A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about nationalparks

2020

what just happened?

sunny 80 °F
View Turkey 2020 & Montana & Wyoming 2020 & 14ers 2017+ & Colorado and Utah 2020 & Israel 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

Looking Back

2020:
Well, that was an interesting year.
There was some things that were new and crazy like the pandemic and my truck getting stolen and totaled. Meanwhile other things stayed the same just like any other year with camping, hiking, biking, running, volleyball, moving, and road trips.

Most activities this year was somehow affected by COVID related news, including working remotely for 41 weeks of the year. I had several concerts, events, and international travel cancelled. The trips would have been to Italy, Croatia, Austria, Canada, and the Cayman Islands.

However that allowed me to take more US based trips. I was able to check out a lot of National Parks included Rocky Mountain, Colorado Monument, Dinosaur Monument, Arches, Yellowstone, and Grand Tetons. Plus had the time to see a lot of family, friends, and enjoy hobbies (all at a distance of course).

Well, here's the review:

Activities

Things that happened in 2020:

Big Travels

Quick Trips

Challenges

Events & other activities

  • moved to downtown Denver - February
  • had 4Runner stolen, along with all my camping and outdoor gear, to be found a week later totaled and trashed by drug addicts - August
  • concerts: none
  • races: none
  • volleyball, biking, running, walking, hiking
  • Denver Travel Show
  • Prudence turned 3 - August

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 03:21 Archived in USA Tagged me sunsets_and_sunrises mountains lakes trees museums nature travel california colorado mountain egypt turkey utah camp africa usa rockies festival hike bike israel europe asia denver qatar roadtrip montana wyoming macedonia ultra challenge sup nationalparks 14er 2020 murktravels in_review fkkt Comments (0)

Skopje 2020 - North Macedonia

and Ohrid

sunny 50 °F
View Turkey 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

As an add-on to the Turkey trip, we spent a few days in Macedonia. We had time to check out Skopje (capital and city of statues), Mavrovo Lake and National Park, Matka Canyon, and Ohrid.

Recommend:

  • Day trip to Ohrid to see Lake Ohrid, the fortress and roman ruins, and the Church of Saint Clement
  • Matka Canyon hike
  • Senigallia boat hotel and the Old House restaurant in Skopje

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
and for this trip: Macedonia album

There are LOTS of statues around town. We stop counting after a thousand. They are on every bridge and building and street corner.
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There are also many ruins of forts, castles, and roman theaters around the country.

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And many ornate church buildings

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And opportunity to enjoy nature and small towns.

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 20:26 Archived in Macedonia Tagged churches nature europe nationalparks 2020 northmacedonia Comments (0)

Grand Tetons National Park - Wyoming USA

mountains and water

overcast 85 °F
View Montana & Wyoming 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

It was photogenic !
Yeah, I have about 1000 pictures of the lake and Teton mountains. Pretty much every stop or corner you take, it's a cool photo.

One day we spent on the water, doing both on a paddle board and a kayak.
Another day we spent chasing wildlife and doing a tour of photography spots.
And yet another day we spent hiking into a canyon between mountains within the range.

All of those were unique experiences and I highly recommend checking out the Tetons national park.

Recommend:

  • Snake River - SUP, kayak, or raft
  • Jackson Lake & Jenny Lake
  • Cascade Canyon hike
  • Photography and wildlife tour

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
USA Utah album

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 10:34 Archived in USA Tagged me trees nature camp usa hike wyoming nationalparks 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming USA

the original

overcast 70 °F
View Montana & Wyoming 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

It was diverse !

This park has so many crazy sights to behold. There's the typical nature views of valleys, hills, forests, rivers, and lakes. But then there is the wildlife spotting with chances to see wolves, elk, bison, bears, birds, fish, and more. You can also see crazy rock formations, canyons with massive waterfalls (twice the height of Niagara), and huge open meadows. And of course, the highlights are the hot spring, geysers, mud pots, and all the colorful metals and organisms in the water around the vents.

We got lucky and we able to get one of the last campsites with only a few weeks before our trip. Normally, you need to plan and reserve them 5-6 months in advance. We pretty much only were there to cook meals and sleep, but though the campgrounds were very well run. We saw an elk grazing a few feet away one night.

Our first day including checking out West Yellowstone in Montana. After entering the park, we did part of the southwestern loop. This includes the Upper, Mid, and Lower geyser basin areas. All of them are must see experiences, and include the typical stop to see Old Faithful. I was surprised at how much activity there is in that small part of the park; we must have seen 100+ bubbling hot springs and geysers. We couldn't go any farther since a wildfire closed part of the road. So after that we had an hour drive across the middle of the park to our campsite at Bridge Bay.

The second day included sites along the south east loop. We started with the grand canyon of the Yellowstone river with multiple waterfall viewings. Then on to Mud Volcano area, Yellowstone Lake, and the west thumb Geyser area. That was a full day, so back to camp for an early night. And the next day we woke up at 4am to drive south out of the park and onto Grand Teton national park, where you have to arrive early to get first come first serve camping sites.

Recommend:
Pretty much everything in the park amazed me and would recommend it all.

