Scott Moey

Author Archives: Scott Moey

Complete Guide to Joshua Tree National Park

Introduction

When we think of national parks, the first image that comes to mind is that of pristine mountain lakes, towering mountain ranges, and roaring rivers where all sorts of wildlife find an abundant habitat. Very rarely do we consider an arid desert to be the representation of an unspoiled natural area.

Nonetheless, deserts are unique ecosystems that offer home and habitat to thousands of different types of flora and fauna. And despite their apparent harshness, many deserts around the world are actually fragile ecosystems that warrant protection and preservation.

The Joshua Tree National Park is one of the nation´s largest desert areas that is officially protected by the U.S. government. Spanning an area that is larger than the state of Rhode Island, this desert paradise offers a whole range of outdoors activities, from desert hiking to star gazing.

In this complete guide to the Joshua Tree National Park, we give you all the information you need to plan a one of a kind trip to one of our nation´s most unique ecosystems.

Joshua Tree National Park History

Joshua Tree National Park officially became a national park only a little over two decades ago. However, it has been a National Monument since the 1930´s. The park is named for the Joshua tree, Yucca Brevifolia in Latin, an inimitable desert tree that is appears to be a hybrid between a palm tree and a cactus. The abundance of these increasingly rare trees in the National Park may make you feel like you´re in the middle of a scenery painted by the famous children´s author Dr. Seuss.

Minerva Hoyt was one of the United States first female environmental activists and spent her life struggling to protect the desert areas of her native southern California. Despite her concerted efforts to protect the area now known as Joshua Tree National Park, over 250,000 acres of the park were given over to mining interests in the 1950´s.

However, when the park became a park in 1994 due to the signing of the Desert Protection Act by the U.S. Congress, most of those acres were reincorporated into the protected area of the park.

Some Interesting Facts on the Joshua Tree National Park

  • The park has over 790,000 acres, making it larger than the state of Rhode Island

  • Over half of the Joshua Tree National Park is a designated wilderness area waiting to be explored by desert lovers

  • The famous band “U2” has an album named after the national park´s namesake: The Joshua Tree

  • The name “Joshua Tree” was given by early Mormon settlers who thought that the tree looked like the biblical character of Joshua who raised his hands to the heavens

  • In Spanish, the tree is called “izote del desierto”, roughly translated as desert dagger

  • Joshua trees are an indicator species that designate an area as a desert

  • The Joshua Tree National Park is unique in that it encompasses two distinct desert ecosystems: the Colorado Desert which is a lowland desert and the higher Mojave Desert which is over 3,000 feet in elevation

  • Over 2.5 million people visited the park in 2016

  • Despite officially being a desert ecosystem, the Little Bernandino Mountains run through a part of the park and can occasionally receive snow fall during the winter months

  • Geologists estimate that the rock formations in the park are well over 100 million years old

  • There are also several oases located throughout the parks where lush green vegetation contrasts sharply with the dryness of the surrounding landscape

Joshua Tree National Park Geography, Geology, Ecology and Botany

One of the most interesting and fascinating aspects of Joshua Tree National Park and desert ecosystems in general is their unique geology, ecology and botany. While most people are under the impression that deserts are harsh, cruel environments where few forms of life exist, deserts are actually teeming with different forms of life that have adapted over the course of millions of years to the specific climatic conditions.

Geography

From a Geographical standpoint, the national park is unique in that while all of the park is considered to be a desert, it is actually made up of two very distinct desert ecosystems. The Mojave Desert is higher and significantly cooler than the Colorado desert which is much lower. It is in this higher desert where the Joshua Tree best grows.

The eastern part of the park is where you will find the lower and hotter Colorado Desert. This desert ecosystem has much less Joshua trees and more typical desert type flora including desert scrub and cacti.

Geology

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Joshua Tree National Park are the unique rock formations that can be found around the park. Visitors often describe the rock strewn landscape as otherworldly with comparisons to Martian and Lunar landscapes common.

Geologists estimate that the unique rock formations scattered around the park were formed over 100 million years ago as molten lava boiled up to the earth´s surface and cooled just before the earth´s surface. This eventually formed a type of granite rock called monzogranite where a bizarre collection of rectangular joints, slow erosion, and ground water percolation eventually created these massive rock formations that continue to fuel our imagination.

Though it may be hard to imagine, the geology of the national park was also formed by flash floods and times of wetter climate when rain and rivers also contributed to the slow erosion of the rock faces.

Botany

While most travelers come to the park to see the oddly formed, Dr. Seuss-reminiscent Joshua Tree, there are dozens of other unique plant species that make up the botany of the park. Among the rock outcroppings, especially in the cooler Mojave Desert, you can find desert tree species such piñon pine, Juniper and a number of desert oak trees that are hard to find in almost any other part of the world.

The lower desert in the south and east parts of the park has large sand dunes, cacti and other scrub bush. Native California palm trees, called Fan Palms, occur throughout the park where oases form.

Hiking in Joshua Tree National Park

Without a doubt, one of the main attractions for nature lovers who come to Joshua Tree National park is the fairly large network of hiking trails. If you are worried about hiking into a desert for a multi-day trip, there are also a number of nature trails and short day hikes that will give you a unique insight into the desert reality.

Below we look at the top five trails in the park, three of which are longer hikes and two shorter hikes that pretty much anyone can handle.

Forty-Nine Palms Oasis

This three mile round trip hike is a good middle ground for people who want a little more desert exposure than what you can get on the nature trails, but aren´t quite ready to haul with them several gallons of water into the desert night.

This trail also will allow you to explore the oasis ecosystem where the contrast with the dry desert surroundings will make you feel as if you have found a Garden of Eden. The unique Californian Fan Palms surround the oasis where, especially during certain times of the year, you will even be able to find standing water. Imagine taking a swim in the middle of the desert!

The hike to the oasis is moderately strenuous, but you should be able to find abundant wildlife, especially a number of unique bird species that populate the oases in the park.

Lost Palms Oasis

Not all oases are the same, and the 7.2 mile hike to the Lost Palms Oasis is significantly different than the previous hike we reviewed. This hike starts at the Cottonwood Spring, which is an oasis in itself that is worth seeing. This spring has been used for hundreds of years, starting with the Cahuilla indigenous group that lived in the region prior to western settlement.

From the Cottonwood spring, a fairly easy hike through the desert will take you to a spectacular overlook of the Lost Palms Oasis. From there, you can choose to wander into the oasis which is actually situated within a canyon.

For more adventurous hikers, some boulder scrambling can be found nearby at Victory Palms and Munsen Canyon. This hike can take anywhere between 4-6 hours (and more if you decide to explore other nearby areas) so be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen with you. If you have some simple purification equipment, you can refill your water supply at the oasis.

Be on the lookout for bobcats and mountain lions as several visitors have claimed that the Lost Palms Oasis is a prime spot for spotting these hard to find cats.

Boy Scout Trail

If you are wanting a true desert adventure that can be turned into an overnight experience, the Boy Scout Trail is the hike for you. At just over 16 miles round trip, this hike isn´t for novices, and you will have to carry with you a fair amount of water.

This unique trail passes through the Wonderland of Rocks, which offers seemingly endless vistas of the unique, otherworldly rock formations that dot the park. This trail is also shared by horseback riders, so if a member of your family isn´t keen on hiking through the desert on their own two legs, you should be able to rent a horse for the day as well.

Spending the night under the desert sky is an experience that should not be missed, and the Boy Scout Trail is perhaps the best place in the park for an overnight trip. Any number of rock outcroppings along the trail offers a quality desert shelter. Make sure to check out the Backcountry Board once you get to the park to find information on overnight use for this trail.

