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Will CebronExplorer

Venice, CA is home but I'm usually on the go. @wcebron everywhere.

This is a pretty intense scramble up loose scree nearly the entire way. I would suggest doing it first thing in the morning since you don't want to get stuck behind a large group sending rocks down on top of you. If you don't go early, I would definitely wear a helmet. Once you get to the top, there are amazing views down into Moraine on one side and to Consolation Lakes on the other side. It's not easy, so take your time and be careful.

I'd give the ancient city of Petra 5 stars, but the overall experience just 4 stars. Visiting the Treasury and Monastery are bucket list items for sure, especially if you go early in the day before the crowds and the mid-day heat. Try to be at the visitor's center between 7-730am at the latest. The reason I'm giving the experience 4 stars though is the animal situation. There are a ton of malnourished and overworked donkeys struggling up hills under the weight of riders. It's a really sad situation and I'd encourage anyone who visits to avoid riding the animals here. Also all the donkeys mean the trails become a poop minefield...

This hike has it all as you walk through vast meadows with Fitz Roy dominating the horizon and then climb a final steep ascent to reach the famous glacial lake. Every part of it is stunning. If you want to see sunrise, I'd recommend camping about an hour from the summit at Poincenot. Otherwise you're looking at a long day from town with several hours hiking in the dark and cold. If you can't get up for sunrise, there's a lookout about an hour into the hike that makes a great spot to watch sunrise. Then you'll get up to the lake right when the sun is hitting it mid-morning and all the campers have left to cook breakfast. Pretty ideal.

I was a little skeptical of the W Trek due to the increasing popularity and hype but it far exceeded my expectations. Everyone talks about the first (or last if you come west to east) leg where you climb Mirador Las Torres but this was actually my least favorite part due to the easy access and crowded trails. Once you leave this section, you wander through the wilderness past insane aqua lakes, waterfalls and towering mountains. This is the part of the W trek that I loved. You feel completely disconnected from the rest of the world and the natural beauty is jaw-dropping. Two things to note. 1) Starting with 2016-2017, Torres del Paine is now turning away people who do not have refugio or camping reservations ahead of time so make sure to book well in advance. 2) It is really easy to do this trek self-guided if you have any camping/backpacking experience. Self guided allows you the opportunity to do everything at your own pace and I was really happy I chose to do it without a tour. It's easy to meet people as everyone is following the same path and setting up camp at the same few spots, so you'll never feel alone.

While in Luang Prabang, I visited this waterfall twice. The first time I arrived around noon and while I found the falls beautiful, I was a little turned off by the crowds. The second time, I hired my own tuk tuk and got to the falls around 8am. I saw one other person during my entire first hour and the experience was totally different. I was able to wander, swim and enjoy the falls in peace. Definitely worth going, just head out early (get there before 9/930 if possible). Also plan to spend at least 3-4 hours here if you want to walk all the way to the top of the falls. You'll stop at several points to take pictures, swim, etc so you'll be here longer than you expect.

These caves are about halfway between the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and Moqui Cave. If you're headed toward Moqui Cave from BFAS, they'll be on the right but you'll want to park on the left in one of the dirt pull offs. There's no parking lot or trail markings so it can be a little confusing to initially find. We visited these caves as a quick leg stretch on the way from Page to Zion.

The Windows are mobbed during the day but the crowds head out after the sun goes down. North Window in particular is a pretty good spot for night photos or just to hang out and enjoy the stars. It's a completely different and much more serene experience if you head there in the dark.

Camped here over Thanksgiving when the temperatures dropped into the low 20s. It was freezing but I'd do it all over again to wake up to these views. The campsites are nestled close together (no fire pit, no table, etc.) but it's all worth it to stare out at these giants from your sleeping bag.

The ascent of this hike is pretty brutal. It was steep and we were constantly being harassed by bees, flies and hornets. That being said, I would still do it again in a heartbeat. The views are incredible and it feels like there are mountain goats everywhere. A must do.

We spent an afternoon cliff jumping and swimming at Horseshoe Lake. Because it's a little hard to find (and has a tiny parking lot), this lake is usually pretty empty. If you're in Jasper on a sunny day, do yourself a favor and head over here.



Did this hike on Memorial Day 2016. First, we tried to go the prior Saturday at 5pm assuming the crowds would thin out later in the day with the risk of afternoon showers. Big mistake. There was a line of 20+ cars waiting to park (one in, one out). We decided to turn around and try again Monday morning. The parking lot was already crowded when we got there and it was completely full by 730am. The trail and the lake are both beautiful, so the hike is definitely worth it - just get an early start.

I didn't know this hike existed until reading Ben's write-up (thanks!), but it was fun way to spend a Sunday morning. I'd actually recommend making this hike into a loop by either starting or finishing with Musch Trail. You'll be able to see more diverse scenery, get away from the mountain bikers and it only tacks on an extra 0.5 miles.

This is a short and fairly easy hike that ends at an impressive waterfall. When I hiked it in April, the falls were pumping. You can also walk right up to the falls which is an added bonus. This is a great hike to cap off a day spent outdoors.



Visiting Lake Bled is a truly unforgettable experience. On a sunny day, it can be insanely crowded but if you wander around the lake you can find pockets of solitude. My favorite part was renting a row boat and paddling around the small church in the middle of the lake. Make sure to grab your shot of the church framed with imposing Bled Castle in the distance before you row back in.

Ventana, while crowded, is one of the best maintained campgrounds in Big Sur. We stayed further in the back, which was a longer drive but offered a more secluded experience than the front sites. It's centrally located to all the major stops like McWay Falls and Pfeiffer Beach. Can't wait to go back.

Just did this hike in late April and the trail was completely snow free. Compared to a lot of other hikes east of Seattle, it was a welcome change. Hit the trail early to avoid the crowds, take the mile detour to see the falls and then tackle the switchbacks up to Lake Serene. Once you're up there, grab a snack and enjoy the view..it was beautiful.