Iceland – Laugavegur Trail backpacking report

Today I am publishing the first of two hiking reports from Iceland.  This first report covers the Laugavegur Trail from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork.  I put a lot of effort into sharing some of the trail highlights and outstanding scenery along the way.  This report contains three days of backpacking condensed into a single report and has 130 photographs.  The second report will be coming along in the near future.  To read the new Iceland report, click on the link below or visit the Introduction Page of the site and follow the link there under the Europe section.  I hope you enjoy checking out this beautiful area.

Laugavegur Trail (Iceland) backpacking report

Backpacking in Iceland

We just returned from a 5-day backpacking trip in Iceland covering almost 50 miles along the full length of the Laugavegur Trail (34.2 miles) and an extension on the Fimmvorduhals Trail (15.5 miles).  The hike was quite incredible with an amazing array of scenery including colorful rhyolite hills, thermal areas with steam vents and boiling mud, high mountain tops, black lava deserts, towering canyons with rivers below, a valley surrounded by massive glaciers, an area of newly formed cinder cones with 7-year-old lava flows, and several miles of continuous major waterfalls.  In the near future, I’m going to write up two brand new reports, one for each of the trails.  But first, I need to sort through 1,285 pictures and choose my favorite 200 for the reports.  Here are a few teaser images from the trip.

The Laugavegur Trail starts out in Landmannalaugar with an abundance of colorful rhyolite hills

Passing by the first of many steam vents and thermal areas

View from the mountains down toward Alftavatn Lake

Markarfljotsgljufur Canyon is passed just before reaching the camp at Emstrur

Sunset on Krossarjokull glacier as we reached Thorsmork valley

Passing by Tungnakvislarjokull glacier on the way to Fimmvorduhals

Standing on Modi with Magni in the background (the two new cinder cones formed in the 2010 volcanic eruption)

Passing by one of the 26 major waterfalls during the final route down to Skogar

Corkscrew Canyon new Death Valley report

As a continuation of our Borax BM hike, we next dropped into Corkscrew Canyon.  A hike from the ridge all the way down through the entire length of Corkscrew Canyon had never before been documented, so we may well have been the first group of hikers to do it.  There was incredible beauty throughout Corkscrew Canyon and Corkscrew Main Side Canyon.  Long-time visitors to my site will know that I used to have an old report on Corkscrew Canyon, but that has now been completely replaced by this brand new report.  I kept only 2 photographs from the old report and included 96 brand new photos.  Also, the entire introduction is brand new.  I hope you enjoy the report.  The new report for Corkscrew Canyon can be found as report #155 on the Main Page or you can click on the link below.

Corkscrew Canyon new DV report

Borax BM new Death Valley report

Up next is our brand new report covering Borax BM, a very nice peak located in the northern Black Mountains.  The route-finding on this hike was especially challenging but the views were outstanding.  This particular report is part 1 of 2.  The follow-up report will be issued next weekend and will be entitled Corkscrew Canyon.  To read the new report on Borax BM, check out report #154 on the Main Page or click on the link below.

Borax BM new DV report

Rosy Canyon new Death Valley report

After a fairly lengthy delay in publishing it due to a busy personal and family schedule, our brand new Death Valley report on Rosy Canyon has finally been released.  This was a hike several years in planning going into a completely undocumented area of the Grapevine Mountains which turned out to be quite beautiful. Stunning colors, rock formations, and slot narrows. The canyon was named for the abundant Gray-crowned Rosy Finches and the vivid colors on display.  To see the new report, visit the link below or check out report #120 on the Main Page.  Four more new DV reports will be coming in the near future.

Rosy Canyon new DV hiking report

Prince Edward Island, Canada

After spending some time in Maine, we continued on up to Prince Edward Island in Canada in order to spend 3 full days sightseeing, hiking, and exploring the island.  We were quite impressed with the beautiful red landscape, especially the sea cliffs and sea arches.  I will go ahead and put together a trip report covering the highlights of Prince Edward Island in the near future.  Here are a few of my favorite photographs from our visit.

