Carter Clark

Educated in sustainable architecture. Working in photography and digital media. Living in a Panamanian jungle base camp. Wearing down shoes as quickly as I can.

Blackheath is so known as a climbing spot to me, it was lovely to discover this hiking/camping route also existed. The first part down to the falls is super steep and there were a handful of people using the up and down stint as a fitness track. The trail makers are a bit hidden in parts if its your first time on the trail, so pay attention, especially once it's getting darker (earlier since you're often under so much tree cover). We stopped by the ranger station beforehand and grabbed an emergency radio to return at our arrival to Katoomba. Wildlife is never ending, making more lots of entertainment at the campsite. Definitely a nice day out in the Blue Mountains.

Wellington is a city with loads of outdoor activities to do, but the walk up Mt Victoria is the fastest way to get onto a trial and away from the concrete. It's an easy walk through impressive forests, which I enjoyed slowly meandering, though you can do it really quickly as well. Nice way to break up an afternoon in town.

Kayaking is such a more intimate way to see Milford Sound than just hopping on one of the larger tour boats. I met a guy who worked a boat that happened to have kayaks, so we went out there on one of his days off, but there are loads of rental and tour options available. The rivers that feed into the sound are full of life, with endless nooks and crannies for exploring.

Did this hike in a morning, with the most difficult part being finding a ride to the trailhead from Milford Sound. It has great infrastructure, with stunning woodwork on some of the bridges and a pretty great hanging bridge to start the trail off. The lake is gorgeous, but definitely left me wanting to hike up the surrounding rock walls. Without a doubt suggest this one for a calm day or on your way into the depths of the park from Te Anau.

My time in Milford Sound was incredible. There is a little lodge right up the road from the dock in the sound, in addition to camping permits you can get for pretty nearby too. Otherwise, you'll be in on a bus through Fiordland, directly onto a boat, through the sound, back, and back on the bus out to Te Anau. While there is lots you can see in that whirlwind, the place is worth hanging around a bit. So many little rivers that connect to the sound, trails in every which way. The stars at night are some of the best I've ever seen. You could spend months here and not begin to see it all.

This hike is short for Colorado standards, making it extremely popular with everyone going through the area. Knowing that, any sunny day or any weekend are going to be jammed packed. If you pick some less popular hours, this place delivers without fail. The waterfalls are truly incredible. The hike is short, but its a lot of scrambling up loose rock. You don't need to go all out - I hiked it in tennis shoes as a kid - but just know it's not one of those hop out of your car and have a five minute wander to a viewpoint kind of thing.

Lake Bled is the stuff of fairy tales. With the Julian Alps right there, wandering around the lake was always my go to on rest days. There are tons of amazing little wood cabins doting the shoreline. Packed with snacks and a book, there are endless spots to stop off and hang out for a while. While I think things become jaw-dropping when you get to higher altitudes around here, strolling the lake is still a must.

Horse Pens 40 is a great space to go to set up shop for a while and put big effort in to getting stronger. It is notoriously sandbagged. There are routes of all levels, but things definitely get more exciting when you're climbing harder. If you like slopers, this place can be your dream. The camping situation is nice. Once set up, you're super close to the routes. Night climbing is really fun out here. There are often people with good light set ups going on. Being in Alabama, pay attention to the weather. Anything other than winter and night climbing may be all you're able to do.

Stone Fort is as easy of an approach as possible and the guide books are well developed so there is no real getting lost to find what you're looking for. I'm always pleasantly surprised with the variety from section to section. Different rocks have me working on my head game, then a hundred meters away its pure strength. This crag being so close to Chattanooga makes it even better. A must-go if you're anywhere close.

This crag is wonderful, with a huge variety in routes (well, as long as you at least climb 10a). The approach is easy if you can get your car/taxi/Uber to get you to the nearest gate (which they are usually willing to do). We stayed in Puebla and went out to the crag for long days. Tons of neat features. Be sure to have lots of quick draws. Some routes (all single pitch) required as many as 18.

This park is amazing. If you are there any time of year other than winter, I suggest you hopping on the first bus you can from the entrance and heading to the farthest stop. That way, you can do the entire trail system backwards, leaving you with a lot of it uncluttered as the rest of the place fills up in the other direction.

Something that is so amazing about camping at Lake O'Hara is that you are already so close to treeline. This route is a quick 45 minutes from the lake - but puts you in front of views that usually take a full day to get to. In addition, the people I meet on trail here always seem to be the nicest in the world. I've ended up in many multi-hour conversations with people on this trail. It's a favorite for sure.

It is definitely worth it to get away from your car and head down the gorge to be closer to the river. This is a great spot and if you find yourself there when its later in autumn, you will have the spot all to yourself.

We did this summit in snowshoes on an insane powder day. In the middle of December, we were waist deep in powder once above treeline even with snowshoes on. Absolutely amazing hike. Be sure to have sunglasses and ample food and water. Winter conditions make it a whole new game from the more relaxed warmer summits, but it is definitely worth the effort.

There are designated paths around the park, with markers sticking out of the sand to keep you on the right track. It is so nice to keep those in your mind and also roam around a bit to get away from the direct lines taken by so many. Absolutely stunning to photograph at sunset and sunrise. Really stunning spot.

This spot is such a gem amongst the desert. It feels as if you can walk across the Milky Way on nights out here. Warm clothes, solid tripod, and probably a fair amount of coffee make it a night to remember.

This route is so grand because you are exposed to such stark contrasts in the ways people visit this popular park. A drive up to Glacier Point, a quick scramble to some view points, and the pop of a shutter is the classic venture for people at this point. To turn it into a proper hike really takes you on a 180 from that scene. I have enjoyed this route thoroughly and love it most right before the snows come.

This spot is world renowned for its multi pitch climbs, but what makes it so unique is that the entire canyon is bolted. Very rarely are big wall climbs sport, so this makes it a great entrance in the big wall world. Quality of life here is great and the community is top notch.

This is a really nice hike around the enchanting Mendenhall. To take in the power of glaciers is something that everyone who has the chance to experience should. The caves under the Mendenhall are getting smaller and smaller with increased heat, so make visits like these a priority (and then get out there and spread word on how to protect places like these!)

This spot is amazing for its diving and swimming, but also a great spot to deep water solo boulder and there are spots to set up a long line over the water as well. Without a doubt a spot to visit (or even frequent) when in Chiriqui.

This is one of the better day hikes out there. I love to go right after permit season ends - around mid-October. It makes it a bit chilly, but also more relaxed. Colchuck Lake is so stunning it quiets you. Amazing day out in the Enchantments.