Getting outside and adventuring in the great southwest is an amazing, almost otherworldly experience. We are drawn to this region by its varied scenery, wide-ranging climate and awesome beauty, rivaling if not exceeding any other locale. Many places in the southwest are so stunning, in their various ways, that they challenge the capacity of human sensibilities to experience them in all their grandeur and richness. Take the Grand Canyon for instance, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the only one in North America.
Then, there are those who take being outside to a whole new level. Long distance hikers make the outdoors their home, day hikers and rock climbers scale soaring mountain peaks, canyoners explore improbably beautiful slot canyons, river rafters shoot the epic rapids of the Colorado, San Juan, and Green Rivers. Adventurers tell their wonderful tales on their blogs. While there are many good websites focusing on the southwest, we separated the wheat from the chaff and brought you a definitive list of the very best southwest adventure blogs out there. The folks writing articles and posting photos on these websites share their experiences in the outdoors and provide excellent information for anybody who wants to get outside and adventure in the great southwest!
George Wendt is passionate about running rivers and adventure travel. In the early years, he managed the business finances and specialized in rafting California’s Stanislaus River. In later years, George’s company, O.A.R.S, merged with Martin Litton’s Grand Canyon Dories. Litton was a fierce environmentalist who was instrumental, along with activist David Brower of the Sierra Club, in stopping several destructive dams in the Grand Canyon. Martin had been guiding oar-powered commercial river trips on the Colorado River for nearly twenty years. I experienced O.A.R.S. first- hand when in 2002 took part in an amazing dory trip through the Grand Canyon. Not only was I was absorbed by the exhilarating beauty of the canyon but I was impressed by the skill and professionalism of the guides. Recently, O.A.R.S. has expanded its operation to offer other forms of adventure travel such as hiking and backpacking trips in the western United States as well as overseas.
Enjoy their fascinating blogpost here: www.oars.com
Besthike.com, founded by intrepid adventurer Rick McCharles, is one of the best hiking blogs on the web. It is a comprehensive listing of the world’s best hikes. Rick not only catalogs the planet’s best life changing hikes but provide descriptions. It is no surprise that Rick includes hikes in the southwest as some of the best hikes in the world. Most of the hikes he recommends are challenging multi-day adventures, such as the Zion Narrows for instance. Rick is continuing to research the best hikes on earth, calling his website a “work in progress.”
Read about his fascinating adventures on www.besthike.com.
Josh of Californiathroughmylens.com has been running his website with his wife for over six years. Their site has proven popular, it has been viewed more than 10 million times stateside as well as overseas and has been featured in the LA Times and Good Morning America. Because Josh’s passion is the outdoors and photography, he created his website to showcase his adventures in California and encourage others to do the same.
Check out all that the great state of California offers, from hiking through the redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument, to beach hiking and to Malibu wine hikes, at http://californiathroughmylens.com
Dorado Magazine celebrates the rugged and eclectic spirit of the Four Corners region, from towering mountain ranges to epic canons. Articles featured are about the creative individuals who flock to its small towns and the thrill-seekers who come in search of adventure. It features the amenities of luxury living mixed with the style of the Southwest. For instance, enjoy 3 Southwestern Hikes Through History
For more big adventures in the great southwest, visit their website at: doradomagazine.com
Chelsea Alves calls herself “over-the-top obsessed with hiking. I’d say I’m just a California girl chasing the sun one hike at a time.” Before she took up hiking, Chelsea’s main form of exercise was the gym. But like many of us, working out at the gym wasn’t enjoyable; it became drudgery. At the advice of a friend, Chelsea took up hiking and became an outdoor enthusiast whose love for hiking has taken her to incredible, breathtaking locations. Some of her stories have been featured as guest posts on Southwest Discoveries’ blogsite. Read Chelsea’s brilliant description and photos of hiking the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon. Chelsea is eager to share all her stories “so you can create beautiful memories of your own. This California girl has a lot of uncharted territory to cover so stay tuned for new hikes and hiking tips to come!”
