Month: September 2017

Day 1: Northside Figure 8, Mount Rainier


Sunrise Trailhead to Berkeley Park, 3.6 miles

We are starting the Northside Figure 8 from the Sunrise Visitor Center today in the northeastern corner of Mount Rainier, but we wake up far away in our front-country campsite at Cougar Rock just before dawn. We are in the southern portion of the park and are eager to photograph the views at Reflection Lakes during Golden Hour and then do a little bit of hiking at Paradise before heading north.  (more…)

Backpacking Mount Rainier’s Northside Figure 8

Northside Figure 8_Title

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know it’s no big secret that we are huge fans of Mount Rainier National Park. This gem of the Pacific Northwest captured our hearts back in 2014 when we backpacked the 93-mile Wonderland Trail around the entire mountain. We loved our experience in Mount Rainier so much we even wrote a book about it! So, when we drove out to California to hike the John Muir Trail last summer, we couldn’t leave the West coast without making our way up to Washington state to get a little fix of “The Mountain.” (more…)

JMT, Day 24: The Finish Line!


Half Dome Trail Junction to Half Dome to Happy Isles

We wake up at 4:30 am, hoping to hit the trail before sunrise. It’s dark at first, but, by the time we make it out of the tent and finish a quick breakfast, we hardly need our headlamps to see anymore. Just before taking off, a small coyote wanders right through our camp. We watch it in silence as it trots behind our tent, and it’s amazing how little sound it makes. If we were still inside our tents, we would have never even know it was there. (more…)

JMT, Day 22: A Surprise Reunion


Lyell Fork Bridge to Upper Cathedral Lake, approx. 16 miles

We have a long day in store, so we wake at 5:00 am and try to break camp as quickly as possible. Before taking off we walk down to the waterfalls, and Matt gets some cool shots of the rushing water slowed down and smoothed out. Backpacking with a tripod borderlines on crazy, but it’s moments like these that make us glad we have one with us. (more…)

JMT, Day 21: Yosemite or Bust!


Garnet Lake to Donohue Pass to Lyell Fork Bridge, 12 miles

We wake up at 5:15 to photograph the alpenglow on Banner Peak and its reflection on Garnet Lake. As always, it’s a struggle to get out of our cozy sleeping bags, but we don’t have a lot of time to spare. Our shooting spot is only a few hundred feet away, so it would be pretty pathetic not to get there. We head out to a little rocky spit of land sticking out into the lake that gives us a beautiful view of the peak, and we are in place on time for a gorgeous sunrise. Hallelujah! (more…)

JMT, Day 20: Our Final Leg Begins!


Day 20: Red’s Meadow to Garnet Lake, 14.2 miles

My new air mattress is awesome, and I sleep solidly through the night. When the alarm goes off at 5:30, it’s tempting to hit the snooze button, but we have lots of other campers around us who will surely get annoyed if I do, so it’s up and at ‘em! Our packs are a bit of a mess. Everything was torn apart yesterday with the resupply, laundry and shopping run, and we scramble to put everything back together as quickly as possible. Our goal is to be at the Mulehouse Cafe right when it opens at 7 for a hearty breakfast before getting back on the trail. (more…)