John Sides

  • Backpack the Mount Rogers Loop

    For an awesome 2-3 day trip, start hiking at the Massie Gap trailhead, which can be reached from Grayson Highlands State Park. Take the Rhododendron Trail up the ridge to connect with the AT, keeping an eye out for wild ponies in the Massie Gap ar...

    15.6 miles 1079 ft gain

  • Backpack to Marion Lake

    Marion Lake is one of Grand Teton National Park’s many spectacular high altitude lakes. The lake sits above Granite Canyon, and next to sweeping meadows that are loaded with colorful wildflowers during July and August. Campsites at the lake may be...

    18.5 miles 3700 ft gain

  • Backpack to McDill Point

    Start hiking at Cheaha Trailhead, located at the far end of a parking area just before you get to Cheaha State Park on Highway 281. Follow the Cave Creek Trail until you reach the Pinhoti connector, and hang a right to take the Pinhoti Trail north...

    7.5 miles 250 ft gain

  • Sunrise Hike to Myrtle Point, Mt. Leconte

    Coming from the backcountry shelter at the top of Mt. Leconte (add .2 miles if coming from the Lodge), head east on the Boulevard Trail and follow signs to Myrtle Point, 1 mile away. The trail first ascends about 200 feet to the summit (6,594 ft),...

    2 miles 400 ft gain

  • Trail Run the Lake Trail at Oak Mountain State Park

    The 2.3 mile Lake Trail runs more than two-thirds of the way around Double Oak Lake, from the South Trailhead to the marina and can easily be made into a 3 mile loop by connecting onto the paved road, Terrace Drive. In comparison to many other hik...

    3 miles

  • Trail Run to Skyhy Tree House at Red Mountain Park

    From the park entrance there are several ways to get to Skyhy Tree House, and the trail system allows for loops of varying distances and difficulty. There’s a large map about a quarter mile down the main trail from the park entrance, and paper tra...

    4.5 miles 250 ft gain

  • Winter Hike to Clingman’s Dome via Newfound Gap

    During the winter months, from December 1 through March 31, the 7-mile Clingman’s Dome Road that branches off Highway 441 at Newfound Gap, stays closed. This means the usual drive to the parking area located just a half mile below the tower is ina...

    15 miles 1600 ft gain

  • Hike to Baiyang Waterfall in Taroko National Park

    The Baiyang Waterfall trailhead is located near Tianxiang village in Taroko National Park. From Tianxiang village, head north on the cross-island highway. After just a couple of winding turns, you’ll drive under a covered section of road. The trai...

    2 miles 0 ft gain

  • River Trace to Golden Grotto

    The hike to the Golden Grotto begins at San Zhan (三棧) township, the next river valley to the south of Taroko Gorge. San Zhan is a small town where three rivers converge before emptying into the Pacific, on Taiwan’s east coast in Hualien County. Th...

    6 miles

  • Backpack to Spence Field

    Start your hike at Anthony Creek Trailhead (elevation 1,800 ft), in the Cade’s Cove area. The trailhead is located at the far end of the day-use picnic area near Cade’s Cove campground. There are a few parking spots right at the trailhead, but not...

    13.8 miles 3100 ft gain

  • Bike to Sloss Furnace from Railroad Park

    Sloss Furnace is a historic industrial site in downtown Birmingham. For nearly a hundred years, this blast furnace produced iron for the “Steel City.” The site is now designated as a National Historic Landmark, and is a fun place to explore, wande...

    4.2 miles

  • Run at Railroad Park in Downtown Birmingham

    In many ways, Railroad Park has become a symbol for the revitalization of downtown Birmingham, and it’s helping to ignite a new excitement for the city. Opened in 2010, Railroad Park makes reference to the Steel City’s industrial past, and runs pa...

    1.5 miles 20 ft gain

  • Climb Snow Mountain

    When talking about high mountains, Taiwan probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind for most people. Yet this beautiful island is covered from north to south by prominent mountain ranges. In north central Taiwan, Shei-Pa National Park alon...

    14 miles 6142 ft gain

  • Relax at Wenshan Hot Spring in Taroko Gorge

    Wenshan Hot Spring is accessible via a short hike that branches off the Central Cross Island Highway (Highway 8) in Taroko National Park. Coming from Tianxiang village, you will come to a small parking lot along the road just before you enter a tu...

    0.5 miles 210 ft gain

  • Backpack to the Death Canyon Shelf

    If you can snag a permit to camp at Death Canyon Shelf, consider yourself lucky. This backcountry camping zone holds some of the best sites in Grand Teton National Park. The shelf is a 3-mile stretch of the Teton Crest trail between Fox Creek Pass...

    20 miles 2700 ft gain

  • Run at Jemison Park

    Jemison Park is a 54-acre green space located in historic Mountain Brook. The main stretch of trail runs alongside Mountain Brook Parkway on one side and Shades Creek on the other, for a total of about 2 miles when connected with the Nature Trail ...

    4 miles

  • Summit Jade Mountain (玉山 Yushan)

    Yushan National Park is located in south central Taiwan, and is home to many of the island’s tallest mountains, with peaks from the Yushan and Central Mountain Ranges. Over 30 peaks within the park stand above 3,000 meters, the pinnacle being Jade...

    13.5 miles 4435.7 ft gain

  • Camp at Boulder Field in Rocky Mountain National Park

    Boulder Field is a high alpine backcountry site on Longs Peak, and is a popular camp for backpackers attempting to summit Longs Peak via the Keyhole route. At an impressive elevation of 12,760 feet, Boulder Field is a vast wasteland of rocks that ...

    12 miles 3360 ft gain

  • Visit Eluanbi Lighthouse (鵝鑾鼻燈塔) in Kenting National Park

    Eluanbi lighthouse is located on Eluanbi Cape, within Kenting National Park at the southernmost tip of Taiwan. The lighthouse was originally built in 1883 as a result of frequent shipwrecks, caused by hidden reefs, typhoons, and strong southerly w...

    2 miles 150 ft gain

  • Trek the Ghorepani - Ghandruk Loop

    For those who find themselves in the beautiful country of Nepal without the time to devote to a lengthier trek like the Annapurna Base Camp (7-10 days) or Everest Base Camp (12-14 days) treks, the Ghorepani - Ghandruk trek is an excellent option. ...

    4156.8 ft gain