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Joshua Tree National Park - April

Back to JT for an early season warm up. This time from Quail Springs Trailhead

Yosemite: Rancheria Falls - May

A early season short overnight trip to Rancheria Falls. Wapama Falls doesn't disappoint!

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Hoover Wilderness - July

Six days and 5 nights in the Hoover Wilderness coming in June


Yosemite: Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne coming in June

An epic, not to be missed part of Yosemite. Low elevation should allow us to complete this in June.


Inyo National Forest: Lake Italy and Bear Lake Basin in early July

As I always say; quintessential Sierra. We'll x-country along the base of the Minaret's and Mt Ritter in July.


Inyo National Forest: Lake Italy and Bear Lake Basin - August

Starting in one of my favorite places - VVR. We'll head to Lake Italy, climb Mt. Dade and circle back through Bear Lake Basin.


Inyo National Forest: Miter Basin in August

Plan is to head into Miter Basin, x-country over Crabtree Pass and loop back via the JMT in August.


Wyoming: The Wind River Range

Road Trip! Heading to "The Winds" in September for a 4 or 5 day trip which promises some spectacular sights.


I don’t need to tell you that there’s a mountain of information (pun intended) about backpacking out there. What’s different about the Well Seasoned Hiker is that I’ve been mountaineering and backpacking for 55 years and counting. And sure much has changed over the 55 years but as an active backpacker and mountaineer I’ve tried to keep up. Of course today there are so many equipment companies and ideas so I’ve certainly haven’t tried everything but, given the years I’ve spent in the mountains, I do have a pretty good understanding of what works. 


My name is Gary (aka the Well Seasoned Hiker) and I grew up in Southern California starting my backpacking “career” at the early age of 7. That first trip took me (with my family) over Kearsarge Pass, Glen Pass, visiting Rae Lakes. That was 1966! My mother was the leader of a Senior Girl Scout Troop and my father the leader of an Explorer Post, the sole focus of which was mountaineering. You could say I grew up hiking and climbing. On weekends you were far more likely to find me climbing at Stoney Point (a sandstone outcropping in the Northwest San Fernando Valley) than playing in a nearby park.  If I wasn’t at Stoney Point then I was probably at Joshua Tree (JT) or Taquitz Rock. Summers meant as much time in the Sierra backcountry as possible. Minimally every year we’d do a “super-activity” which was 16 days of cross country hiking and peak bagging. During my last couple years of High School I spent the entire summer in the Sierra backcountry navigating across the many peaks and passes off trail. Today hanging out at high altitude, hiking across meadows and dancing across talus is as natural to me as walking down the sidewalk…well, ok, maybe not that natural but lets just say I feel at home in the mountains. 


My commitment to you is that the information and stories you read here are Bullshit Free. I’m not paid nor am I sponsored so you’ll only get the unvarnished truth – at least from my perspective.  Having hiked for so long and with so many people I’m realistic enough to know that hiker preferences differ.  As a trip leader I enjoy not only sharing my experience with those I hike with but there’s isn’t a trip I go on where I don’t learn something new – sometimes from hikers that are relatively new to the sport. Use the ideas provided here if you find them useful and if you disagree or have other points of view please feel free to share them with me! I’m always learning – let’s learn together!

Want to share some thoughts or just disagree with me? Send me a Comment


Feel free to read more about me here.

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Maybe you have some questions or just want to send me feedback. Please feel free to reach out!