Hidden Valley Nature Walk

For less avid hikers who still want to get the desert experience, the Hidden Valley Nature Walk is a great alternative. Much shorter than the previous three trails, this one mile loop trail will take you among massive boulders and offers vistas of a number of desert panoramas.

Because this valley is situated in between the two desert ecosystems, visitors to this trail will be able to observe pretty much every type of tree that grows in the park. From the infamous Joshua trees, to piñon pine, Juniper, desert oak trees, cacti and scrub brush, this trail will give you the full park experience in only one mile of hike.

The large rock formations are also a popular destination for mountain climbers and you´re bound to find a number of climbers hanging perilously from the sides of rock faces. This makes for an interesting side attraction. A nearby campground is also available year round.

Ryan Mountain

If you are looking for the best place to enjoy spectacular desert panoramic views and sunsets, look no further than Ryan Mountain. At 5,456 feet, Ryan Mountain towers over the rest of the landscape. The relative lack of vegetation on top of the mountain allows for spectacular vistas of the surrounding desert.

While the hike to the top is only a mile and a half long you will be ascending over 1,000 feet, making it a moderately strenuous hike. The views of the Pinto Basin and the Lost Horse Valley are well worth the climb, and the sunsets from the summit turn the surrounding desert landscape into a blaze of intense colors.

Climbing in Joshua Tree National Park

While the hiking trails throughout the park are undoubtedly one of the main attractions in the park, there are also a number of high adrenaline climbing activities. Since none of the rock formations are very tall (most of them are actually under 200 feet in height), the climbs aren´t very long.

There are, however, varying degrees of difficulty, and you can design your own climbing circuit throughout the park. There are over 400 different objects to be scaled in the park, and thousands of potential routes.

If climbing isn´t your thing, you can also find places around the park for bouldering. Below we look at three of the best places to get the adrenaline flowing on the rocks. All three of these climbs are easily accessible from Quail Springs.

Trashcan Rock

While the name doesn´t sound classy, this popular crag has a number of different routes for all levels of expertise. The more commonly climbed west face is great for beginners, and can be mastered with even the minimum of training and experience. The eastern face of the rock, however, presents significant challenges.

One thing to keep in mind is that there are not permanent anchors at Trashcan Rock so you will need to bring along your gear anchors. Also, if you´re looking for a bit of solitude on your climb, don´t come during the weekend when the rock is almost always filled with amateur climbers.

Hound Rocks

This rock face is actually composed of two separate rocks with a narrow canyon in between. History tells us that it used to be the site of a long since abandoned mining camp. To get to Hound Rocks, you´ll need to drive to the Quail Springs parking lot, and then follow a simple path over some sand dunes.

The two best routes on this climb are named the “right Baskerville Crack” and “Tossed Green.” Both of these receive a good amount of sun early in the morning. If you´re looking to stay cool during your climb consider adding this climb to your route during the afternoon hours.

White Cliffs of Dover

If you are looking for a place to prepare for a bigger climb, say at Yosemite National Park, then the White Cliffs of Dover offer a quality training grounds. The White Cliffs of Dover have a number of features that are pretty similar to the legendary granite rock faces at Yosemite.

The cracks and corners on the climb will prepare you for what you´ll find if you are preparing for Half Dome or El Capitan in Yosemite. Furthermore, this is one of the only areas in the park where you´ll find smooth, fine grained granite. Most of the other rocks don´t have the smoothness because of the desert climate.

Other Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park

While mountain biking or hiking, there are also a number of other great activities that you can incorporate into your planned trip to Joshua Tree National Park. The unique desert ecosystem offers a number of unique opportunities for activities such as birding, mountain biking, and four wheel driving. For people who live in cities or other urban places with massive amounts of light pollutions, the desert nights and the dark sky also make amateur astronomy a great enjoyment for the whole family.

Birding

For bird watchers, the idea of finding a plethora of species in the desert might sound counterintuitive. From experience, most birders know that the majority of bird species flock to places where there is an abundance of water and tree habitat, no exactly what you would expect to find in the desert. Nonetheless, Joshua Tree National Park is home to over 250 species of birds, many of them rare species who only live in harsh desert climates.

The several oases around the park provide needed refuge and habitat for several species of birds who find themselves “trapped” by desert on every side. In many ways, the relatively small spaces of oases make birdwatching almost too easy, as you´ll likely see dozens of different species during any visit.

If you are looking for some of the rarer desert species such as greater road runner, the cactus wren, or several different types of mockingbirds, they are also quite prevalent throughout the different areas of the park. Some of the rarest species that birders come to look for include the ladder backed woodpecker and the oak titmouse.

Since most of the bird species can be found most easily around an oasis, you can combine a hike to one of the oases, with a planned overnight backcountry trip where you will be able to search for birds during the evenings and early mornings.

Astronomy

For many folks who come from the city, one of the most awe inspiring sights in Joshua Tree National Park doesn’t have to do with anything that is actually in the park, but what is above it during the night. While most of southern California is infamously renowned for its massive amounts of light pollution and smog that essentially block out the lights from the stars. Joshua Tree National Park is far enough away from the urban area to escape these phenomena.

Furthermore, the desert night usually produces clear skies with very few clouds and very little humidity or other forms of interference. For these reasons, the park is also a favorite for astronomers and star gazers.

According to the Bortle Dark Sky scale, the park has a dark sky rating of 3-4, which is significantly darker than most other places around the country. Be sure to bring a pair of binoculars and some simple sky maps to help you navigate the constellations. If you can plan your trip around a known meteor shower, you´ll find it difficult to sleep while watching hundreds of falling starts rip across the massive sky above you.

Mountain Biking and Four Wheel Driving

Joshua Tree National Park is also a great spot for people looking for a mountain biking or four wheel driving adventure. While there are several paved roads throughout the park, there are much more relatively solitary backcountry roads that the park allows 4 wheel drive vehicles to enter. Make sure you stay on the road, whether you´re on a bike or in a truck since tracks in the desert can last for years and disrupt the vulnerable desert ecosystems.

Below we look at three backcountry roads that are great for either a mountain biking trip or a four wheel drive experience.

Pinkham Canyon Road

This twenty mile road is a challenge for mountain bikers. It takes you deep into a canyon and then through flood plains. The soft sand might be a challenge to pull your bike or car through, so come prepared for some tough terrain.

Geology Tour Road

This backcountry trip is an adventure and a geology lesson all wrapped into one. The roughly 18 mile round trip has 16 stops along the way to help novices understand the subtle differences in the fascinating rock formations that you´ll be seeing. Make sure to bring along an informative brochure that explains each of the 16 stops so you´ll know what you´re witnessing in geological terms.

Black Eagle Mine Road

For a different route consider the Black Eagle Mine Road. This route will take you through the Eagle mountains, through several different dry washes, and along the Pinto basin. After nine miles or so you will leave the park, but the road continues where you´ll find remnants of several old, abandoned mines.

Lodging and Eating at Joshua Tree National Park

If you are planning to spend a couple of nights at the park, you should definitely spend at least one night camping under the night stars. The Jumbo Rocks campground is located at 4,400 feet, meaning that because of the elevation you are bound to get some fantastic views of the stars at night and the sunset and sunrises during your evenings and mornings. All of the campgrounds in the park have a fee of just $10 to $15 dollars and the Blackwood and Cottonwood canyons also have the convenience of running water.

