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Slovenia is a small country that has some big beautiful scenery. Its two most famous lakes are Lake Bled (the more popular) and Lake Bohinj. Lake Bohinj is about an hour’s drive from Ljubljana, the nation’s largest city and capital, and a 30 minute drive from Lake Bled.
There’s a lot to recommend a visit to Lake Bohinj over Lake Bled, although by all means visit both if you have the time. The lakes are separated by only 26 kms of lovely mountain scenery, and it’s easy to drive from one to the other. Bohinj has a more natural setting that Bled, with less development and fewer tourists. It is surrounded by the grand Julian Alps and Triglav National Park (the only national …
One of the more remote regions on the North American continent is Kluane National Park, located in southwestern Yukon, 160 kilometres west of Whitehorse. It’s minimally accessible by car and has few hiking trails, most of which are near the outskirts of the park. The park’s backcountry is largely inaccessible except to rugged individuals who like to blaze their own trail. The best way to see Kluane’s backcountry is by plane (on a clear day). It’s a very beautiful but rough landscape, filled with tall peaks, roaring rivers and glaciers.
The town of Haines Junction is at the convergence point of the two highways that skirt Kluane National Park and Reserve, namely the Haines Highway heading north from Haines in the …
An art form I enjoy, which has seen growing popularity these past few decades, is chainsaw carvings. As the name implies, the artist uses chainsaws of different size to work a piece of dried raw wood into the final carved piece. The carvings are often large and heavy. The wood is then generally stained or painted and sealed with varnish or polyurethane to protect the art.
While driving around Lake Tahoe this past summer — a beautiful scenic drive that’s highly recommended — we came across several homes on the California side of the lake that had some fine examples of carved bears. I thought they were quite good and stopped to get some photos. Not sure if all the ones …
I’ve been a lover of mountains for as long as I can remember. I grew up on the painfully flat plains of Manitoba (and I mean f-l-a-t, like a pancake), and still vividly recall seeing my first mountains when I was a toddler of about 2 or 3 years old. These were the amazing Alberta Rocky Mountains visited on one of many family vacations to Banff. I was fascinated by mountains then and remain so to this day.
I have seen many beautiful and interesting mountains in my life and have a list of favorites — the Matterhorn, Kilimanjaro, Ama Dablam, Mt. Assiniboine, Cascade mountain, Mauna Kea, and so on. But there is no mountain formation I find more interesting than …
Lovely Lake Tahoe! It has been described as the “gem of the Sierras” and it’s hard to argue with that.
Its statistics are impressive. Lake Tahoe is situated in the Sierra Nevada mountain range at 6,225 ft (1,897 m) and straddles the California/Nevada border. At 1,645 ft (501 m) deep, it is the second deepest lake in the United States — only Crater Lake in Oregon is deeper at 1,945 ft (593 m). It holds more water than any lake in the US, excluding the five Great Lakes.
And the scenery is spectacular. As are the hiking opportunities around the lake!
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)
The Torres del Paine are three distinctive towering granite peaks of the Paines Massif (see above photo). Extending up to 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) above sea level, these towers dominate much of the landscape of the park, as does the horned part of the mountain known as the Cuernos del Paine. The Patagonian steppe abuts the mountains.
We arrived in Torres del Paine in the afternoon and had only a few hours to spare that day for a hike. I had hoped to hike to the base of the towers, for there is a lovely glacier and lake there, but did not have the time. Among the feasible options, we decided to hike along the hilly steppe and take in the views …
We approached Torres del Paine National Park from the east, entering Chile from Argentina. Many people drive down the Chilean coast and enter the park from the west, so their perspective would be a little different than ours.
Our trip took us through large stretches of hilly and uninhabited grasslands (the pampas). The first views of the National Park are among the most memorable of any mountain region I’ve ever visited (and I’ve seen many in my days). Torres is a popular tourist destination, with good reason. Among its most iconic sites are the 3 granite towers from which Torres del Paine derives its name.
Situated close to the small Argentinean town of El Chalten is Lake Viedma, a large glacial lake. You can take a boat tour to visit the largest glacier in the Southern Patagonia Ice Field, the Viedma Glacier, from a dock on the northwestern shore of the lake, near El Chalten (which you can reach by bus from town).
The following overview photo, courtesy of NASA, will help orient you a little better. Viedma Lake is obvious, as is the Patagonian Icefield. The Viedma Glacier is at 12 o’clock in this photo (actually direction is west). The boat launch is in the little thumb at the top right of the lake at about one o’clock. El Chalten is in a non-snow …