Take a Hiking Vacation in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park offers a glimpse of one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in North America. The Rocky Mountains cover six U.S. states and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Many people are misinformed that this is one large mountain range, when in reality it is just a collection of smaller ranges that were grouped together and dubbed to be the Rockies.

Rocky Mountain National Park is located in Colorado, and includes many great vacation activities and hiking adventures to anyone who visits this beautiful destination. There are many trails that allow hiking in the park to be easy and accessible for those who are less experienced hikers. If you’re looking for a simple, basic hiking trip, this might be what you are looking for. However, if you’re looking to get off the beaten path and are a more experienced hiker, you can do that, as well.

Inside this national park in the Rockies, there are many hiking trails and areas that you can explore which are already set up and designated by the park staff. One of the best hiking spots in the park is a hike to Longs Peak. The east face of the mountain is very steep, and leads to a very sheer cliff known as the Diamond, because of its shape. The southeast summit is better known for looking like a beaver, as a series of rises and falls that are very well laid out.

Longs Peak is a popular choice for those looking to go hiking in the national park. The trail, known as Longs Peak Trail, doesn’t require technical climbing skills or hiking experience from July to September, because the terrain is fairly easy to traverse. Hiking during other months will offer you a chance to take the Keyhole route, which is deemed to be technical because ice formation and excessive snowfall. The Keyhole route at Longs Peak is considered the most difficult 3rd class fourteener in the state. This just means that it isn’t for inexperienced hikers at all and that the mountain peak rises above 14,000 feet.

There are about six or eight different ways that you can hike Longs Peak, but it isn’t the only trail in the park. Other park trails abound, giving you plenty of options for hiking the great Rocky Mountains. On your journey, you’ll find plenty of rivers and streams, as well as rolling grasslands and wooded areas abounding. During the winter months, you will find plenty of snowfall and ice formation that makes the mountains even more beautiful and is a sight to behold. Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park is a great way to enjoy a serene, beautiful mountain hiking vacation to remember for years to come.

The Most Essential Mountain Hiking Gear

Hiking up a gigantic mountain can be a significantly freeing experience. Walking over a tall mountain, so close to nature and surrounded by a tranquil environment can prove to be an invigorating experience.

The good part is that you need an astonishingly limited array of mountain hiking gear if you want to go mountain hiking. Make sure you fulfill the following list of gear if you are planning to set out on an adventurous mountain hiking venture.

The Most Essential Gear Mountain Hikers

Unlike conventional trail hiking, a lot more education and gear for comfort, safety and utility is demanded by mountain hiking. It can be rather challenging since your breathing passage will become coarse as you start hiking to the top, you will not be able to breathe easily, and no one will be able to get to you to rescue you. So, all the gear that you will have to act as your life-support system and will be necessary to keep you safe. If you are going on a mountain hiking trip, then you should have the following gear.

Carabiners

If you are going on a mountain hiking trip, all by yourself, then make sure you have carabiners. Carabiners are small metal clips that are usually made of aluminum. You will need carabiners while hiking so you can clip yourself onto the mountainous surface, or you can even clip your gear onto them. You can use carabiners for a variety of purposes depending on their shapes and styles. You can even use larger locking carabiners for belaying and for securing the rope to the surface of a mountain. You can use non-locking carabiners for holding other gear and for nonessential clips.

Belay Device

If you are worried about falling while mountain hiking, then you should essentially carry a belay device with you. A belay device is a small unit with two slots through which the rope is fed. If you are not hiking alone, then using a belay device will allow you to hike above or below your hiking partner. If you are hiking above your hiking partner, then you can pull back on the rope if hiking partner begins falling or vice versa.

Harness

If you are going on a mountain hiking trip, then another important gear, you will need is a harness. You can wear a harness just like a pair of pants, and it will rest on your hips. While hiking, you will need to use the harness for attaching yourself to the belay device or the rope and for carrying gear. A harness will act as a safety net for you while you are hiking over a mountain and make sure you wear it tightly enough so that if you end up flipped upside down, you do not slip out of it.