If you are looking for a comfortable hotel near the hotel, Sacred Sands is a gem of a bed and breakfast located at the western entrance to the national park. This unique bed and breakfast is a great spot to coordinate all of the adventures you are planning for your time at the park while also giving you a little bit of pampering as well.

Joshua Desert Retreats is a vacation rental home that is also worth checking out, especially if you are looking to spend a fair amount of time around the park. This beautiful home can be rented by the day or week and is a great option if you are looking for a place to relax in between adventures. You can book your reservation through their website here.

After several days of desert hiking, mountain biking, climbing, or simply enjoying the scenery, you will want to find a good place to fill up your tank. The dining options are somewhat limited within the park, but you should definitely check out the Joshua Tree Saloon. While their food is fairly simple, the experience of a desert saloon is worth the experience.

Also, Crossroads Café and the New York style pizza parlor Pie for the People are also great options for dining out while in Joshua Tree National Park.

Best Time of Year to Visit Joshua Tree National Park

The best time of year to visit the park really depends on what you are looking for and wanting to do. For hikers, one of the main attractions is finding wildflowers bloom in the desert, a unique experience in itself. In order to see the flowers, however, you will have to plan a trip in the late fall.

If you want to avoid the crowds, the winter months are the best though the desert can get cold and even experience snowfall at the higher elevations. For milder temperatures to avoid heat exhaustion while exploring the desert, your best bet is to visit during the early spring. No matter when you come, however, Joshua Tree National Park always has something to offer.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, Joshua Tree National Park offers a unique desert geography, otherworldly geological rock formation, spectacular hiking trails, high adrenaline climbing and mountain biking paths, and so much more. For a truly authentic desert experience, look no further than Joshua Tree National Park.

Complete Guide to Yosemite

The first effort to protect the area that is now Yosemite National Park was actually done by President Abraham Lincoln (a pretty influential person in American history) who signed a bill to protect parts of Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa grove of Sequoia trees.

John Muir, one of the best known American environmentalists, loved exploring the vast wilderness areas of northern California. The destruction of subalpine meadows around Yosemite Valley lead Muir into a prolonged struggle to protect the area which eventually lead to Yosemite becoming the nation´s second National Park (after Yellowstone) in 1890.

Even though the park was protected by the national government, the city of San Francisco, California had long been planning to dam the Tuolomne River as a source of drinking water and hydroelectric power for the city. Despite another long, political struggle (with Muir again at the forefront), the river was eventually damned. There are still efforts underway today to recover the natural state of the Tuolomne River which runs through the Hetch Hetchy Valley.

Unique Facts and Figures

  • Yosemite gets around 4 million visitors each year

  • The vast majority of those visitors never go beyond Yosemite Valley, a beautiful valley that only makes up 1% of the parks total area

  • Over 95% of Yosemite National Park is considered to be wilderness area.

  • Yosemite is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Yosemite Falls, the parks biggest waterfall, falls 2,425 feet making it one of the tallest waterfalls in the world

  • The park has an elevation range that ranges from 2,127 to 13,114 feet

  • The original name for Yosemite was “Ahwahnee”, a term used by local indigenous people which meant “Big Mouth”

  • The park gets its name from another indigenous group (the Yohhe'meti) that lived in the region before being driven out by the U.S. army during the “Indian Wars”

  • Yosemite Valley has been inhabited for close to 3,000 years, a remarkable fact when considering the continued ecological health of the region

  • In 2016, over 5 million people visited Yosemite National Park

  • Among other attractions, Yosemite has 1600 miles of streams, 350 miles of roads, and 800 miles of hiking trails

Geology, Biodiversity, and Landscape

Yosemite National Park is a land of extremely diverse topography and landscapes. The Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project (https://pubs.usgs.gov/dds/dds-43/) was fundamental in mapping out the entire Sierra Nevada ecosystem where Yosemite is located and offers us an abundance of information regarding the natural wonders of Yosemite.

One of the best known features of Yosemite are the massive granite cliffs that rise throughout the park. “El Capitan” and Half Dome are two of the most easily recognizable (and most sought out by mountain climbers).

These granite cliffs began forming around ten million years ago when geological forces caused the Sierra Nevada to lift up and tilt to its side. This caused steep eastern slopes where much of Yosemite is located.

During one Ice Age, around one million years ago, glaciers dominated the high alpine meadows in the region. Scientists imagine that the ice around what is today Yosemite National Park might have been upwards of 4,000 feet thick, more than ¾ a mile thick. When that mass of ice began to slide downwards off the mountain, it carved out the U-shaped valley which is today called Yosemite Valley, the most famous part of the park.

Yosemite also has over 300 species of vertebrate animals in the park. Black bears, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and the grey wolf are some of the most sought after animals by tourists, though catching a glimpse of the grey wolf takes a considerable amount of patience and good luck.

Yosemite also has three separated and isolated groves of Sequoia Forest, which are home to some of the largest trees in the world. Outside the sequoia groves, the majority of the vegetation is made up of coniferous forest. Over 225,000 acres of old growth forest still remain standing and intact in Yosemite National Park, one of the few areas in the continental United States where old growth forest remains.

When to Visit Yosemite

If you don’t mind the crowds of picture taking tourists, visiting Yosemite Valley in the peak summer months is the way to go. You won’t get any sort of solitude and seclusion, but it can be fun to share the beauty of the valley with others. If, however, you want a more unique Yosemite experience, you will want to consider alternative times to visit the park.

How to Avoid the Crowds

To avoid the crowds in Yosemite Valley, you will have to avoid the summer peak period of June to August all together. However, if you want to explore the other 99% of the park outside the Valley, you can pretty much go any time during the year.

Spring time is by far one of the best times to visit the park. School hasn’t let out for the summer meaning that you’ll miss most of the family vacations. Furthermore, the relatively chilly nights will keep other tourists away.

The snowmelt is at its peak meaning that the waterfalls will be gushing and if you time your trip right, you will also be greeted by a mosaic of wildflowers throughout the park.

Yosemite with the Family

When most people think of Yosemite National Park, the first thing that comes to mind is the image of adrenaline seeking mountain climbers hanging off of the sheer granite face of Half Dome. While they certainly are fun to watch, that´s not exactly a family friendly activity. Taking on a 4,000 foot incline to make it to the top of Yosemite Falls with two toddlers also makes for quite a strenuous hike that isn´t exactly made for families.

If you have small children or a large family, there´s no reason to put off a vacation to Yosemite until the kids are grown and off to college. There are dozens of family friendly activities all throughout the park. From panning for gold in a pristine mountain river to enjoying easy nature hikes, we´ve got all the information you need to plan a quality family vacation to one of America´s most iconic national parks.

Visit the Giant Sequoias

What could be more unique than taking your tiny children to stare up into the canopy of the massive sequoias. One of the pleasures of being a parent is watching your children explore the natural world and express their awe and wonder and what they see around them.

Children love to explore the relatively easy trails throughout the two different groves of Sequoias in Yosemite National Park, and are encouraged to touch and explore the gigantic trees. At the very least, it will make for a great photo opportunity.

Panning for Gold in the Merced River

The Merced River is a great river for family fun. Unlike other mountain rivers with their quick currents and rapids, the Merced flows peacefully throughout Yosemite Valley. The relatively shallow areas with large sandy beaches make it a great place for a family picnic, some fun mini-tubing practice, and a chance to cool off from the warm summer temperatures.

You can also give your kids a history lesson on the California Gold Rush, as bits of gold can still be found in the Merced River. Read up on how to pan for gold, bring along some basic equipment, and see if your children can find some gold specks in the river sand.

