Snæfellsjökull Hike (is a playground)

Snæfellsjökull snaefellsjokull hike trail national park glacier olafsvik hellissandur arnarstapiIt won’t make much of a sense to elaborate on any hikes here, the entire king wilderness area is a playground. This is the kind of place where you “make” your own hike.
Snæfellsjökull snaefellsjokull hike trail national park glacier olafsvik hellissandur arnarstapiDriving down through the forest roads in the Snæfellsjökull National Park will give you enough opportunities to explore the popularly known hiking trails or view the glacier.
Snæfellsjökull snaefellsjokull hike trail national park glacier olafsvik hellissandur arnarstapiYou can always choose to hike down to the glacier.
Snæfellsjökull snaefellsjokull hike trail national park glacier olafsvik hellissandur arnarstapiPicturesque setting – what stands out is the contrast.
Snæfellsjökull snaefellsjokull hike trail national park glacier olafsvik hellissandur arnarstapiSomewhere along the way…
Snæfellsjökull snaefellsjokull hike trail national park glacier olafsvik hellissandur arnarstapi

Advertisements

Kirkjufell Hike

kirkjufell  hike trail Snæfellsnes snaefellsnes waterfall kirkjufellsfoss grundarfjorour olafsvik
A super fun scramble set in the western peninsula of Iceland, Kirkjufell rises ~1500 ft from sea level and the trail length is probably a mile (~1.6 km). It gets steep past 300 meters into the hike. The view from 1290 ft (above).
kirkjufell  hike trail Snæfellsnes snaefellsnes waterfall kirkjufellsfoss grundarfjorour olafsvik
You need to traverse three stretches of rocky outcrops with help of ropes fixed into the trail by apparently the locals (Icelandic park rangers?). The first of which is a 10-12 ft vertical climb. Carry gloves for better grip.
Also remember that roughly 30-40 mins into the hike past a couple of scrambles (first of which is a 20+ ft rocky patch of the mountain facing south-east on the trail), the trail splits into two – one going left and the other going right. Take the trail to the left. Else prepare to waste 10 mins like me.
kirkjufell  hike trail Snæfellsnes snaefellsnes waterfall kirkjufellsfoss grundarfjorour olafsvik
Kirkjufell mountain (above) as seen from the Kirkjufellsfoss (waterfalls). The trail follows a fence at the beginning (details below).
kirkjufell  hike trail Snæfellsnes snaefellsnes waterfall kirkjufellsfoss grundarfjorour olafsvik
The trail is quite steep and avoid dancing, limping or simply hiking under a hang over. 🙂 The top half of the picture below is heavily skewed, but picture the bottom half as exactly what you would face getting down the mountain.
kirkjufell  hike trail Snæfellsnes snaefellsnes waterfall kirkjufellsfoss grundarfjorour olafsvik
Took me 55-60 mins to pass the first of the ropes, and roughly 30 mins to run down the mountain. The entire stretch to the top should not take more than 80-90 mins.

People with long legs and a solid heart, this is totally your hike. Always “safety first”!

