Weekend Getaway: Gem Lake – Emigrant Wilderness, CA

Weekend Getaway: Gem Lake – Emigrant Wilderness, CA

When it comes to camping, I am a huge fan of non-quota trails and regions where reservations are unnecessary. My typical itineraries are one-night weekend trips, which I usually don’t commit to until 1-3 days beforehand. For this reason I tend to gravitate toward spots where I’m guaranteed to get a permit without the hassle of a reservation—which is why the Emigrant Wilderness ranks highly on my list of ideal weekend getaways. 

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3 Unforgettable Hikes on the California Coast

3 Unforgettable Hikes on the California Coast

California is a hiker's paradise. I am fortunate to call this great state my home, and I am very grateful to have such amazing hiking trails within a few hours of my home-base: San Francisco. These three hikes may only scratch the surface of all the incredible scenery that can be found along the California coast, but they are prime examples of its natural beauty.

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Kayaking up Rio Dulce in Livingston, Guatemala

Kayaking up Rio Dulce in Livingston, Guatemala

Livingston, Guatemala is a fishing town situated at the mouth of the Rio Dulce, a large river that flows through Guatemala's Izabal Department to the Caribbean Sea. Livingston is not only a unique and enjoyable destination, but also serves as a good starting point to explore the beautiful Rio Dulce. Spending the day kayaking up this river was a certainly a captivating and memorable experience.

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Drive-In Camping at Bottcher's Gap in Big Sur, California

Drive-In Camping at Bottcher's Gap in Big Sur, California

Big Sur is an ideal place for camping, and this is no secret to the world—which can make it tough to find an available drive-in campsite for a spontaneous weekend getaway. If you don’t want to make a reservation well in advance to secure a drive-in site, your best bet is to take a chance on a first-come, first-served campground. A prime example: Bottcher’s Gap.

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Embracing Solitude on Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

Embracing Solitude on Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano attracts many visitors from around the world. This 5,400-foot geological giant stands watch over a vast lake spanning almost 33 square miles, making it the largest lake in Costa Rica. This magnificently lush region is not an off-the-beaten-path destination. So, given this, I don’t know whether it was the off-season timing or sheer luck that allowed me to experience powerful solitude on Lake Arenal. 

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Climbing Carrauntoohil: A Spontaneous Journey to Ireland’s Highest Peak

Climbing Carrauntoohil: A Spontaneous Journey to Ireland’s Highest Peak

It’s 6 a.m. in Killarney, Ireland. A backpacker sits quietly in a hostel common area pondering his plans for the upcoming day. He has none, but knows there are breathtaking natural landscapes all around this region and he is in Killarney for exactly that reason. Suddenly a German traveler enters the room, breaking the silence with a friendly greeting and a smile. He has a small bag packed and is on his way out, explaining that he heading off to go hike Ireland’s highest peak: Carrauntoohil. He then utters a sentence that is music to the lone backpacker’s ears…“Do you want to come?”

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