Junior Ranger Program

An essential part of visiting the beautiful areas of our nation´s national parks is also teaching our children about the importance of protecting these pristine areas. Yosemite has a fantastic Junior Ranger program that is both educational and participative. Your kids will have to fill out a workbook on the park, learn about some of the park´s wildlife, and do a “service project” to help keep the park clean in order to earn their badge.

Drive up to Glacier Point

Just because your kids aren´t able or willing to endure a grueling 10 mile hike up to the top of Half Dome doesn´t mean that you can´t enjoy the stunning panoramic views that Yosemite offers. A short drive up to Glacier Point can be done with your kids which will offer you unbelievable views of the surrounding valley and most recognizable mountains.

For a real stunning experience, consider driving up around sunset during the full moon phase to watch the sun set and the moon rise. You can also enjoy a unique opportunity for star gazing at Glacier Point to get your kids interested in the heavens above.

Yosemite: So Much Family Fun

These are just a few of the activities that you and your family can enjoy while at Yosemite, but there are virtually unlimited amounts of activities that you can plan for the entire family. Ask the ranger station for other ideas for family centered activities at the park and you´ll soon find that your kids won´t ever want to leave.

What Each Season Offers

If you can’t make it to Yosemite in the spring, don’t fret. Each of the four seasons in Yosemite offers truly magical sights. The sunny, summer days are rightfully a crowd favorite, and if you don’t like cool temperatures, the warm, dry air is perfect for hiking and getting the best views.

Fall time in Yosemite also offers a way to avoid the crowds since most people stop visiting after Labor Day. The crisp night air often times drives out the summer haze leading to beautiful panoramic views. There is no better time of year to go stargazing at Yosemite than in September or October.

Though many of the parks roads close in winter time, the park service does regularly plow Glacier Point Road up to Badger Pass. Driving up to the pass after a night of snow fall will offer a magical glimpse of Yosemite´s winter wonders.

Furthermore, if you can make it to Yosemite in February, you will get to watch the Firefall, one of the most amazing natural phenomena in the world. The setting sun at that time of year is at such an angle that the sun illuminates Horsetail Falls in such a way that the falls glow orange and red while the sun sets.

Get Outdoors

Best Hikes

With 1,200 square miles, Yosemite is a backpacker and hikers dream. Since the majority of the crowds never leave Yosemite Valley which only makes up 1% of the park, you should be able to find plenty of solitude and untouched, natural beauty, whether that be on the cliffs of a high granite peak or in an unexplored valley.

Below we offer our five best hikes for true nature lovers. Four of these hikes are day hikes while one can be done as an overnighter.

Half Dome

This 17 mile round trip hike isn’t for folks who are out of shape. If you think that you have the energy and the stamina to make it up one of the largest granite rocks in the world, however, you will be rewarded with a once in a lifetime experience.

To begin your hike you will go by past two gorgeous waterfalls, Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls, before hiking through thick pine forest. As you approach the top of the granite dome, you will have to pull yourself up with the aid of granite steps (think stairway of hell) and wire cables.

Once you make it to the top, however, the views are otherworldly with sweeping panoramas of Yosemite Valley and the surrounding landscape. You do need a permit to do this day hike so plan in advance.

Upper Yosemite Falls

If you make it Yosemite, you have to at least to try to climb up to the top of North Americas highest waterfall. The upper Yosemite Falls hike is a 7.2 mile round trip hike, though be warned that the majority of the trail is made up of steep, gruesome switchbacks.

Once you make it to the top of the falls, however, you will have gorgeous views of Half Dome and parts of the Yosemite Valley. You will also be able to say that you were at the headwaters of the largest waterfall on the continent.

Taft Point

If you are looking for a less strenuous hike, Taft Point is a relatively easy 2.2 mile round trip hike that takes you to the edge of Yosemite Valley and offers breathtaking views of the park’s main attractions.

You will also get to travel by deep cracks or crevices in the rock that extend several hundred feet downwards, displaying the geological and seismological activity of the park.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

If you have never walked through a towering sequoia forest, it truly is a one of a kind experience that makes you see your life in perspective and consider your relative insignificance in the grand scheme of things.

There are a number of different trails leading through the forest, but you should definitely try and see the Grizzly Giant and the California Tunnel Tree, two of the most iconic giants.

Ostrander Lake

Nothing is quite so pleasant as spending the night camping in the wilderness on the shores of a pristine mountain lake. The Ostrander Lake trail isn’t as popular as some of Yosemite’s other trails, but that is what makes it so desirable.

If you are looking for great wilderness solitude, this 12.7 mile round trip hike will take you through meadows and prairies before climbing steeply to the Lake. You will also be gifted with breathtaking views of the Clark Mountain Range. Make sure to get a back country permit at the park offices before heading out to camp for the night.

Sentinel Meadows

Another fantastic overnighter to get away from the crowds is a hike through Sentinel Meadows. Besides offering fantastic views of pristine meadows and wildflowers, you also have your best bet of viewing grizzly bears along this trail.

The Sentinel Meadows Trail is managed by the Firehole Bear Management Area and is closed until Memorial Day Weekend every year. Once it opens, however, you have a pretty good chance of sighting a grizzly bear or two. Make sure to use precaution, but enjoy the adventure.

Best Mountain Climbing Adventures

For folks who are looking for more of an adrenaline rush than what hiking offers, there are a number of opportunities to mountain climb throughout the park. Yosemite is often considered to be a mountain climbers dream with numerous sheer granite cliffs and vertical faces over 3,000 feet high.

Below we offer some advice on two of the best climbs for adrenaline junkies. Make sure to check for any closures before planning your trip as the park often times unexpectedly closes a route for restoration. Also, if you are looking for guided mountain climbing trips, consider Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides (http://www.symg.com/trips/rockclimbing/)

Serenity Crack

This monster of a climb is one of the best crack climbs you can find. It is also a relatively easy climb for beginners since it is basically a manufactured climb with plenty of pin scars making it easy to find your way to the top.

Northwest Face of Half Dome

Climbing half dome is on every mountain climber´s bucket list. The granite face of Half Dome looks almost unclimbable from the base, but once you get started, you will find it impossible to turn around. During your ascent, there are a number of places where curious hikers will admire your insanity as you take the “short cut” to the top.

You will need a partner and lots of problem solving ability to be able to master this climb though most of the climbing in itself is actually moderate if you pick the right route.

Places To Stay

Their are lots of awesome places to stay!!! To list a few...

McCaffrey House Bed & Breakfast Inn
23251 Highway 108 (P.O. Box 67)
Twain Harte, CA 95383
209-586-0757

Bear Creek Inn
575 W. North Bear Creek Drive
Merced, CA 95348
208-723-3991

Yosemite's Sierra Mountain Lodge
45046 Fort Nip Trail
Ahwahnee CA 93601
(559) 683-7673


The Wonder of Yosemite

The incredibly varied landscape of Yosemite offers so many different, unique views and adventure activities that pretty much anyone find something they love. From meandering through groves of giant Sequoias to climbing up a sheer granite face, Yosemite National Park is one place that everyone should visit.

Related Articles 

Has this article got you thinking about Camping? Remember to keep your food fresh & drinks cool with our recommended camping coolers. Check our guide it before you plan your next trip. We think you'll enjoy it.

Top Five Overnight Hikes in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the United States, and rightfully so. The beautiful mountains, pristine rivers, herds of wild buffalo, blazing hot springs and Geysers and so much more make this place a truly one of a kind environment.