Check out her work here: www.sunkissedhiker.com
Julie, from the great city of Chicago, fell in love with the West. When she took a trip to Yosemite National Park in 2006, the beauty moved her and traveling became an obsession. Julie wanted to share her passion and the places she visited who she launched her blogsite, Escaping the Midwest. She is a frequent contributor of Southwest Discoveries’ blogsite, featuring stories and photos of some of the most exciting and beautiful areas of the southwest.
Julie, a mother of two daughters and her husband, writes “I want this blog to be of use to people, to provide reviews, tips, and suggestions, instead of reading like a travel magazine. Most of us cannot travel the world in luxury and may never see the other hemisphere. But for the world we can see, maybe I can just make someone else’s vacation a little smarter, a little easier, and a whole lot more fun.”
Enjoy her fascinating travelogues and stunning photos here: www.escapingthemidwest.com
John McKinney is the author of 30 books about hiking, parklands and nature, including “Hiking on the Edge: Dreams, Schemes and 1600 Miles on the California Coastal Trail” and “Hiking the Holy Mountain: Tales of Monks and Miracles on the Trails of Mount Athos, Greece.” He shares his unique philosophy as well as the many benefits of hiking. John wrote the book The Hiker’s Way and he delivers talks entitled, “Getting Back on the Nature Trail.” For 18 years, John wrote a weekly hiking column for the Los Angeles Times about hiking. He enthusiastically described more than ten thousand miles of trail across California and around the U.S. Among his many accomplishments, John shares his expertise on radio, TV, online, and as a public speaker. He is currently in development with Hike On, a half-hour show about hiking for public television.
Read about his hiking philosophy here: www.thetrailmaster.com
Beyond Words describes itself as “ordinary men and women from around the world, seeking out the extraordinary in travel, health, and style, all while maintaining balance in a fast-paced, ever-demanding society.” They will tell you all about what’s new and interesting on a variety of subject, including the great outdoors.
Inspired by the work and life of bestselling author Sylvia Day, Beyond Words mission is to transport you “beyond what’s written on the page and into what’s happening here (and there) and now. Join us as we explore things from a new perspective.” Although their writings aren’t exclusively about this region, they’ve published excellent articles covering adventuring in the great southwest.
Check out 4 of the Best Hikes in the Southwest.
Alyssa describes herself as “a freelance writer and outdoor adventurer with a restless spirit and an odd obsession for gnomes.” A Chicagoan, she cranks out interesting stories of her travels and climbs mountains, kayaks rivers and snowboards down slopes. Earlier this year, she and her husband sold much of their possessions, left their apartment in Atlanta and embarked on an exciting journey throughout America, living out of their pop-up tent trailer. As a graduate of the Matador U Travel Program, Alyssa’s goals are “to discover unexplored niches in all forms of nature and never stop exploring.” As of this writing, she and her husband are on month four on the road, enjoying the camper life.
Enjoy narratives of her travels here: alyssavnature.com
Todd Martin, born in Pittsburgh, PA, has been an avid hiker most of his adult life. In 1994 he hiked the 2,150-mile long Appalachian trail. Since that time, he has spent many enjoyable days and nights hiking in various locales ranging from New England, the Pacific Northwest and the canyons and deserts of Arizona and Utah. Todd’s love of hiking led to a lifetime obsession with canyoneering, exploring the slot canyons of the southwest. Canyoneering is a challenging sport which combines hiking, climbing, rappelling and swimming, combined with spectacular scenery. Todd wrote two popular books about the sport, “Grand Canyoneering” and “Arizona Technical Canyoneering.” I own both books and have read them cover to cover many times. Both books are excellent, packed with useful beta and spectacular photos of the canyons. Some of these special places he wrote about I’ve personally experienced. And they are grand!
Visit Todd’s Website here: www.toddshikingguide.com
Blake Merrell loves life and the great outdoors. His favorite hobby is canyoneering and the overnight canyoneering trips he writes about on this blogsite are remarkable. For instance, Kolob canyon, located Zion National Park’s famous Narrows, is extraordinary. Blake writes, “It is a short and sweet canyon. Lots of spectacular drops in a short time. We found all the solitude anyone could ever ask for.”
