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    Shon Tamblyn reviewed Phantom Falls

    2 months ago

    Great Hike. I got to the trail a bit later than expected, and the large parking lot was already pretty full. Even with all the cars, I didn't notice too many crowds until we got to the main falls. This is probably because most people just wander through the wildflowers, without following any specific trail. There is very little shade on this trail, but the abundance of wild flowers makes up for that!. There are quite a few stream crossings, and wet and muddy areas, particularly if you are just finding your own path. I went shortly after the rain and this wasn't too challenging, but might add time and distance to the hike when trying to find ideal places to cross and avoid getting wet.

    The falls were beautiful, and there was a grove of trees not too far away, that were an ideal place to rest in the shade and have a picnic.

    As several others have mentioned, there IS A TRAIL, but it might not be that obvious from the parking lot. I found it on the way back from the falls. As you enter the wilderness area from the parking lot, you can stay to the left and follow the ravine towards the creek. There is a fork in the trail near a grove of trees, and you want to stay to the right of the fork, and this will take you to two smaller water falls. "Phantom falls" is actually behind a barbed-wire fence. You can either go around or through the fence where the trail leads up to it. There is a clear trail on the other side of the fence that leads to the falls.

    While walking off the beaten path was certainly enjoyable, I actually found the flowers and scenery to get better as we got closer to the falls. This hike is ideal for photography both close ups of the flowers, and drone photography from the air. I would only recommend this hike during spring late march early April, and shortly after the rain for ideal conditions.

    Shon Tamblyn completed Phantom Falls

    2 months ago

    Shon Tamblyn reviewed Bear Valley Trail To Coastal Trail

    5 months ago

    Beautiful green trail with lots of shade. It's fairly flat and the elevation gain isn't very noticeable. There are many side trails and options for loops, etc. Last trip was a 17 mile hike out to the coastal trail and up to sculpture beach and back. I will be back for many more hikes to come!

    Shon Tamblyn reviewed Cataract Falls Trail

    5 months ago

    Great Hike. I recommend getting there early to avoid the crowds and to access parking. Parking is limited. about 8 spots and a portable Toilet near the entrance. Lots of shade and very green. The trail is steep, but there are so many views of waterfalls and babbling streams, its a great trail for photographers and those that just want to take their time and enjoy nature.

    Shon Tamblyn completed Cataract Falls Trail

    5 months ago

    Shon Tamblyn saved Point Lobos Loop Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn completed Point Lobos Loop Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn completed Fern Canyon Loop Trail

    over 2 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn completed Lady Bird Grove Trail

    over 2 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn reviewed White Mountain Peak

    almost 5 years ago

    Wow...no reviews yet? This is the third highest peak in Continental U.S, and probably one of the easiest to summit. it is only about 250 feet lower than Mount Whitney, which is ranked #1. With Whitney so close...it is easy to understand how this place can be overlooked.

    The drive up to the trail-head is somewhat unremarkable. It is a long, but well maintained dirt road, that should be passable by most vehicles. Trees along the trail are sparse, and don't seem that interesting, until you realize that these bristle cone pine trees are the oldest living single organisms, some of which are roughly 5000 years old! You will quickly abandon the trees, as you continue to ascend above the tree-line.

    At the trail-head, there is parking, and a bathroom structure. NOTE: There is NO running water at the trail-head. There is also a couple of fire rings, and open camping is available. This is a good place to camp at 12,000 feet, especially if you are considering a trip to Whitney, or a higher mountain.

    The trail itself is actually a Jeep trail. it is 7 miles to the peak. There is a high altitude research station at about 2.5 miles into the hike The people manning the station were very gracious with their time, and were happy to give us an introduction into the work they were doing. They even offered to top off our water, but I wouldn't count on that assistance always being available. The elevation gain is quite modest, and there are a couple of saddle areas that drop elevation a bit before continuing to climb. The trail has some incredible views, and has a unique...somewhat alien quality. Even above the treeline (and in mid-July), wild flowers abound...and hundreds of marmots could be seen playing in the fields and the piles of boulders that almost appeared to be ancient monuments of long forgotten cultures.

    Although the trail is on the "dry side" of the mountain...be prepared for rain or snow. It rained on us overnight, and the rain barely cleared in time for us to hike.

