Stories of Upper Peninsula Hiking

Jacob is crazy passionate about hiking in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. From the worn outcroppings of the Huron Mountains to the swamps and old growth forest deep within the Peshekee Highlands, he's either been there or is planning an adventure right now. One of Jacob's particularly fond hiking goals involved tracking down Keweenaw waterfalls.

Ives Lake, surrounded in color

Across the Mazatzals: Over Sandy Saddle

Cloudy skies over Barnhardt

Thunder rolled down from the heights of the Mazatzal Mountains, dire warnings issued from dull clouds that swam around the towering peaks. With an anxious eye I tried to decide if I should head up Barnhardt Trail today or not. This trailhead was empty and I could just car camp, wait for an early…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 21, 2017
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Shaw Butte

Hot desert landscape in northern Phoenix

A few mountain hikes lay scattered in the northern reaches of Phoenix, including Piestewa (Squaw Peak) and Camelback, both of which I've hiked when I was first getting used to these desert lands. There are some less lofty ones too, such as North Mountain and Lookout. Calling these mountains are a…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 16, 2017
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Sycamore Rim Loop

Morning sun over Sycamore Falls trailhead

Arizona is a state of transition. The Colorado Plateau intrudes from the north, an enormous plain of pines and grasslands around 7000', and reaches almost down to Globe. Where this plain ends there is a mix of steep rims and canyons that eventually drop into the hot, southern deserts closer to…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 12, 2017
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Picacho Peak Loop

Start of the Calloway Trail

Picacho Peak is a sudden mound of rock located halfway between Phoenix and Tucson. It isn't that tall, topping off at 3,370', nor is it large, especially compared to the nearby Newman Peak. However, it does have a very distinct profile. The sharp spur soars above the desert and provided early…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 17, 2017
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South Fork - Gold Ridge Loop

Early morning light over Gold Ridge Trail

By the time the day broke in brilliant hues of pink and purple over a distant Mogollon Rim I was almost 5 miles into my hike. Yes, another ridiculous early morning in the Mazatzal Wilderness. Today's early start wasn't aimed at getting a ton of miles, though - my planned route was a mere 13 miles…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 3, 2017
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Deadman Mesa

Tagged clump of grass marking the way out

Last time I spent the night in the Mazatzal Wilderness I had to deal with a midnight bear visitor that scared the crap out of me. This time it was a skunk. I smelled it shortly before I heard the soft scuffles through the leaves and grass under my gear and froze in my hammock, unwilling to give the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 27, 2017
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Descent to Fossil Creek

Dim morning light on Twin Buttes Trailhead

Soft pastels lit the clear sky above me in muted tones, whispers before the terrible forecasted high temperatures this weekend. I appreciated the chilly sixty-odd degree temperatures found on Hardscrabble Mesa this early in the morning. Another early start today, this time leaving Phoenix a few…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 24, 2017
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South Mazatzal Roundup: Sunflower

Shade along FR 25A

Slushy gatorade was a shockingly refreshing beverage. I made a mental note to freeze more bottles for post-hike treats as I lounged against the van. Twenty-five miles behind me and it was only four in the afternoon as I enjoyed the frosty treat. This whole loop might just be possible. The last six…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 12, 2017
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South Mazatzal Roundup: Cornucopia - Thicket Spring Loop

Tall pines along Thicket Spring Trail

Tall pines clumped around McFarland Canyon, survivors spared from the worst of the wildfires by the surrounding hillsides and sheer luck. There were enough to even shade sections of Thistle Spring Trail as it played along the banks, cutting between tall bushes and curving along side drainages. I…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 7, 2017
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South Mazatzal Roundup: Cross F Trailhead to Squaw Flat

Full moon over a burned tree in the Mazatzals

Hiking distance is something that I've always been intimately aware of, from all the way back in the days of exploring Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It started as a question of how many waterfalls I could bag after work, a calculation based on driving distance and walking speed and daylight, and when…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 4, 2017
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Activity Stream

  • Read The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1) by N.K. Jemisin.
  • Blogged about hiking | Across the Mazatzals: Over Sandy Saddle.
  • Pushed some code at jacobemerick/lifestream-service.
  • Blogged about hiking | Shaw Butte.
  • Pushed some code at jacobemerick/lifestream-service.
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