Rope

The rope is a very important mountain hiking gear and for it, you will be using a specialized rope. If you are lead hiking, then you will tie the rope to your harness, this way you will carry the rope with you as you ascend the mountain. You can place bolts and carabiners into the surface on the mountain in order to tack the rope onto it. This way, if you are using a belay device and there is a hiker hiking below you, will be able to catch your hiking partner in case of a fall.

Shoes

Since mountains have an uneven surface, you will have to wear cleat-like hiking boots that have spikes and tread marks under them to allow you to have a firm footing over the rugged surface. Shoes like these will prevent you from slipping while mountain hiking.

Helmet

Many mountain hikers overlook the importance of a helmet, but it is an essential mountain hiking gear. Even when hiking over a mountain, there is always the risk that a broken chunk of mountainous terrain might fall right on top of you, and your helmet will protect your head from damage.

Other Gear

While this was the most essential mountain hiking gear that you might possibly need, depending on your preference and style, there are several other hiking gear you can use too. Some of this gear includes cams, chalk bags for the winter and webbing.

Nainital Corbett Biking Trip

When it comes to exploring Himalayas, most of us like to go for trekking. However, that is not the only way to scale the distances around the Himalayan Mountains; Mountain biking is also a great choice. This sport isn’t as popular in India as in the western countries. Nonetheless, it is gradually, but surely catching up.

Exploring Himalaya on your bike is a whole new experience altogether. Biking is an adventure sport and the Himalayan terrains provide abundant opportunities to those who wish to get the adrenaline gushing through their veins. Himalayas span across many countries, but India gets the biggest share of it and the best one too. There are long stretches of plains where the bikers can ride casually and easily. At the same time, there are the steep climbs which give the thrill the bikers are looking for.

Go for Nainital Corbett Biking Trip

There are many mountain biking treks in Himalayas. However, if you are a beginner, you would like to consider Nainital Corbett Mountain Biking trek. During the trek you will see some of the most incredible views quintessential to Uttarakhand. The trekking route is not exactly very easy. In fact, most who have been there find it quite challenging at certain points. But for the most part, it is easy to moderate. There are times when you will just sail through the plains with the gentle wind blowing across your face. But, there will be climbs and ascents that will truly test your endurance and will.

Trip Overview

The trip could take up to 7 days depending upon your personal stamina and the itinerary. The itinerary comes into picture when you have opted for a mountain biking trekking package for this trip. In that case, you will be accompanied by other bikers and, there is a fair chance, there will also be a guide.

The base camp is usually at Pangot, which is approximately 2 hours drive from Kathgodam. If you have a package, you will be picked up from the Kathgodam railway station and driven to Pangot. At the base camp you will get to meet the leader of the biking trek, who will also be your guide. The orientation will be completed at the base camp. Also, your bike will be checked to make sure that it is in the best condition to endure tough terrains of the Himalayas.

Remember that most of the MTB packages do not include the bicycle renting. You are recommended to bring your own bike which is meant for mountain biking. But, the bikes are also available for rent. You may have to pay anywhere between 5,000 to 10, 00 as rent for the bike for the trip. It is best to buy your own bike and ride it regularly to get a hang of it. Also, in case you plan to bike trip regularly, owning a bike would be cheaper.

Road Trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina

One hot, sweltering day last summer in the flat lands of North Carolina, me and my biker buddy thought it was about time to plan for a weekend road trip.

Not wanting to spend too much time getting there, but definitely wanting a change of scenery and to escape the stifling summer heat, we decided to check out the Grandfather Mountain area in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains, just about an hour and half drive from home in Mooresville N.C.

That Friday we took off work two hours early, packed our saddlebags and hopped on our hogs heading up 77 to I 40, destination Banner Elk, North Carolina. We turned off the Interstate in the foothills at Morganton, and after some cruising through the small Mayberry like town, soon found ourselves leaning into the curves, past Table Rock and numerous mountain vistas, the summer heat already melting away. Occasionally getting trapped behind a local, never in a hurry to get anywhere, we soon encountered a passing lane and sped on our way.

