One of the more breathtaking (and, for me, breathless) loop trails that I hike at Mount Rainier is to go up Golden Gate trail to the skyline trail to Panorama Point.
Skyline Trail is well named.
The lower skyline trail is permanently closed, except for those adept with ice axes. So up one goes even farther.
There is a spot on the Upper Skyline Trail that has much better views than Panorama Point does:
But Panorama Point has a potty (as well as crowds of the many folk who hike directly to and from it starting at the visitor center.
I never go into this hike thinking I will make it, I give myself permission before I start to just go as far as I can and enjoy the beauty that I see, but I always do.
If you ever get a chance to go to Paradise, this is a great loop since many do not go beyond the there and back to Panorama Point, so you have less crowded trails. By hiking up Golden Gate in the morning you get shade for the steepest uphill. When you get above the tree line there is usually a nice breeze for the (not entirely insignificant) remainder of the uphill. There is some scree scramble but not too bad. If it helps you to gauge: I hike in hiking shoes (not boots), carry a mono-pod/hiking stick and don’t have exceptionally good balance. I am a bit nervous, but have never had a problem.
No matter how I try, I can’t seem to be systematic about publishing photos. These are from my May trip to Guilin, in China, during their rainy season. The last full day we were there we wandered around the lakes in the middle of town in the rain. We were wet through and through, but we didn’t want to waste any time in that lovely city.
One thing that fascinated me when I researched about the Great Wall of China is that it was used more for communication than for separation. In the days before cell phones, messages could be sent quickly over long distances along the wall using smoke, flares and flags.
These are photos from the reconstructed area called Mutianyu. It is less crowded than Badaling, which is more easily accessed from Beijing. As I mentioned we had a private driver to our hotel as part of Wild Great Wall’s self-guided tour so we did not have to figure out how to get back to the city.
Comparing from the photos I posted last week, Which Way. You can see that the reconstruction and maintenance are a monumental endeavor. The wall is along the crest of the hills and the area is not accessed by roads, the materials are heavy and there is a lot of territory to cover.
Traveling this section there are a lot of stairs, steep and uneven in many places.
These are from a walk we took on the Great Wall of China last spring, from Jiankou to Mutianyu. These are all from the unimproved section (Mutianyu is one of the large sections that has been improved.)
The walk was about five miles and the package we used had a driver who drove us to Jiankou, then walked with us to the first tower on the wall (that is a steep-ish, but short hike), after taking our picture he returned to the car and drove around to Mutianyu to meet us. Once on the wall you can follow it and the instructions provided easily. I can recommend the outfit we used: “Wild Great Wall”, I’ve used them three times for different activity levels. We all felt that is was beneficial to see both the unreconstructed and the reconstructed wall. If I stay on task this week (not real good odds) I will post pictures from the reconstructed section of the wall next week.
I never finished the series of posts I intended to write about walking Hadrian’s Wall last June.
Here is a gallery of pictures from the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail between Housesteads Fort and Chester’s Fort.
In this stretch, while not including the highest point on the walk, it passes something equivalent to the Continental divide in North America, the texture of the clouds changed, and it got way less windy.