Tag Archives: hiking

Home / Europe / Switzerland / Switzerland| Quick Guide to Hiking Lac de Salanfe & Gorge du Dailley

Switzerland| Quick Guide to Hiking Lac de Salanfe & Gorge du Dailley

Updated: October 9, 2017
By: Ian Yacobucci
Lac de Salanfe (Salanfe Lake) Switzerland Borderless Travels

Marigny, CH – Lac de Salanfe (Salanfe Lake) Switzerland (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

If you hear about a hike from a local, you have good reason to do everything in your power to find it.  This is what brought me to Salanfe Lake and Dailley Gorge, two spectacular hikes that can fill a day, and are only superseded by the drive to find them.

Switzerland is the land of lush green forests, lakes, rivers, and mountains.  It is a place where the melody of cowbells crosses the alpine winds and views that each mountain vista unveils is often more impressive than the last.  For good reason it is one of the most expensive countries in the world, and the only way to experience its natural beauty is by walking through it.

Marigny, CH - Salanfe & Gorge du Dailley Hiking Map area (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

Marigny, CH – Salanfe & Gorge du Dailley Hiking Map area (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

The easiest way to get to the Dailley Gorge and Salanfe Lake is to drive. Located just outside the city of Martigny is the mountain town of Salvan where the adventure begins.  At 912m with a population barely scraping past 1000, Salvan is the last stop before you aventure along the pencil thin switchback roads with dark cavernous tunnels built right into the rock leading to Van d’en Bas.

You can hike from Salvan to Van d’en Bas, but in the interest of making this a day trip it’s easier to just drive up and enjoy the adventure of navigating the alpine roads (wondering how buses and winter drivers do it).   

Before entering Van d’en Bas you’ll see a small parking area off to the left.  This is the first stop, and the easiest way to enjoy Dailley Gorge and its breathtaking Pissevache waterfalls that crash down its narrow cliffs.  Lined with elevated wooden bridges and stairs that lead down the gorge, each section revealing impressive engineering and  new views of the snowcapped Rhone Valley mountains towering above the horizon in the distance.  

For us, a 30 minute vertigo-inducing walk down the gorge was invigorating, and more than enough to enjoy everything Dailley Gorge had to offer.  Back at the car, after exploring Dailley Gorge, you’ll need to continue driving up to Van d’en Haute, a tiny hamlet of summer cottages, before the Lac de Salanfe hike begins.  Beyond the cottages is a small parking area before you reach the camp ground.  Here is where you’ll leave the car and begin your hike to the lake.

Van den Bas, CH - Gorge du Dailey overlooking Rohne Valley in the distance  (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

Van den Bas, CH – Gorge du Dailey overlooking Rohne Valley in the distance (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

The hike to Salanfe Lake takes about an 1hr 15min and has two routes, one of stairs and another road-like path. Plan to arrive in the afternoon for a Swiss lunch at the lakeside Salanfe Inn while you take in the towering peaks of the surrounding mountains.  If you want to stay the night along Lake Salanfe the Auberge de Salanfe offers dormitory bunks and private rooms as well as a delectable assortment of traditional Swiss options at its restaurant.

Salanfe, CH - Swiss Lunch Goatheard's Rosti with Bacon - grated potato cakes topped with cheese & bacon along Lac de Salanfe (Ian Yacobucci\Borderless Travels)

Salanfe, CH – Swiss Lunch Goatheard’s Rosti with Bacon – grated potato cakes topped with cheese & bacon along Lac de Salanfe (Ian Yacobucci\Borderless Travels)

Not planning to ascend any of the big hikes surrounding the lakes my wife and I enjoyed an afternoon hike and traditional Swiss lunch, then opted to head back down the mountain to the comforts of a Martigny hotel rather stay the night at the Auberge.  However, from the lake sitting at 1950m, you can attempt a variety of other hikes to enjoy exceptional views of the lake and les Dents-du-Midi on a multi day visit with a stay at the inn.  

From here, it’s up to you how you want to plan your adventure to Lake Salanfe and Dailley Gorge but we hope enjoy it as much as we did!