Zugspitze Reintal Hike

zugspitze hike trail germany austria ehrwald garmisch partenkirchen reintal hollental höllental tallest mountain germany cable car ehrwalder almbahn gatterl hut sonn-alpin sonn alpin cable car tirol
Reintal is the easiest or at least one of the easiest routes to hike Zugspitze. It starts in Ehrwald by the Ehrwalder Almbahn (rail). You have an option to take the cable car to the first logical unloading point ~4900 ft, or start exactly by the load point which is roughly 200-250 ft lower.
zugspitze hike trail germany austria ehrwald garmisch partenkirchen reintal hollental höllental tallest mountain germany cable car ehrwalder almbahn gatterl hut sonn-alpin sonn alpin cable car tirol
I will conservatively grade the hike “easy” and climbs roughly 2600 ft to the gatterl (picture this as the point where you switchback to the unseen side of the mountain). The trail is paved soil for the most part.
zugspitze hike trail germany austria ehrwald garmisch partenkirchen reintal hollental höllental tallest mountain germany cable car ehrwalder almbahn gatterl hut sonn-alpin sonn alpin cable car tirol
Above is the view from the “gatterl” post which the trail quickly loses roughly 100 ft (you can see this above as a narrow trail towards the left) before gaining another 1200 ft to hike up to the Sonn-Alpin restaurant. The total elevation gain for this stretch (first cable car stop –> Sonn-Alpin) is therefore ~3700 ft.
zugspitze hike trail germany austria ehrwald garmisch partenkirchen reintal hollental höllental tallest mountain germany cable car ehrwalder almbahn gatterl hut sonn-alpin sonn alpin cable car tirol
Sonn-alpin is another stop to get in and out of the cable car. Most people may like to hike up to the Zugspitze summit and take the cable car on their way down. For that you need to hike up from Sonn-alpin to the summit (passing a patch through the glacier) or take the cable car to the summit. You can then take another cable car, the Tiroler Zugspitzebahn all the way down to the parking lot from where you can take the free bus ride back to the Ehrwalder Almbahn stop. Note the last bus leaves at 5pm but you can always request the nearby hotel to call you a taxi. The entire trail length can be estimated at a little under 6 miles (first cable car stop -> Sonn-Alpin). The entire available stretch (Ehrwalder Almbahm –> Zugspitze Summit) is detailed at 14 kms (~9 miles). The stretch to Sonn-Alpin should take not more than 120 mins to climb up. In comparison the way down through the cable car takes only 10. 🙂 All that time you save…
zugspitze hike trail germany austria ehrwald garmisch partenkirchen reintal hollental höllental tallest mountain germany cable car ehrwalder almbahn gatterl hut sonn-alpin sonn alpin cable car tirolNotable mentions: The trail dips down immediately after gatterl and climbs back all that elevation through a rocky face of the mountain, and after roughly 5-10 mins into the climb you come across the Austria-Germany border crossing on the mountain.
zugspitze hike trail germany austria ehrwald garmisch partenkirchen reintal hollental höllental tallest mountain germany cable car ehrwalder almbahn gatterl hut sonn-alpin sonn alpin cable car tirol
(Above) Somewhere after the border crossing and before the knorrhütte (hut). Excitingly enough we got caught up in an incessant hail and snow blizzard beyond here, which only started as promised rains. I got no pictures past this point as it was extremely windy (at least 60-80 mph and some stronger gusts knocked us down a few times, yes anxiety worthy). We started the hike on a rocky mountain and on a pleasant sunny day with blue skies and one lost “loner” cloud directly above our heads and ended the hike with a blizzard on an overly-cast snowed-in mountain. They even suspended the cable cars for a period of two hours till the winds subsided in the evening and shut down the entire area for tourists and employees, while opening the last run for people to get off the mountain. Before and after below.
zugspitze hike trail germany austria ehrwald garmisch partenkirchen reintal hollental höllental tallest mountain germany cable car ehrwalder almbahn gatterl hut sonn-alpin sonn alpin cable car tirol
zugspitze hike trail germany austria ehrwald garmisch partenkirchen reintal hollental höllental tallest mountain germany cable car ehrwalder almbahn gatterl hut sonn-alpin sonn alpin cable car tirol
zugspitze hike trail germany austria ehrwald garmisch partenkirchen reintal hollental höllental tallest mountain germany cable car ehrwalder almbahn gatterl hut sonn-alpin sonn alpin cable car tirol