It can be frustrating, however, to head to Yellowstone in hopes of getting a taste of the natural wilderness only to find that everywhere you go, you are surrounded by thousands of talkative tourists whose radios, picture taking and the like kind of takes the magic out of the moment.

While Yellowstone is known for drawing a crowd, there are also some fantastic places you can go to get away from the crowds and experience the essence of the wildness of one of America´s most iconic national parks. Below you´ll find information on five fantastic overnight hikes in Yellowstone National Park.

Ice Lake and Chain of Lakes

If you are looking for a hike that will take you away from the crowds as quickly as possible, this is the option for you. While it is only a 1.4 mile hike to this backcountry campground, that is more than enough distance to separate you from the majority of tourists who frown upon carrying their bed in a backpack.

They call this trail the chain of lakes because the trail follows a number of mountain lakes that form in descending fashion throughout the mountain. Ice Lake is the closest one, and you can choose how far you plan to go. Wolf Lake is about a 4 mile hike making it a bit more secluded than Ice Lake.

Howard Eaton Trail

For experienced backcountry backpackers who like the thrill of trying to blaze their own trail, the Howard Eaton Trail offers a unique challenge. This trail hasn’t been maintained in a number of years. While there are still parts of it where a trail is recognizable, other parts have been lost to vegetation.

Trying to find your way along a lost trail offers a healthy dose of adrenaline to anyone. Throw in the fact that this is prime grizzly bear country and you´ll find yourself instantly on your toes during the entirety of the hike. The old Howard Eaton Trail is the best place in the park for people wanting to explore on their own.

Bighorn Pass

If you want a little longer hike, the Bighorn Pass backpacking trip will take you close to 9 miles into the wilderness. This hike takes you along the Gallatin River and is one of the best places to find black bears, grizzly bears, and herds of elk.

There are a number of backpacker only campsites along the way and you might even be able to find a campsite near a marmot colony. Their friendly chirping will keep you entertained throughout the night.

Lamar River

The best place in the whole park to see the Lamar Valley and offers perhaps the best scenic, panoramic views. Furthermore, along the Lamar River you will most likely find bison footprints, and if you know how to recognize, the iconic gray wolf.

This area is known as the American Serengeti because of the huge amount of wildlife including bear, elk, antelope, wolves, and much more.

How to Get In to the Backcountry at Yellowstone

To get away from the crowds at Yellowstone, you can´t simply take a tent and sleeping bag and head into the wilderness. All backcountry travelers and campers need a permit to camp outside of the regular campgrounds.

You will need to apply at least 48 hours ahead of your planned trip. If you are planning to hike during peak summer season, you might also find that many of the backcountry campsites that you wanted to reserve have already been reserved, so plan accordingly.

The Hidden Wonders of Yellowstone

If you have seen Old Faithful and done some of the more common day hikes at Yellowstone but want to get away from the crowds, the backcountry of Yellowstone offers a glimpse into a whole different side of this classic National Park. Do your planning ahead of time and pick any of these five fantastic backpacking trips to get a taste of the unspoiled wilderness of Yellowstone.

Top 7 Day Hikes in Washington State

Rainforests and Open Meadows

Washington State isn’t often considered to be one of the most ecologically diverse states of our country. Nestled into the top northwestern corner of the United States, it often gets passed up on for other supposedly more exotic locations for hiking.

The difference between eastern and western Washington are so striking, however, that it might feel like you´ve travelled across the world after a short 5 hour car drive. From the lush Cascade Mountains and the Hoh Rainforests in the western part of the state to the dry, wheat fields and prairies of the eastern part of the state, Washington offers a number of uniquely different ecosystems and environments.

A fantastic vacation idea would be to start in the Spokane area of eastern Washington and drive all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Along the way be sure to check out some of these awe-inspiring day hikes.

Oregon Butte

The Blue Mountains in the south-eastern part of Washington aren’t as famous as their western counterparts, but they still have plenty to offer. The ridgeline trail that goes through the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness will take you to a beautiful overlook. On a clear day you will be able to see down into the valley of wheat fields and open spaces.

Tolmie Peak Lookout - Eunice Lake

There is something undeniably magical about mountain lakes, and the Tolmie Peak Lookout stairs down into the pristine Eunice Lake which shines like a sapphire amidst an emerald green softwood forest.

Located near Mount Rainier National Park, this simple day hike will offer you beautiful views of one of the most iconic peaks in the state of Washington while also taking you up to almost 6,000 feet elevation.

South Coldwater Trail

Mount Saint Helen´s might not be as active as it was a couple of decades ago, but this trail in the South Cascades region offers you a pretty unique experience. You will be able to take in pretty cool views of the old volcano itself while also appreciating the roaming herds of elk.

The South Coldwater Trail rambles through treeless valleys which still give testament to the power of destruction that Mount Saint Helens caused. At the same time, the renewed landscape filled with wild flowers speaks to the power and resiliency of the natural world.

Sunrise Ridge

In the northern part of the Olympic Mountains you can find a unique trail in Sunrise Ridge. This trail which is within Olympic National Park is a wildflower-lover´s delight. If you time it right you will find field upon field of every type of wildflower including lupine, larkspur and everything in between. This is also a great trail to come upon all sorts of wildlife.

Hoh Rainforest Trail

Really? A rainforest in the United States. While many of us might think that rainforests only exist in Brazil or Indonesia, the United States does have its own swath of untouched, virgin rainforest in the Hoh National Park.

Walking through the lush greenness of the Hoh Rainforest Trail is an experience unlike any other. Monstrous trees hung with thick moss and the unending song of hidden birds will make you feel like you´re in another country. The relatively open understory allows you to truly take in the beauty of America´s only rainforest.

Rialto Beach and Hole-in-the-Wall

While many people might think of the beach as a place to relax on the sand, the Pacific Coast of Washington is a perfect place to explore sea side cliffs and forests. The Rialto Beach and Hole-in-the-Wall offers a short 4 mile loop trail that is coastal hiking at its best. If you´re lucky, you might even find some tide pools filled with starfish and other unique sea creatures

Larch Lake

In the Central Cascades, Larch Lake trail offers one of the most secluded places you can get to in a day. This hike isn´t easy as you´ll gain over 2,500 feet of elevation in 12 round trip miles, but if you make it to the lake you´ll be greeted by one of the Cascades best kept secrets.

Hiking this trail in early fall is by far the best time as the azure glow of Larch Lake will contrast beautifully with the golden leaves of fall time.

A Must See: Spider Meadow

If you are in the Cascades Region, you will also want to check out Spider Meadow. A 13 mile round trip hike will take you through meadows and alpine highlands while giving you glimpse into the unique ecosystem of Glacier Peak Wilderness area.

Washington: So Much to See

Chances are that during your cross-state excursion throughout the state of Washington you´ll also come across dozens of other beautiful areas beckoning for you to stop and explore. You might not even be able to drive more than a couple miles without feeling the itch to see what´s over the hill. Exploring Washington State through these day hikes will offer you a glimpse into the natural beauty this state has to offer.

Seven Amazing Things to See in the Smokey Mountains

Let´s face it: not everyone is built for enduring the elements during a five day, strenuous backpacking trip up some 14,000 foot mountain. That´s what makes the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee so great. Even a few steps off the road and you´ll feel like you´re enveloped in a beautiful, pristine wilderness.

Watch the Sunset from Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the park at 6,643 feet. You can take the leisurely drive through the forest to the top of the dome where you will be greeted by outstanding panoramic views of the hazy, surrounding mountains. There is simply no better place to catch a sunset here in the park.

