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    Richard Stephens reviewed Cowles Mountain Trail

    28 days ago

    We wanted to get out of downtown to get a short hike and Cowles Mountain did fit the bill. This trail is less than 1/2 hour away from downtown in the approximately 7,000-acre Mission Trails Regional Park. This is an easy to moderate trail and family friendly. The trail is very open with no cloud cover and is pretty dusty. It is also quit busy. As the park is in the rural San Diego area you never quite feel that you are in the wild. Great 360 views from the top. Add a couple of side hikes to increase the miles and visit the very nice visitor center in the park. If we had more time, we would have driven further out of town to experience the SoCal back country, but is was good for what it is billed. A couple of good park rules that I appreciated. No external music is allowed and no radio controlled devices. This means that someone is not allowed to pull out their drone at the top. This seems to be a very annoying trend even on back country hikes.

    Richard Stephens reviewed Waimano Falls Trail

    about 1 month ago

    This was one of our best hikes on Oahu this week, and we completed about 10. However, it does not have some of great views of some of the other hikes. We had a lot of fun and this hike was not as crowded as many of the hikes, We saw about 6 or 8 groups on the hike on the trail or at the pools, including Kenro and his family (see below). The first half of the out and back trail is very easy, however it is about 0.7-miles down to the waterfall pools. This does have some interesting steep sections with lost of roots. I would rank this trail as moderate, although it would probably be very slippery after a heavy rain. There are two main pools that you can swim in at the end
    of the trail. Very cool and refreshing.

    Richard Stephens completed Waimano Falls Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Manoa Falls Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Great family hike to the best waterfalls we saw on Oahu. About 2-miles from the parking area. Very lush and beautiful plant life on a trail they have used for the filming of Lost, Hawaii 50, and the Jurassic Park series. Note - you cannot swim in the waterfall pool. Also if you get there before 8 am the parking attendant will not be there but he/she will likely leave a pay on exit reminder on your windshield,

    Richard Stephens completed Manoa Falls Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Kaiwa Ridge (Pillbox) Trail

    about 1 month ago

    We hiked to the marker and back which was closer to 2.5 miles from where we had to park, down the road. A lot of people to the first pill box, a little drop off to the 2nd and next to no one goes to the marker. Fabulous 360 views of the ocean, beaches and the mountains to the interior. Pretty steep start to the first pill box but not far.

    Richard Stephens completed Kaiwa Ridge (Pillbox) Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Ka'ena Point Via Farrington Hwy

    about 1 month ago

    Hiked out to the point from the northern parking lot to catch the sunset, a popular reason to do this hike. Bring a flashlight for the way back, although the slow darkness will allow your eyes to adjust. Flat easy out and back which passes you through the Albatross Preserve. My GPS had the out and back from the parking lot closer to 6-miles.

    Richard Stephens reviewed Crouching Lion Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Short but fun hike. The hike is "officially' closed but pass the signs and keep on going like the others. The ascent (and descent) is very steep going up nearly 500-feet in the 0.4-mile. Some amazing 360 views at the top that may be a little intimidating for those afraid of heights. Go to to both main rocky outcroppings. Be warned that there has been some serious injuries and even fatalities on this hike because of the drop offs at the top.

    Richard Stephens completed Crouching Lion Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Maunawili Falls Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Fun easy hike - as long as you do not mind getting VERY MUDDY and wet. Without the mud this would be an easy hike. This is only moderate because of the mud and potential to slip and fall. The reward is the falls at the end and the jumps/swim. Bring extra clothing/footwear and a bag for the dirty/wet shoes and clothing

    Richard Stephens completed Maunawili Falls Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Diamond Head (Le'ahi) Summit Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Definitely a must if you are in the area. Hike starts in the Crater and goes up to the rim. We were there before 8am and the trail was very crowded. I would recommend getting there earlier.

    Richard Stephens reviewed Spitting Cave

    about 1 month ago

    Not really a hike but a fin side excursion if you are doing some of the other hikes (Koko Head, Makapu'u, Diamond Head) in the area. The sitting cave is awesome.

    Richard Stephens completed Spitting Cave

    about 1 month ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail (Kaiwi)

    about 1 month ago

    Nice easy hike on asphalt all the way up. However, if you are capable take the side hike down to the pools. Really fun and a very cool blow hole as well.

    Richard Stephens reviewed Koko Head Crater Trail

    about 1 month ago

    This hike will definitely get the heart rate up and the legs a little tired. Most of the hike,as mentioned above, is a linear hike up the old rail line. Close to 1,000 feet in 3/4 -mile. Great views of Waikiki and more.

    Richard Stephens completed Koko Head Crater Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Torreya Challenge

    7 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

    7 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Frary Peak Trail

    8 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

    8 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Skyway Loop Trail

    8 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

    8 months ago

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

    8 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

    8 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

    8 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

    8 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Raintree Trail

    9 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

    9 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Fort Braden Trails

    9 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

    9 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Pine Mountain Trail

    10 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

    10 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Backcountry Trail Loop

    10 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 completed Backcountry Trail Loop

    10 months ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed North Old Mac Mountain Trail

    11 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

    over 1 year 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

    over 1 year ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Tolmie Peak Trail

    over 1 year 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

    over 1 year ago

    Richard Stephens reviewed Upper Dewey Lake Trail

    over 1 year 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.