    At the time of my hike, the summit was veiled in clouds. The goal of my hike was to acclimate for my climb up Whitney the following day. My hiking partner was also starting to suffer from altitude sickness. As such, i did not attempt to summit the mountain, and turned around about 5 miles into the hike. On the way back, as i went down the saddle and started back to the research station, I started feeling the effects of altitude sickness. Interestingly enough...Neither my climbing partner or I experienced the symptoms when we submitted Whitney a few days later.

    I would be interested in returning for another turn on this mountain, either in preparation for another high altitude adventure, or with the goal of summiting this mountain. It also seems to be open to mountain biking a couple of times a year, which might be a very different but interesting challenge.

    Shon Tamblyn completed White Mountain Peak Trail

    almost 5 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn reviewed Mount Whitney

    almost 5 years ago

    I'm considered overweight, and I'm not the most physically fit person in the world. Yet...I was still able to Summit Mount Whitney and enjoy this wonderful hike. While I don't think I am in the condition to complete the hike in a single day (as many hikers do), It was still manageable in smaller chunks.

    This hike is certainly not something that should be done on a whim, and even with intense preparation, due to the onset of Acute Altitude Sickness... many don't make it to the top.

    I started my preparation for this hike months in advance. I alternated running, with hill climbing and stairs. I also went on a couple of training hikes, and about three weeks in advance, I started hiking hills and stairs with a weighted backpack in order to improve muscle strength and cardio.

    On Wednesday before Whitney, I camped at 12,000 ft. at Mount White. I spent Thursday hiking at Mount White (approximately 10 miles) in order to adjust to altitude, and then I camped at Whitney Portal. On Friday, I hiked 6 miles to high camp and stayed there overnight. On Saturday, I started at 4am with day pack, and Hiked to the peak, then back down the 11 miles to Whitney Portal, 6 of which was with my camping gear.

    The scenery on this hike is absolutely breathtaking. Although I prepared for the worst, the weather was absolutely perfect for the climb. At the summit, I was greeted with clear skies and views as far as the eye could see. The hike off of the mountain took much longer and was much more difficult than I had anticipated. I'm honestly not sure if a day hike would be easier. Were I to do this hike again, I might consider adding an extra day at high camp before the descent.

    Shon Tamblyn reviewed Kalalau Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn completed Kalalau Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn saved Kalalau Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn saved Kalalau Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn reviewed Hanakapi'ai Falls Trail

    over 5 years ago

    WHAT? Nobody has reviewed this trail yet?

    The Kalalau Trail along the Na Pali coastline in Kauai is ranked by National Geographic and many others, as one of the most scenic coastal hikes in the entire world. While I certainly don't have the vast experience of National Geographic editors, this is absolutely one of the most scenic and incredible trails that I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.

    The Kalalau trail just seemed like a pipe dream to me. It's something i have wanted to do, but never thought I would have the chance in my lifetime. When planning to visit Kauai I checked on the trail, and was under the impression that the trail could only be accessed with a wilderness pass, and for a multiple day trip. My wife and I elected to visit the coastline via ocean Kayaking, but an unfortunately incident with sea sickness a few days before, convinced my wife that she should stick to the land route.

    I rechecked on the trail, and was surprised to discover that the trail could be hiked for the first couple of miles without a wilderness pass, and that the Hanakapi'ai Falls, was available to access on a day trip.

    The trail head is located next to a beach with great swimming and snorkeling. The hike to the falls starts with a 2 mile hike along the coast to a secluded beach and another 2 mile hike from the "secret beach" to the falls. The hike is extremely strenuous with steep elevation gain, creek crossings, and mud in some areas. Humidity was high while I was there, and flash flooding was also a real danger. The view was absolutely spectacular, and definitely worth the effort.

    Many people rest at the beach, and conclude their day hike at the beach. It was strenuous to get there, and another 4 miles of hiking seems like a pretty tall order. For those with the endurance to continue, the Hanakapi'ai falls is worth all the extra effort!

    The two mile hike from the beach starts with a fairly well marked trail for about half a mile, but the trail quickly become hard to follow. There are some signs along the way, but they are obscured and difficult to locate. Even with a trail map and GPS, There are some switchbacks that are not all that apparent, and multiple creek crossings. Fortunately, the trail has a heavy amount of foot traffic, and hikers coming back from the falls were able to point the way. On other parts of the trail, we teamed up with other hikers to find the right path. The trail was very muddy in some places, and rock scrambling was required in others. alternating humidity and rain also made footing difficult. The trail to the falls seemed MUCH longer than 2 miles, due to the elevation gain and difficult footing.