Angels Landing Hike

angels landing zion national park utah sandstone valley summit hike trail west rim trail grotto bus stop #6 springdale
This beauty of a hike is nestled within the Zion National Park, Utah, and you would need to catch the green line and get to stop #6 (Grotto) to start at the West Rim Trailhead. Another 2.5 miles from there will take you to the top aka Angel’s Landing, gaining an elevation of roughly 1450 feet. The trail isn’t long and fun past the Scout Lookout at roughly 850 feet. The remainder 600 feet is fun but yet not a scramble.
angels landing zion national park utah sandstone valley summit hike trail west rim trail grotto bus stop #6 springdale
It should take roughly 60-75 mins to get all the way to the top and nearly 45-60 mins to get back to the Grotto shuttle stop. The only problem preventing you from maintaining a Zion schedule is trail traffic, and cautious hikers slowing down the line along the guard rails.

Close up of the Zion valley above.
angels landing zion national park utah sandstone valley summit hike trail west rim trail grotto bus stop #6 springdale
Looking back at the exposed ridge from Scout Lookout on the way down. It looks scarier than what it actually is (fish eyes!) but a word of caution – don’t jump too much and stay safe.
angels landing zion national park utah sandstone valley summit hike trail west rim trail grotto bus stop #6 springdale
Zion, I love. And I don’t say that often…

Tam McArthur Rim Hike

Tam McArthur Rim Trail Hike Oregon Mt Jefferson Mt Hood South Sister North Sister Middle Sister Broken Top Three Fingered Jack Mt Washington Mt Adams Three Creek Lake
An amazing hike awaits you in the Three Sisters wilderness. The Tam McArthur Rim Trail hike starts at Three Creek Lake and continues for around 4 miles onto the Broken Top trail. You have a clear view of Three Sisters and Broken Top at 3.5 miles. It gains an elevation of roughly 1700-1800 ft at the tallest point on the trail. It takes around 90-120 mins (times may vary) for an average hiker. The views (above) further up from the summit of an unmaintained trail are simply stunning. At an elevation of 8000 odd feet, be ready for snowfields as late as July.
Tam McArthur Rim Trail Hike Oregon Mt Jefferson Mt Hood South Sister North Sister Middle Sister Broken Top Three Fingered Jack Mt Washington Mt Adams Three Creek Lake
You get clear views of the Three Creek Lake (above) and Mt Bachelor (below) along the trail. The trail climbs quickly, then relaxes a bit with a very gradual gradient and then steps up again.
Tam McArthur Rim Trail Hike Oregon Mt Jefferson Mt Hood South Sister North Sister Middle Sister Broken Top Three Fingered Jack Mt Washington Mt Adams Three Creek Lake
You reach a cliff (below, visible from the lake) at 1250 feet and around 2.5 miles into the trail beyond which the trail is not maintained. I camped 0.5 mile further up from this point for a night and came across fresh cougar paw marks in the snow fields on the route ahead. Beware this is bear country.
Tam McArthur Rim Trail Hike Oregon Mt Jefferson Mt Hood South Sister North Sister Middle Sister Broken Top Three Fingered Jack Mt Washington Mt Adams Three Creek Lake
Panorama at clarity of a 50mm fixed lens for amateurs interested in orology.
Tam McArthur Rim Trail Hike Oregon Mt Jefferson Mt Hood South Sister North Sister Middle Sister Broken Top Three Fingered Jack Mt Washington Mt Adams Three Creek Lake Three Sisters Panorama

Arches National Park

Arches National Park Utah Park Avenue Trail Hike Arch Moab Primitive Skyscrapers
Park Avenue in the Arches National Park (Above) and (Below)
Arches National Park Utah Park Avenue Trail Hike Arch Moab Primitive Skyscrapers
Mountain biking somewhere outside Arches National Park. The ride back to the town of Moab was mostly downhill with very little effort to actually pedal.
Arches National Park Utah Mountain Biking Trail Hike Outside Arch Moab
Delicate Arch is situated at an elevation gain of about 480 ft and around 1.5 miles from the parking lot. But worth every bit of your time.
Arches National Park Utah Delicate Arch Trail Hike Arch Moab Attractions