Option: if you’d like to hike up to Dailley Gorge you can do so from Salvan where a hiking trail begins from behind l’Hotel de la Balance.

More: For more information about staying at the Auberge de Salanfe and hikes in the area check out their website http://www.salanfe.ch/en/

Manage to find these hikes and explore the lake and gorge?  Have another great hike in the Martigny\Montreux region?  Share your comments below and let us know that you thought!

Home / North America / Canada / Canadian Nature| Hiking in Hamilton the Heart of the Niagara Escarpment

Canadian Nature| Hiking in Hamilton the Heart of the Niagara Escarpment

Updated: September 18, 2017
By: Ian Yacobucci
Hiking in Hamilton

Hamilton, CA – Sanding overlooking Spencer Gorge in the Websters Falls Conservation area near the end of Autumn (Ian Yaocbucci/Borderless Travles)

It’s Autumn, the perfect time to go hiking. The spectrum of orange and red coloured leaves are arriving, as the summer is coming to an end, turning the forest into a fiery painters pallet.  The   wonderfully cool hiking weather has arrived so that you can dress comfortably without overheating and Hamilton, Ontario, a short drive from Toronto has some of the best hiking in the area.

“Go right to the edge.  It’ll be perfect.  There’s nothing underneath you except forest!” I yelled across the windy gap, as I snapped a perfect Instagam photo of my wife balancing on the edge of Dundas Peak.

For some it’s easy to smile standing more than 135 ft above the forest on a tiny outcropping that looks out towards a massive valley in the the heart of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest.  For others observing the densely forested Spencer Gorge, outside Hamilton, from the safety of a well-groomed trailhead is adventure enough.

It might come as a surprise to hear that the city of Hamilton, once better known for heavy industry, is home to more than 100 waterfalls and dozens of hiking areas where wildlife and the greatest diversity of Ontario tree species can be found.

More stunning is Hamilton’s scenic section of the Bruce Trail, which runs along the 725 kilometer Niagara Escarpment (a UNESCO world biosphere reserve), where the distractions of everyday life can easily fade away as you look upon an epitaph of limestone cliffs that detail the regions natural history and glacial past.

Boundary Falls Hiking

Hamilton, CA – Autmn Hiking at Boundary Falls in Hamilton, Ontario Canada (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

Located less than an hour from downtown Toronto and Niagara Falls, makes accessing Hamilton’s natural landscape easy and accessible.

There is no doubt that your first hiking stop in Hamilton will take you back in time with a visit to Webster’s falls in the Spencer Gorge Conservation area.  Showcasing a 78ft cascade of water, Webster’s falls is encased by ancient layers of limestone rock and dominated by hard wood forest along its more than 6 km of trails.

For adventurers, and a little extra exercise, you can venture below the forest canopy to the base of the falls, and along Spencer Creek, via the 123-step metal staircase.  As you descend the stairs towards the river, let the limestone walls of the Spencer Gorge envelop you with a sense of awe as you’re taken back to a time long forgotten.

Forget about all the things on your to do list and breathe in the perfumed air of pine and cedar as you try to spot a tiny yellow warbler fluttering from branch to branch, its neon feathers reflecting like light off a piece of river gold among the dark foliage.

Take a moment to listen to the pileated woodpecker hard at work searching for its afternoon meal, as the waterfall fills the air with the soothing sounds of its cascading water crashing on ancient boulders below.

For hikers, the Spencer Gorge/Webster’s Falls Conservation area offers 6km of groomed trails.  From Webster’s Falls, hikers can follow the main trail along the valley’s east rim towards the 135ft Tew’s falls (only a few meters shorter than Niagara Falls) and Dundas Peak.

“I didn’t really know that Hamilton had such good hiking trails” say’s Danielle Aniceto of Orangeville, who was visiting a friend in the area.  “It’s kind of like a hidden treasure,” she describes before posing for a picture on the edge of Dundas Peak.

