Southwestern Horseshoe

The Southwestern Horseshoe (SWH) is an approximately 1800 mile (2896 km) backcountry route from Arches National Park to Albuquerque. It passes through three states, five national parks and combines lengthy segments of the Hayduke, Arizona and Grand Enchantment Trails. I … Continue reading

Introducing “Quick and Dirty Hiking Guides”

On July 22, 2017, Paul “Mags” Magnanti and I became hiking guidebook authors (woohoo!). Specifically we released the first two books in the Quick and Dirty Hiking Guide series. They are titled, 12 Classic Hikes in Colorado and 12 Classic … Continue reading

Blood Mountain

On December 29, 2012, I finished the longest journey of my hiking life. A 14,342 mi (23,081 km), almost eighteen month odyssey called the 12 Long Walks. I had planned to end my trip at the Appalachian Trail’s southern terminus … Continue reading

Cows of our Planet – The Hiking Life Remix

Yesterday I came across a copy of Cows of Our Planet, one of Gary Larson’s legendary The Far Side comic collections. A wonderful celebration of all things bovine, it got me thinking about some of the memorable cow encounters I’ve had during … Continue reading

Five Tips for Watching Wildlife

“ Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Viewing wildlife is one of the primary reasons many of us head out into the wilderness. However, with hiking numbers increasing with each passing year, … Continue reading

The Wave

The Wave is one of the geological highlights of the southwestern United States. Located at Coyote Buttes near the Arizona/Utah border, it is a multi-coloured rock formation that is comprised of interconnected sandstone gullies. Situated amongst sentinel-like conical domes, the swirling strata … Continue reading

12 Long Walks Overview Map

July 2, 2011 to December 28, 2012……………..14,302 miles, 29 states, 4 provinces, 28 pairs of shoes…………..I originally planned on having the 12 Long Walks overview map ready in June……………2011……………timing never was my strong suit. Big thanks to Brian “Beardoh” Ristola … Continue reading

SWH – Stage 11 – Magdalena to Albuquerque (GET)

Distance:  158 miles (254.3 km) Start:  Magdalena, NM Finish:  Albuquerque, NM Time:  5 days (April 25 to 29, 2012) Daily Average:  31.6 miles (50.8 km) Total Distance:  1,782 miles (2,867.2 km) Highlights: San Lorenzo Canyon: Picturesque, colourful, sandstone canyon, dotted with … Continue reading

SWH – Stage 10 – Gila to Magdalena (GET)

Distance:  180 miles (290 km) Start:  Gila Hot Springs, NM Finish:  Magdalena, NM Time:  6 days (April 19 to 24, 2012) Daily Average: 30 miles (48.3 km) Total Distance:  1,624 miles (2,613 km) Highlights: Lightfeather Hot Springs: Beautiful riverside pools just … Continue reading

SWH – Stage 9 – Safford to Gila (GET)

Distance:  167 miles (268.8 km) Start:  Safford, AZ Finish:  Gila Hot Springs, NM Time:  6 days (April 13 to 18, 2012) Daily Average:  27.8 miles (44.7 km) Total Distance:  1,444 miles (2,323.4 km) Highlights: “Tunnel”/Eagle Creek Hot Springs: Located about … Continue reading

SWH – Stage 8 – Superior to Safford (GET)

Distance:  161 miles (259.1 km) Start:  Superior, AZ Finish:  Safford, AZ Time:  6 days (April 7 to 12, 2012) Daily Average:  26.8 miles (43.1 km) Total Distance:  1277 miles (2054.7 km) Highlights: Aravaipa Canyon: An oasis of willows and alders, … Continue reading

SWH – Stage 7 – Pine to Superior (AZT/GET)

Distance:  165 miles (265.5 km) Start:  Pine, AZ Finish:  Superior, AZ Time:  6 days (April 1 to 6, 2012) Daily Average:  27.5 miles (44.2 km) Total Distance:  1116 miles (1795.6 km) Highlights: Mazatzal Mountains: Despite some burnt out stretches, I loved … Continue reading

SWH – Stage 6 – South Rim to Pine (AZT)

Distance:  258 miles (415.1 km) Start:  South Rim, Grand Canyon, AZ Finish:  Pine, AZ Time:  10 days (March 22-31, 2012) Daily Average:  25.8 miles (41.5 km) Total Distance:  951 miles (1530.2 km) Highlights: South Rim:  Couldn’t resist putting in a few … Continue reading

SWH – Stage 5 – Jacob’s Lake to South Rim

  Distance:  102 miles (164.2 km) Start:  Highway 89A, AZ Finish:  South Rim, Grand Canyon, AZ Time: 4 days (March 18-21, 2012) Daily Average: 25.5 miles (41 km) Total Distance:  693 miles (1,115 km) Highlights: Nankoweap Trail: Wow. Entering the … Continue reading

SWH – Stage 4 – Tropic to Jacob’s Lake

Distance:  107 miles (172.2 km) Start:  Tropic, UT Finish:  Jacob’s Lake, AZ Time:  4 days (March 14-17, 2012) Daily Average: 26.8 miles (43 km) Total Distance:  591 miles (950.1 km) Highlights: Bryce Canyon Amphitheatre: Road accessible and very often crowded, … Continue reading

SWH – Part 3 – Escalante to Tropic

Distance:  98 miles (157.7 km) Start:  Escalante, UT Finish:  Tropic, UT Time:  5 days (Mar.9-13, 2012……..including a rest day in Escalante) Daily Average:  19.6 miles (31.5 km) Total Distance:  484 miles (778.8 km) Highlights:  Round Valley Narrows: An incredible 1.5 mile … Continue reading

SWH – Part 2 – Hite Marina to Escalante

Distance:  188 miles (303 km) approx. Start: Hite Marina, UT Finish:  Escalante, UT Time:  7 days ( March 2-8, 2012) Daily Average: 26.9 miles (43.2 km) Total Distance:  386 miles (621.1 km) Highlights: Silver Falls Canyon: We hiked a good … Continue reading