Hiking

Northern Laos Part II: Hike to Phadeng Peak Viewpoint, Nong Khiaw

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At the Nong Khiaw viewpoint—C.Helbig

If you only do one activity while visiting Nong Khiaw (other than lying in a hammock admiring the view) it should be hiking to Phadeng Peak viewpoint. I heard lots of excuses for not doing it: it’s too hot, cold, difficult, steep, early, late…Mike used a combination of these to talk himself out of the hike. I remember the regretful look on his face when he scrolled through my photos. He hadn’t expected the views to be that stunning (nor had I). Don’t miss out on this activity when you’re in Nong Khiaw. It’s well worth the roughly one hour uphill grunt, and the effort needed is not nearly as bad as many reviewers make it out to be. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Hiking, Laos, Places | Tags: , , , | 37 Comments

Yant Flat, Dixie National Forest, Utah: Sandstone Drama

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“Quilted” Navajo sandsone at Yant Flat—C.Helbig

It was a fitting end to our last day in southern Utah: a little adventure, some drama, and a whole lot of natural beauty at Yant Flat, in Dixie National Forest near the town of Leeds. During our trip, I had become obsessed with the Dr.Zeuss-like playgrounds of swirling, colourful Navajo sandstone found in these parts. Meghan from Another Walk in the Park recommended Yant Flat (she has three great posts about the place). Yant Flat may not have quite the grandeur of South Coyote Buttes or White Pocket, but it does not require a permit, it’s easier to access, and is totally awesome. Continue reading

Categories: Hiking, Places, United States | Tags: , , | 29 Comments

Kolob Terrace Road, Zion National Park: Guns, Scenic Drive, and Mini Hikes

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Scenic Kolob Terrace Road—C.Helbig

We’re just back from Cambodia and Laos but my photos (and I) are still an unorganized mess, so I’m going to do a couple of posts to finish off my southern Utah series. I’m usually not a fan of car sightseeing, preferring to walk/ride, but Kolob Terrace Road, in Zion National Park, is a real gem. It starts in the town of Virgin, not far from Zion’s main visitor center, and is only 21 miles to Lava Point, one of the highest spots in the park. Kolob Terrace Road makes a great half-day excursion with plenty of short scenic hikes and viewpoints to give your legs a stretch.The majority of Zion visitors overlook this section of the park, so it’s gloriously peaceful. Continue reading

Categories: Hiking, Places, United States | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Sinking Ships and Tower Bridges on Fairyland Loop Trail, Bryce Canyon

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The Chinese Wall on Fairyland Loop, Bryce Canyon—C.Helbig

When hiking in Vancouver’s North Shore mountains, I’m used to starting on steep uphills and being surrounded by thick forest. I’m not complaining, but once in awhile it’s nice to do a hike that is completely different from what’s in my backyard—I found it on the Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. This 8 mile ( 12.9 km) trail starts at the canyon rim and descends into a wondrous, wide-open landscape of hoodoos, sinking ships, tower bridges, and Chinese walls. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Hiking, Places, United States | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

Sci-Fi and Yoga at White Pocket, Arizona

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White Pocket, Vermilion Cliffs Nat’l Monument in Arizona—C.Helbig

Part 2 of our extraordinary day at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona continues at White Pocket. If you missed Part 1, check out my post on South Coyote Buttes. I doubted that anything could match up to the geological wonders we saw at South Coyote Buttes. But then… there was White Pocket, another beautiful freak of nature. I’m really happy we saw both places on our combo excursion with Kanab-based Dreamland Safari Tours. I still can’t decide which one I liked better. Take a look… Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Hiking, Places, United States | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

South Coyote Buttes, Arizona: The Ultimate Consolation Prize

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Split colour rock in South Coyote Buttes—c.Helbig

I got all excited about a hike called The Wave after reading about it on Another Walk in the Park. It turns out that getting a permit for the famous, much-photographed Wave in Coyote Buttes North is about as likely as getting struck by lightning (even mid-week in November). Luckily there is a so-called consolation prize—South Coyote Buttes. Permits are much easier to obtain but there is nothing “consolation” about this amazing hike. Located in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, in remote northern Arizona, there was no way our Dodge Dart rental would’ve got us there. We hired Dreamland Safari Tours, out of Kanab Utah. Our day of exploring the stunning Navajo sandstone formations at South Coyote Buttes and White Pocket (next post) was the best of the best of our two weeks in Utah and Arizona. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Hiking, United States | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments

Feeling Grateful for the Trails at Capilano River Regional Park, North Vancouver

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Capilano River Regional Park in North Vancouver, British Columbia is just a short drive from my house. I go there to run or walk at least once a week. Easily accessible trails weave along the Capilano River and through lush coastal rainforest. Giant red cedar trees and Douglas fir abound. Ferns and fungi thrive.  Eagles swoop through the steep-sided canyon and spawning salmon make their incredible journey up the raging river. Incredibly, this park is only 10 km (6 miles) from downtown Vancouver. As Mike and I were in the park, attempting to walk off several rounds of Thanksgiving dinner (Canadian), it occurred to me that I’ve never posted about this beautiful place that I feel very grateful to have in my backyard.

Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Hiking, Places | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

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