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The climate is ‘a changing. After this winter’s record high temperatures around much of the U.S., there’s not much room for argument from global warming skeptics. Nine states in the West had one of their top 10 warmest winters on record. So there’s that.
While Washington skiers bemoaned the lack of snowpack this year, hikers can rejoice that many area trails and campground are opening unseasonably early, including Mount Rainier National Park (MRNP). This year, mountain trails and passes at Mount Rainier are opening earlier than ever before due to exceptionally low snow pack.
Adventure Travel / Grand Canyon Travel / Havasupai Travel / Arizona Travel / Hiking / Camping / → All Tags
Our photo gallery of Havasu Falls highlighted the stunning beauty that awaits adventure travelers who make the journey into the Grand Canyon, and from those you can see that milky turquoise water, stretching canyon walls, and jagged rock formations stole the show for us visually. But there were also many interesting and unexpected aspects of the area that surprised us, some that provided context that enhanced our trip and others that, simply put, surprised the hell out of us.
Photo Gallery / Adventure Travel / Grand Canyon Travel / Havasupai Travel / Arizona Travel / Hiking / Camping / → All Tags
Havasu Falls at the end of the Havasupai Trail in the Grand Canyon
Most people only see the Grand Canyon from above, looking out from a viewing platform on the South Rim near the visitor center. But getting down into this Wonder of the World provides an incredible perspective on its size and scope, not to mention its beauty.
Adventure travelers have been immersing themselves in the Canyon for centuries, backpacking rim to rim or rafting their way along the Colorado River. Last week, we took one of the easier routes of submersion, hiking the 11-mile Havasupai Trail to what we consider to be the Canyon's, and perhaps North America's, best oasis.
Gone are your dreams of scenic instagram images during that awesome summer road trip, as it looks like there’s some new rules heading to the national parks across the nifty fifty.
Late last week the National Park Service announced that drones, unmanned aircraft, or whatever you want to call them will be banned in all areas controlled by the park service. That means no taking-off, flying, hovering, or another drone-y activities while in or around national park lands and waters. All in all the rules and regulations affect around 84 million acres of prime real estate across the country.
Green Travel / Camping / Glamping / National Park Travel / Montana Travel / Adventure Travel / Hotels / → All Tags
Glamping is coming to another National Park this summer.
After the success of "Yellowstone Under Canvas," the Under Canvas Group is bringing their luxury camping to the Glacier National Park in Glacier, MT.
The camp, located 7 miles outside Glacier Park, will offer fully furnished safari tents, tipis, and deluxe suites with king-sized beds and full bathrooms. For the first time, the accommodations will also include tree house tents with amazing views and cabins. As part of their partnership with Leave No Trace, Under Canvas is also taking steps to ensure the camp has minimal impact on the surrounding environment.
We had just booked our trip to Hawaii when we released how unprepared we were in terms of luggage. Usually, we rock out with a carry-on sized Samsonite roller (four wheels) and a hearty Swiss Gear laptop backpack. Typically, that's no problem, and we've carried them on regularly in the past, putting the roller in the overhead and the backpack at our feet. But when we looked at our Hawaii intinerary, we saw three island-hopping flights to go along with two different hotel stays on each island. That's a lot of moving around, and we wondered if we could consolidate in some way and make transporting our gear as painless as possible.
So, we called Kelty who, like Zippo, has expanded its line of offerings of late. After 60 years of focusing on aluminum-framed outdoor backpacks, Kelty recently launched a line of travel packs and products. They have 21 travel products in total, including a line of expandable roller suitcases, but we were interested in keeping with what Kelty does best: Backpacks. Because Hawaii was an adventure travel destination, we were looking for something tough and mobile, yet practical enough to keep our electronic gear (laptop, phone, etc) safe and hold enough clothes for the trip. Kelty told us that its Flyway would be right up our alley. After 23 days of testing (13 in Hawaii, 10 in Puerto Vallarta), it turns out Kelty was correct.
Last week, we were warmed when we read a few of the inscriptions found on the sides of a collection of 282 Zippo lighters that belonged to soldiers of the Vietnam War. They were recently sold at auction for about $35,000, making headlines and prompting some positive press for Zippo.
The company has been making lighters since 1933, but earlier this year it reached out with some good news: After 80 years of focusing on fire, Zippo was launching a line of outdoor products. In 2009, it introduced a range of outdoor lighters, but now they are going beyond the flame to a larger variety of outdoor lifestyle products, including axes, wood carriers, cookware and utensils.
Road Trip / Summer Travel / Americana / Camping / → All Tags
It’s warm out and the calendar says that it is time for summertime fun, so that means road trip season. In case you need a little more space than the backseat of your car there’s always the option to rent an RV, trailer, or other home on wheels. Thankfully this year it looks like you can travel with a little more style, as Airstream trailers are now available for your renting pleasure.
Airstream2Go.com launched earlier in the year, and it has those iconic silver trailers for you to enjoy while away from home. The company offers up 23-foot and 28-foot options from spots like Las Vegas and Los Angeles, so it sounds like you’ll need to start and begin your road trip somewhere out west. The room on wheels is paired up with a GMC Yukon Denali, so you won’t even have to hook it up to the family station wagon. Prices start at around $3,850 for a five-day rental, so they are clearly shooting for those who are looking for a little extra—and with a little extra in their pockets.
Travel Cat / Animals / Pet Travel / Road Trips / Camping / → All Tags
Kitty cats. They rule the internet and, whether we realize it or not, pretty much the world too. Ever noticed how cats sometimes stake out the coolest spots in a city? This new featureTravel Catfocuses on exactly that. Submit a photo to be featured by tweeting or Instagramming it to us (details below).
Travel Cat spotted at: the Grand Canyon (and more!)
This week's Travel Cat is a special one. To celebrate "National Love Your Pet Day." Meet C.C. Tux, a cat who happily travels alongside his owner, Cora Sprinkle, and behaves on a leash. Of travels with Tux, Cora notes:
If you can't afford to shack up in one of the swanky Orange County hotels during your travels there, now you have another option: Crystal Cove State Park in the Laguna Beach/Newport Beach area just opened its year-round campground today.
The $15 million Moro Campground offers 60 new campsites. Unfortunately, you won't be on the beach, but you'll have a nice view of it from the hilly area. The park has three miles of Pacific coastline, plus wooded canyons, open bluffs, and offshore waters designated as an underwater park.
National Parks / California Travel / National Parks Travel / Camping / Active Travel / Outdoor Travel / Green Travel / Oprah Winfrey / → All Tags
America's National Parks have been having a pretty good month, publicity-wise. First there was the announcement that master documentarian Ken Burns would be lending his skills and voice to creating tours of some of America's backlands and badlands and now comes news that the world's single biggest marketing jackpotOprah Winfrey herselfs getting into the mix.
The talk show host/erstwhile cult leader took a camping trip to California travel destination Yosemite National Park earlier this month, and then featured the experience on her show. The hope from the park service is that the episode and all the associated attention will increase interest in National Parks across the board, but they're especially looking to remedy the disproportionate lack of African-American visitors.
Listed as one of Fall 2010's Travel Essentials by Magellan's, the Biffy Bag is the "world's only personal disposable toilet designed to be used comfortably without a bucket or comode to sit on."
If you found that confusing, no worries. It took us reading the Biffy Bag homepage, the how it works section, and the online FAQ to figure out the mechanics of what was going on here. And we don't mean that in like a giggly "haha people go to the bathroom" kind of way. We mean it in a very technical "what attaches to what and why is that something someone would want" kind of way. We eventually had to watch the instructional video, which we've helpfully embedded below.