Tag: National Parks

Hiking the Lakes Trail | Sequoia National Park

Hiking the Lakes Trail | Sequoia National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Sequoia National Park, well-known in part for its namesake giant trees, is also home to some fantastic alpine lakes. The Lakes Trail visits four such lakes: Heather, Aster, Emerald and Pear, and had been on our […]

Hiking Twin Falls | Yoho National Park

Hiking Twin Falls | Yoho National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd During our first visit to Canada in the summer of 2016, Julie and I made a brief stop in Yoho National Park. The highlight of that quick stop was Takkakaw Falls, the stunning 830 foot waterfall […]

Hiking to Upper Gaylor Lakes | Yosemite National Park

Hiking to Upper Gaylor Lakes | Yosemite National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

Gaylor Lakes, a short hike accessible from the Tioga Road in Yosemite, had been on our to-do list for some time. We had planned to do an overnight backpacking trip to Vogelsang, and found Gaylor Lakes to be a great option for a day hike on the day we picked up our permits. The trail is short, just three miles roundtrip, but starts at an elevation of 9,960 feet, which makes the hike a bit more challenging. Doing this hike the same day as coming from sea-level meant we moved at a slower pace, as we worked to acclimate to the elevation.

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2018 In Review – The Year of Weekend Road Trips

2018 In Review – The Year of Weekend Road Trips

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd After the life-changing year we had in 2017, with getting married and moving away from our childhood homes, 2018 was significantly more laid back. We once again stayed exclusively in North America, marking our second straight […]

Our Anniversary Trip | Visit Mount Rainier National Park

Our Anniversary Trip | Visit Mount Rainier National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd When best laid plans fall through, improvisation is the spice of life. For a couple months leading up to our first wedding anniversary, Julie and I had been working through ideas of where we would be […]

Glacier Point Hike to Sentinel Dome and Taft Point | Yosemite National Park

Glacier Point Hike to Sentinel Dome and Taft Point | Yosemite National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd & Brian Callender

Working full-time jobs means we live for the weekend, and more importantly, our weekend adventures.

In the little over one year that we have lived in Northern California, we have made every effort to get out and explore our new surroundings. Often, this means extensive time in the car as we travel to different outdoor destinations where we can stretch our legs with a good hike.

With summer just around the corner, Julie and I have started to ramp up our training regime in preparation for making the leap from day-hikes to backpacking.

On Friday evening, we started to throw around the idea of going to Yosemite as a day-trip for the opening day of the road to Glacier Point. After a few minutes of discussion, we made the plan official, and began prepping for an early morning trip to Yosemite.

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Hiking the Bear Gulch-High Peaks Loop | Pinnacles National Park

Hiking the Bear Gulch-High Peaks Loop | Pinnacles National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t excited about visiting Pinnacles National Park. Before meeting Julie, I hadn’t heard much about the park, which had previously been a National Monument before receiving National Park […]

24 Hours in Bryce Canyon National Park

24 Hours in Bryce Canyon National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Closing out a busy 2017, Julie and I were excited to visit our tenth and final National Park of the year. Having spent the previous three days in Zion, crossing off a couple of bucket list […]

Hiking the Narrows | Zion National Park

Hiking the Narrows | Zion National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

In the summer of 2013, Julie and I went to Las Vegas for a wedding that Julie was shooting for a friend’s sister. With an extra day to spare, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to explore, and we made the drive from Las Vegas to Zion National Park, about 2.5 hours. After a late breakfast at Cracker Barrel, a place Julie had been dying to visit once the decision had been made to visit Utah, we arrived at Zion in the early afternoon.

During the summer, the park implements a shuttle system to cut down on the number of cars that are allowed to drive through the park. We parked our car, hopped on the shuttle, and rode to the end of the line, The Temple of Sinawava. From the shuttle stop, it’s a mile walk down a paved walkway to reach the Virgin River and the starting point for hiking the Narrows. (more…)

A Late Fall Weekend Road Trip Through Washington

A Late Fall Weekend Road Trip Through Washington

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Traveling while working full-time jobs means you take advantage of every opportunity to get out and explore. We love the long, multi-week vacations as much as anyone, but without question our sweet spots are weekend getaways. These […]

2017 In Review: The Year of National Parks

2017 In Review: The Year of National Parks

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Coming out of an incredible 2016, we knew 2017 would have a tough time competing. After all, we had two international trips in 2016 and none planned for 2017. Well, even without leaving the country, we […]

Exploring the Cunningham Cabin | Grand Teton National Park

Exploring the Cunningham Cabin | Grand Teton National Park

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography By Julie Boyd

The Cunningham Cabin Historic Site is located just off HWY 191 in Grand Teton National Park. The location features a short, interpretative guide, which tells about the history of the John and Margaret Cunningham who settled in the valley in the late 1800’s.

When we visited, it was just after sunrise, so we had the location to ourselves. Brian and I really enjoyed the calm, quiet atmosphere before the chaos of tour buses descended upon the park for the day. I can’t imagine the isolation and solitude that the early settlers must have enjoyed here. It makes me wonder if they were as touched by the beauty of the landscape as those who visit the area today.

