January
11

Surf Guide: Nicaragua

Can you picture a place that has over 300 days of offshore winds, grooming perfect, surf-able warm waves?

Welcome to Nicaragua, the “Land Offshore Winds.” MI OLA brand ambassador Amanda (@Amanda_Strube) has spent a majority of the past five winters surfing in this country and has had countless “that was the best wave of my life” experiences. Check out her surf guide to her favorite spots to surf in Nicaragua below!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @Amanda_Strube

 

A Bit about Nicaragua:

Located in Central America, between Costa Rica and Honduras, Nicaragua is quickly becoming a top travel destination.

You may have heard Nicaragua is unsafe. This could be due to its turbulent history from the Nicaraguan Revolution, which ended almost 30 years ago, and which many people think of when they think of Nicaragua.  

The reality is much more pleasant.  Nicaragua is beautiful, tropical, safe, has good waves, offshore winds, and can be pretty darn inexpensive.

Nicaragua’s tourism business is starting to grow amongst surfers, hikers and history lovers. Nicaragua is mostly Catholic and is home to the biggest cathedral in Central America. The main language spoken is Spanish. Their currency is the Cordoba with 1 Cordoba equaling .032 of a USD. Most places will accept the American Dollar — but it has to be a small bill and not ripped or crinkled. Smaller towns and villages will not have ATMs or take credit cards so bring enough acceptable cash.

Nicaragua is accurately known as the Land of Lakes and Volcanos, but is also quickly becoming known to surfers as Land of the Offshore Winds.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @Amanda_Strube

Where to Surf:

El Transíto
I have called El Transíto “home” for the past five winters. This place is a gem. There are not many tourists and the ones that are there are there to surf. El Transíto has some of the most consistent and fun waves all year long throwing out lefts and rights.  Most accommodations like SOLID Surf Adventure and Surf Hostel Nicaragua are located right on the beach, with at least 3 spots you can check while drinking your morning coffee. This spot is a beach break that works best mid to high tide. There is also a secret barreling wave within walking distance that you might get lucky enough to be told about! You’ll be surfing with more locals and fishermen than tourists. El Transíto is a quiet town with friendly locals and not much to do but surf. There are few restaurants in this town with authentic Nica food of rice and fresh fish, but more are popping up.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @Amanda_Strube

Playa Colorado
This spot is very well known and can get crowded, for good reason. People flock to this wave for the barrel. However, it is located on a private beach and golf course called Hacienda Iguana so you either have to stay there or take a boat to get to it. You can score waves on any tide here, but nasty wipeouts are also a frequent occurrence.
Popoyo
This spot is super crowded, but powerful as it breaks both left and right over reef. You can also surf at any tide here, but always be aware of the reef. Popoyo is a great place to find a nice Air BnB, as well as surf camps and hotels/resorts. It is one of the more built up parts of Nicaragua with plenty of good places to eat.
Punta Miramar
A twenty-minute drive down the bumpy dirt road from El Transíto, this left point break has a steep and fast take off and barrels over rock. This spot works best on the incoming tide and is the spot to be when big south swell rolls through. As with any point break the paddle out is fairly easy. When it’s smaller there are a couple spots on the inside that are fun. Miramar is a bit more of a town than El Transíto and has some beautiful Air BnB’s as well as plenty of surf camps like Miramar Surf Camp, Puerto Sandino Surf Resort, Casa Sirena Surf Lodge and Surf Tours Nicaragua.
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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @Amanda_Strube

Meat Grinders/Hemorrhoids
This world-class spot is for experienced and advanced surfers only as it barrels over a shallow reef. It’s a left that is super-fast and hallow. This wave is best to get to by boat as it’s located in front of a private golf resort (Gran Pacifica) that charges per board if you drive and park there. If you find yourself in over your head at this wave you can surf the beach break a little further up the beach, known as Asuchillo. This wave occasionally barrels, but is less intimidating. However, it is near a river mouth so watch out for crocodiles and dirty water. This beach is completely empty as there is barely a town around, just the resort, so pack your lunch. There is a really good burrito place down a long dirt road owned by an American expat called Burrito Bandito, if you can find it.
Playa Maderas
Located just north of San Juan del Sur, this wave is a great spot to learn, as there are a lot of surf schools around the area. This wave also offers both lefts and rights and is fun for more advanced surfers if there is swell in the water. Another beach break, this wave works best on a medium to high tide and though it may get a little crowded by Nicaraguan standards, there are still plenty of waves to be had by everyone. Any of the hostels located in San Juan del Sur offers daily shuttles to this beach. If you’re looking for a fun night out, SJDS has plenty of fun restaurants and bars to go out dancing at. It is also infamous for Sunday Funday, basically and all-day hostel bar crawl that ultimately leaves the waves empty on Monday mornings. SJDS is a populated town with loads of places to eat and stay.
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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @Amanda_Strube

