Tag: National Parks

Visiting Arches National Park in Winter

Visiting Arches National Park in Winter

Visiting Arches National Park in Winter| Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Arches National Park is famous for the approximately 2,000 arches located throughout the park, meaning you’ll be hard pressed to see them all in a single visit. A journey to…

Hiking to Cathedral Lakes | Yosemite National Park

Hiking to Cathedral Lakes | Yosemite National Park

Hiking to Cathedral Lakes | Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd The hike to Cathedral Lakes had been high on our Yosemite list for the last few years and it’s easy to see why. Two alpine lakes, in the high country of…

Hiking the Lakes Trail | Sequoia National Park

Hiking the Lakes Trail | Sequoia National Park

Hiking the Lakes Trail | 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 radar for the last couple of years.

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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…

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 year of not traveling abroad, but something we hope to remedy in 2019. Our visits to National Parks, while less in total, were still just as frequent in 2018, a year that we leaned heavily on the road trip. Although we were impacted by two separate government shutdowns as we attempted to explore some new National Parks, it was another busy year and we are excited for what is in store for 2019! Here is a look back at the past year.

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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…

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 status in 2013. And what I had seen in the research we had done as we planned for our trip: rock formations, hills, a reservoir, caves, didn’t pique my interest in the same way as some of the other National Parks do. For the record, I love visiting the parks and have a goal to visit all fifty-nine, but I am more inclined to high peaks and alpine lakes than desert landscapes. Perhaps then, one of the best things about being outdoors is the ability for nature, and our parks, to completely flip those preconceptions upside down. After visiting Pinnacles, I can safely say that the park is an underrated gem, and that is definitely saying something when you consider we have nine National Parks in California!

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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…

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 help keep us fresh and make the travel bug subside a bit while we await the next big adventure. Perhaps even more so, road trips seem to have become our speciality over the past five years that Julie and I have been together.

In mid-November, we booked a flight to Seattle in order to take advantage of a buy-one-get-one-free voucher giveaway that we were awarded at a Giants game in September. One of the great things about Julie’s teaching career is that she gets all of the bank holidays off, so we decided that a four-day weekend adventure was in order over Veteran’s Day.

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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…

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 spirit and captivates us as we watch the crashing water. Having already spent a good deal of time on the road in Yellowstone, we welcomed an opportunity to get out and stretch our legs with a hike. Albeit, a shorter one that wouldn’t take over our entire day. After some consideration, we decided on Mystic Falls, which is located a short drive from Old Faithful in the Biscuit Basin region.

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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…

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 a while, we know that many others are digging out of snow and much chillier temperatures. For us, it’s our favorite time of year, and an opportunity to break out the jackets, sweatshirts, hot chocolate, and snowboards! But if you’re ready to say goodbye to winter and already planning for a summer getaway, look no further than our neighbors to the north. Here are five reasons why you should visit Canada in 2017!

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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…

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 and I spent three days in Jasper over the summer, and are itching to go back for a more extended period. In the meantime, we thought we would share some of our favorite photos from the trip. Enjoy!

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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 | Alberta, Canada

Driving the Icefields Parkway | Alberta, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Famous for its stretch of unmatched natural beauty, the Icefields Parkway travels between Banff and Jasper National Parks. The 175 mile drive derives its name from the Columbia Icefield, which feeds several glaciers that can be…

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 witness the splendor of seeing the clouds roll back to reveal the valley after a winter storm, or maybe catch the last rays of light on Horsetail Falls as they illuminate the water, and it appears to turn into liquid fire.

However, one of the drawbacks to visiting in the winter is the snow and ice limit the  opportunities for hiking and exploring. Most trails that have any elevation gain are closed, which can be a bit of a bummer if you prefer outdoor adventures over sipping hot cocoa in the lodge. While we love both, on this trip we opted for a snowshoeing adventure!

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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…

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 on Instagram (including ours) these days, there’s a good chance you’ve seen photos of Moraine Lake pop up, and the images are always stunning. Spending just a few minutes there, it’s not hard to see why this place is an absolute gem!

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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…