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    Richard Stephens reviewed Torreya Challenge

    2 months ago

    Recently completed the Torreya Challenge trail as a two night backpacking trip with a boy scout training crew. The mileage is closer to 14 with side hikes to the camps etc. Parked in the central parking lot and hiked out to the the backpacking campsites at the far east of the second challenge loop. 4-backpacking sites that can easily hold 4 tents. The park prefers to only have 4-people in each site. Each site has a fire ring and benches and a firewood stack. 2nd night we hiked to the Rock Bluff campsite on the far west overlooking the Apalachicola river. Probably one of the prettiest campsites on local backpacking treks. Again 4 sites with the same set up. There is also a porta potty on the main trail about 100-yards from the sites. Beautiful limestone outcroppings to site to watch the sunset in the west. Beware of the Torreya's infamous Copperheads. Also another group did have a black bear in their camp site. Both trails are rolling with lots of streams and of course the river for water. There is also access to two spigots on the trail (Gregory House and at the entrance of the park). From May to October this trail can be very humid with lots of mosquitoes.

    Richard Stephens completed Torreya Challenge

    2 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Frary Peak Trail

    3 months ago

    We were driving from SLC to Jackson and wanted a day hike and picked this trail as "something different". This was a fun day hike although there is no shade on this trail so water and heat can be issue. The three of us drank 2-32oz Nalgenes. This is a steady climb and there are not many steep sections. Great view of the Great Salt Lake at the top and take some binoculars to see the wildlife. Although ranked as hard, I have hiked moderate trails that are significantly harder.

    Richard Stephens completed Frary Peak Trail

    3 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Skyway Loop Trail

    3 months ago

    This is one of my favorite trails. We joined this trail from the north from the Pinhoti trail at Cheaha State park. The skyway trail from Adams Gap to the intersection with the Chinnebee Silent trail has numerous small stream crossings and two "significant stream crossings" . The Chinnebee Silent trail section of this loop has more foot traffic a two waterfalls (Devils Den and Cheaha). You have to make a crossing at the top of Cheaha Falls. Great camp sites, lots of water, rocky and some gradient.

    Richard Stephens completed Skyway Loop Trail

    3 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Pinhoti Trail: Adam's Gap to Cheaha State Park

    3 months ago

    We started at the Cheaha State Park end of this art of trail as part of a three night backpacking trip in the area. Over the first 5-miles there are some incredible vistas over the lower land to the west. There is no water sources on this part of the trail. There are several good campsites and there is a very good area (no view) at the intersection with the Chinnebee Silent Trail. There are several fire rings and water source at that site. There are numerous water sources on the trail from the intersection to Adams Gap. There is one very steep downhill going south, and the trail generally has some tough footing in places because of the rocks.

    Richard Stephens reviewed Navajo Loop and Queen's Garden Trail

    3 months ago

    Hiked this trail as part of the Figure 8 trail (7-mile) in the Park brochure. We hiked in March so there was still plenty of ice, snow and later in the morning mud on the ground We generally hike about 2.5-miles per hour but the scenery on this trail will slow you up for the photos. Although I would regard this trail as moderate the climb back up to the top past two bridges (Wall street side of Navajo is closed in the winter) is a little strenuous and will raise the heart rate. We did not need micro-spikes like on the peekaboo side of the figure 8

    Richard Stephens reviewed Peekaboo Loop Trail

    3 months ago

    Hiked this trail as part of the Figure 8 trail (7-mile) in the Park brochure. We hiked in March so there was still plenty of ice and snow on the ground in the morning so micro-spikes were very useful entering the trail as part of the figure 8 this is a moderate. We generally hike about 2.5-miles per hour but the scenery on this trail will slow you up for the photos. Also, we encountered far fewer people on this part of the loop (figure 8).

    Richard Stephens completed Peekaboo Loop Trail

    3 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Raintree Trail

    4 months ago

    My Garmin had the distance a little shy of 6-miles,taking the north loop trail (as shown) up to the Raintree. Pretty solid 1,900-foot elevation change on the ascent from the parking lot at the north loop trail at 158. The elevation gets to just shy of 10,000 feet so will get to you on this steady climb. We hiked in early March so there was still some significant snow on the trail and micro-spikes and poles were needed. We had a great time and some of the views were tremendous.

    Richard Stephens completed Raintree Trail

    4 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Fort Braden Trails

    4 months ago

    A hidden gem close to Tallahassee. Very well blazed orange loop. Backpacking the outer loop will give you a moderate 4.5 miles in and 4.5 miles out., if you camp on the site on the center loop. The primitive camp sites are on Lake Talquin and do not have any facilities, but do have a fire ring and a bench. You can easily hike in after lunch and out by lunch the next day. The trail is a moderate or easy/rolling loop with lots of short bridge crossings over streams. Plenty of places to purify water if needed but the hike is short enough that you can carry enough water to get in and out.

    Richard Stephens completed Fort Braden Trails

    4 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Pine Mountain Trail

    5 months ago

    One of my favorite backcountry trails to take my scout troop. We backpacked from the Ranger Station (mile 4ish) to the TV tower (mile 23) with a couple of small side hikes (Dowdell Knob overlook). Lots of options and different mileages for backcountry camping and also lots of water for filtering/treating. Some great views (Dowdell Knob), rolling elevation (see cross section map) and rocks (wear appropriate footwear) that can be challenging. The last three miles of the Wolfden section has some very pretty waterfalls and water crossings.

