in Colorado. Surrounded by three 14ers, including the rugged Crestone Needle towering directly overhead, this basin is supremely awesome -- one of the classic gems of Colorado...

Hanging Around Huron Peak
August 2017  |  Sawatch Range, Colorado

In mid-August we backpacked around the headwaters of the South Fork Clear Creek near Huron Peak in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and Sawatch Range of Colorado. The last time I hiked in this area was back in 2008, but this time we hiked the long way in here from the south from Taylor Park and Texas Creek, via the Continental Divide Trail and a high pass above Lake Ann...

Exploring the Holy Cross Wilderness
August 2017  |  Sawatch Range, Colorado

In early August we set out into the Holy Cross Wilderness (in the Sawatch Range of Colorado generally between Vail and Leadville) for a 3-night backpack trek. We spent our first night at the super popular Missouri Lakes then explored an off trail route over a high ridgeline to a remote and pristine lake where we spent the second day and night...

Exploring Mount Powell
August 2017  |  Gore Range, Colorado

In early August we backpacked into the rugged north end of the Gore Range and Eagles Nest Wilderness for three nights. We hiked the Upper Piney River Trail for while, branched off on a faint boot trail then camped the first night in the high basin below Mount Powell and Kneeknocker Pass...

Over the Dachstein
July 2017  |  Austria

The final destination of our three-week northern limestone Alps tour was the Dachstein mountain range of Austria. Starting from near the Südwandhütte, above the lovely village of Ramsau on the south side of the range, we hiked for three days around and over the Dachstein to the famous village of Hallstatt on the north side, via the Hofpürglhütte, Adamek-Hütte, and Simony Hütte...

Trek Around Watzmann
July 2017  |  Berchtesgaden, Germany

Berchtesgaden is a famous Bavarian mountain resort town in southeast Germany. If you look at a map of Germany, the Berchtesgaden area is the little protrusion at the bottom that’s almost totally surrounded by Austria...

Wilder Kaiser
July 2017  |  Austria

After our trek in the Karwendel we took a bus and train to the town of Kufstein, stocked up on some snacks, and started hiking into the Kaisergebirge, a small but incredibly rugged mountain range that rivals just about anything in the Dolomites as far as sheer jaggedness goes...

Hut Trekking through the Karwendel
July 2017  |  Austria

Over the course of 5 days in early July, we hiked from west to east below the jagged spine of the Karwendel range just north of Innsbruck, Austria - from the villages of Scharnitz to Pertisau, via the Karwendelhaus, Falkenhütte, Eng Alm, and Lamsenjochhaus...

An Evening at Lake Blanche
July 2017  |  Wasatch Range, Utah

In early June we did a quick overnight backpack hike from Big Cottonwood Canyon to Lake Blanche and Sundial Peak, in the Twin Peaks Wilderness of the Wasatch Range in Utah. Though the wind was relentless during our stay, we had fun exploring this lovely basin and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset and moonrise above the lake...