August 2016

Hiking in Phoenix – Devil’s Canyon

Devil’s Canyon ♦Guest post by Mitch Stevens♦ I’m Mitch Stevens, founder and lead guide for Southwest Discoveries, a hiking and adventure company based in Tucson. Born and raised in New York City, I came to discover the great outdoors and fell in love with Arizona’s special places. This is part one of a three part series about hiking in Phoenix. (Click here for Part 2 and here for Part 3) Although some people don’t consider the Southwest as being more than desert, Arizona is a state of almost incalculable variety, wide-ranging climate…

Take My National Park Quiz!

In celebration of the National Park Service’s (NPS) 100th birthday, I decided to put together a quiz, to see how much people know about our national parks. How well do you think you know the national parks? Take my National Park Quiz to find out! *Please note that the answers are revealed AFTER the question and the subsequent photo, so avoid scrolling down until you’re ready to check your answer! Also, the photo does not necessarily represent the answer! Ready…

Backpacking to Thousand Island Lake

Southeast of Yosemite National Park, nestled deep within the Ansel Adams Wilderness in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, there is a lake with many islands. Thousand Island Lake, or Islet Lake as John Muir called it, is all that remains of a glacier that once stood in its place. Behind the lake are Banner Peak, reaching 12,942 feet in elevation and Mount Ritter slightly behind Banner Peak, topping out at 13,149 feet. Scattered throughout the lake are small islands, some connected and some not; this is how Thousand Island Lake got its name. What follows is my…

Visiting Death Valley in the Summer

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to stand in Death Valley during the heat of the summer. I don’t know why I had this obsession – I’m not exactly a daredevil or extremist. Nevertheless, it was on my bucket list. I was lucky enough to take a backpacking trip out west just a few weeks ago in late July, which proved to be the perfect time to visit.  It would be HOT! Since we would be on a tight schedule, we wouldn’t be able to do much more than…