There are a lot of incredible and challenging hikes in North America, but few compare to the exhilarating experience of climbing to the top of one of the tallest mountains in the United States. In American mountaineering circles, the name for mountain peaks with an elevation of over 14,000 feet (or 4,267 meters) is a “fourteener”. For many hiking and climbing enthusiasts, getting to the top of these incredible peaks has a magnetic-like allure. Not only is it a personal challenge to conquer these difficult alpine trails, but the views and the experiences along the way are things you will never forget. However, as beautiful and amazing as it is to tackle a fourteener, these trails are not for the faint of heart. Each year, hikers pay the ultimate price in their conquest to tackle one of these mountains. Many times, it is because they were unprepared for the challenges they would face on the trail. To put you in the best possible position to succeed in your quest to conquer one of America’s 96 fourteeners, I have created this fourteener hiking gear list to help you make sure you are prepared.
If you follow my blog closely, you probably know that one of my biggest travel passions is exploring beautiful wilderness locations. Often times, that involves long hikes or climbs, but when I visit snowy cold weather locations, my favorite way of exploring is by snowshoeing. While hiking does require some equipment, such as adequate hiking boots or shoes to stay safe, snowshoeing requires quite a bit more equipment. Beyond the obvious need for snowshoes themselves, in order to be safe and comfortable while snowshoeing, one needs to make sure they have a myriad of other equipment with them. That is why I decided to create this snowshoe gear guide to assist eager explorers such as yourself.
A look at my travel journal for our 2020 National Parks Road Trip for the segment where I hike to the top of Grays and Torreys Peaks.
An overview of my itinerary planning for Day 3 of my 2020 US National Parks Road Trip
If you are like me, the thought of spending time in the mountains gets your adrenaline flowing and you just can’t stop thinking about the breathtaking vistas, exhilarating hikes, and the unforgettable adventures exploring amazing slopes, valleys, and peaks. That’s why mountain landscapes are my favorite landscapes in the world. Not only are they amongst the prettiest landscapes you will find on this planet, but they are also some of the most exciting landscapes to explore. In addition to having some of the most epic hiking trails and climbing routes in the world, mountain destinations also have some of the most amazing wildlife to view.
If you are an outdoor adventure enthusiast, there may be no location on Earth that is better suited to fulfill your dreams than the city of Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island. Widely regarded to be the “Adventure Capital of the World”, every year Queenstown attracts millions of tourists from throughout the world who flock to the city to test their mettle bungy jumping, skydiving, jetboat riding, canyon swinging, downhill mountain bike riding, and a myriad of other amazing outdoor adventures. Around every corner in the city it seems is the headquarters of another adventure activity.
As a beginning hiker, the tougher 14ers in Colorado like Capitol Peak, Long’s Peak, Little Bear Peak, or “The Deadly Bells” might be too much for you to tackle at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set your sights on the clouds. In fact, there are a number of challenging, yet completely doable, 14ers in Colorado that beginning hikers can attempt to tackle. With the experience of summiting these easier peaks under your belt, it won’t be long before you build up the experience and confidence needed to tackle some of the more difficult peaks in Colorado.
For some people, sitting back and relaxing while traveling is just not in their DNA. I know that I am one of these people. When I travel, I always have to be doing something active. Depending on where I am traveling, it is typically kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, sky diving, or my favorite travel activity, which is hiking. For me, there is no better way to appreciate the beauty of an area than to hike thru some of its most breathtaking landscape. In fact, I love hiking so much that sometimes I will plan an entire trip around a single hike that I want to do.
There are a lot of amazing adventures to be had on New Zealand’s South Island. Milford Sound and the Milford Track is something that every traveler should experience, the city of Wanaka is home to quite a few of New Zealand’s most infamous hiking tracks, and the city of Queenstown is known across the globe as the “adventure capital of the world”. However, none of these adventure locations in New Zealand are quite as unique or as special as the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers on the west coast of the South Island.
The area surrounding the city of Wanaka on New Zealand’s South Island is known for its incredible hiking tracks. After all, with two of the South Island’s prettiest lakes and the stunning Mount Aspiring National Park right at the doorstep, the landscapes in the area are beyond fantastic. When it comes to these incredible hiking tracks, the infamous Roy’s Peak Track gets most of the attention.
However, many people that visit the Wanaka area don’t realize that there is an equally incredible hike located on the north side of Wanaka as well. While it doesn’t get nearly the amount of publicity that the Roy’s Peak Track gets, the Isthmus Track delivers equally exceptional views and typically has far smaller crowds to contend with than Roy’s Peak.