Here are a few photos from our cloudy morning of exploring. (more…)

Hiking to Mystic Falls | Yellowstone National Park

Hiking to Mystic Falls | Yellowstone National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Julie and I have a well documented affinity for waterfalls of all shapes and sizes. It is perhaps one of our favorite finds on any outdoor trip or vacation. There is just something that soothes the […]

A Summer Escape to Crater Lake National Park

A Summer Escape to Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake in Summer| Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd With full time jobs, it’s no secret that we do our best to fill every available weekend with an adventure. This year, with the Fourth of July falling on a Tuesday, we […]

A Spring Spin Through Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks | California

A Spring Spin Through Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks | California

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

With the recent move to Northern California, Julie and I had been craving our next adventure, specifically something outdoors. Our trip to Europe over Christmas break had satisfied our desire to travel abroad, but focused entirely on cities (after all it was winter!). Itching to get back out into nature, we started mapping out some potential excursions from our new home base. Over the course of an extended weekend, we made plans to drive from the Bay Area to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.

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5 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Book Your 2017 Canadian Adventure

5 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Book Your 2017 Canadian Adventure

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd We’re currently in the midst of a Southern California winter, which means short periods of rain mixed with the usual sunshine and cooler nights. While we have seen more rain this year than has come in quite […]

2016: Twelve Months of Exploring

2016: Twelve Months of Exploring

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd & Brian Callender 2016 has certainly been a memorable year for us, as we shared a number of new adventures that inspired us to get out and explore. We visited four countries, checked a number of […]

Backpacking through the High Sierra Camps | Yosemite National Park, California

Backpacking through the High Sierra Camps | Yosemite National Park, California

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

The Yosemite High Sierra Camps are a series of six outposts in the Yosemite wilderness, spaced roughly between 5-10 miles apart.

Their proximity was designed so that adventurers could explore the high country of Yosemite, without completely roughing it. Each camp provides travelers with a hot dinner, a bed to sleep in (via a canvas tent and cot), and an enormous breakfast the following morning.

It is an ideal trip for those who love the idea of backpacking, but who do not want to sleep on the ground or worry about carrying a giant, heavy pack.

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Seven Photos to Inspire you to go to Jasper National Park | Alberta, Canada

Seven Photos to Inspire you to go to Jasper National Park | Alberta, Canada

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd Jasper National Park in Alberta has a rugged beauty that calls to be explored. It is Canada’s largest National Park, and is home to some pretty epic scenery, including giant glaciers, thundering waterfalls, and quiet alpine forests. Brian […]

Exploring Jasper National Park | Alberta, Canada

Exploring Jasper National Park | Alberta, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd After completing a full day of driving along the Icefields Parkway, (read: part one and part two) it felt amazing to drop our bags off at the hotel, shower, and head into town for dinner. While the […]

Driving the Icefields Parkway | Part 1: Banff | Alberta, Canada

Driving the Icefields Parkway | Part 1: Banff | Alberta, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

After a successful visit to Johnston Canyon, we hopped back in the car and continued north towards Jasper. On a trip packed with scenic beauty, we were especially looking forward to our drive along the Icefields Parkway. Famous for its stretch of unmatched natural beauty, the parkway travels between Banff and Jasper National Parks. The 140 mile drive derives its name from the Columbia Icefield, which feeds several glaciers that can be seen as you traverse through the area.

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Snowshoeing to Dewey Point | Yosemite National Park, California

Snowshoeing to Dewey Point | Yosemite National Park, California

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd Winter is a magical time to visit Yosemite National Park. The valley is dusted with snow, the waterfalls are icy, the weather is chilly, and the summer crowds have dispersed. If you are lucky, you’ll get to […]

Exploring Johnston Canyon | Banff, Canada

Exploring Johnston Canyon | Banff, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Created by erosion over the centuries, Johnston Creek flows through Johnston Canyon before emptying into the Bow River. The glacial blue waters flow under a canopy of lush forest and thunder over jagged cliffs and rushing […]

Lake Louise & Hiking the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail | Banff, Canada

Lake Louise & Hiking the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail | Banff, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

After our visit to Moraine Lake, we made the short drive over to Lake Louise and were promptly greeted with an overwhelming traffic jam. Cars arriving in the parking lot were quickly directed to the exit, and we followed suit. If you have the patience to wait, some parking spots could be found alongside the two lane road, albeit at the expense of blocking traffic. Instead, we opted to come back on Tuesday morning, with an earlier start. As with Moraine Lake, it’s best to aim to be in the lot prior to 9:00 a.m., so you can get there before the tour buses arrive. Once you park, it’s a very short walk to Lake Louise, and its popular photo spot. Unless you are there before sunrise, expect to encounter crowds looking for the perfect selfie.

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Visiting Moraine Lake | Banff, Canada

Visiting Moraine Lake | Banff, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd As we planned out our Canadian adventure, Julie and I each had a long list of “must visit” locations. Many of these destinations were shared, and that was especially true of Moraine Lake. If you spend any time […]

The Best Adventures in Yosemite National Park | California

The Best Adventures in Yosemite National Park | California

Best Adventures in Yosemite| Words and Photos by Julie Boyd When I was 16-years-old, my dad pulled the car over to take in the majesty of Yosemite Valley at Tunnel View on a family trip to the park. Since that first moment, when I gazed […]