Hiking Inn to Inn
Kayaking up stream, the river stirs. A harbor seal pokes his head above the surface and stares back at us. Overhead, an osprey glides, searching for lunch. Blue herons perch on limbs of firs, pines, and redwoods on the river banks. We startle a cormorant. Madly slapping the river and running along the surface, she takes…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on November 23, 2016 at 9:02am — No Comments
We round a curve and halt. A herd of 50 female tule elk crosses our trail. There are three males. Two are smaller, but one is massive, standing tall above his harem, with a huge candelabra rack, seven points on each antler. He looks like he is having a very good year.
It is late October, the tail-end of…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on November 10, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments
Stand on cliffs overlooking La Jolla Bay, and take in the abundance of wildlife. Migrating whales feed close to shore. Sea lions bark a noisy chorus from offshore outcroppings. Harbor seals lounge on sheltered beaches. Dolphins, leopard sharks, shovel-nose guitarfish, and Garibaldi damselfish ply the clear waters.…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on November 2, 2016 at 10:30pm — No Comments
From San Francisco’s Cliff House, Ocean Beach beckons. Broad and flat, it stretches as far as you can see, disappearing into the mist. Stride out on 9 miles of uninterrupted beach to start this 30-mile, 4-day walkabout. Urban life fades as you hike a coast that is extraordinarily wild.
Hike miles of…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on November 2, 2016 at 7:00pm — No Comments
We hiked this trail in late July. It was still spring time in the high country. The wildflowers were spectacular, and they should continue into late…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on August 9, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments
Cinque Terre is the jewel of the Italian Riviera. Rugged mountains plunge to the Ligurian Sea where five medieval coastal villages, each with its own dialect and identity, enchant visitors. Come for the swimming, the sun, the wine, and for hiking.
The car-free villages are connected by a web of trails. They…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on July 19, 2016 at 3:00pm — No Comments
Gliding peacefully across Utica Reservoir, high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Boulders, deep below the surface catch the morning sun in the clear waters. An osprey circles overhead, intently searching for breakfast. Our kayaks and paddles are all that disturbs the still surface.
Three easily accessed…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on July 5, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments
Desolation Wilderness is a land of spectacular beauty. Soaring peaks of granite, honeycombed with scores of lakes, it towers over the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe. This High Sierra Nevada, 7 mile round-trip hike takes you to Lake Aloha and the heart of Desolation Wilderness.
Leave Hwy. 50 at Echo summit…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on June 24, 2016 at 10:59am — No Comments
At a communal dinner, the night before we are to set out, our host asks us to each say why we are walking el Camino de Santiago. Everyone has a reason, usually a life change – recovering from a recent divorce, mourning the loss of a loved one, frustration with a job and the need for change, trying to figure out what to do with one’s…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on May 28, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments
Take an easy three day, 28-mile hike along this beautiful stretch of Southern California Coast from Oceanside to La Jolla. You will join scores of beach lovers on lively, popular strands, then hike long, quiet, and secluded beaches. Along the way, you’ll visit fun seaside towns with great dining and entertainment.…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on April 22, 2016 at 9:49am — No Comments
The Mendocino Coast is a land of extraordinary beauty. Take a romantic two-day, 14.1 mile hike, and explore the lush forests of the coastal range and the headlands on the edge of the rugged, wild Pacific. Along the way, you’ll visit interesting coastal villages, stay in charming inns, and enjoy sumptuous cuisine.…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on April 20, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments
Morgan Territory Regional Preserve is a land of rolling hills, forested valleys, beautiful vistas, and in the spring, a magical wildflower wonderland.
The 5,000 acre park connects…Continue
Many people drive to Dante’s View (5,475 ft.), and some take a short hike, walking south from the parking area to…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on March 22, 2016 at 10:30am — No Comments
There are few better ways to nourish the spirit than to stroll a hidden beach while the powerful Pacific pounds offshore outcroppings, sending cascades high into the air. And there are few better places to savor this experience than California’s spectacular Sonoma County Coast. Take the Kortum Trail as it snakes for five miles along coastal…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on March 7, 2016 at 4:14pm — No Comments
If you are in the Tahoe-Reno Area and looking for a great place to cross-country ski or snowshoe, it’s hard to beat Tahoe Meadows. Park your car and head out on a long gradual descent through the wide valley. You can follow trails made by others or blaze your own, exploring the meadows or the surrounding mountains.…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on February 19, 2016 at 9:13am — No Comments
Hundreds of northern elephant seals line Año Nuevo Beach – babies crying, mothers snorting, giant males roaring and defending their territory. Mostly they are resting between birthing, nursing, mating and fighting, densely splayed along the sandy peninsula.…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on February 15, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments
We glide effortlessly, cross-country skiing in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Branches sag, heavy with snow. The air is crisp, and woods quiet. After leaving the visitor center parking lot, it took only ten minutes before we were alone. There is solitude and a deep connection…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on January 27, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments
Add Bryce Canyon National Park to your bucket list for spectacular winter beauty, hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing. We visited in late December. A blanket of snow brought a peacefulness that was a contrast to the busy summer season. The crowds had thinned, the air was clear, and views…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on January 12, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments
It is dusk, and the pale December sun dips toward Mt. Diablo. A guttural, trumpeting call comes from a group of sandhill cranes. They glide in V-formation, long necks extended, legs stretched behind. Descending to the harvested cornfield, they slow and break formation. An abrupt turn, wings flapping to slow down, feet hit the ground with two awkward steps, wings fold, and they join hundreds of compatriots for the night.…Continue
Added by Tom Courtney on January 4, 2016 at 8:00am — No Comments
The Marin Coast Walkabout is a 4-day hike from Marin Headlands to Point Reyes National Seashore. There has been a major trail change on Day Three – from Stinson Beach to Bolinas. The route starts out unchanged, leaving Stinson, climbing to Bolinas Ridge and hiking the Coastal Trail to Bolinas-Fairfax Road. Bourne Trail is now neglected and overgrown. Here are two alternative routes.
First Alternative: Cross Bolinas-Fairfax Road and hike Bolinas Ridge Trail. It starts in…Continue