Be Nice to Box Canyon

Have you strolled through Box Canyon lately? It's one of my favorite places to go when I just have a few hours and need to get outside. Our kids love climbing the rocks. We love having picnic dinners in the canyon. Or packing library books in to read as we're perched on the top of a rock formation. We go there at least once a week. I love Vedauwoo and a walk through Box Canyon is the perfect place for families. But lately I've been sad, and angry when I walk through the canyon. Because of things like this. Excuse…

Walking a Fine Line…

This morning when I woke up I planned on writing about happy things like the trail conditions at Tie City (slushy, melting, but skiable) and Curt Gowdy State Park (dry, beautiful, dust off your mountain bike and take the afternoon off). But, then I read this article and it got me all fired up. I'm still all fired up. I need to go hike it off. Please excuse me while I step on my soapbox. In Hawaii hiking bloggers did something stupid.  They wrote about and promoted a hiking trail that encouraged people to trespass on private property. Naturally, we're outraged.…

6 Tips for Safe Hiking During Hunting Season

Yesterday we were hiking at Chimney Park and the place was more crowded than usual with hunters gearing up for rifle season. But, just because it's hunting season doesn't mean that we need to stay off our favorite trails. Autumn is one of my favorite seasons to hike. With a little bit of planning it is possible to stay safe during hunting season. Here are a few tips (portions of this post were originally written for an article I wrote last fall for Seattle Backpackers Magazine). 1. Be informed. A quick phone call to the local Department of Fish and Wildlife can tell…

Wyoming Wilderness: Finding Balance

Recently I attended a panel discussion at the University of Wyoming about the past, present and future of Wilderness in the state of Wyoming. Since then I've been pondering our wild areas and the careful balance between protection, recreation and industry. But first some background. Brace yourself, it's about to get nerdy around here. Background On September 3, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law. This bill established the National Wilderness Preservation System and set aside 9.1 million acres of wildlands for the "use and benefit of the American people." Since then Congress has preserved over 100 million…

PSA: Bags of Dog Poop

A few weeks ago we discussed bad trailhead parking and I promised that I would step off my soap box...but as spring has sprung I've noticed something. Poop. Now we've written about poop on the trails before, that post went wild and it turns out that a surprising amount of people get emotional about shit. But in the past 2 weeks I've seen ridiculous amount of bags of dog poop on the side of the trail. C'mon people! Recently I was hiking with our kiddos at Happy Jack. Nothing serious, a mile at a 2 year old's pace. Not far from…

PSA: Don’t Park Like a Jackass

I try not to be too snarky on the blog. I want people to come here and be inspired, not ticked off. But please forgive me. Today I feel the need to climb onto my soapbox and remind people how to park. One of my pet peeves is pulling into a crowded trailhead on a Saturday morning and realizing that someone has parked their car parallel instead of perpendicular taking up valuable parking space. Here's an example. Yep, those two vehicles took up 4, maybe 5 parking places. But wait, there's more! This isn't just a winter phenomena. Here we are at…

Why is horse poop better than dog poop?

I spend quite a bit of time on the trails and I see a lot of thought provoking things. Some of these things occur naturally while others are man made. While hiking in Colorado I often see signs reminding people to pick up their dog's poop and the odd thing is that these trails usually also allow horses but there are no similar requirements for horse poop. So after many many hours of mental effort trying to figure out why, this is what I've been able to come up with: "Nobody wants to step in dog poop." This is true…

How to Prevent Trail Damage During the Mud Months

It's spring in the Rockies. This means that within a 24 hour period we can go from snow to sunshine to rain. It's also what my Dad calls the "mud months" when you're not sure if you should hike, snowshoe, ski or try to do all 3 based off of the trail conditions. Regardless of the weather, during the mud months it's important to try to take care of the trails and prevent unnecessary damage and erosion. Here are a few tips: Stay on the trails. Don't walk (or ride if you're mountain biking) around mud puddles on the trails.…

Can hikers and cyclists coexist?

Lately the outdoor community has been buzzing about mountain bikers and hikers sharing the same trail, specifically the  Pacific Crest Trail and according to Rocky Mountain Journal, a 2-mile section of trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. We've written about sharing the trails before but for some reason the debate surrounding the Pacific Crest Trail seems downright nasty. Those who think that the Pacific Crest Trail should be closed to bicycles cite reasons like "it'll change the dynamics and experience of the PCT" and "if that happens I'll go out of my way to pull step-over logs across the trail on blind corners." They…

Should we share unique places (and risk losing them)?

We started Just Trails to show people the amazing places they can go and visit. And to make it as easy as possible for anyone to visit those places. But I feel compelled to say something about not ruining the scenery and history while exploring. As a general rule, people should take only pictures and leave only foot prints. (I think I got that from the Leave No Trace website but I couldn't find it when I went back to look) Speaking of leave no trace; for backpacking and camping, those principles are a no brainer and can be found…