Hiking Guides

Detailed trip write-ups, stunning photography, thoughtful itineraries, and how-to guides for some of my best hiking and backpacking adventures.

Helpful Hiking Resources

Day Hiking Checklist

Ultralight Backpacking Gear List

How to Meal Plan for Backpacking

Complete Hiking & Backpacking Resources Guide

20 Hiking Trails & Backpacking Trips in & Near Los Angeles

Featuring sunset views, dense forests, and ocean breezes, the best hiking in and near Los Angeles will challenge everything you think you know about the city. Let’s face it — the Walk of Fame is far from the best walk L.A. has to offer. When I moved to the Los Angeles area nearly 10 years … Read more

Hiking Mount Bierstadt (One of Colorado’s Finest 14ers)

I started hiking more seriously this year and decided to climb my first 14er. But I had two requirements. It had to be easy to access, with no entrance fees, and I didn’t want the mountain to destroy me. I decided on Mount Bierstadt. The problem was the weather didn’t cooperate. July and August 2023 … Read more

Our Favorite Hiking Trails & Backpacking Trips Near San Diego

San Diego is one of the most popular U.S. travel destinations for several reasons. For some, it’s a good base for visits to that world-famous zoo. For others, it’s the perfect beach escape. And, if you’re into outdoor adventure, the best hikes near San Diego won’t disappoint. San Diego’s hiking scene offers trails with diverse … Read more

How to Hike Peru’s Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 2024

“Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!” That’s Rudyard Kipling talking about exploration in general, but for me, it’s a specific command to explore Peru’s Sacred Valley and its crown jewel, the lost city of Machu Picchu. I’ve hiked Peru’s Inca Trail region seven times and can’t wait to do it … Read more
Mountain hiking trail near Portland with Mount Hood in the distance

Our Favorite Hikes & Backpacking Trips Near Portland, Oregon

Flanked by volcanic peaks, deep gorges, and old-growth forests, Portland, Oregon is home to many of the best hikes near any major American city. Whether visiting the Pacific Northwest for the first time or exploring as a long-time resident, these trails need to be on your list whenever pass through The Rose City. Searching for … Read more

How to Hike the Columbine Lake Trail Near Silverton, Colorado

I arrived at Silverton’s Columbine Lake Trailhead on an ominously overcast afternoon with dull thunder rumbling overhead and cold rain sprinkling down. I started the high-elevation hike against my better judgment, unsure of what the weather would bring. But the dark clouds above never cracked as I traversed through some of Southwestern Colorado’s finest backcountry. … Read more

Hiking the Herman Gulch Trail (CDT Day Hike Near Denver)

The Herman Gulch Trail is undoubtedly one of the best day hikes near Denver. With its trailhead situated just an hour’s drive from the heart of Colorado’s bustling capital, this Arapaho National Forest hiking gem is as beautiful as it is easy to reach. Over its 6.4 idyllic miles, this out-and-back gem captures nearly everything … Read more

Hiking Booth Falls Trail to Booth Lake: A Primo Vail Day Hike

I’d been eyeing Vail’s Booth Falls Trail to Booth Lake day hike for a couple of years, and on a perfect Colorado July day, I finally pulled the trigger. The ensuing adventure was a breathtaking and ass-kicking journey through the Gore Mountain Range’s more rugged and raw terrain. It was well worth the trip. Tucked … Read more

Hiking the Chicago Lakes Trail in Stunning Mt. Evans Wilderness

The Chicago Lakes Trail exemplifies everything I love in a Colorado day hike, even if its high-elevation ascents had me pouring sweat and gasping for air. I guess it’s hard to complain about such challenges when the trail I was hiking lead to a crystal clear glacial lake at the base of a towering 14,000-foot … Read more

Hiking Nederland’s Spectacular 4th of July Trail

The 4th of July Trail is just a short drive from my hometown, yet I’d never experienced its staggering beauty until my recent hike exploring its wide-open spaces. Hiking the trail’s breathtaking Arapaho Pass to the pristine Lake Dorothy blew my mind at every single turn. It was worth the 32-year-long wait. Nestled in the … Read more

Hiking Bukhansan National Park: Dobongsan’s Jaunbong Peak

I was bored and stir-crazy, itching for something new. The cramped and hectic streets of Seoul were starting to get under my skin. I needed a break from South Korea’s booming capital of 10 million people. It was time for a nature fix. A scenic hike up Seoul’s Dobongsan Mountain in Bukhansan National Park seemed … Read more
Seven days of backpacking food laid out in rows across a carpet

Backpacking Food Ideas & Meal Planning Tips for Your Next Trip

Past attempts at organizing my backpacking food and creating meal plans were always a bit reckless for me. My old approach usually involved jamming a hodgepodge assemblage of hiking food into my over-stuffed bag and hoping for the best. Ensuing days on the trail were spent hiking around dull and nutritionless food, falling short on … Read more
Mountain range and lake on the 'O' Circuit in Torres del Paine, Patagonia

How to Hike the ‘O’ Circuit in Torres del Paine, Patagonia

I’d heard rave reviews about the stunning beauty of Torres del Paine’s ‘O’ Circuit, but I wasn’t prepared for it to take me to a transcendent new world. Towering granite spires, sprawling glaciers, breathtaking mountain passes, intense and ever-changing weather — I experienced it all on every step of my six-day journey. Trekking Patagonia’s ‘O’ … Read more
Red, jagged desert hills with white salt deposits and Incan ruins at the base

Backpacking the Atacama to the Ghost Town of San Bartolo

Sunblock and sweat run into my eyes as I trudge through a harsh, unearthly landscape. Ahead, the trail is fading away and a blast furnace sun beats down. A whisper of self-doubt reminds me that I’m completely alone in the middle of the driest desert in the world. I take a slow, deep breath and … Read more
Two hikers look out over the South Patagonian Ice Fields on the Huemul Circuit

How to Hike Patagonia’s Huemul Circuit (Without a Guide)

Profound Patagonian winds tear into my tent as I begin to realize that sleep is a fleeting possibility. Rest, however, is of little concern. Because I will soon be watching the sunrise over a pastel-blue bay of untainted water. The mountains at my back will burn orange as calving glaciers crack softly in the distance. … Read more