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Category: 2018

Exploring Kamikochi and Mount Yake

Exploring Kamikochi and Mount Yake

Chubusangaku National Park

While our misadventures in Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi were over, the rain from Typhoon Prapiroon continued. But it was time to head to Chubusangaku National Park (中部山岳国立公園, Chūbusangaku Kokuritsu Kōen). We’d be spending almost a full week exploring the park, which encompasses the Northern Japanese Alps, so there are many opportunities for hiking and backpacking. Our first hike would be to Mount Yake (焼岳, Yakedake), an active volcano, near the town of Kamikochi (上高地, Kamikōchi). Located in the southern part of…

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Exploring Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi

Exploring Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi

Fuji Hakone Izu National Park

Back in 2018, we explored several regions of Japan, and we were particularly excited to finally visit some international National Parks. And we decided to start by hiking the big one: Mount Fuji (富士山, Fujisan). After that, we planned to stay in the town of Fujikawaguchiko (富士河口湖町, Fujikawaguchiko-machi), located beside Lake Kawaguchi (河口湖, Kawaguchiko) at the base of Mt. Fuji. Spoiler alert: we weren’t able to climb Mt. Fuji, but we had fun anyway. This post details the bit we did get to experience…

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Chesler Park and Joint Loop Trail

Chesler Park and Joint Loop Trail

Canyonlands National Park

Time flies when you’re having fun, and sadly it was the last day of our trip to Canyonlands National Park. We had completed a 4-day backpacking adventure in Salt Creek Canyon, followed by a much needed one-day break. On our last full day in Utah, we decided to check out Chesler Park, a dayhike in the Needles District. We planned to hike the 10.2 mile lollipop loop called Chesler Park and Joint Loop Trail. It features spectacular views and a…

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False Kiva Trail

False Kiva Trail

Canyonlands National Park

Our last hike in Canyonlands National Park would be one to remember. We only had the morning, since we planned to drive to Grand Junction, CO that afternoon. Our trail was a 1.6 mile out and back to False Kiva, an archaeological site tucked away in an alcove. It turned out to be our favorite hike (so far) in the Island in the Sky District. A kiva is a large, circular, underground room. They were used by the Puebloans, the…

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Upheaval Dome Trail

Upheaval Dome Trail

Canyonlands National Park

One trail we wanted to hike in Canyonlands National Park was the Syncline Loop. It’s an 8.3 mile route that surrounds Upheaval Dome in the Island in the Sky District. The trail is long and difficult, so unfortunately we didn’t have the time to do the hike. Instead, we decided to do Upheaval Dome Trail, a short 1.6 mile out and back hike. The path goes to two overlooks with views of Upheaval Dome. We hoped it would give us…

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Aztec Butte Trail

Aztec Butte Trail

Canyonlands National Park

A butte is a striking rock formation, defined as an isolated steep hill with often vertical sides and a flat top. It was time for us to hike to one in Canyonlands National Park. Aztec Butte is a 1.6-mile out and back that leads to the top of a butte, with a side trail to see some Puebloan ruins. We were particularly looking forward to the archeological features of the area. The drive to the Aztec Butte trailhead was only…

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Mesa Arch Trail

Mesa Arch Trail

Canyonlands National Park

After setting up our tent at Willow Flat Campground in Canyonlands National Park, it was time to go hiking! We were in Island in the Sky, the most easily accessible district of the park. The two closest hikes to the campground are Mesa Arch and Aztec Butte. We planned to hike both, and we started with Mesa Arch Trail. If you’ve ever seen a photo of Canyonlands, odds are it was of Mesa Arch. It’s one of the most photographed…

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Willow Flat Campground

Willow Flat Campground

Canyonlands National Park

After exploring Arches National Park for five days and hiking the majority of its trails, it was time to hit the road and head to Canyonlands National Park. There are three main districts: Island in the Sky, Needles, and the Maze. With only a couple days, we decided to focus on Island in the Sky, the most easily accessible. There is one campground in the district: Willow Flat Campground (also referred to as Island in the Sky Campground, but that’s…

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Best Hikes, Itinerary and Planning Guide

Best Hikes, Itinerary and Planning Guide

Arches National Park

Our trip to Arches National Park was an adventure. We’ve captured our favorite hikes, dislikes, what we wished we had done, and other tips. We also provide information about visitation statistics and weather which are important considerations when visiting any national park. Here are our takeaways – we hope you can use it as a planning guide for your trip to Arches. Overview Arches National Park, located in eastern Utah near the town of Moab, was established to protect the…

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Moab Restaurants and Accommodations

Moab Restaurants and Accommodations

Arches National Park

Arches National Park has an advantage that few parks share: access to an abundance of great restaurants. Its location just down the road from the town of Moab provides a choice of many cuisines, such as sushi, barbecue, quesadillas, Asian fusion, burgers & fries, and vegan options. Moab is also about 1.5 hours from Canyonlands NP, which isn’t that far in park terms. We visited Moab in the spring of 2018, and again in 2019, so we were able to…

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