Author Archives: Andrew Wojtanik

Condor Gulch – High Peaks Trail Loop (Pinnacles National Park, CA)

Originally the work of volcanoes 23 million years ago, the rocks of today’s Pinnacles National Park were moved, upended, chiseled, and weathered by water, wind, and the infamous temper of the San Andreas Fault in central California. The result is … Continue reading

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Mount Diablo via Eagle Peak and Mitchell Canyon (Mount Diablo State Park, CA)

At 3,849 feet, Mount Diablo is one of the highest and most prominent peaks in the San Francisco Bay Area and perhaps the most well-known mountain in the East Bay. Taking its name from a linguistic accident in the early … Continue reading

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North Dome Trail, inc. Indian Rock (Yosemite National Park, CA)

Most visitors seeking views of Yosemite Valley from above will drive out to the end of the Glacier Point Road for a fantastic, but crowded, vista. Those looking for a greater challenge with arguably greater payoff, however, should consider the … Continue reading

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Ben Johnson-Bootjack Trail Loop (Muir Woods National Monument, CA)

The redwood groves of Muir Woods National Monument, while lovely, have a people problem. Within a half-mile radius of the park’s tiny visitor center, there are scores and scores of visitors. Yet the western stretches of the park—or better yet, … Continue reading

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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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