Prince Edward Island has some gorgeous red sand beaches to enjoy

Walking with Stefan along the shoreline of Prince Edward Island National Park

The park has many miles of roads, bike paths, and trails which showcase stunning red cliffs

Daria and Stefan posing next to Teacup Rock near Thunder Cove

A sea arch near Cape Egmont Lighthouse

The Kildare Capes area is loaded with sea arches including one known as Baby Elephant Rock

Hiking in Acadia NP, Maine

Last week, we got to spend a couple of days hiking in Acadia National Park in Maine.  The weather was fairly cool but we managed to avoid the rain.  We mainly focused on family-friendly hikes and ended up doing the Ocean Path from Sand Beach to Otter Cliff, walking around areas of Jordan Pond and Cadillac Mountain, the Ship Harbor Trail, the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse walk, and South Bubble Mountain.  As of right now, I don’t have any plans to release a trip report on Acadia NP or any of the specific hikes.  Although, I guess a combined single report showcasing the best spots might be a nice idea.  Here are a few pictures from our hikes.

Sand Beach stands out in the midst of the forested landscape

The Ocean Path has many sections of colorful pink granite rock outcroppings

A visit to Jordan Pond is mandatory during a trip to Acadia NP

The Bass Harbor Head Light has an amazing setting on the edge of sea cliffs

The summit of Cadillac Mountain has a number of trails to explore

Holding Stefan at the top of South Bubble Mountain with Jordan Pond in the background


Tree Searching Update #3

I am happy to announce the release of my long-awaited Tree Searching Update #3 on my Hyperion Redwood page.  The Hyperion Redwood and Tree Searching page is one of the most popular pages here on the site.  In the month of March alone, the page was visited 926 times.  Tree Searching Update #3 features two brand new photographs and an updated account of my return to Humboldt Redwoods State Park in order to search out trees 12-15 on the Top 15 Tallest list.  You can find the Hyperion Redwood page as the very first link on the Introduction Page or you can visit the page by clicking on the link below.  Once on the page, you can find Tree Searching Update #3 by scrolling all the way to the bottom.

Hyperion Redwood and Tree Searching page

Hidden Falls (Yosemite NP)

This past weekend we did a short trip to Yosemite National Park in order to carry out another exclusive hike.  This was our 6th exclusive Yosemite hike and it was to Hidden Falls (also known as Tenaya Creek Falls).  I’m hoping to put together a little report on this hike sometime in the near future, after I have time to put together the February Death Valley hiking reports.  Also, coming soon I will be returning to the redwoods to carry out some tree searching for the first time in 3 1/2 years.  The target will be Harper Flat.  So look for Tree Searching Update #3 soon.  Below is some video footage which I captured last weekend of Hidden Falls in Yosemite.

Returning to the South Pacific

Later this year, we plan to return to the South Pacific to carry out some additional hiking and snorkeling.  After our 2015 trip to the Cook Islands and 2016 trip to French Polynesia, we were very impressed with the scenery found in the beautiful islands located in the South Pacific.  For this upcoming trip, we plan to return to Bora Bora and visit four new islands — Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa, and Easter Island.  I’m most excited about traveling to Easter Island and carrying out some hikes during the one week we will have there.  But the other destinations will be outstanding as well.  I even have an idea for an additional hike on Bora Bora that I missed out on last year.  This trip is still fairly far off, but I thought I would post a note on our upcoming travels which might result in new hiking reports here on the site.

On another note, I’m testing out some minor adjustments to the site.  The adjustments are: (1) switching the maps from Google Earth route maps to topographical maps and (2) switching the GPS coordinates to Decimal degrees.  The reason for switching the maps over to topographical maps is because satellite imagery is always being updated and I need to have the maps be in a format which will be more permanent.  The reason I didn’t do this before was because only recently I obtained software which provides seamless topographical maps when used in conjunction with Google Earth.  The GPS coordinates are being converted to the format that most people use today.  You can check out a test sample of the updates on the Tucki Mountain hiking report (currently listed as #7 on the site’s Main Page).  Please write in and let me know if you have any opinions or suggestions regarding these matters.