Laurel Falls Trail

If you are not in the best shape or don´t enjoy hiking up steep mountains, the Laurel Falls Trail offers a nice stroll through the woods. The 2.6 mile loop trail is mostly flat with a few small hills. But don´t let the ease of the hike fool you into thinking you won´t get to see much.

The culmination of the hike is a view of a gorgeous 80 foot high waterfall splashing into a small pool at its base. If you plan it at the right time of the year, you can also enjoy the flowering rhododendrons. This is a great hike to do with young children as it will open up to them the wonders of the natural world without not being too strenuous for their young legs.

Ramsey Cascades Trail

While the Laurel Falls are pretty accessible to anyone, the Ramsey Cascades Trail is a pretty strenuous trail. This 8-mile hike increases close to 2,000 feet in elevation which means that you probably won´t run in too many other people.

The trail takes you through beautiful forest and follows the gushing waters of a stream. If you make it to the end of the trail, you´ll be greeted to the park´s tallest waterfall with over 100 feet of fall. In the small pool at the bottom of the fall you should be able to find uniquely colored salamanders.

Watch the Foliage from Campbell Overlook

One of the most unique places in the park to see the autumn foliage is Campbell Overlook. It is the best place in the park to see towering Mount LeConte and other forests. You can get there by car, or, if you prefer, through numerous hiking trails.

Hike Up Mount LeConte

The Alum Cave Bluff Trail will take you up to the top of Mount LeConte, the most iconic peak in the Smoky Mountains National Park. While there are several different trails to help you get up Mount LeConte, this trail is the steepest, less-frequented, and offers several unique sights along its way.

From a spot called Inspiration Point you can hike through an arch and get a view of the “Eye of the Needle” a hole in a rock in a nearby ridge.

Hike a Part of the Appalachian Trail

The Applachian Trail goes from Georgia all the way to Maine. If you´re not up for spending 6 months crossing the entire country by foot, you should at least hike a part of the trail that crosses through the Smoky Mountains. Standing Indian Mountain is our pick for the best place to get on the AT and can easily be done as a simple overnight backpacking trip.

Roarking Fork Motor Nature Trail

If hiking isn’t your thing, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail takes you into the heart of the Smokies. You will pass by old homesteads and also have the option to walk to the Rainbow and Grotto Waterfalls, both of which should not be passed on.

A Must See

There are hundreds of things to see in the Smoky Mountains, but one thing that you absolutely can´t miss is Cades Cove. This beautiful rolling meadow offers a loop tour that you can hike, drive or bike and offers a glimpse into centuries past.

Cades Cove used to be an agrarian settlement and you can still see beautiful constructions of old log cabins hidden in the thick woods. It´s also a great spot to catch a glimpse of a black bear, if you´re lucky. Like most places in the park, the best time of year to visit is in the fall time to enjoy the beautiful colors on the trees.

The Smoky Mountains: A Comfortable Wilderness

Any of these travel ideas throughout the Smoky Mountains will offer you a truly unique experience. From backwoods hiking to comfortable and accessible wilderness, the Smokies offer a little bit of everything for families, independent adventure seekers, and everyone in between.

Seven Amazing Things to See in Yosemite

The Unending Beauty of Yosemite National Park


Imagine visiting a national park where over 95% of the close to 750,000 acres were designated as pure wilderness. Now imagine the fact that the vast majority of the four million people each year who visit only spend their time in the seven square miles that make up Yosemite Valley.


Despite being one of the most beautiful national parks in the United States, much of Yosemite still remains an unexplored wilderness.


Yosemite National Park is filled with breathtaking mountain ranges, waterfalls, mountain lakes, glaciers, and towering redwood forests. There is truly something for everyone in this impressively picturesque World Heritage Site, and we´ll take you through seven of the most amazing things to see in Yosemite.




Hike Yosemite Falls


Yosemite Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the United States dropping close to 2,500 feet from the top fall to the lower fall. For the more adventurous of people, you can take a strenuous several mile hike up to the top of waterfall enjoying gorgeous views along the way.


Spring is by far the best time to visit when the snow melt and extra rains bring the waterfall to a crashing roar. If you do hike to the top, you can even wade in the river only feet from where it eventually crashes over 1,000 feet downwards to the second fall.



Hike Half Dome


Half Dome is another daunting adventure for backpackers and hikers alike. The granite dome that juts up into the sky is rounded on three sides but a sheer granite face on one side, thus giving it its name.


An incredibly strenuous 8.5 mile hike will take you to the top of Half Dome via hundreds of stairs carved into the granite rock. Alternatively, for the truly adventurous, you can choose to mountain climb the sheer granite face on Half Dome´s northwest face.



Take Your Kids Gold Panning


California used to offer the promise of striking it rich during the hay days of the California Gold Rush. Today you can still find a number of rivers where gold can be found if you bring the right patience and skills.


The Main Fork of the Merced River is one of the best places in the park to search for gold. You will need to bring your own panning equipment, though there are several nearby stores that will sell you what you needed to try and strike it rich.


Climb the Nose of “El Capitan”


For adrenaline junkies, what could be better than trying to climb up a 7,500-foot granite monolith that offers more than 3,000 feet of free fall to the valley floor below? El Capitan is a massive rock formation located in the northern part of Yosemite Valley.


Even experienced mountain climbers often need a minimum of five days to complete the climb, so make sure you plan accordingly.



Drive Through Tioga Pass


For people who aren’t up for climbing up steep mountain faces, Yosemite still offers access to beautiful, breathtaking panoramic views. The Tioga Pass is a mountain pass through the Sierra Nevada mountains that approaches 10,000 feet.


Route 120 drives right through the pass and is the eastern entrance way into the park. Leave early in the day to get the best views.



Walk Through a Grove of Sequoias


The Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias will help you put your size in perspective. During a leisurely walk through the old growth forest you can even walk through a massive tunnel carved out of a dead sequoia.


For a more secluded experience the Mariposa Grove of Sequoias is just up the road.



Watch a Sunset from Olmsted Point


One of the best places to watch a sunset in Yosemite National Park is at Olmsted Point which is an overlook off of the Tioga Road that offers a wonderful view into the canyon with views of Half Dome and other lakes. Olmsted Point offers some of the best views of the park for those who aren’t willing or able to scale mountain faces.



Final Thoughts


Yosemite National Park is without a doubt one of the most beautiful national areas of the United States. Whether you are looking for the adrenaline of free climbing El Capitan or want to drive to Tioga Pass to enjoy the views, Yosemite has adventures waiting for everyone.

What is the Best Cooler For the Money?

Cheap But Top Quality: What is the Best Cooler For the Money?

Coolers are common to many households. You might not always need them but for sure, you have them around. They serve optimum purpose while enjoying a backyard barbecue with friends or a camping trip with the family. Not all coolers are created the same, especially in terms of functionality and price. Getting the best cooler for the money is a wiser principle when you shop for a unit because the most expensive does not always constitute a good choice. Here is a useful guide.

Extremely Affordable: Rubbermaid Extreme 5-Day Wheeled Ice Chest Rolling Cooler

Pegged at only $60.70, this highly affordable yet top performer unit is the best cheap cooler in the market. It has very thick insulation that can keep ice frozen for no less than five days. Plus, it is big enough to carry about a hundred and thirty drink cans and ice.

Since it is wheeled, it is also not too difficult to move around, whether you are using it at a party, a camping or picnic trip, and others. The portable construction also allows for tailgating without fuss. There is also durable metal, extended tow handles, and functional drain as additional features that make it a real steal.

