Mt. Baden-Powell (via Islip Saddle)

Distance: 15.5 MilesElevation Gained: 3,700'Difficulty: StrenuousTime: 5:43Critters: DeerPros:- Elevation gain stretched out over long distances makes lots of easy stretches- Great desert, mountain, and city views- Lovely forestCons:- Since I didn't bring hiking poles, my knees are killing me- One section features a 500' descent and re-ascent, which just isn't funnyDetails:Mt. Baden-Powell is a 9,400' …

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Century Lake, Malibu Creek State Park

Distance: 4.9 MilesElevation Gained: 600'Difficulty: EasyTime: 2:15Critters: A deer and an egretNew Trees: Atlas Cedar, Black WalnutPros:- Leisurely hike to an old favorite- Not too hot for a July afternoonCons:- Forest trail was blocked by a downed treeDetails:I'm up in Agoura visiting my family and some of my friends who still live here. I'm also …

Yellowstone: Midway Geyser Basin

Distance: 1.1 MileElevation Gained: NoneDifficulty: EasyTime: 0:45:00Critters: A herd of bisonPros:- Ridiculously colorful- Grand Prismatic Spring is kind of insaneCons:- Crowded- People can be really stupid some times- We were tiredDetails:Our last stops in Yellowstone were geothermal in nature. Recalling a trip to Yellowstone when I was just an embryo, I wanted to stop at …

Yellowstone: The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River

Distance: 3 MilesElevation Gained: 1,000'Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousTime: 2:00Critters: Bison, elkPros:- Epic waterfalls- Epic views of an epic canyonCons:- Hot- Crowded, particularly on the stairs- Sight-seeing fatigueDetails:After the stops at Norris Geyser Basin and Mammoth Hot Springs, Kelly and I set out for a long stretch of driving around the northern loop through Yellowstone Park. To …

Yellowstone: Mammoth Hot Springs

Distance: 1.5 MilesElevation Gained: 300'Difficulty: EasyTime: 1:00Critters: NonePros:- Bizarre and fascinating hot spring terraces- Good views of surrounding canyonsCons:- Hot- CrowdedDetails:Mammoth Hot Springs sits at the northern end of Yellowstone Park. I've been fascinated with it ever since I was kid. My parents have this book that has a lot of pictures and descriptions of …

Montana, Day 4: Cinnamon Mountain

Distance: 8 milesElevation Gained: 2,650’Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousTime: 3:34Critters: NonePros:-          Expansive 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains in the Gallatin/Big Sky Area-          Meadows covered in wildflowers-          Legit mountain climbing with only half the effort!Cons:-          The thunderstorm that rolled in limited my time up topDetails:Cinnamon Mountain lies within Gallatin National Forest and rises above the canyon as a bump that …

Montana, Day 3: Lava Lake

Distance: 5.7 MilesElevation Gained: 1,600'Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousTime: 3:05Critters: One brown bearPros:- Lava Lake is stunning- The trail follows a busy creek the entire wayCons:- Bear gave us the heebiesDetails:Lava Lake was high on my to-do list for hiking in Montana. The lake itself closely resembles the classic glacier lake; it sits in a long, u-shaped …

Montana, Day 2: Porcupine Creek

Distance: 3.9 Miles (Porcupine Creek), 2.6 Miles (Snowmobile Trail)Elevation Gained: 500'; 700'Difficulty: Easy, ModerateTime: 2:02; 0:56Critters: NonePros:- Quality hiking time with Kelly and Dave- Beautiful open sagebrush, pine, and juniper woodland- Views of Lone Mountain and the surrounding mountainsCons:- None, unless wanting more is a conDetails:On our second day in Montana, Kelly, Dave, and I …