  • Upper Geyser Basin, including Old Faithful and all the trails around it
  • Mid Geyser Basin, including the Grand Prismatic spring
  • Lower Geyser Basin, including the separate driving loop with Firehole Lake
  • Grand Canyon of Yellowstone River
  • Upper Falls & Lower Falls viewpoints
  • Yellowstone Lake
  • West Thumb Geyser area
  • Mud Volcano

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
USA Wyoming album

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 10:19 Archived in USA Tagged me trees nature lake sunsets camp usa hike wyoming nationalparks 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

RMNP CDT Loop Ultra 2020 - Colorado USA

Ultra run in Rocky Mountain National Park on the Continental Divide Trail loop

overcast 70 °F

overview / intro

I decided to complete one more ultra run this year, my 10th overall. After reading about great hikes around the Rocky Mountain park region, I decided on a loop that starts in Grand Lake, then goes into Rocky Mountain National Park and along the CDT (Continental Divide Trail). The total mileage was right at 27 miles.

It was a very cool trail that provided some scenes that most visitors to the park don't get to see. There was wildlife, forest, flowers, valleys, lakes, rivers, rocks, and hardly any people. Check out what I saw with the pictures below.

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
and USA - Colorado album

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 14:47 Archived in USA Tagged me trees nature usa hike ultra nationalparks 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

Arches National Park - Utah USA

Moab camping

sunny 101 °F
View Colorado and Utah 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

It was hot !
Like it only got down to 80 at night. And the clear sky allowed the sun to blaze during the day for 100+ degree days.
However that definitely added to the environment. The other worldly landscape that is Arches and Canyonlands national parks in eastern Utah (and a bit of the Colorado National Monument in western Colorado) is what I image a remote desolate trip to Mars would be like.

We took the 4Runner way off road to find a campsite by a dry river bed but with some large cottonwood trees to provide some shade and cover. Through the extended weekend, we also took the 4Runner on some rocky back roads to explore the challenging driving conditions that make the Moab area such a destination for off roading enthusiasts. Even taking "easier" paths with my limited off roading experience, we still got to experience driving on narrow ledges with hundreds of feet of drop off just past the tires, and some slick rock chunks that couldn't even be considered a road. That absolutely needed 4WD low speed and even got a tire off the ground for some 3-wheel driving.

The first day in the park was spent near the entrance. There is basically one main road in the park that goes out and comes back through the entrance. The closest hikes are for park avenue, Lasal mountain overlook, and courthouse towers view. A little further and about half way along the main park road is one of the most popular stops. It includes Balanced Rock and then two shorter hiking paths (less than a mile). One goes to Double Arch and one loops around the North and South windows arches. To complete the day, we also went to the next stop to go on a hike (about 2 miles) to see the well known and photographed Delicate Arch. After an afternoon nap in the heat, we also headed back into the park to catch the sunset from different viewpoints and behind different rock formations.

The second day was completely spent at the farthest point of the park. There you can start a long hike for the Devils Garden trail. It's about 10 miles for the full experience and provides well over a dozen arches and unique rock landscapes. Near there is where the only main campground is within the park (there are a couple back country tent sites) and that provides access to a few other small hikes to additional arches.

Overall, this is one of the most unique national parks in the world with an environment unlike anything you will normally see. Highly recommended.

Recommend:

  • Devil's Garden trail
  • Delicate Arch
  • Double Arch
  • the Windows

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
USA Utah album

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 09:12 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes nature mountain utah usa nationalparks 2020 Comments (0)

Memorial Day camping 2020 - Utah & Colorado USA

Ashley National Forest and Dinosaur National Monument time

sunny 50 °F
View Colorado and Utah 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

For the long Memorial weekend, we decided to get some dispersed camping in. That's where you find federal lands that you can drive over off-road paths to get to primitive camp sites that are far away from others and real close to the natural wilderness.

We headed towards the Utah and Colorado border to get away from big cities and people too. The first couple nights we stayed within the Ashley National Forest. It's in north east Utah with lots to see and do. There were dinosaur tracks, arch hikes, man made reservoir, gorge, recreation area, forest, mountains, and some great views. Also, there was time to roast some marshmallows.

Then we headed to the Colorado side of things. We went through the Dinosaur National Monument for some hiking and camping. On our way back to Denver, we swung by and drove through the Colorado National Monument too.

Recommend:

  • Harpers Corner in Dinosaur National Park
  • Drive through Colorado National Monument & stop at all the view points
  • Drive through Douglas Pass on highway 139
  • Red Canyon visitor center - hike and view over Green River
  • Moonshine Arch hike
  • Red Fleet State Park

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
USA Colorado album
USA Utah album

Moonshine Arch (Utah)
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Red Canyon & Green River (Utah)
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State Park (Utah)
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dispersed camping site - scenic, quiet, and so peaceful (Colorado)
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Dinosaur National Monument (Colorado)
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Independence Canyon (Colorado)
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Red Canyon (Colorado)
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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 10:01 Archived in USA Tagged me mountains nature hiking colorado utah usa camping roadtrip nationalparks 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

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