Dundas Peak is a highlight for many visitors who hike Spencer Gorge because of its unobstructed views of Hamilton and Dundas Valley.  Here you can stand on the edge of a cliff that drops more than hundred feet back towards the city on your left, or down the valley along your right.  Make sure you stop to capture a new profile pic picture to show all your friends.

For a more local feel you can hike along the tucked away section of the Bruce Trail only a few kilometers from Highway 403.  Here lies a quiet hike that starts along side the 6m high Boundary falls (named for it’s location on the Hamilton and Burlington city border).

Fall Leave

Hamilton, CA – Hiking in Hamilton, Ontario Canada an Autumn leaf on a log at Boundry Falls (Ian Yacobucci, Borderless Travels)

Autumn is a great time to visit Boundary Falls along Great Smokey Hollow Walk, although this waterfall is best to visit during the wetter months of the year.  As a ribbon waterfall Boundary Falls cascades into snake falls and eventually meets with Grindstone Creek.

It’s along Grindstone Creek that you’ll find yourself in the heart of Hamilton’s section of the Bruce Trail.  Great Smokey Hollow walk offers visitors 5 km of trails to explore.  Here the trail snakes its way along the quiet creek where you’ll find yourself deep in a forested valley with the remnants of an old limestone structure, wooden bridges with benches to rest and enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest, and absolutely stunning nature located only minutes from the highway.

Plan to visit early morning or late afternoon so you can make a quick food stop along Main Street Waterdown, just down the road from the falls.  The quaint shops and restaurants here are a great place to enjoy a well deserved drink and a bite to eat before heading out feeling refreshed and stress free after your hike.

So take some time to explore nature by taking a day trip to Hamilton and revisit a city with some of the best hiking in the Toronto Niagara corridor.  Forget about the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with Ontario’s most spectacular geologic formation, the Niagara Escarpment.

 Getting to Hamilton’s Best Hikes

Finding Spencer Gorge (Tew’s Falls) Webster’s Falls Conservation Area

From Toronto: Take Highway 403 to Highway 6 North; turn left onto Hwy.5West. Turn left onto Brock Road. Turn left at the flashing light, onto Harvest Road. Turn right onto Short Road and left onto Fallsview Road and follow the signs for the parking lot. For Dundas Peak and Tew’s Falls lookout parking, follow Harvest Road further down until you see the signs.

Finding Great Smokey Hollow / Boundary Falls

From Toronto take Highway 403 and exit on Highway 6 North (Guelph).  Turn right onto Highway 5 (Dundas St. E).  Turn right onto Mill St.  and park in the Smokey Hollow Resource management Area parking just past the overhead railway bridge on your right.

More Information on these hikes an others visit http://www.waterfalls.hamilton.ca/

Enjoyed these hikes, have more hiking information for us, share your comments below to let know what you discovered hiking in Hamilton!

Home / Adventure Travels / Travel America | Along the Colorado River Discover Utah Off the Grid

Travel America | Along the Colorado River Discover Utah Off the Grid

Updated: June 26, 2017
By: Emily Long

Moab Utah Outdoors Arches Landscape Rocks

The western United States is famous for its rocky mountains, alien deserts, big skies, and endless opportunities for adventure. Before I moved to Utah from the hot, humid, and flat East Coast a few years ago, I’d never seen anything like the Wasatch range towering over Salt Lake City or the rolling red rocks and arches around Moab. There’s just so much…space. I immediately set out to explore every national park I could drive to, from Glacier National Park in northwest Montana all the way to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Utah alone claims five unique national parks, along with miles and miles of open federal and state land.

National parks offer a friendly gateway to adventure for families and outdoor newbies, but after several summers of busy campgrounds and highly-trafficked trails, I was ready for something new. After all, national parks attendance is hitting record highs, it’s becoming harder to get off the grid, and nature in general feels more crowded.

Moab, a bustling desert town in southern Utah that serves as the jumping-off point for Colorado River float trips, ATV excursions, and all manner of mountain biking, hiking, and camping adventures, is a great base for exploring the desert. It is just a few miles outside of Arches National Park and within an hour’s drive of Canyonlands National Park, so it can feel like a circus during peak season. Luckily, as with much of the western U.S., it’s possible to find complete isolation within spitting distance of busy cities—if you’re willing to.

