Author Archives: Andrew Wojtanik

Coastal Trail to Tennessee Point (Golden Gate National Recreation Area, CA)

Named for the SS Tennessee, a commercial steamer that wrecked nearby in 1853, Tennessee Point is one of the best vantage points overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Marin Headlands area. A relatively easy hike leads … Continue reading

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Point Bonita Lighthouse Trail (Golden Gate National Recreation Area, CA)

Throughout much of San Francisco’s history, ships seeking to enter the Bay Area flirted with disaster: jagged rocks, shallow beds, dense fog, and nasty waves left hundreds of vessels in the 19th and 20th centuries capsized, torn apart, and buried … Continue reading

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Purisima Creek Redwoods Loop (Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, CA)

The San Francisco Bay Area in northern California is a fantastic launching point for redwood hunters, with accessible groves of these mesmerizing trees within an hour and a half both north and south of the Golden Gate. While the largest … Continue reading

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Ruby Crest Trail to Lamoille Lake (Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, NV)

Unless you are a resident of Elko, Nevada—the nearest major town—chances are that you have not heard of the Ruby Mountains. Yet, at times, this spectacular range in northeast Nevada rivals the mountain scenery of the better-known Sierra Nevada or … Continue reading

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Perrine Coulee Falls, ID

While nearby Shoshone Falls gets all the attention, perhaps the most alluring waterfall in southwestern Idaho is Perrine Coulee Falls, literally a stone’s throw away from the city of Twin Falls. This free-falling chute, which drops nearly 200 feet into … Continue reading

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Shoshone Falls, ID

At 212 feet and more than 1,000 feet wide, Shoshone Falls is a behemoth of high-volume power in southwestern Idaho. Here the Snake River cuts through a deep and colorful canyon, famed as the site of Evil Knieval’s failed river … Continue reading

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Box Canyon Springs (Thousand Springs State Park, ID)

When approaching one of the many canyons of southwest Idaho, it is easy to have doubts: can such a feature even be possible amid all these flat plains? The crop fields of the Snake River Basin could pass, after all, … Continue reading

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Caves Trail (Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID)

Following a volcanic eruption, underground lava tubes serve as thoroughfares for draining molten lava. When the lava cools and remaining flows drain out of the tubes, the subterranean passageways remain, leaving behind caves to explore. There are several spots in … Continue reading

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Inferno Cone (Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID)

“A weird and scenic landscape, peculiar to itself” is how President Calvin Coolidge described the volcanic, lunar-like landscape in south-central Idaho when he created Craters of the Moon National Monument in 1924. In the years before the designation, hearty explorers … Continue reading

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Bradley Lake, Taggart Lake, and Beaver Creek Trail Loop (Grand Teton National Park, WY)

As glaciers carved the various canyons of Grand Teton National Park, they pushed enormous heaps of rocky debris down to the base of the sharp peaks, forming what geologists and climatologists today call moraines. In the centuries—millennia—that passed, the retreating … Continue reading

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