Whitewater Preserve: Hike to Red Dome via the Pacific Crest Trail

The trail curved lazily through the pristine white sand dotted with the familiar cacti we’d become accustomed to in the days prior. And though I was still enthralled in their prickly cuteness, I was itching to get to the PCT. Enveloped by the San Bernardino mountains, I at least I had a gorgeous view to distract me.

An Alpine Hike in Mt. San Jacinto State Park

Shedding layers that kept me warm through the night, I scrolled through my curated list of hikes on All Trails until the Willow Creek Trail to Hidden Lake and the Round Valley Loop at Mt. San Jacinto State Park caught my eye. It was mountainous. It was alpine-y. There was snow… I think we have a winner!

There was only one problem…

Joshua Tree National Park: North Canyon Loop Trail

After we emptied our bladders and filled up our water bottles, we crossed into Joshua Tree National Park to hike the North Canyon Loop, a trail I found on the All Trails app. It wasn’t advertised on the National Park Service’s app or on any of the paper maps. This turned out to be a happy accident, because other than a couple of people bouldering, we didn’t encounter anyone all morning. Absolute peace on what is typically the busiest days of the year in Joshua Tree.

Backpacking the Ozark Trail: Upper Current River Section

In my excitement, I failed to realize that I was in effect agreeing to cover TWENTY TWO miles of trail with him in TWO DAYS. I mean… I’m no math genius, but that’s ELEVEN MILES A DAY – on very hilly terrain – with PACKS ON OUR BACKS. And, since we’re newbies, our packs are heavy. I would realize this about halfway through our first day of hiking…