Our plans took us west from Moab out Kane Creek Road, which quickly meets and follows the banks of the Colorado River. The pavement ends just under five miles, and that’s where the fun begins. There are plenty of camping spots, mountain biking and hiking trails, and rock climbing routes. The road turns to red dirt leading up to Hurrah Pass (~mile 10) and then into jeep track with big boulders and steep dropoffs and all manner of off-road fun. For those with a high-clearance vehicle, the road also leads to one of the three most extreme disc golf courses IN THE WORLD, as well as remote riverside camping and caving. We spent two days playing in the desert—doing yoga on the rocks, exploring dark caves, hiking sun-soaked trails, and watching sunsets over the Colorado—before heading back to the real world.

Mountain Biking Adventure Moab Utah Red Rocks Bike

 

As incredibly fun as this trip was, it wouldn’t have happened without some careful planning. Here’s a newcomer’s guide to preparing for off-road adventures:

Do Your Research

Experienced travelers of all shapes and sizes know that there’s a time and place for spontaneity—and a trip out to a remote location is not it. Know where you are going, what obstacles you might encounter, and what there is to do along the way. Preparedness is the key to a safe and fun off-road experience.

Prepare for the Remote

Your smartphone more than likely won’t be much help out in the wild. Download offline maps, write down any key information about your destination, or simply use an old-school paper map.

Take Maintenance and Emergency Prep Seriously

There’s no excuse for heading out on any road trip with overdue service issues. Get your oil changed, check your tire pressure, stock your emergency kit, and fill up with gas. Take high clearance and 4WD recommendations seriously, and never head out on a road for which your car isn’t suited!

Gear Up

There’s nothing more exciting than gear—and having the right gear matters when you’re out in the desert (or in the mountains, on the water, anywhere in nature). In addition to having the right tools for your vehicle, prepare yourself for all weather conditions and scenarios. Take warm layers, camping gear (if appropriate), plenty of food and water, and any equipment for hiking, biking, or other activities. Remember that you’ll likely be several hours from resupply resources.

 Slow Down

Much of the fun of off-roading is in the bumpy ride, the unplanned stops, and the views along the way. Focus on the journey rather than the destination, and enjoy!

Share you comments below to let me know what adventures you found off the grid and how these tips helped you discover something new!

Home / North America / USA / Explore Mammoth Cave Kentucky the world’s longest cave

Explore Mammoth Cave Kentucky the world’s longest cave

Updated: March 31, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Spelunking Kentucky

Crouching on a historic tour of Mammoth Caves in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

My adventures in Kentucky started at Mammoth Cave National Park, home to 400 miles of currently explored cave, making it the longest cave system in the world. For the millions of visitors that get to explore the caves each year, few are lucky enough to get to do all that Mammoth Caves has to offer.

For me, spending an entire day cave exploring, hiking along the green river, and spending the night at Mammoth Cave hotel was a thorough way to experience Mammoth Cave National Park, but it was the people I met along the way that made my time there special.

Mammoth Caves offers all kinds of spelunking excursions from photography to hard core cave crawling expeditions, but it’s the popular historic and entrance tours that give visitors safe educational experiences that showcase the history and beauty of Mammoth Caves most significant areas.

niagara tour kentucky

Incredible geology on the New Niagara tour at Mammoth Caves, Kentucky

With only a day planned at Mammoth Caves I decided to go on both the historic and entrance cave tours because I wanted to maximize my experience of the caves. Each tour was very different and I got to experience the grandness and beauty of geologic features like the monstrous rotunda room the stalactites and stalagmites of frozen Niagara.

On each tour I had the opportunity to meet rangers Steve and Jerry who toured our groups through the dark winding depths of Mammoth Caves. During each tour the guides weaved through incredible stories of the caves first explorers and some of the original uses of the caves, outside of tourism, which made the original owners extremely wealthy.