Read about his adventures here: canyoneeringutah.blogspot.com
Laura and David, formerly from the east coast, moved to Arizona and became professional photographers and expert canyoneers. They liken the wilderness to a sanctuary, challenging them physically and mentally. They write, “getting outdoors, away from the crowds, noise and distractions of daily living allows us to experience intimate spiritual challenges and emotions that we find nowhere else.” In 2001 David hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, hiking from Mexico to Canada, in under five months. In Arizona, they were introduced to canyoneering, the sport of exploring and descending canyons. To be good at this sport, participants need to be strong hikers, climbers, rappelers, swimmers and be good at problem-solving. Laura and Eric have fallen in love with this hobby and have produced brilliant photographs, videos, and narratives of their explorations. Their passion for canyoneering shines through in their work.
Read about it here: canyoneering.wordpress.com
Zion Adventure Company specializes in guiding and instructing people in canyoneering and climbing at Zion National Park and the surrounding red rock wonderland. Created in 1996 and with three buildings, over 100 employees, and tens of thousands of clients later, they have grown into one of the leading guide services and outfitters in the United States. Their canyoneering instructors are superb. I know this first hand because I embarked on a beginner rappelling class with ZAC several years ago, it was my first foray into the exciting sport of canyoneering. Since Zion Adventure Company built their business around relationships, they consider their staff members as an “essential component of Zion Adventure Company. When you engage with us, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with one of thirty or so helpful, outgoing, and passionate teammates dedicated to one goal: Making your Zion visit special.”
Read about their adventures across the southwest here: www.zionadventures.com/ZBlog
Tom Jones, guru of all things canyoneering, began rock climbing in 1974. He worked for Black Diamond as a product designer of technical sewn products (harnesses, harnesses, harnesses, etc.). His company moved to Salt Lake City in 1991, and a few years later he discovered the desert canyons of the southwest. Tom spent a lot of time there, photographing and hiking. After he bought the Steve Allen book, Canyoneering: The San Rafael Swell, Tom noted all the places where it said, “and from here, the canyon is impassable.” He proceeded to make a list of all these places and embarked on a lifetime pursuit of exploration. His website, CUSA (Canyoneering USA) started as a resource for canyoneering beta. Tom would go out in the desert, descend a canyon (often from Steve Allen’s book), make a map, write it up with pictures and post it on CUSA.
His blog site offers some of the most informative and fascinating canyon narratives on the web, from a true expert in the field of canyoneering: www.canyoneeringusa.com/rave
American Southwest.net, established in 1994, is a comprehensive guide to the national parks, monuments and magnificent lands of the Southwest United States. For instance, it lists destinations in Arizona, from the Sonoran Desert to the Colorado Plateau. Included in the descriptions are the red-rock country of Sedona and the world renowned Grand Canyon of the Colorado, one of the 7 natural wonders on the planet. In addition, American Southwest.net lists adventures in neighboring southwestern states such as California, Colorado and Nevada.
Learn about the great southwest at: www.americansouthwest.net
Phil Armitage’s website is home to his photography, taken while hiking in the wildernesses Colorado and the southwest. Also included are guides to the best hiking trails he’s found in the US and Canada, brief accounts of bear watching trips in Alaska, and his video of the wilderness.
Enjoy Phil’s photos, and his excellent photographs and narratives of the wilderness here: www.philarmitage.net
The Expeditioner is a travel site for the serious wanderer featuring writing pieces from some of the best authors of this genre in the world. They offer news, commentary, insight and video from their talented team of bloggers from around the globe. Check out 5 Great Places to Camp in the American Southwest.Author Jenna Blumenfeld spotlights stunning places across the southwest such as Snow Canyon State Park near St George, Utah, Zion National Park and Natural Bridges National Monument near Moab, Utah.
Enjoy the rest of The Expeditioner’s. com’s absorbing work here: www.theexpeditioner.com
The DesertUSA website will bring the desert to your desktop. You will discover places to go and things to do in the desert southwest. Some of the information you will find include seasonal desert wildflower updates, articles on places to go for hiking and camping, reviews about national state parks in the region, upcoming events, exploring back country roads with an SUV, beta on desert fauna and flora and desert history.
