Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Presidential Traverse Epic

White Mountains, NH
22 miles
Vert. climb:
9,000 ft

Summary: A time-honored test-piece for Northeastern hikers, the typical route hits all 8 of the High Presidential summits including 6,288ft Mt. Washington, the highest in the Northeast. The full traverse entails 9,000 vertical feet of climbing amidst 22 miles of rough, twist-your-ankle rock-hopping. Add to that the finicky weather and you’ve got yourself an epic day hike.



Approx. Cumulative Mileage:


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Grand Canyon South Rim Epic

Grand Canyon NP, AZ
~18 miles
Vert. climb:
4,780 ft

Brave the 100+ degree heat because this hike is worth every drop of sweat. Start down the South Kaibab, hike along the Colorado River, and then up the Bright Angel Trail. Bring plenty of water! Despite the numerous warnings, a reasonably fit hiker can do this in a long day.

Route: Park at the Park HQ and take the 'Kaibab Trail Route' shuttle bus to the South Kaibab Trailhead. Be sure to get an early bus (7:00am at the extreme latest) to start out before the heat gets rough. There's no water on the South Kaibab Trail, so bring enough to last. Cross the suspension bridge over the Colorado River and proceed past the Phantom Ranch Campground. Here recross the Colorado on another suspension bridge and join the River Trail. Follow downstream until reaching the Bright Angel Trail. Proceed up the Bright Angel Trail back to the South Rim and walk back to the Park HQ.

Approx. Cumulative Mileage:
Start: S. Rim, South Kaibab Trail 0.0 mi
Colorado River: 6.3 mi
Junction with Bright Angel Trail: 8.0 mi
Finish: S. Rim, Bright Angel Trail: 17.7 mi

Tips: Views are better on S. Kaibab than Bright Angel. No shade or water on S. Kaibab but plenty of shade and water on Bright Angel, so better to go down the S. Kaibab and then up the Bright Angel. Be prepared for intense heat on the River Trail.

Backpacker Magazine's Hardest Day Hikes in America

In 2005, Backpacker Magazine selected 10 day hikes as America's hardest. They all are over 8,000 vert ft and span amazing terrain. From the article, the 10 are ranked as follows:

1. Timberline Trail Mt. Hood, OR
Score: 95 Miles: 41 Elevation Change: 12,000 feet X Factor: Insane mileage

2. Pemi Loop, White Mountains, NH
Score: 92 Miles: 32 Elevation Change: 18,000 feet X Factor: Knee-hammering rocks

3. Great Range Traverse , Adirondacks, NY
Score: 90 Miles: 25 Elevation Change: 17,600 feet X Factor: Endless ups and downs

4. Windom Peak, San Juan Mountains, CO
Score: 85 Miles: 20 Elevation Change: 11,600 feet X Factor: Violent thunderstorms

5. Cactus to Clouds Trail Mt., San Jacinto from Palm Springs, CA
Score: 80 Miles: 23 Elevation Change: 13,400 feet X Factor: Broiling temps

6. Great Smoky Mountains End-to-End TN/NC
Score: 78 Miles: 32 Elevation Change: 12,300 feet X Factor: Mud, bugs, humidity

7. Grand Canyon South Rim to North Rim AZ
Score: 74 Miles: 21 Elevation Change: 10,500 feet X Factor: Dehydrating heat

8. Enchantment Lakes Traverse , Cascade Range, WA
Score: 71 Miles: 18 Elevation Change: 11,000 feet X Factor: Sketchy footing up high

9. Paintbrush Canyon-Cascade , Canyon Loop Grand Teton National Park, WY
Score: 66 Miles: 19 Elevation Change: 8,000 feet X Factor: The occasional ultramarathoner passing you

10. Bigelow Range Traverse, ME
Score: 64 Miles: 17 Elevation Change: 10,000 feet X Factor: Black flies with attitude

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Epic day hikes only

Only the best day hikes will be covered here... hikes featuring the best scenery, most exhilarating terrain, and overall highest bang-for-your-step... if it's on this list rest assured it is uniquely EPIC!