The most interesting thing I learned was the Canadian connection to Mammoth Caves, which was a result of the war of 1812 between Britain and America. It was during this time that industrial amounts of calcium nitrate was mined in Mammoth Caves in order to supply gun powder to the Americans in their fight against the British.

The most unique thing about my tour was the opportunity to meet Ranger Jerry Brandsford whose family can be traced back to some of the original explorers and tour guides at Mammoth Caves. As we made our way through the cave he shared stories of his great-great-grandfather and showed us the names of his family scrawled using candles on the cave walls.  In fact, his story was so unique that New York Times Travel recently did an expose on Mr. Brandsford and his family history.

tour

Ranger Jerry telling stories on the new entrance tour Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

Thanks to recommendations from Jerry and Steve, I also discovered the best hikes and barbecue in the area. After exploring the depths of Mammoth Caves for over four hours I headed to Porky Pig Diner to taste best barbecue in Kentucky with my buddy the shameless traveler, but not before working up an apetite  with a hike along the hillsides around Mammoth Caves.

Thanks to Ranger Steve, our hiking took us on a one hour hike along the Green River Bluffs Trail to River Styx then up to Sunset Point before heading back via Heritage trail to the visitors center.

This hike was great because it helped contextualize the massive cave system beneath the hills. It also gave me the chance to see the Green River, which is an integral part of the cave system, and explore the surrounding hillside where you can see one of Mammoth Caves drainage points.

After several hours of exploring the caves and hiking the bluffs it was time to head down the road to Pig, Kentucky for the barbecue pork experience of a lifetime; the best barbecue in Kentucky which is only 10 mintues from Mammoth Caves.  Seriously, the pork butt sandwich with homemade barbecue sauce is so good I almost started drinking it!

By the end of the meal I was incredibly satisfied. It seemed like nothing could top this day in Mammoth National Park where I’d gotten to explore the main attractions at Mammoth Cave, hiked along the incredible Green River, and eaten the best barbecue pork in Kentucky.

bbq pork

Best barbecue pork in Kentucky at the Porky Pig Diner in Pig, Kentucky

Thanks to the couple I had been talking with at the diner Kentucky surprised me with something again; this time it was some good old southern hospitality.  As we finished up eating our new friends came to say goodbye and told us that that the best barbecue pork in Kentucky was on them!

Even better was that after such an exciting day, all I had left to do was head back to Mammoth Cave Hotel and put my feet up only 50m away from the cave entrance (which was reasonably priced if you’re not a tv addict because there weren’t many channels, but you’re there to experience nature anyways).

All in all spending a day at Mammoth Caves National park, exploring the depths of the longest caves in the world, hiking along the Green River, getting to know the witty and knowledgeable park rangers, eating Kentucky’s best barbecue pork in Pig, Kentucky and having our meal covered, then sleeping at the super convenient Mammoth Cave Hotel was one epic trip and something I’d recommend for all visitor to the cave!

Happy Travels,

Yak

Mammoth Cave Links

Mammoth Caves National Park Website

Mammoth Cave Hotel

NY Times article featuring Ranger Jerry

 

Home / North America / USA / 5 highlights for a complete trip to Yellowstone

5 highlights for a complete trip to Yellowstone

Updated: December 2, 2013
By: Ian Yacobucci
Wild Bison

Wild Bison roaming along the road in Yellowstone National Park

Arguably the most iconic national parks in the United States, Yellowstone is one place everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Bigger than Puerto Rico, Yellowstone National Park has incredible geologic features, unparalleled biodiversity, and endless opportunities for exploration. With so many options, the hardest part about visiting Yellowstone is figuring out what to see and do.

My brother and I visited Yellowstone National Park on a road trip across the northern boarder of United States for a tour of three of the countries top National Parks. With only a limited number of days, and a pretty tight budget, two days at Yellowstone National Park was all we could make time for.

As you’ll probably agree, two days wasn’t nearly enough time to fully experience Yellowstone. Yet, on a late August morning waking up in hammocks at 5am to -5 Celsius temperatures, we were able to get an early start and discovered some of Yellowstone National Parks highlights.