Enjoy their helpful and educative website here: www.desertusa.com
Michael Lanza, a writer, outdoor photographer, author and speaker, created The Big Outside. Michael was the northwest editor of Backpacker Magazine, and its primary gear reviewer. He is a longtime backpacker, rock climber, canyoneer, backcountry skier and cyclist, among other pursuits. For over twenty years his work has taken him to the national parks and wilderness areas throughout the globe. Many of his most captivating travelogues have focused on such places as Grand Canyon, Zion and Capitol Reef National Parks, icons of the great southwest. Michael launched The Big Outside with a mission, as he puts it,” to offer stories, photos, and expert trip-planning advice on America’s and the world’s best outdoor adventures—including many that are great for families.” Most importantly, these original stories and brilliant photos were based on treks he’s taken to these places by himself and with friends and family.
Enjoy his enthralling work here: www.thebigoutside.com
Joe Braun hales from the great state of Michigan. However, he has fallen in love with Zion National Park in Utah. Joe writes, “In the heart of desert slot canyon territory in southwestern Utah is the most awe-inspiring place on the planet: Zion National Park.” What Zion lacks in size compared to other national parks, it more than makes up for with a wide variety of hiking opportunities and diverse terrain. From its deserts, majestic soaring canyon walls, to lush forests and narrow slot canyons, Zion has it all. A good many of the places Joe has photographed casual visitors will never experience. Joe’s detailed hike descriptions and brilliant photographs offer Zion enthusiasts the best information on the web. His goal here is to outline an amazing variety of hikes and treks for people of all abilities. It is dedicated to anyone who loves the outdoors. Joe calls it “a labor of love and a never-ending work in progress. My hope is that it inspires you to go out and hike! Enjoy!”
Sirena Dufault, whom I’ve had the pleasure of hiking several trails with, is an adventure enthusiast who lives and works in Tucson, Arizona. Her passion is hiking Arizona’s amazing diversity, unequaled anywhere in the world. She has hiked over 5,000 miles across the length of the Grand Canyon state. In 2014 Serena completed The Arizona Trail and contributed to its new official guidebook, raising $18,000 for the Arizona Trail Association. What’s remarkable about Sirena is that in 1997 she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a chronic and disabling pain disease. It was through hiking that she would eventually overcome this potentially debilitating condition. Today, Sirena is disease free and a strong hiker to boot, no pun intended (lol)!
Enjoy her fascinating website, chronicling her adventures across the great state of Arizona: www.desertsirena.wordpress.com/
Trails.net is about all things trails, a website for hikers, bikers, skiers, runners and trail lovers. Founded by author Kevin Steffey, an avid hunter and freelance writer, it provides information about active travel opportunities worldwide. Kevin’s site provides outdoor enthusiasts a network of trails on the internet. Trails for biking, water sports, hiking, snowshoeing, inline skating, cross-country skiing, backpacking, trail running, among other recreational uses, are included. A unique feature is that users can add their own trails to trails.net, posting activities suiting their recreational interests. Trails.net also features a trail blog with beta about trails rules, regulations, transportation, tours and trail building. In addition, Kevin is an active participant in the battle to end childhood obesity.
Follow trails.net here: www.trailsnet.net
Jeff Clark, founder of Internet Brothers, is passionate about hiking. He lives near the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains; his content focuses on these gorgeous places. But Jeff has also written about the spectacular lands of great southwest on his website. Read his excellent article spotlighting Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. Jeff is a volunteer with the National Park Service and forest service and writes, “with budget cuts in Washington affecting the services at our national parks and national forests, it is incumbent upon volunteers to preserve and protect our treasured landscapes and wild places for future generations.”
Enjoy his excellent hiking articles here: internetbrothers.org
Hit the Trail is dedicated to helping those planning a trip to Grand Canyon and the southwest region of the United States. They provide information to assist travelers in finding lodging and campgrounds, making reservations, choosing hiking equipment, finding guides and visitor services and providing practical tips and advice in the area. Their goal is to “help you make your trip a special and safe one.”
