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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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Schoodic Point & Schoodic Head Trail

Schoodic Point & Schoodic Head Trail

Acadia National Park

It was our last day in Maine, and we had gone to Schoodic Peninsula to check out the newest addition to Acadia NP.  We had already explored the Schoodic Institute and Sundew Trail.  Before our trip, we had seen photos of waves crashing onto rocks at Schoodic Point.  And a ranger at Schoodic Information Center had recommended hiking up to Schoodic Head, which would be the last hike of our trip. Schoodic Point The drive to Schoodic Point from the…

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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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Ocean Path & Beehive Trails

Ocean Path & Beehive Trails

Acadia National Park

There are a lot of trails in Acadia. Since we were only there for 10 days, we wouldn’t have time to hike them all. For our first “major” hike, we decided to combine two very different hikes into a single trip – Ocean Path & The Beehive. You could easily do the hikes individually, but we wanted more of a challenge. The hikes are on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island, only 6 miles from Bar Harbor. Ocean Path…

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Bearfence Mountain

Bearfence Mountain

Shenandoah National Park

We live relatively close to Shenandoah, but I wish we lived even closer. It can be a long drive, and sometimes we’re lazy and get a late start. Thankfully, those are the times when you can hike a shorter trail and it turns out to be pretty great. That’s what happened with Bearfence Mountain, a 1.1 mile loop. The hike has a short rock scramble that we’ve heard is good to prepare for hiking Old Rag. As we drove up…

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