We got on 105 in Linville and we knew we were almost there. Cruising the next 7 miles in the shadow of Grandfather Mountain, we arrived at the stone buildings of Tynecastle, turned left heading down the valley past Sugar Mountain and into the town of Banner Elk. We had made reservations at the Banner Elk Inn Bed & Breakfast, so we turned right at the only stoplight and were soon checking in.

Being the cocktail hour, we stretched our legs with a nice cool walk into town and visited some local bistros, then crossed the street and headed to Stonewalls were we enjoyed an excellent steak dinner.

Saturday was to be a day to cruise the area. After a hearty breakfast at the Inn, we saddled up and headed back to Linville Falls, were we caught up with the Blue Ridge Parkway. Heading north towards Blowing Rock, the Blue Ridge Parkway is chocked full of winding roads and beautiful mountain views, one of the best ways to tour the mountains of North Carolina.

Shortly after hitting the Parkway we came upon the Linn Cove Viaduct. An engineering marvel, the viaduct is an elevated bridge that wraps around Grandfather Mountain for some eight miles, and has some of the best mountain views on the Parkway. Designed to blend in, the bridge is a fine example of Mother Nature and the man made coexisting. We stopped to take a hike on the trail that goes underneath the Linn Cove Viaduct to get a better view of some truly impressive architecture.

Julian Price Park was the next stop on the Parkway, with a primitive campground and a beautiful lake that offers some excellent trout fishing. The park covers over 4000 acres and has 25 miles of hiking trails. An amphitheater, picnic grounds, and canoe rentals make Julian Price an excellent place to spend the day. We spent a couple of hours, then moved on towards Blowing Rock.

We exited the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Moses Cone Memorial Park, checked out the Crafts Center, and moved on to Blowing Rock for lunch. On the way back, we took the road to Boone, home of Appalachian State University, and turned up 105 back to Banner Elk.

Back at the Inn, there was plenty of daylight left so we took a little break, hopped back on our bikes and headed up the mountain to Valle Crucis. A really fun narrow winding mountain road with one really mean switchback at the top, the ride down the mountain had some great mountain views as we passed farm houses, retreats, horse farms, and some quant little bed and breakfasts tucked away in there own mountain nooks.

Valle Crucis is a very rural community, its hub being the Mast General Store were we stopped for a look see. The Mast family has a large presence here with two stores and the Mast Inn, one of the best of the many Bed and Breakfast Inns in the area. This is where you come when you really want to get away from it all. A mountain retreat with 2 quality horse farms for those who like to ride the live things.

On the way back to Banner Elk via 105, we were having so much fun on these tight little roads that we decided to head on up to Seven Devils, a vacation resort area with the Hawksnest Ski Resort and Golf Coarse at the top of the mountain.

After a full day of riding, back in Banner Elk we headed to happy hour at the Bayou Smokehouse and Grill and stayed all night, scarfing down brewskis, Texas style Bar-B-Que, and some great Louisiana Cajun Cuisine.

Sunday was the day to conquer the big daddy of them all, Grandfather Mountain. Having been on the road all day Saturday, today we were going to do some serious hiking.

With the tallest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Grandfather Mountain sits on the eastern continental divide and is host to the annual gathering of Scottish clans, and the Highland Games. We passed McRae Meadows and paid the $14 per person to enter the privately owned mountain. We parked briefly at the nature museum and took a quick tour of the wildlife habitat, which features animals native to the region on display in their natural habitat.

As we headed up to the mile high swinging bridge, we could see the clouds racing through the gaps between the peaks. It was a cool, foggy overcast type of day as it so often is in the mountains of North Carolina, and visibility was patchy at best. But we were here for a hike, and hiking is what we did.

