Category Archives: Hiking

Humacao Natural Reserve

Humacao Natural ReserveThe Humacao Natural Reserve is located on the East Coast of Puerto Rico near the community of Palmas del Mar.  Behind the small unassuming entrance awaits big adventure exploring the lagoons, swamps, and wetlands.  The walking and bike trails are well maintained throughout the reserve.  Kayakers can enjoy the calm lagoon waters in a secluded section of the reserve.  Fishing is a common sight from the bridges and docks.  There are multiple floating docks along the lagoons for fishing and unobstructed views over the lagoon water.  The majority of the natural reserve is shaded by the lush foliage making it a pleasant destination year round. Continue reading Humacao Natural Reserve

Sedona Arizona Travel Guide – Reviews and Recommendations

Sedona, Arizona attracts nature lovers, geology enthusiasts, adventure seekers, foodies, art lovers, mystics, and curious travelers from around the world.  Located in the center of Arizona, Sedona is 100 miles North of Phoenix and a popular road trip for Valley residents. Usually a 2 hour drive between Phoenix and Sedona, allow extra time for holidays and weekend travel.

The iconic mountains of Sedona are formed from layers of sandstone in various shades of bright, bold red.  Many people believe that the red rocks of Sedona are an Energy Vortex of healing properties.  These power centers are a huge draw for New Age Enthusiasts.  There is much debate and discussion around the magical properties of the area, but most visitors will agree that the red rocks are stunning! Continue reading Sedona Arizona Travel Guide – Reviews and Recommendations

First Visit to El Yunque Rainforest

First Visit El YunqueAfter Living in Puerto Rico for 3 months, we finally went to El Yunque rain forest on the Northeast corner of the island.

What to Wear?

Shoes:  Wear study hiking/trail shoes for any of the moderate, difficult, or very difficult hikes.  Water shoes and sport sandals with tread are fine for the easy trails.  La Coco falls is on the side of the road and Yocahu Tower is next to the parking lot, no need to even get out of the car to see either!

We planned to hike Big Tree Trail to La Mina falls for the hiking and waterfall combo, so I wore my hiking trail shoes and packed my water shoes. Plus, flip flops for the beach stop after our hike.  In reality, I only needed my trail shoes for everything.

Quick dry clothes:  It is a rain forest, even if it is not raining at the moment, it is humid and moist.  We had light rain in the afternoon as we were leaving the park.

Swim suit:  There are a few bathrooms to change, but most locals wear swimsuits with a lightweight (quick dry) cover up.  La Mina falls is a popular area to swim and cool off in the water.

Towel:  Bring a towel to dry off after your swim, afternoon showers, or a particularly sweaty hike.  It is a must have item for sitting around the rocks near La Mina falls.

Pro Tip: Bring waterproof bags (Ziplock bags work great) for car remote, phones, camera, and any electronics that are not waterproof.

Continue reading First Visit to El Yunque Rainforest

South Mountain Park

Hiking is one of my favorite free activities in Phoenix.  Our desert valley is surrounded by mountains providing stunning views and wildlife.  South Mountain Park/Preserve in the heart of Phoenix is over 16,000 acres, approximately 20 times the size of New York’s Central Park, it is the largest municipal park in the country!  Now is the perfect time to Go Take a Hike!

South Mountain Park
South Mountain Park

South Mountain Park is easy access from anywhere in metro-Phoenix and offers trails for every level of athletic ability.  Horses, dogs, and mountain bikes are all welcome on the trails.

Desert Classic Trail
Desert Classic Trail

With nearly 60 miles of trails, I like to map out the hike before heading to a trail head.  Most trails are easily followed with metal signposts along the trail as a guide, and many of these were recently updated with trail name, QR code, elevation, and specific trail post information.  I always bring a hard copy trail map of the area I plan to be in.  A recent hike with friends was so beautiful we decided to add another couple miles to our hike, which was easily accomplished with a brief look at our trail map.south-mountain-park-map

 

 

There are at least 4 main parking lots, and many more parking areas near perimeter trail heads.2015_SM1There are excellent maps and detailed descriptions of trails provided by National Geographic at All Trails website.  Here is more information about the beautiful desert trails including petroglyphs and ruins.

Pima Canyon entrance from Guadalupe
Pima Canyon entrance from Guadalupe

Pima Canyon entrance is accessed from I-10 and Baseline road, just off of 48th street and Guadalupe.  This popular parking lot is usually packed with cars, and offers restrooms, water fountains, shaded benches, and areas for cooking/grilling.

Pima Canyon Gazebo
Pima Canyon Gazebo

 

Desert Foothills Parkway is a smaller parking lot located at the Southern tip of the park and offers shaded area, water fountains, and portable toilets.

Desert Foothills Parking and Gazebo
Desert Foothills Parking and Gazebo

 

 

Continue reading South Mountain Park

White Tanks

The White Tank Mountain range is located on the far West side of metro Phoenix, within the edge of Maricopa County.

WT_RamadaThere is an entrance fee to the park, and the $6 for carload day pass was well worth it.  The park has ample parking, picnic Ramadas, campgrounds, restrooms, and plenty of hiking trails.

The views are spectacular and different trails to accommodate everyone.  The Waterfall trail is wheelchair & stroller friendly.

Everything is is well maintained and clean.  Despite being a gorgeous day to be outside, the entrance fee and location ensure the park is never crowded.

WT_trail4

 

The next time someone tells you to go take a hike, grab your dog and check out White Tanks!