Monthly Archives: November 2017

Big Schloss (George Washington National Forest, VA/WV)

At 2,964 feet, Big Schloss is not the highest peak on Great North Mountain—which stretches for 50 miles along the Virginia-West Virginia border—but it is arguably the grandest. Named for the German word for palace or castle, Big Schloss offers … Continue reading

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Appalachian Trail – Maryland Section 2: Raven Rock Hollow to Wolfsville Road (South Mountain State Park, MD)

Maryland Section 2 is almost certainly the least interesting of Maryland’s seven Appalachian Trail (AT) sections. (Note: As delineated by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club’s Appalachian Trail Guide to Maryland and Northern Virginia.) It does offer variety, however, as it … Continue reading

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Sentinel Cave (Lava Beds National Monument, CA)

Sentinel Cave is the longest of the “easy” caves in California’s Lava Beds National Monument, as well as one of the only lava tubes in the park with multiple entrances. Inside the cave, the roughly 2/10 mile traversed by hikers … Continue reading

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Golden Dome Cave (Lava Beds National Monument, CA)

Unlike limestone caves, lava tubes are usually characterized by their drab, colorless interior. Not so with Golden Dome Cave, which sports shiny ceilings, made possible by tiny bacteria that give the lava tube a golden sheen. Golden Dome Cave is … Continue reading

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Skull Cave (Lava Beds National Monument, CA)

Lava tubes, cavities in the earth once filled with flowing lava, are the principal attraction of northern California’s Lava Beds National Monument, which boasts the greatest concentration of them in the United States. Reaching as wide as 60 feet in … Continue reading

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Sun Notch Trail (Crater Lake National Park, OR)

Sandwiched between two precipitous peaks, the Sun Notch Trail is a short and scenic circuit hike in Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park that features five fine views of Crater Lake in quick succession. From the caldera rim, situated atop a … Continue reading

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Crater Lake National Park, OR

Oregon’s Crater Lake, America’s deepest lake, is also arguably its bluest. Fed entirely by rain water and snowmelt, this natural wonder and centerpiece of Crater Lake National Park was formed after the explosion of an ancient volcano—Mount Mazama—about 7,700 years … Continue reading

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Stout Grove Loop (Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, CA)

Once one of the area’s best kept secrets, Stout Grove in California’s Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is now one of California’s most popular redwood groves. Even the crowds cannot ruin the beauty, however, of this cathedral-like forest, a dense … Continue reading

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Yurok Loop Trail (Redwood National Park, CA)

Although sans redwoods, the short Yurok Loop Trail in California’s Redwood National Park features terrific seaside vistas and an ecologically diverse environment along the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Named for the Native American tribe that once predominated in this … Continue reading

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Prairie Creek Trail – Foothill Trail Loop (Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, CA)

The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. … Continue reading

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