We started the trek towards Calloway Peak, and being in the middle of the summer, we had plenty of company. The well marked trail led us through some easy to difficult terrain with ropes and wooden ladders to aid us in climbing the rock faces, and several open vistas where we could recognize Mt. Mitchell on the horizon, and the Sugar Top condos at Sugar Mountain as we viewed the cloud cover below us.

We never made it to the very top of Calloway Peak, the higher you go the harder it gets, but we did wind up getting a good workout, and the hike down was just about as hard as going up. We got back to the swinging bridge parking lot, caught our breath, then mounted our bikes for the trip back home. It was good to have the vibration of the road under us again, and by the time we left the foothills of Morganton, the cool mountain breezes were already becoming a fond memory.

Whether by motorcycle, car, or truck, a road trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is a great way to beat the heat. The area surrounding Banner Elk and Grandfather Mountain is peppered with vacation homes of people from all over the south east, a large proportion escaping the hot, humid summers of Florida.

Outdoor activities abound all year round with skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and hiking, fishing, kayaking, white water rafting, tennis and golf, camping, or just plain cruising the roads in the spring, summer and fall.

5 Essential Travel Tips for Your Summer Mountain Trip

If you’ve got a summer mountain trip on the books, you’re probably the envy of everyone you know right now, especially if you live anywhere that’s hot.

And rightly so, because there’s nothing in this world that beats the beauty, peace and spiritual refreshment that can be had on a mountain retreat – and when you’re in the mood for some fun or excitement, the mountains have plenty of that, too.

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably paid a lot of money for this vacation, and you may be spending valuable time off from work, too. So you’ll want to do everything you can to make your trip extra-special and problem-free-and that begins with some smart mountain travel trips:

One: Pack smart.

Summer mountain trips can be characterized by warm days, cool nights and sudden rainstorms. If possible, get some clothing advice from the owner or manager of the property where you’ll be staying, or from friends or family who live in or have visited the area where you’re headed.

Also, be sure and read the weather forecast before you start packing. Other packing tips include:

• Pack a mix of short and long-sleeved clothing, as well as a mix of shorts and long pants.

• Bringing a light jacket (something you can tie around your waist if it gets warm) is highly recommended.

• Layered ensembles (ones where you can remove outer layers as it warms up) are always a good idea.

• Don’t forget your running shoes or hiking boots, as well as comfortable shoes for shopping or sight-seeing.

• Other essentials include hats, broad-screen protection sunscreen lotion, and UVA-UVB blocking sunglasses. (Bonus tip: Keep a sunscreen stick in your purse or backpack for easy and mess-free reapplication while you are out and about.)

• If you’re cold-natured, you might want to bring long johns or winter-friendly pajamas.

Two: Be prepared for the weather.

As mentioned above, there’s some unpredictability with mountain weather. Depending on where you’re going for your mountain trip and what you intend to do when you get there, you may need to consider bringing along the following;

• Compass
• Rain gear
• Extra mobile phone batteries
• Flashlight
• First Aid kit
• Matches
• Vacuum-sealed food and bottled water

Three: Figure out driving head of time.

Depending on the location and weather conditions, driving in the mountains can be tricky. If you’re going to drive while you’re on your trip, read up on some mountain driving safety tips and make sure your car receives the appropriate maintenance before you leave.

Four: Figure out what you want to see ahead of time.

You’ll want to spend your time relaxing or enjoying your activities while you’re actually on vacation, so take some time before your trip to research options and map out a game plan of your destinations and favorite things to do. The tourism bureaus of the state/region where you’re going to visit are excellent places to start.

Five: Have an emergency game plan.

If you intend to hike or do anything in the water while you’re on your trip, or if your mountain hideaway is rather remote, you’ll want to be prepared in the event of an emergency:

• Bring a first aid kit and other emergency supplies (see “be prepared for the weather” above).
• Make arrangements for someone to check on you via phone call or text.
• Find out where the nearest urgent care or emergency clinics are in advance.
• Make sure to pack appropriate amounts of essential medication.