    Richard Stephens completed Pine Mountain Trail

    5 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Backcountry Trail Loop

    5 months ago

    As a scout leader this is one of my favorite trips for a quick overnight backpacking trip. Fairly easy with only a few smaller inclines, We went clockwise from the ranger station and camped at backcountry site # 6, although #5 is my favorite site on the loop. I like to hike clockwise as the last 1/2 to 1-mile of the backcountry loop follows the stream and if the water is a little higher you can get your feet wet. I would rather my feet wet final mile of the trek, rather than the start of the trek

    Richard Stephens reviewed North Old Mac Mountain Trail

    6 months ago

    GPS had the loop at 8-miles including the extra mile up to the tower. Beautiful crisp hike up the north trail and back on the south trail. A light dusting of snow from the previous day but some awesome icicles hanging from the rocks in most of the streams. Elevation gain is very gradual with no steep inclines, Good family hike

    Richard Stephens reviewed Cascade Lake Trail

    11 months ago

    We completed this trail past the falls up to the ridge line and then added the other trail around Beyers Lake to get us close to 9-miles or so. The cascade trail along the ridge gets fairly exposed and on the day we were there - no views of Mt. Denali, although I could imagine the view would be great on a clear day., On the way up and around Beyers lake the vegetation on the side of the trail is very thick, so be Bear Aware.

    Richard Stephens completed Cascade Lake Trail

    11 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Tolmie Peak Trail

    11 months ago

    We were looking for a Glacier NP day hike closer to Seattle. This hit the mark. The view of Rainier at the top is incredible. Take a lunch and sit up top and take it all in. Only downside is that is not near any of visitor centers or other Rainier sights or activities.

    Richard Stephens completed Tolmie Peak Trail

    11 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Upper Dewey Lake Trail

    11 months ago

    Completed this trail as a shore day a cruise. Definitely not moderate. This is a strenuous hike.The mileage listed here is off as you have to complete the lead trail. The City visitor center trail maps have the distance as 6.9-miles (out and back). The City maps also list this as strenuous. Great views at the top, especially if you add the Devil's Punch Bowl out and back that starts at the end of the Upper Dewey. That will put you at a total distance from the start of the trail head of 9.4-miles with 3,700-feet of elevation gain. Great hike as you will lose the crew ship folks at the Lower Dewey; however the switchbacks are steep and there is not much relief until near the top. Downhill is pretty hard on the feet and knees.

    Richard Stephens completed Upper Dewey Lake Trail

    11 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail

    11 months ago

    Spectacular views of two beautiful waterfalls and the valley. The mist trail up Vernal Falls was very crowded with lots of people with poor or no trail etiquette, but they taper off at the top of Vernal Falls. Most of these "non-hikers" seemed to find the trail very hard. The top of Nevada was a great stop off for lunch before returning down John Muir Trail.

    Richard Stephens reviewed Big Baldy Ridge Trail

    11 months ago

    If you want to get away from the crowds in the National Park, this is a very nice, moderate trail that takes you out to a great 360-degree view over the Forest (recommended by a ranger). We saw lots of wild flowers and some wildlife. Had a great chat with a local man at the point who talked about getting out on the less used trails.

    Richard Stephens completed Big Baldy Ridge Trail

    11 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Frary Peak Trail

    11 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Lake Solitude Trail

    11 months ago

    Originally we had decided to hike up Cascade Canyon and stop at the junction and not go up to Solitude Lake. However, the 4.5 miles up to the intersection is pretty smooth despite the net 2K gain in elevation. Along the way we saw Moose and Elk. We decided to take the trail towards Solitude and we were going to turn at some point. However, the scenery kept getting better and better. We kept going and the trail still had some significant snow patches as we got closer to Solitude (that added some fun, although poles were a must especially on the way down). The lake Solitude bowl was still snowed out and the Lake partially frozen. Overall this 14-mile round trip was probably one of my best hikes ever at any park and I would recommend it as a must if your in the Tetons.

    Richard Stephens completed Lake Solitude Trail

    11 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Highline Trail

    11 months ago

    After doing my research for a single day hike in Glacier we decided to day hike the Highline trail starting from Logan's Pass down to the Loop. One issue is the lack of parking both at the loop and at the Pass Visitor Center. We were there shortly after 8am and had to park about 1/2 mile down from the Logan's Pass Visitor Center lot. Most people parked there are not doing the Highline trail. The first 6 or so miles down to the switchback up to the Grinnell Glacier overlook were spectacular (views, waterfalls, flora etc). Also this part of the trail is probably only moderate. We decided to add the hike up to the glacier overlook and that 0.6-mile is strenuous but most definitely worth the reward. We saw big horn sheep as well as the overlook itself. After coming back down we stopped off at the chalet where there are toilets available and snacks and a great view again. The next 4-miles down to the loop is all downhill and fairly hard on the feet and not as interesting as the rest of the hike. Overall a great hike.

    Richard Stephens completed Highline Trail

    11 months ago