Check out their informative and interesting website here: www.hitthetrail.com
Dave Creech is a successful small business owner with over 18 years of experience working in various professions such as design and development, custom home and landscape design and graphic design and illustration. He has worked as a freelance photographer and author for the past 5 years focusing on outdoor travel, fitness and health, among his many interests. As a hobby, Dave travels and photographs the southwest. He is passionate about taking pictures.
Read about his adventures and enjoy his stunning photography at: wildernessdave.com
I lead outings for the Sierra Club in Tucson, Arizona and am of the firm belief that reaching the summit of mountains is one of the most exhilarating of outdoor experiences. But compared to Beth Lakin, a teacher and intrepid adventurer of 3Up Adventures, my achievements pale in comparison. Beth’s website is a smorgasbord of hiking, exploring and travel. It underscores her passion for peak bagging, the act of summiting high points of mountain ranges, counties, states and countries. During a thanksgiving weekend trip in 2015 for example, Beth summited four Arizona peaks and county high points within three days. Beth has bagged many mountains but her goal is to summit peaks in Washington’s Olympic Mountains, Colorado 14ers and all the U.S. county high points. There are over 3,100 of them!
Follow her footloose adventures here: 3upadventures.com
The Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists is an all-volunteer organization devoted to promoting mountain bicycling and low impact outdoor recreation, conservation, and “opportunities that are environmentally and socially responsible.” They provide fun, safe bicycling experiences and encourage responsible riding and ethical behavior among the bicycling community. They work in concert with land managers and owners to improve trails and facilities.
Benefit from their great research and writing here: www.sdmb.org
Summit Hut sells all goods related to hiking, backpacking and climbing. Based in Tucson, Arizona, Summit Hut began its entry into this arena modestly in 1967 when two fifteen-year-old friends, Jeff Conn and David Baker, collaborated to offer a special-order service for Tucsonans who desired backpacking and mountaineering equipment. The boys conducted business from their bedrooms and stored the inventory under their beds. In 1968 David, a senior in high school bought out Jeff’s interest in the company and rented a 150-square foot room attached to a small bicycle shop across the street from their high school. The rest is history, Summit Hut became a leading national outdoor retailer in their two Tucson stores and online. Moreover, their adventure blog highlights some of the best hikes and adventures in the southwest.
Check out their remarkable hike narratives here: blog.summithut.com
Bearfoot Theory is the outdoor adventure blog for folks who love to travel and spend time outside. Kristen, who runs Bearfoot Theory, will inspire you to hit the great outdoors and help you plan your next adventure. She started this website because she wanted to dispel the myths that prevent many people from taking part in outdoor adventures. Kristine was a late bloomer, intimidated by adventure websites and magazines that feature people doing outlandish things in the wilderness such as skiing off cliff edges. But she’ll be the first to tell you, “you don’t have to be a risk-taking adrenaline junkie and do things beyond your comfort level to have an awesome time in the outdoors.” Her mission with Bearfoot Theory is to inspire and inform people looking to have an authentic outdoor experience. Kristin shares with you her favorite outdoor experiences and the gear you’ll need to build more confidence.
Check out her excellent blog here: bearfoottheory.com/blog
Ash founded Dirt in My Shoes.com. She is a former park ranger who has patrolled many miles of America’s most spectacular national parks. As a park ranger, Ash’s responsibilities included search and rescue, teaching safety courses, and providing guided tours. He writes about the places he’s hiked, portraying his experience and knowledge about the area. Ash’s goal is to take you on a cyber journey of America’s beautiful national parks, many of which are in the southwest.
Eric Matthew Leifer, born in Anaheim and now residing in Hawaii, is an avid canyoneer and adventurer. Eric, a true visionary, writes, “I prefer stars over roofs. I seek perspective over possessions. I choose love over hate. I crave space over cities. I value time over money. I drink whiskey over wine. I build bridges over boundaries. I watch sunsets over television. I see hope through the darkness. I find comfort in unease. I wander to get lost. I get lost to be found. I accept truth over perception. I create a path beyond fate. I take less than I need. I seek what I doubt. I am more than I know. I know far less than I think.” The goal of the Canyon Chronicles is to showcase the immense beauty of the natural world, which in Eric’s opinion as close to reality as one can possibly get. His Canyon Chronicles website showcases some of the most amazing natural places in the world, many of which are in the southwest.