    Once we got to the falls, we were not disappointed! There was a deep pool at the bottom of the falls, with clear COLD water where swimming under the falls was certainly possible. Laying in the pool on my back, staring up at the falls was an absolute magical moment...words just can't even describe the beauty!

    Even though it was extremely strenuous, I loved this hike, and if I ever have the pleasure of returning to Kauai, I will put every effort into exploring the rest of the Kalalau trail.

    Shon Tamblyn reviewed Eagle Falls Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn completed Eagle Lake Trail

    over 5 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn saved Feather Falls Loop Trail

    about 6 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn reviewed Vernal and Nevada Falls (The Mist) Trail

    over 6 years ago

    Usually this trail is closed for winter. Due to the dry weather I had the opportunity to climb to the top of the falls in early January, and in relatively warm weather. The views were spectacular! The pool at the top of the falls was iced over, and thick enough for people to walk on. Crowds were light. It was a great trip!

    Shon Tamblyn saved Lyons Creek Trail

    over 6 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn saved Lyons Creek Trail

    over 6 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn reviewed Stevens Trail

    over 6 years ago

    This is a very nice trail, with quite an elevation difference between the top of the trail, and the bottom. there are great views to be had at the top of the trail, and a nice gentle river to enjoy at the bottom. If you are adventurous, there is even a small cave to explore in between. Some might rate this trail as moderate, but I would rate it as demanding, due to the steep grade as you head back to the top of the trail. I saw quite a few backpackers hiking their gear back to the top, and a number of day hikers with their dogs as well. Over all it was a nice hike, but i wouldn't recommend it unless you are at least somewhat in shape.

    Shon Tamblyn completed Stevens Trail

    over 6 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn completed Horsetail Falls Trail

    almost 7 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn saved Homestead-Blue Ridge Trail

    almost 7 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn completed Feather Falls Loop Trail

    almost 7 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn completed Hidden Falls Trail

    almost 7 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn completed Bassi Falls

    almost 7 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn reviewed Hidden Falls Trails

    almost 7 years ago

    This is a nice local hike,especially in the spring. The wild Flowers are abundant, and beautiful. The trails are well maintained, and it looks like they are working on more. The main trail is easy, but there are some switchbacks that can offer a more moderate workout.

    Shon Tamblyn reviewed Bassi Falls - El Dorado Natl Forest

    almost 7 years ago

    I decided on this hike at the last minute, not really expecting much. Perhaps it was due to my low expectations, but it turned out to be a very pleasant trip. The drive up Highway 50 to Ice house road was pretty uneventful, but once I got onto ice house road, the directions I downloaded from the internet were a bit confusing. Eventually, I hit a visitor center, and found that I was on the right track.

    The turnoff to the trails is NOT well marked...there is no sign that the falls are even down that road, until about .2 miles when you come to the trail turnoff. The dirt road starts off appearing well grated, but it quickly deteriorates as you get further up the road toward the trailhead. There really isn't a parking lot at the end of the trailhead (It can only hold a few large vehicles) so feel free to find a shady spot to park along the way up the road, because it really isn't going to add much distance to your trip.

    The beginning of the trail head is well marked, and it is a short hike to a granite area where the trail starts to disappear. It isn't very difficult to find the falls, and if you look around and pay attention, you can see where foot traffic is generally headed.

    The falls themselves were amazing. The pictures I saw on the internet before i went, just didn't do the falls justice. There were quite a few people there, and some locals told me that the Falls are currently at spring flow levels, due to recent snow and rainfall. We enjoyed hiking around at the bottom of the falls and exploring some of the swimming holes. It is too dangerous to swim right now...but I can certainly see the potential for when the water levels are lower.

    There is a trail to the left (north) of the falls that goes about 2/3 to the top. There is some rock scrambling involved, but it certainly wasn't as challenging as other falls I have been to....and not enough to deter me from taking my 7 year old with me. We enjoyed the view from the top of the falls.

    I did not see much wildlife on this trip, but it was a very short hike, and we were not there at the times that are normally for prime wildlife viewing. I will definitely visit these falls again.

    Shon Tamblyn followed Earl Rogers

    over 7 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn saved Hidden Falls Trail

    over 7 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn saved Titus Canyon Trail

    over 7 years ago

    Shon Tamblyn completed Titus Canyon Trail

    over 7 years ago