Rubbermaid Extreme 5-Day Wheeled Ice Chest Rolling Cooler

Good Value Design: Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler

With top-of-the-line leak resistance feature, the Coleman Belted Cooler is poised for some great outdoor fun. It is big enough to carry a good amount of goods with a 54-quart capacity yet it is easy to carry with stainless steel handless that are well supported by rubber grips.

This is the classic steel cooler inked in your memory as a kid, only, it was painted to look more “now” and updated with advanced features to serve you better. The rust-resistant construction plus the solid steel latch for a secure seal make it a top choice that could give the rest, even those that cost hundreds to a thousand, a run for the money.

Coleman 54-Quart Steel-Belted Cooler

The Top Performer: ENGEL DeepBlue Performance Cooler

Engel DeepBlue is a known brand for delivering high performance coolers that are sought by professionals such as Fire Rescue teams. The manufacturer did not disappoint with this number, offering a rugged, durable, and tough demeanor with lots of amazing features making it perfect company for fishing, tailgating, camping, hunting, and off-road adventures.

The performance cooler has two-inch insulation on all sides and all-silicon gaskets to create no room for mistake, keeping your goods preserved for up to 10 days. This is indeed, the best value cooler. Apart from being durable and utterly functional, it is also easy to clean because the exterior is made of food grade plastic that is stain-resistant.

ENGEL DeepBlue Performance Cooler

Best for All-Terrain Expeditions: Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler

Everything is amazing about this Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler. It is spacious, with 70 quarts capacity; portable, with oversized wheels that can tackle even the toughest terrains including sand; functional, with a four-day ice retention capability; and purposeful, with various extra features to keep your needs and demands met with efficiency.

Some of the interesting features of this great value cooler include a media-docking slot that allows you to enjoy ebooks and media files hands-free, the pocketsize storage that is water-resistant, and the butler tray that keeps food and drinks within reach. It also has a tie-down loop that you can use for hauling your towels, foldable chairs, and more, plus, bottle openers that you can have ready anytime.

Igloo Trailmate Journey Cooler

Affordable Quality: Driftsun Arctik Series 60 Quart Ice Chest

Those who are looking for affordable quality can find a great option in this Driftsun Arctik Series. It is huge, it is unique, it is functional, and best of all, it is currently on sale. You can get this heavy duty cooler for below $200 and enjoy all the amazing features all right.

This brand is the first to offer a non-sweat design, preventing condensation to form on the exterior. It is also powered by a Thermalock Freezer Style Gasket, which helps lock out heat from the outside while sealing in cold from the inside. Having said that, expect to keep your food and drinks well preserved for long within the two-inch commercial grade insulation.

Driftsun Arctik Series 60 Quart Ice Chest

Final Thoughts

Have you finally found the best affordable cooler to last you many memorable outdoor expeditions? With the amazing choices we just laid out, you should have. In the end, all you really need to do is to decide which unit serves your purpose best for a price that you can afford. Always aim for value for your hard earned dollars and you will never go wrong.

Related Articles

Need more? Check out our guide about the best cooler on the market today!

Best Camping Cooler Reviews: No Bears Please

When you want a worry-free outdoor expedition, whether it’s for overnight or a few days straight, there is one item that you must save for because it can make or break your camping adventure: the cooler. The safety hazards outdoors can be defeated if you have the best camping cooler that is dependable, weatherproof, and bear-resistant. It may come at a price but if you choose well, it’s worth the investment.

Choose from the following:

YETI Roadie Cooler

The Yeti brand is known for over-engineering camping coolers to create innovative units that will cover up all outdoor hazards. This Roadie Cooler got the best of everything Yeti stands for, from the NeverFail Hinge System to the Bear-Resistant FatWall Design to the LipGrip Handles to the PermaFrost Insulation to the Rotomolded Construction and more. Its patented features make up for the cost, which clinches the cash register at $249.99.

The Yeti Roadie Cooler is considered one of the best coolers for camping with its legendary toughness and longer ice retention capability. You will never have trouble keeping food well stored in this amazing technology. It has highly advanced features that will answer most of your woes while you are away from the comforts of home, including that about bears and other creatures creeping in even while you are on watch.

YETI Roadie Cooler

Engel Coolers High Performance

Engel Coolers are built tough. They can hold ice for 10 days and are certified bear-proof. The HardShell construction that’s rotomolded can also withstand rough weathers and rugged terrains so you can enjoy much of your camping trip without hassles.

This high performance cooler provides great company for multiple days of hunting, fishing, and camping in the wild. Its two-inch insulation is very functional while the exteriors are deemed tough enough against creatures that might invade at any point.

Best of all, this can be had at only $278.81. That’s a fantastic price for one of the best camping coolers fully packed with all the wonderful features to keep you going for more exciting expeditions outdoors.

Engel Coolers High Performance

Canyon Coolers Outfitter Series

The outdoor game can be stressful, especially for keeping and storing food to last you for the entire adventure. That’s not a problem with this 22-quart member of the Canyon Coolers Outfitter Series. This heavy-duty, carry-around unit offers a striking balance between insulation, capacity, and built.

You will never have a problem carrying everything that you need to no matter what type of outdoor adventure you are enlisting to. This camping cooler can carry about 20 drink cans with ice and keep them cold for the next 2-3 days. It can also be slipped comfortably onto your shoulder with adjustable straps, making it easy to carry along.

Canyon Coolers Outfitter Series

Pelican Elite Cooler

From the looks of it, the Pelican Elite Cooler makes for a rugged choice that will keep up with the extreme demands of a life in the wild. Why not? This wonderful unit has impressive 10-day ice retention through its two-inch polyurethane insulation matched with a freezer-grade basket.

There are also varying features attached to this model, including bottle openers, locking latches, molded handles, tie-down slots, and non-skid rubber feet, which could help keep you comfortable for the entire trip. It is no secret that smart shoppers everywhere sought the legendary lifetime guarantee of the Pelican brand. That serves as a bit of an assurance that this unit is quite a good choice if you are looking for the best cooler for camping.

Pelican Elite Cooler

Grizzly 40 Quart Tan Cooler

Of all the bear-proof coolers in the market, Grizzly is considered a certified partner among road warriors with its awesome construction and tough finish. It is durable, ready for a big hunt or catch, appropriate for tailgating, roomy enough to last a couple of days of outback adventure, and more.

This premium lineup features a huge two-inch drain, airtight rubber gasket, and non-skid rubber feet. It can keep up with the high demands of road warriors everywhere, no matter what kind of conditions they may be subjected to along the way. Best of all, it can fantastically last for a lifetime, by keeping performance and durability perfectly balanced.

Grizzly 40 Quart Tan Cooler

Final Thoughts

We hope that these camping cooler reviews were able to shed light about the choice you have to make with regards to an appropriate food storage unit while you are having the time of your life outdoors. Making an investment for many fun and exciting camping trips is well worth the money if the choice is right.

Related Articles

Not sure what to get? Check out the best cooler brands.

Best Portable Cooler Review

Best Portable Cooler Review: The Deal on the Compact, Easy-to-Carry Fridge

There is nothing better than a cold drink to aid your exhaustion after indulging on various outdoor activities. Unfortunately, most camping, hunting, and beach locations do not have such convenience ready. That’s what coolers are made for. They are created many ways to meet every different need and requirement. That explains why coolers come in various sizes, designs, and features. For travelers who are coming without a car and would need something that’s easy to carry, our list of the best portable coolers will prove useful.