Enjoy the descriptions and photos of his many treks here: www.canyonchronicles.com
Westerner 54 loves hiking, biking, travelling, and “semi-adventures — the kind where I might be uncomfortable for a while, but am not likely to lose my life.” He also loves historic places, many of which are found in the southwest. He writes about his discoveries on his website at Historic Trail. The quote on his homepage was provided by Walkin’ Jim Stoltz, a singer, writer, long-distance hiker and activist
“For heaven’s sake (and for the Earth’s), let’s get it together. Get out there! Listen! The wild places will fill you up. Let them.” Walkin’ Jim Stoltz, 1953 – 2010
Visit his website at: westerner54.com
Experience Scottsdale was founded in 1987 as part of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce but became a standalone in 2001. The organization is made up of local hospitality and tourism industry leaders. Scottsdale is blessed with more than 320 miles of well-maintained trails, including the world-famous McDowell Mountain Park; This park is one of the hikes included in their article entitled 5 Great Scottsdale Hiking Trails. Scottsdale was also named by National Geographic as one of the nation’s top 15 hiking destinations.
If you’re planning to hike in Scottsdale, check out Experience Scottsdale: www.experiencescottsdale.com
L’Auberge de Sedona offers an exceptional experience in one of the most magnificent places in the world. Nestled along the banks of Oak Creek in Arizona’s stunning Red Rock region, this luxury resort is a place where magical moments happen – offering the best in scenery, luxurious accommodations, fine dining, and wellness. The L’Auberge de Sedona blog highlights a few of the amazing experiences which can be found in the area, such as the quintessential Sedona activity of jeep riding over and through red-rock country. On these jeep tours, knowledgeable guides offer inside information and interesting facts while taking in the splendid canyon country.
Enjoy their blog here: www.lauberge.com
The Hike House has introduced what they call “the web-based Sedona Trail Rating System.” Their intent is to introduce people to all the fantastic hiking trails in Sedona. Hiking enthusiasts can determine which trails are easy, moderate or difficult based on other hikers’ experiences. Each of the hiking trails they list has a description, ratings, photos, video, and commentary. “The Sedona Trail Rating System is being added to daily by authors, photographers, and most importantly YOU!” they write. The Sedona Trail Rating System is the most recognized, comprehensive and useful online hiking trail resource for Sedona.
Enjoy their great information and share your hiking experience if you choose: thehikehouse.com
Tim LeBaron heads up Hike St. George. Southern Utah and St. George offers some of the best hiking in the world. Tim’s website showcases his experiences hiking in this stunning region of the country. Tim’s dream was to create what he calls “a comprehensive database of hard to find hikes in Southern Utah. As a hiking enthusiast, it has been frustrating over the years to hear about people going on these incredible adventures on trails I have never heard of, and then going to search the internet for these hikes and not be able to find any information about them.” You need not worry any longer.
Peruse Hike St. George and you will discover the most exciting and beautiful trails in red-rock country: www.hikestgeorge.com
If camping, hiking, and adventure is your passion, visit Trail Sherpa. Concise hiking and outdoor descriptions, including many articles covering Sedona and the southwest, will help you discover the best trails in the outdoors. Check out “How to Hike: 8 Steps to Become a Badass Day Hiker.” The author outlines things he has learned over the years and how to become a better hiker.
“Badass day hikers can log double digit miles in a single day. They carry light packs containing only what they need yet they’re prepared for the worst-case scenario. They know exactly where they are going, how to get there and back safely, and they will likely use a few special skills while they’re doing it.”
