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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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Backpacking Salt Creek Canyon

Backpacking Salt Creek Canyon

Canyonlands National Park

In 2018, we enjoyed exploring the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park. But we wished we had been able to visit other areas of the park too. So, the following year, that’s what we did. After researching, we decided on a four day, three night backpacking trip through Salt Creek Canyon in the Needles District. Salt Creek Trail has a lot of draws and is located in one of the more remote areas of the Needles District….

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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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Delicate Arch Trail

Delicate Arch Trail

Arches National Park

When I think of Arches National Park, the iconic Delicate Arch immediately comes to mind. It’s the largest freestanding arch in the park. Images of it are everywhere – on tourism literature, Utah license plates, and more. And it was finally time for us to visit it. Frank Beckwith, the leader of a scientific expedition in the area between 1933–1934 is credited with naming the arch. And it is delicate. Some day Delicate Arch, formed by erosion of a sandstone…

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Backpacking White Rocks via Nicholson Hollow

Backpacking White Rocks via Nicholson Hollow

Shenandoah National Park

We don’t go backpacking too often in the middle of summer (travels aside). But we had a free weekend, and we wanted to test out some new gear and get in shape for an upcoming trip to Glacier NP. So it was back to Shenandoah National Park for a quick one-nighter. Initially we wanted to hike Jeremy’s Run, one of our favorite backpacking routes in the park. In reading some trip reports, it seemed like the trail could be laden…

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Rapidan Camp Loop Trail

Rapidan Camp Loop Trail

Shenandoah National Park

Spring is a great time to go for a hike and see wildflowers in Shenandoah National Park. This time, we decided on a hike to Rapidan Camp in the Central District. The camp was a summer getaway for President Herbert Hoover between 1929 and 1933. It is also important as it helped initiate the construction of Skyline Drive. In 1933, the Hoovers donated the land to Shenandoah National Park. It was later used as both a boy scout camp and…

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Garfield Peak Trail

Garfield Peak Trail

Crater Lake National Park

On our final day in Crater Lake National Park, we checked out of Crater Lake Lodge, and simply walked to our trail. Garfield Peak Trail begins just off of Rim Village Drive adjacent to the lodge, though we wouldn’t reach the trailhead sign for 0.2 miles. With easy access from the lake’s south rim, the trail is convenient and popular. Garfield Peak was named after James Rudolph Garfield, who was Secretary of the Interior when the park was established in…

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