Outdoor Adventures and Life

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Hiking Little Si, North Bend, Washington

Trail Description 

Length: 4.7 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 1300 feet
Difficulty Assessment: Easy - Moderate
Trail Type: Out and Back


About an hour east of Seattle, in the North Bend area, is Mt. Si.

Mt. Si is a popular hiking destinations for visitors and locals alike and is moderately trafficked out and back. There are two popular ways to hike Mt. Si: one is to hike up Little Si, the other is to hike up Mt. Si proper. Dogs are able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Bathrooms are at the start of the trail.

If you get there too late, parking may be tough. The car lot isn't very big.

Little Si is a good start for anyone interested in hiking Mt. Si but is unsure whether they can handle the mountain. It's a much shorter hike and can be used to gauge your fitness level.

Near the beginning of the trail (0.3 miles, 0.5 miles), there is an opportunity to get on the Boulder Garden Loop and merge with the more challenging Mount Si trail.

Climbing Chalk Review: One Good, One Bad

Inspired by how terrible my new chalk is, I decided to write a short entry on climbing chalk.

The BAD: A week ago, I finally ran out of climbing chalk. Out of convenience, I decided to buy a bag of Metolius Super Chalk from the gym rather than order from online.

After a week of use, I can confidently say that Metolius Super Chalk is terrible chalk. It fails to keep your hand dry enough and disappears almost immediately when you start to perspire. With Metolius Super Chalk, the only time your hands stay dry is when you're tying in to the rope or when you're switching hands to chalk them up. After you commit to your first tricky move, the chalk is gone. For at about $4.50, it's still a waste of your money and I plan on dumping out my entire bag when I eventually return home to Arizona.

The Good: In general, I've had good experience with chalk blocks, but the brand I'm going to suggest to you all today is Chalkness Monster.

I discovered Chalkness Monster a few months back when I was browsing Amazon for a refill. At $12.95, I decided to buy a pound of chalk from Chalkness Monster. The order came in as 8, 2oz Blocks and each block tends to last me a few months before I have to unwrap another block and break it down into my climbing bag. Most satisfying, the chalk dries my hands and keeps them dry for what I'm trying to climb past. I'm not constant diving into my chalk bag every tough hold like I am with Metolius' brand.

If you're in the market for chalk to refill your bag with, go with Chalkness Monster. I highly recommend it and so do many others on Amazon.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Hiking Devil's Bridge Trail, Sedona, AZ.

Trail Description

Length: 4-5 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 629 feet
Difficulty Assessment: Very Easy - Easy
Trail Type: Out and Back

Half an hour northwest from the quiet center of Sedona, Arizona, lies the iconic Devil's Bridge, the largest natural sandstone arch in the Sedona area. Because of how easy it is to get to and do the hike (0.8 mile one way), Devil's Bridge is normally crowded with visitors all throughout the week (think: Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley).

To get to Devil's Bridge trailhead, you have a few options:
  1. Park in the parking lot immediately off of Dry Creek Road and FR152 (Vultee Arch) and hike along the unpaved FR152 for an additional mile to Devil's Bridge trailhead (3-4 mile roundtrip hike).
  2. Park in the parking lot immediately off of Dry Creek Road and FR152 (Vultee Arch) and hike on the Chuckwagon trail to the Devil's Bridge trailhead (5-6 mile roundtrip).
  3. Drive past the Dry Creek Road parking lot and onto the unpaved portion of FR 152 directly to the Devil's Bridge trailhead (1.6 mile roundtrip). FR 152 is a very rough dirt road so if you do decide to drive directly to the trailhead, it's recommended that you have a high clearance vehicle.
  4. Or, continue driving past FR152 for a minute or two to the next street, Long Canyon Road, and park at the Mescal trailhead. The Mescal to Chuckwagon to Devil's Bridge is a 4-5 mile roundtrip hike.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hiking Camelback Mountain, Paradise Valley, AZ

Caution: hiking Camelback Mountain during the summer is not a joke. Bring an abundance of water. Do not underestimate this hike.

Trail Description

Length: 2.6 miles round trip
Trailhead Elevation:  -- ft.
End Elevation: -- ft.
Elevation Change: 1253 feet
Difficulty Assessment: Medium
Trail Type: Out and Back

Camelback Mountain is one of the most iconic hikes in Phoenix. Located in the city of Paradise Valley, Camelback's popularity seems to stem from its centralized location in the valley, its balance between difficulty and time required to complete the hike, and of course, the view.

All throughout the week, the trail can be seen teeming with hikers of all shapes, age, and sizes.

There are two ways to approach the hike: the Cholla Trail and the Echo Canyon Trail. Which one is tougher seems to depend on who you ask. For this particular post, I will be talking about the Cholla Trail.

During the summer, the best time to hike is either in the early morning (6-8am at trailhead) or in the evening (after 5pm). But even then, you have to be careful. People underestimate how difficult Camelback is due to its trail length; but it's not the length you need to be wary about, it's the extreme heat, the lack of shade, and crowds that make this a difficult hike. Be diligent in your preparation and mindful of how much water to bring.

In the winter however, any time is fine. Remember to still bring water though. Cooler temperatures can trick you into thinking you're not as thirsty as you should be.

The Hike

To get to the Cholla Trail trailhead, you need to park on North Invergordon/N. 64th Rd (they are the same road, depending on which direction you are coming from).

Park anywhere between East Jackrabbit Rd and Camelback Rd. Pay attention to the signs.

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