Read this great article and many others here: www.trailsherpa.com
Texas Monthly, an online magazine about all things you guessed it, Texan, writes: “Climb Every Mountain or at least the seven ranges in Texas that you can most easily explore. From hikes in the Guadalupe’s and bike rides in the Chinatis to cattle driving in the Bofecillos and bobcat spotting in Hueco Tanks, here’s a guide to the best activities our highest heights have to offer. And remember: It’s always cooler at the top.” Texas Monthly features a great section showcasing the outdoors and is one of the best Texas online resources on the web.
Soak up the beauty of this amazingly diverse state here: www.texasmonthly.com
Leigh McAdam is the founder of HikeBikeTravel. In another life, she was a geologist, dietitian, and owner of a successful travel and outdoor business. Along the way, Leigh developed a love of photography and has been recognized internationally in magazines, television, and radio. She is a member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association(PBTA), the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC) and the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) as well as a published author. Although she has written extensively about her native Canada, she also has featured posts about Arizona. It is certainly true that Arizona contains some of the best hiking in the world, from the Grand Canyon, to Sedona to the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona.
Enjoy her excellent writings and photography here: www.hikebiketravel.com
Cam loves to hike and travel and he combines the two in his excellent blogpost, The Hiking Life. He writes: “Upon finishing university in 1993, I moved to Mexico. No, I was not on the run from the law, although not long after I arrived I distinctly recall being told that only two kinds of people move to Mexico: those that are wanted and those that are not wanted.” Cam’s intention was to spend a couple of years working, traveling and learning another language before heading home to Australia. But he ended up doing all those things and for two decades and counting!
Enjoy his hiking adventures here: www.thehikinglife.com
Sunny San Diego and environs is an amazingly diverse area for hiking, from beachside romps to tramping the desert trails of Anza-Borrego State Park and everything in between. Brad Spiess, is a personal trainer and an avid hiker. He grew up in Guam but it wasn’t until he retired from the Army in 1993 and moved to San Diego that he developed a deep love for hiking. Brad writes, “before the internet really took off it was hard to find information on where to hike, but now there is a plethora of information on where to hike, how hard the hikes are, topographic information, visuals, etc. I’ve decided that I want to put my unique skills to use sharing this information with everyone.”
Enjoy his excellent hike descriptions and photos here: www.ihikesandiego.com
Kimberlie Dame likes boots. She writes on newnomads.com, her thought-provoking website, “walking alone in the wilderness is one of the most instigating-of-inspirational-thought activities a person could do.” Her passion is long distance hiking and walking alone in the wilderness. She chronicles her fascinating adventures, ranging from walks across the eastern U.S., the Pacific Crest Trail, Sedona, the Arizona Trail and the Pacific Northwest.
Relish her inspiring travelogues here: thenewnomads.com
Southern Nevada Outside is one of the best outdoor blogsites about the Silver State. Founder Kurt Kuznicki channels the legendary southwest author Edward Abbey. “The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs more defenders.” Written many decades ago by “Cactus Ed,” his sentiment still rings true today. Kurt’s website was started in 2009 to not only showcase Nevada’s incredible beauty but to help protect its wild places. Kurt writes, “It’s the wild places that renew our strength, grab our hearts, and stir our souls…that’s where the magic happens.”
The Adventure Junkies chronicle North America’s best hikes, including Zion National Park’s legendary Angel’s Landing, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Grand Canyon and many others. Their writing and breathtaking photographs will make you want to lace up your boots and hit the trail! In addition to North America, Adventure Junkies highlights the best hikes in Europe, South America, Asia and Central America. Antonio Cala, co-founder, describes himself as “addicted to adventure travel and unexpected plans.” His mission is to inspire people to live their dreams by providing compelling stories, spellbinding photography as well as practical tips.
Enjoy his work here: www.theadventurejunkies.com
The American Southwest is known for incredible canyons, soaring red-rock formations, saguaro-studded deserts and rugged mountains. But most people do not associate this region with spectacular waterfalls. WorldofWaterfalls.com will change that perception. From the Grand Canyon’s incredible Havasu, Mooney and Beaver Falls, to Calf Creek Falls in Utah’s Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and to Darwin Falls in California’s Death Valley National Park, located in the driest place in North America, southwest waterfalls will delight and amaze. Consider the falls at Havasu Canyon for instance, among the most beautiful on earth. This photo featured on their website shows turquoise water spilling over travertine (This is not a trick of photography folks; it’s really that! I have had the good fortunate to witness this place first hand.).
