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Garwood Trail

Garwood Trail

Saguaro National Park

Our intention was to visit as much of Saguaro National Park as we could.  Crisscrossing desert trails in the northwest corner of the Rincon Mountain (east) District are known as the Cactus Forest.  We wanted to hike somewhere up there, so we reserved a full day for it.  Our initial plan was to do a longer loop, but we were exhausted after backpacking to Manning Camp, so we decided on a shorter hike.  A ranger at the Rincon Visitor Center recommended a 4.0 mile out-and-back on Garwood Trail…

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Ringtail Loop & Signal Hill Trails

Ringtail Loop & Signal Hill Trails

Saguaro National Park

Choice is a good thing.  But with so many trails to choose from, researching ahead of time doesn’t always paint a clear picture of which trails are worth our time.  On our last day in the Tucson Mountain (west) district, we only had a half-day, since we planned to drive to Benson, AZ to begin a backpacking trip the following day.  With a limited amount of time, and only an inkling of which trail we wanted to do, we went…

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Wasson Peak via King Canyon Trail

Wasson Peak via King Canyon Trail

Saguaro National Park

On our first full day in the Tuscon Mountain (west) District of Saguaro National Park, we decided to do a day hike to Wasson Peak, the highest point in that district, at 4,687 feet.  When we left for the hike at 8:30 a.m., it was already HOT.  We wished we had left earlier.  But there was no turning back, since we were only there for a week.  Multiple trails go to Wasson Peak, but we chose to go via King Canyon…

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Our Favorite Spots and Visiting Tips

Our Favorite Spots and Visiting Tips

Acadia National Park

Our trip to Acadia was wonderful, and we wished we had more time there.  This post serves as our reflections looking back on Acadia – our favorite spots, things that we wished we did, tips for traveling to the park, or things we didn’t like.  It can also be used as a guide to the park, with links to more detailed posts if you want to dive in.  We’ll definitely revisit Acadia someday.  But there are a lot of other…

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Schoodic Institute & Sundew Trail

Schoodic Institute & Sundew Trail

Acadia National Park

Sadly, our time on Mt. Desert Island had come to an end.  We’d explored, hiked, eaten, and enjoyed ourselves immensely on the island.  But we weren’t finished with Acadia yet.  There are three districts in the park, and we had visited two of them.  The last one, Schoodic Peninsula, awaited us.  Schoodic is the only part of Acadia located on the US mainland.  From the eastern coast of Mt. Desert Island, you can actually see Schoodic. One way to get…

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Beech Cliff Trail & Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

Beech Cliff Trail & Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

Acadia National Park

The west side of Mt. Desert Island doesn’t have as many hikes as the east side, and overall the hikes didn’t interest us as much.  The one trail that we decided to do on the west side was Beech Cliff Trail.  It interested us because, like the Beehive on the east side, this trail features some unique obstacles.  In this case, multiple iron ladders.  So we woke up in Seawall Campground on our second to last day in Maine, and headed…

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Thunder Gulch Trail

Thunder Gulch Trail

Acadia National Park

This trail wasn’t even on our radar when we arrived on Isle au Haut. Why not? Simply because it’s not on any maps, so we didn’t know about it. I did find it on a USGS topo map, but it’s not on any published park maps. The trail is maintained occasionally, but it’s off the beaten path and takes time to get to. The trail is 1.8 miles out-and-back from the trailhead, but it takes 2.4 miles along an unpaved…

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Isle au Haut Town via Duck Harbor Trail

Isle au Haut Town via Duck Harbor Trail

Acadia National Park

On our second day at Duck Harbor in Acadia National Park, we decided to get a taste of what it’s like to live locally on Isle au Haut.  So we made the decision to hike into town, which is the aptly named Isle au Haut Town.  It’s the only town on the island, and would be a solid day hike to get there and back.  We knew there was a general store and ranger station near the town.  We didn’t…

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Duck Harbor Mountain Trail

Duck Harbor Mountain Trail

Acadia National Park

Duck Harbor Mountain is the most prominent feature near Duck Harbor Campground.  Rising to an elevation of around 300 feet, the mountain forms the best hike near the campground too.  There are a few loops that can be created via the Duck Harbor Mountain Trail, and we chose a 4.2 mile loop.  The loop starts near Duck Harbor Campground and ascends to the summit of Duck Harbor Mountain, then heads west along the coast, and finally returns north to complete the…

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Pemetic Mountain Northwest Trail

Pemetic Mountain Northwest Trail

Acadia National Park

We started off our third day in Acadia with another iconic hike – Pemetic Mountain. Located on the east side of Mount Desert Island, right near Jordan Pond. There are four trail options to the Pemetic summit, and the northwest path (4.2 miles) seemed most interesting to us. The previous day, we hiked the Beehive, which features iron rungs and a small iron bridge. Pemetic has its own unique obstacles – ladders – which sounded fun. We’ll check out another…

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