Here are the highlights we think everyone who visits Yellowstone should try to do:

1. See Yellowstone’s incredible wildlife in its natural habitat

Wild bison, wolves, osprey, and elk; need I say more. These are the animals that my brother and I saw while driving through the park. The wild bison were massive beasts that I loved watching as they roamed the grassy plains of Yellowstone. As the misty frost bitten morning warmed with the rising sun, I was taken back to a time when these beasts roamed North America in the millions (there are around 3000 in Yellowstone now).

Early in the morning we were also lucky enough to see a pack of wild wolves wandering through a field (there’re only about 100 in Yellowstone). As they jumped and played with each other my brother snapped some incredible photographs. I on the other hand was too awestruck to shoot, and just enjoyed the moment.

Sunrise Bison

Wild Bison roaming at sunrise in Yellowstone National Park

2. Explore Yellowstone’s hydrothermal features

Hidden beneath the ground is one of the largest super volcanoes in the world. Hot springs, mud pots, steam vents, and geysers are found throughout Yellowstone. My brother and I had a great time photographing these volcanic wonders. The multicoloured pools of volcanic heated water and explosive geysers made great subjects

The best part about these natural phenomena is how accessible they are. Boardwalks and guided walking routes lead visitors around these geologic features, and all along the roadways signs direct people throughout the park while providing information about each feature.

Hydrothermal Feature

If you look close you’ll see people reflecting over this amazing hydrothermal feature

 3. Camp under stars in a Yellowstone campground

My brother and I showed up for a campsite in the early afternoon and lucked out with a site at Norris, which was incredibly picturesque. Each campsite is unique and completely different as they’re located across the park. Some of them are located near the mountains, along lakes, rivers, and forests so it depends on availability and what setting you’re looking for.

It’s important to note that Yellowstone’s campsites fill up quickly, and you have to pay, so you’re better to reserve a spot in advance if you know your dates. We planned super last minute so we were at the disposal of the parks availability. If you’re tenting you can always see if the biking and hike-in only trails are available (there’s usually at least one, and this is what we did).

Important: August nighttime lows hit -5 when we were there so dress warm.

Camping Yellowstone

Our campsite at Norris Camp Ground in Yellowstone National Park with bad ass Hennesy hammocks

4. Watch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is absolutely massive and the best viewpoints are all accessible by car. My brother and I explored it during sunrise when the place was virtually empty (less one other photographer). Its absolutely massive size and rare volcanic canyon walls, made of ash and tephra that lead to a river below, offered spectacular views.

During sunrise these walls change colour by the minute, and with its massive waterfalls flowing in the distance the natural beauty and wonder of Yellowstone unveils right before your eyes. Just go there ☺

Yellowstone Sunrise

Sunrise over Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park

5. Watch Yellowstone’s Old Faithful erupt

A trip to Yellowstone isn’t complete without seeing Old Faithful explode into the sky. This was the last stop for my brother and me on our tour of the park, and something you can’t leave the park without seeing. I thought it was really cool considering the geology, history, and how unique it is. Although I found the phenomenon a little anticlimactic and preferred the other wonders in the park.

Old Faithful Yellowstone National Park

You can’t miss Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park…just look for all the people sitting and watching

Why I’m going back to Yellowstone one day!

The park has hundreds of hiking trails along lakes and rivers, through valleys and over mountains. For people visiting Yellowstone hiking is definitely one of the highlights. You can even spend multiple days hiking and camping along the way.

Even though I missed most of the hiking (it’s virtually endless) I can’t wait for next time.  Not to worry, Yellowstone National Park is extremely accessible and all of the important things to see can be easily accessed by car. Just be aware that the park is HUGE, and it takes a lot of time to get around. My brother and I, with our limited schedule decided to stick to four wheels for much of it, but I hope to go back for at least a week on a hiking and camping trip!

