Yosemite from Tioga Road: Don’t Plan on Dry Feet

Northern Nevada’s lack of campgrounds led to us exploring one of the most impressive waterfalls I’ve visited in recent memory. We drove into Nevada after meeting my aunt for a lovely dinner near Sonoma, in search of a campsite (seriously, CA state parks, $35/night??). After a few misses – one full campground, one dirt road… Continue reading Yosemite from Tioga Road: Don’t Plan on Dry Feet

Northern California: Lassen Volcanic, Giant Redwoods, and More

We made a few quick stops in Northern California on our way to my dad’s A-frame in Oregon, before our halfway-through-the-road-trip stay at Crater Lake. The highlight for me was our first BEAR! Dan spotted it at Lassen, a little brown dot moving in the green of a valley kept warm by volcanic hot springs.… Continue reading Northern California: Lassen Volcanic, Giant Redwoods, and More

Great Basin, the Forgotten National Park

Yet again, this park intrigued us because none of our guide books covered it in much detail, and we ended up loving it. (In fact, in our reading, we glossed over the park without even realizing its existence till we passed a sign near Valley of Fire.) Great Basin is in Nevada, just across the… Continue reading Great Basin, the Forgotten National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

On the heels of my crotchety Arches post, here comes my cranky RMNP suggestion: quiet campgrounds, free of screaming children, free of bros tripping on mushrooms, free of a capella groups practicing with acoustic guitar accompaniment, free of neighboring tents a-rockin’ in the early evening… Due to close quarters in the campground, we sought out,… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park

Canyonlands, Land of Rock Cairns

We took a slight detour in our route from the Grand Canyon in order to pass through Monument Valley, since I grew up on old-school Westerns and couldn’t pass up the chance to see the land made famous by John Ford. Canyonlands was the brainchild of former Arches superintendent and all-around western wilderness adventurer Bates… Continue reading Canyonlands, Land of Rock Cairns

Grand Canyon, North Rim: Who Comes Down, Must Go Up

The first ranger we talked to told us an old Grand Canyon adage: down is optional, but up is mandatory. We chose the north rim for a few reasons. First, it attracts far fewer visitors (everything I read said the north rim gets around 10% of annual Grand Canyon park-goers) so we hoped to avoid… Continue reading Grand Canyon, North Rim: Who Comes Down, Must Go Up