West Virginia Wilderness, 2018
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A dry spring sojourn in 2018 in the West did not prepare us for soggy May hiking in the East. In Arizona, we had planned trips around water; in West Virginia, we kept changing our route to avoid it! We … Read More

Chiricahua Wilderness, 2018 & 2015
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Hiking the Crest Trail in Chiricahua Wilderness, we once traversed halls of a great cathedral: shuffling on needle-carpet among towering forest giants: old-growth Douglas fir, white fir, ponderosa pine and even a few Engelman spruce (southern-most extension for this species). … Read More

Mount Wrightson Wilderness, 2018
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In January 2018, we visited Mount Wrightson Wilderness—designated in 1985 with 25,260-acres of soaring peaks, deep canyons, grasslands and dozens of trails. From Cave Creek we took the Arizona Trail (AZT) south, swung up Temporal Gulch to a saddle west … Read More

Organ Pipe Cactus Wilderness, 2018
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The casual visitor to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument would never know 94% is wilderness. Visitors find the usual National Park Service (NPS) facilities: visitor center, campground, a few hiking trails (old mining roads near the campground) and two scenic … Read More

Sierra Nevada Trek, 2017
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I first saw the Minarets from a high pass in California’s Sierra Nevada (“snowy range”) as a college student, helping with a church youth group backpack trip. The jagged peaks in the Ritter Range northwest of Mammoth stuck in my … Read More

Bryce Canyon Backcountry, 2017
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I once hiked nearly half of Bryce Canyon’s Under-the-Rim Trail in a morning. Forty-two years later, my husband and I spent most of a day hiking this distance (along with a loop from Rainbow Point). We found this lightly used … Read More

Blue Range Primitive Area, 2017
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We used to admire the Blue Range—a sprawling hunk of high-elevation wild country on the Arizona-New Mexico border—during our student days in Tucson. We often hiked the nearby and better known Gila Wilderness, and could see the “Blue” ridge upon … Read More

Assateague Island Wilderness Study Area, 2016
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“Going to the beach” is an iconic ritual for many Eastern U.S. residents. Thousands make the spring or summer pilgrimage east seeking undulating coastal expanse, shorebirds, shells, salt air, and wild skies along humanity’s favorite wilderness: the ever-restless, ever-changing ocean. … Read More

Central Idaho Trek, 2016
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I finished the last long switchback to crest of Sleeping Deer Mountain. For past two days I had trudged up hot side slopes, clambered over logs, and fought chest-high brush in wet bogs, the 9,881-foot white granite peak in my … Read More

Catalina-Rincon Trek, 2016
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We first tried to trek across the Catalinas and Rincons outside Tucson in 1975. One January morning, five of us set out in the predawn dark in Pima Canyon headed for Mt. Lemmon 20+miles away. We were planning on a … Read More

Galiuro Wilderness, 2016 & 2015
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The Galiuro Wilderness in southern Arizona once boasted 100 miles of legacy trails—still touted in recent articles and even shown on a map on the Forest Service (FS) website for the area. But two recent efforts to loop through this … Read More

Cumberland Island Wilderness, 2015
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It took two trips to Cumberland Island Wilderness to figure out how to visit it. Although the nation’s only barrier island wilderness available for backpacking offers miles of roads and trails, dikes for marsh access, sand dunes, and lonely beaches—you … Read More

Miller Peak Wilderness, 2015
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It was the first time we had hiking guests, and we wanted it to be perfect. My younger sister, Chris, and brother-in-law, David R, were active hikers and cyclists but this was their first backpack trip. Cousin Mike was an … Read More

Stone Mountain Wilderness, 2014
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We were about three miles from the trailhead and about 2000 feet straight up, breaking camp on Olinger Peak in the Stone Mountain Wilderness, when we heard a mechanized hum in the distance. An ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) rolled into camp, … Read More

Southern Blue Ridge wilderness areas, 2014
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A mile into Little Wilson Wilderness, we were deep in wet leaves on an eroded trail. Jackie Street Trailhead was well marked from the road and a nice walk through a gate and past cattle in a green pasture. When … Read More

Southern Ridge & Valley wilderness areas, 2014
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Our Virginia Wilderness Project was going well. Between 2012 and mid-summer 2014, we had visited 16 of 24 wilderness areas. But other work and life caught up, and we didn’t hike for two months. In September 2014 we squeezed in … Read More

Central Ridge & Valley wilderness areas, 2014
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The long ridge of Potts Mountain runs for miles along or near the Virginia-West Virginia border north of Interstate-84 between Pulaski and Roanoke. Six wilderness areas on or close to Potts could offer interesting backpacking opportunity in remote country—with a … Read More

Northern Ridge & Valley wilderness areas, 2014
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It was getting dark and David had lagged behind. But I was determined to find the lovely green flat and chimney remnant from Sexton cabin on Jerry’s Run Creek. Years ago my preteen daughter and I lolled on the greens … Read More

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