Enjoy www.world-of-waterfalls.com, one of the most unique travel and adventure sites on the web.
Mary, an avid adventurer, was raised in upstate New York near the Appalachian Trail. But it wasn’t until she graduated college with a degree in graphic design that she discovered the AT and hiked it solo, 2,175 miles in just over four months. Needless to say, it was quite an endeavor. Her next goal was to complete the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, a difficult 2,650-mile trek. She accomplished this feat in five months. Mary completed the Triple Crown by hiking the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada, cresting the Rockies. Inspired by the intoxicating beauty of the high mountains, she moved west to California’s Mt. Shasta and then to Oregon. Mary has also hiked extensively through New Zealand, considered by many to be the most beautiful place on earth.
Read about her amazing long distance hikes, including treks in the southwest here: marriedtothetrail.com
Arizona-leisure.com is one of the most comprehensive Arizona tourist guides on the web. Arizona is an amazingly diverse state, few places feature such a wide variety of scenic attractions. While many people associate Arizona only with hot dry desert, there are high cool mountains, lush forests, yawning canyons, red rock of Sedona, brilliant sunsets and scattered man-made lakes within its borders. But above all, Arizona is about adventure and that is where Arizona-leisure.com really shines. It covers many of the special places the state is known for, including the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, Oak Creek Canyon and Tombstone.
Check out the attractions of the Grand Canyon State here: www.arizona-leisure.com
Keepitwildco.com believes nature is meant to be wild but it is up to us to keep it that way. They sell “locally inspired goods that fund local wilderness cleanups.” This is a unique concept and they are making an impact. Run by Cameron and Casi, teachers and natives of Arizona, they have galvanized thousands of local Arizonans to take part in various events throughout the state which foster responsible outdoor recreation and cleanups. They have used their time off to adventure the southwest and started a blog to document their hikes and experiences. They also run arizonahikersguide.comwhich focuses on many of the brilliant walks across Arizona at such places as Sedona, the Superstition Mountains and great spots to catch fall color. Yes, Arizona does have a gorgeous fall season, starting in September in the high mountains and extending to December in the desert canyons.
Read about how Cameron and Casi are making a difference and their adventures here: www.keepitwildco.com
Although not strictly a blog about the great southwest, Solotripsandtips includes many articles showcasing the region, from hiking Big Bend National Park in Texas to the San Jacinto Mountains which tower over Palm Springs, California. Susan Moore, who founded the site, is a digital nomad, a bookkeeper and travel blogger who is currently road tripping around the USA. She loves to travel solo. We featured Susan Moore in our article focusing on the top baby boomer bloggers.
Through the years, Susan has overcome her fear of travel. Having lived in Canada all her life she was in awe of this new world. “It was life-changing and extraordinary in so many ways. I returned home only because the money was running out and all I could think of was how much I wanted to travel again, to see more of the world.”
Her website can be found here: solotripsandtips.com
Sherri Griffith Expeditions, located in the outdoor playground of Moab Utah, offers river trips on the most exciting and jaw-dropping stretches of rivers in North America, such as Cataract Canyon on the Colorado, The Gates of Ledore on the Green River and the Yampa River which flows through Dinosaur National Monument. Their mantra is “Adventure with a Touch of Class.” Leading trips since 1971, Sheri Griffith River Expeditions offers outings ranging from family outings to luxury group retreats. Their adventure river trips are sure to recharge your life and create memories which will last a lifetime. Their website also features a blog and newsletter, highlighting some of the wonderful places in their neck of the woods. For example, check out the following post: Top Ten Rafting Hikes.
Their interesting and informative website can be found here: www.griffithexp.com
Speaking of adventuring in the great southwest, celebrate the spectacular splendor of America’s National Parks and wild lands! Sacred Place in the Wilderness is a visual extravaganza focusing on finding bliss in the wilderness. Original music written and performed by Mitch Stevens, founder of Southwest Discoveries.
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