In the end, Yellowstone National Park was one of the most incredible natural wonders I’ve been fortunate enough to visit. The wildlife was spectacular and the geologic features were unparalleled to anywhere else in the world. On our last evening, while sitting by a warm fire as the nights stars flickered in the sky, my brother and I enjoying the company of new camping friends while reminiscing about our days highlights, Yellowstone became memory that I can’t wait to relive.

Happy travels,

Yak

 

 

Home / North America / Canada / How to hike Lake Louise, Alberta in two absolutely incredible days

How to hike Lake Louise, Alberta in two absolutely incredible days

Updated: December 21, 2012
By: Ian Yacobucci

 

Lake Louise View

View of the plains of six glaciers from the front of the Fairmont Lake Louise – Lake Louise, Canada

Lake Louise, located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, is a resort designed to impress. At the foot of the mountains is the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise with spectacular hiking just outside its doorstep. If you’re visiting, there are two hikes that you won’t want to miss out on, and both of them are easily accessible day hikes.

Day Hike 1 – Lake Louise, plain of the six glaciers, and so much more

To be perfectly honest these hiking trails in front of the Fairmont Lake Louise are quite easy. While I was hiking I often passed families with young children, people in crocks, and older couples who were meandering up the mountain trails at a leisurely pace. You do not need any experience for these hikes.

To make this a full day hike you can start by walking along Lake Louise towards the Plain of Six Glaciers and one of the famous Lake Louise tea house. The lookout located at 2, 195m offers a spectacular view of the glaciers, is surrounded by waterfalls, and should take you 1.5 to 2 hours to get to depending on your pace.

On your way to the lookout you can stop at the Lake Louise Tea House for a snack or a drink. It’s a popular site and on the main trail to the Plain of Six Glaciers so it’s usually pretty busy. You should also know that they don’t have running water to fill your water bottles however, you can fill up in the creek alongside the tea house if you’re feeling adventurous. I certainly did!

Tea House

Lake Louise Tea House – Lake Louise, Canada

From the Plain of Six Glaciers there’s an uphill trail that will take you to the top of Big Beehive, which overlooks the Fairmont Lake Louise Resort and the surrounding area; a great place to take pictures. From there you can head down to Lake Agnes on your way back to the Fairmont Lake Louise.

six glacier look out

View of the Canadian Rockies and the Fairmont Lake Louise from the Plain of Six Glaciers Look out

At Lake Agnes, I battled the cold water and took a swim. If that’s not your thing you might prefer some lunch at the scenic Lake Agnes Tea House, located at the foot of the lake. Outside there is also a sitting area and benches along Lake Agnes where you can relax and enjoy the view.

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake – Lake Louise, Canada

After Lake Agnes you should be ready to head back to Lake Louise. On your way you’ll get a chance to stop off at Mirror Lake where you can enjoy the waterfall that joins Lake Agnes and Mirror Lake.

Depending, this hike should take you between 5-8 hours and should not be missed if you’re visiting Lake Louise.

Day 2 – Mount Fairview

Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies from the top of Mount Fairview

A much more technical hike Mount Fairview has one of the best views in the surrounding range and all you need to successfully summit this mountain is time. For an experienced hiker it should take around 1.5 to two hours to summit and close to the same to descend.

The hardest part of this hike is the last quarter where you are climbing up a rocky cliff face. Don’t be discouraged that this hike is too hard. Anyone, who takes his or her time, will be able to make it to the top but be aware that it is not as easy as the Plain of Six Glaciers hike and you need to be cautious.

I planned to eat my lunch when I got to the top of Mount Fairview and enjoyed the view, as I looked across the wooded valley below and the fast expanse of the rocky mountain range that streatched into the distance. One of the most unique things about this place is the view of the glaciers that caress the surrounding mountaintops and are a unique feature of the Rockies.

I hope you enjoy these hikes, have fun, and hike safe.

Yak

 

Home / Asia / South Korea / Hiking in Daejeon, South Korea

Hiking in Daejeon, South Korea

Updated: January 26, 2012
By: Ian Yacobucci
Located not far from Daejeon's downtown and less than two hours train ride from Seoul, this is one of the best places to go hiking in South Korea.

