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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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Best Hikes and Planning Guide

Best Hikes and Planning Guide

Saguaro National Park

The desert was kind of a new experience for us.  It had been a long time since either of us had hiked in it.  Kristin went in with a bit of trepidation, and she ended up loving the park.  So you never know what you’ll find.  And Saguaro National Park definitely surprised us as we explored.  Not really knowing what to expect, and going in with no expectations.  Here were our favorite spots in the park, as well as some tips for visiting.  We hope they help you plan your trip…

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Backpacking to Manning Camp

Backpacking to Manning Camp

Saguaro National Park

On our second to last day in Saguaro, we went to a “Star Party” at the Rincon Visitor Center.  We like astronomy, planets, and stars, so we made sure to go.  Before going outside to stargaze, the ranger at the visitor center gave us a rundown on the history of the park.  He explained how the park was created by President Herbert Hoover as a National Monument.  The ranger then said, “The park has a lot of diversity, not just the desert environment, but also the Rincon Mountains at 8,000 feet.  Up there is Manning Camp, but nobody really goes there.”  We sat there feeling slightly miffed, but also smug, because we had been at Manning Camp just two days before…

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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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Hawksbill Summit Loop Trail

Hawksbill Summit Loop Trail

Shenandoah National Park

We’ve explored Shenandoah quite a bit, but there are many hikes we haven’t made it to.  The southern district springs to mind, as we usually frequent the closer north and central districts.  There are hikes that we haven’t done that are (according to popular opinion) some of the best the park has to offer.  If you search for best hikes in Shenandoah, Hawksbill is usually on the list. So, we traded in a humid summer day in DC for cooler…

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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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