Coleman 16-Quart Personal Wheeled Cooler, Roll-In the Fun

Roll in with this beauty and enjoy up to two days with ice-cold food and drinks and a whole lot of fun. This top performance personal cooler that is easy to wheel in to practically any outdoor site is big enough to carry about 22 cans but small enough to give you a problem about portability.

Coleman’s portable cooler has recessed wheels and a long, telescoping handle that kept it handy. It also has molded handles on the side so lifting it will not be a problem as well.

Coleman 16-Quart Personal Wheeled Cooler

Koolatron P65 Kargo 12v Portable Cooler, Road Trips Had Never Been this Fun

Long road trips do not have to be troublesome because of several stops for refreshment breaks. With the Koolatron portable cooler, you can save time and keep your focus on the road. It works with a 12-volt vehicle plug to easily serve as your fridge on the go.

Unlike the common coolers, the sophisticated design of this unit separates it from the rest. It can be used horizontally or vertically, whichever way is most suitable. With its 33-quart capacity, the Koolatron cooler is considered one of the best small coolers in the market. It can even be used as a personal ref in dorms because you can use it at home, with the help of just an AC adapter.

Koolatron P65 Kargo 12v Portable Cooler

3 in 1 Backpack Cooler Chair, Portability At Its Finest

The three-in-one feature of this Backpack Cooler Chair will surely impress outdoor adventurers. Why, it is true to the word multi-purpose, letter per letter. Imagine, you have a portable cooler, foldable stool, and a backpack in just one product?

The stool and cooler backpack is made of lightweight nylon so you will never have to worry about an aching back afterwards. It’s easy-to-carry, fills with a few canned beverages without a problem, and has zippered enclosures and extra pockets to keep your things organized.

When you are tired walking, trekking, or hiking, you will not only get something to drink out of your backpack cooler chair. You can also enjoy sitting comfortably on the sturdy stool as you sip your cold drink and feel refreshed.

3 in 1 Backpack Cooler Chair

MIER Soft Cooler Tote, Portable Cooler Made Classy

Picnic bags had never been this fashionable. With the MIER soft cooler tote, you can sashay in style no matter where you are heading to – the beach, the fields, the mountain, or the wild.

This is indeed one of the best portable cooler bags in the market. It offers explicit durability because it is made with easy-to-clean PEVA materials; a huge capacity that can hold as much 24 cans in a go, and outstanding portability with its compact, strapped design. Organizing your things is easy with this soft cooler bag as it has a main compartment, two mesh pockets on the side, and a zippered pocket on the side to act as additional storage.

There is really nothing more you could ask for.

MIER Soft Cooler Tote

Backpack Cooler, a Backpacker’s Best Friend

From the high demands for a portable cooler that one could carry anywhere comes this backpack cooler design.

This is a genius product that could carry your drinks all right and keep them cold for at least a day. It could carry 20 cans plus ice packs without a problem to provide you enough supply of refreshments for an all-day adventure. It is easy to doubt if the backpack cooler can actually hold its ground but with a heat-sealed, no-leak liner, you should have not wondered in the first place.

Backpack Cooler

Final Thoughts

Still have not found the best portable ice chest from among the choices we laid down? Don’t worry, there are lots more of other products that could seal the deal for you. All you need to do first is to establish what kind of cooling function you need and for what occasion. Once you determine your need, it will be much easier to fill that requirement with the perfect cooler unit.

Related Articles

Coolers too big? Check out our article about cooler bags to keep your lunch fresh.

Best Wheeled Cooler for Easy Traveling

Reliable wheeled coolers definitely make things easier when you need to transport a heavy load of food and beverages. Most of these come with sturdy handle that you can simply pull behind. They are built to last and endure rugged outdoors. To help you find the best wheeled coolers, we’ve come up with a short list and tried to find out their key features.

Here is a closer look at our top picks:

Coolest Cooler in Classic Orange- Only if you want the Best

If you got enough money to spare on a high-end product, why not spend it on the best one around? This cooler may be expensive, but it is built to last. It has a built-in blender that crushes ice, with a 20-volt rechargeable battery, making it perfect for parties and picnics.

The cooler comes with removable Bluetooth speaker with resonator plate and dual drivers. It has a LED light in the lid, helping you find your beverage at night. It also includes a built-in bottle opener, a ceramic knife, removable cutting board, corkscrew and bungee cord. The wheels are rubberized and the axle and hinges are made of stainless steel. It is said to be the best cooler with wheels for it is designed with fun and convenience in mind.

Coolest Cooler in Classic Orange

Rubbermaid Ice Chest/Cooler: Best Bang for your Buck

This inexpensive wheeled cooler certainly offers the best bang for your buck. It is constructed to ensure rugged terrain with its durable wheels. It features a split lid for easy access to contents without putting all the cold air out.

The superior cold retention can keep your food fresh and your drinks cold for a long period. You can transport it in two ways; using the side swing handles that have comfort grip or the sturdy pull handle. It is easy to clean as the liner is antimicrobial. It comes with built-in cup holders and a front drain that drains liquid easily. The series is available in three sizes to suit your needs.

Rubbermaid Ice Chest/Cooler

Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Soft Cooler With Hard Line: Best Value

If a hard cooler is not your kind of cooler, then you might find this moderately priced wheeled soft cooler ideal. It holds 42 cans and can be transported using a telescoping handle or two side handles.

The cooler has removable hard liner that allows you to carry it easily. You can use ice or ice substitute to keep your drinks cold. The lid bungees, zippered front pocket, side mesh and inside top pockets offer enough space for your essentials. The soft liner is PEVA approved, with antimicrobial properties that make it easy to clean.

Coleman 42-Can Wheeled Soft Cooler With Hard Line

Igloo Island Breeze Cooler: Most Affordable

If you’re hunting for an inexpensive wheeled cooler, this could be one your top choices. It is a perfect companion to hold your drinks and treats during family outing. It features telescoping handle for easy leverage.

The design offers a more compact storage, so the cooler easily fits smaller vehicles. It is built with gear hangers that make it possible for your bags and other items to be hung. The wheels can be transported easily over rugged terrain. You can simply push or pull it without worrying about the wheels breaking. It also features a technology that elevates the item away from any hot surface.

Igloo Island Breeze Cooler

Coleman 100 Quart Xtreme 5 Wheeled Cooler: Awesome for the Price

At a mid-range price, you can have a high quality wheeled cooler that suits your needs. It features patented extreme 5 technology and thermozone insulation, both exclusive at Coleman.

Certainly one of the best coolers with wheels, Coleman Xtreme has all the important qualities you might be looking for. It can keep your food cold for up to five days in 90-degrees Fahrenheit. It boasts additional insulation in the lid, which is responsible for providing superior retention of cold. The 100-quart cooler allows you to carry up to 160 cans of drinks with ease. The wheels are large and durable enough to hold the contents. The lid is hinged and designed with beverage holders. Carry it two ways; one is through the tow handle if you want to use one hand. The material contains no toxic chemicals such as CFC, HFC and HCFC.

Coleman 100 Quart Xtreme 5 Wheeled Cooler

Final Thoughts

Wheeled coolers come in various sizes and specifications. There is no need to be confused with the wealth of choices you have. If you know your needs, you can start from there. Read wheeled cooler reviews. Narrow down your choices based on your key considerations including the right handle height, the wheel size and transport size. Think about the number of people the cooler will serve, how long you want the ice to remain frozen or the terrain on your destination.

Do you already have answers to these important questions?

Related Articles 

Need something smaller? Read about the best portable cooler before you go on your next adventure.

1 2 3 4