Located not far from Daejeon’s downtown and less than two hours train ride from Seoul, this is one of the best places to go hiking in South Korea.

Daejeon’s the perfect place to go hiking in South Korea. Don’t forget your crampons and bottle of Soju!

Hiking in South Korea is a national past-time, and the best places to hike are in the many national parks located across country. If you’re looking for hiking in Seoul, you can hop on the subway for a hike at Bukhansan National Park, but the real gems are just outside the city.

Hiking in Daejeon is a great way to spend a weekend. Located about two hours south west of Seoul, Daejeon can be a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city. No small city itself, Daejeon offers the convenience of a big city, but located just outside its centre you’ll find Gyeryongsan National Park.

Gyeryongsan National Park offers some of the best hiking in South Korea. Try to get an early start if you want to get the most out of the many hikes available and don’t forget your Soju. It’s not uncommon to see small groups stopping along the way for some Kimchi and Soju. After a great day of hiking you wont feel guilty stopping by Yuseon spa for some rest and relaxation at a traditional Korean jjimjilbang.

My friend Carlien stops to get directions from a local.

My friend Carlien stops to get directions from a local.

How to get to Gyeryongsan National Park:

  • From Daejeon Station take the subway to the Yusong Spa subway stop, once there take exit 5 out of the station.
  • The bus stop is located just outside exit 5 where you can take bus 107 to Gyeryongsan National Park.
  • The bus will drop you off at a parking lot just outside Donghaksa temple at the entrance of Gyeryongsan National Park.

Recommended Gyeryongsan Hike:

Arrival
Once there head up the main street to the entrance where you’ll find a small information booth and a giant map. If you go straight you’ll head towards Donghaksa temple and have to pay an entry fee so turn right and head up the hill. If you’re there on a weekend you can follow the hikers.

The Hike
First head up to Nanmaetap pagoda a great spot to take a rest and check out your progress. Washrooms are also located there. From there you can head up to Sanbulbong (sanbul peak) for an amazing view and the first on this hike.

Working our way up the mountain. We were in good company the whole time.

Working our way up the mountain. We were in good company the whole time.

Guaneumbong is the highest peak on this hike and a perfect spot to stop for lunch and enjoy the view, you might even get offered a little soju while you’re up there. On our lunch stop my friend and I were offered some Korean toffee from a couple sharing lunch and some rice wine at the top. We had some mandarines to return the favour and we all sat on the peak enjoying the view satisfied with our accomplishment and our cultural exchange.

From there you begin your descent back to Donghaksa temple. On the way you can stop at eunseon pokpo (eunseon waterfall) for a rest before finishing off your hike with a 1.3 km cool down as you head back along the temple road to where you started.

Hike length: 4 hours (summer) 5 hours (winter)

Enjoy the view while hiking in Gyeryongsan National Park

Enjoy the view while hiking in Gyeryongsan National Park

Tips:

1. If you’re going in the winter bring proper boots it can be rather slippery and you might even want to buy some crampons (most of the shops have these available). Also be aware that the condition might be cause for it to close so check and make sure it’s open.

2. There is also a tourist information centre located just up the road from the bus drop off . They usually speak some English and can provide you with maps and some hike directions.

3. Hiking in Korea always has places to eat so whether you’re getting started or just finishing up there are places to stock up or sit down and have a meal. Kimbap (korean sushi roll) is always a great idea and don’t forget to try the roasted chestnuts, a must have after a beautiful winter hike.

Tally: (January 2012)
Subway – 1200-1300 won
Bus – 1200 won
Food – Food prices vary depending on location and meal choice.
Kimbap – 2000 won
Chestnuts – 2000 won
Meal – 5-15, 000 won

It's impossible not to look good with that kind of view in the background ;D

It’s impossible not to look good with that kind of view in the background ;D

Gyeryongsan National Park Inquiries
• 1330 tt call center: +82-42-1330 (English,Korean,Japanese,Chinese)
• For more info: +82-42-825-3005, +82-41-857-5178, +82-42-825-3004