Playa Hermosa
Also located near San Juan del Sur, this is another beach break that offers both lefts and rights with plenty of room to spread out. Rarely crowded, this break is perfect for any level of surfing and works best on a mid to high tide. Playa Hermosa Eco Lodge is located right in front of the break and is 100% owned and run by Nicaraguans with everything you need right there on the beach.
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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @Amanda_Strube

Playa Santana
This break can offer everybody something and because of this is always crowded. Depending on the swell size the waves are either punchy and rampy or barreling. Rancho Santana and Buena Onda Beach Resort are great places to stay. This wave is most fun on a mid to high tide.
The Boom
Located near Chinadega, this wave is peaky and hallow. This beach break can turn into a heavy and powerful barrel, but is totally empty. You should only find locals and strong surfers out in the lineup. The best places to stay are Chancletas Surf Resort and Rise Up Surf Camp. These places offer their own menus as there is not much around town.

 

Not Just Surfing:

Nicaragua has over 19 volcanoes. Each volcano offers something fun to do like hiking, bird watching, zip lining and coffee tours. My favorite is Cerro Negro, located near the city of Leon. Cerro Negro is still active and is about a 45-minute hike to the top. However, instead of hiking back down, you sled down. Start your hike around 2 pm so you can be at the top for sunset.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @Amanda_Strube

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @Amanda_Strube

 

Leon is a fun city to spend the night as there are loads of bars and clubs for dancing, with both locals and tourists and plenty of good restaurants like Carnivero, El Sesteo, Pan y Paz, Azul Restaurante and Del Norte. The largest cathedral in Central America is located in the center of Leon and families, school kids and tourists all gather here.

Granada is another popular city to visit and has a very colorful city center and a lot of restaurants and cafes to choose from. There is also a very good leather shop called Soy Nica where you can watch everything being hand made. Nicaragua is definitely a place to come to surf but offers many other reasons to stay.

 

When to Go:

May through November is the rainy season and also the bigger wave season, leaving November through April as the dry season with smaller swells, but always fun waves. Nicaragua is hot all year long, with temperatures ranging from 25-28 C (77-82 F). The Pacific Ocean water temp hovers between 25-30 C (70s-80sF) — MI OLA bikini weather!! The sun is very strong so wear a lot of sunscreen or a rash guard to protect from the sun and wind. Also, be sure to pack a 1mm wetsuit top as the water can get a little chilly from the strong offshores!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @Amanda_Strube

How to Get There:

Nicaragua is easy to get to from the US with plenty of flights coming in through Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Houston, Texas. The airport in Managua is small and can easily be navigated. Most surf spots are easily accessible through rented cars, the chicken busses (the local buses), taxis or shuttles. However, some spots are better accessed by the local panga boats.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @Amanda_Strube

Now go on and book your surf trip to Nicaragua already!

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Then shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

 

December
31

Our Top Winter Surf Destinations

Brrrrrr, with winter upon us, are you dreaming of a surf vacation to warmer waters? Us too! Our tropical home base just so happens to be Costa Rica, but we also have eyes on some awesome surf breaks around the world. Check out our top winter surf destinations below!

Burgau, Portugal
The Algarve is the southernmost region of continental Portugal and it is the perfect year round surf destination with excellent waves and fantastic weather. It has two coasts, west coast and south coast, so you are able to find waves somewhere every day! Normally, the West Coast receives the majority of the swell, especially in summer. And when it gets really big, the South Coast starts working too. Check out our surf guide to Burgau!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Giulia – @giuliamanfrini

El Salvador
El Salvador nicely stretches along the Pacific coast for about 200 miles. The coast has beautiful beaches with magnificent, clean point breaks that are mostly right handers. The climate is tropical and you can surf in warm water the whole year — heck yea to packing all of your MI OLA bikinis! Check out our surf guide to El Salvador!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

Morocco
Morocco boasts waves all year round, but the better, bigger waves are found in the winter months November-March. Even though the water temperatures require a wetsuit during the winter months, the air temperatures are warm and a really nice break from freezing cold temperatures! Check out our surf guide to Morocco!

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MI OLA Ambassador Susi – @insta_susi Photograph by @kkbrunvaer

Tahiti
Have you ever dreamed of visiting to Tahiti? How about surfing Tahiti? It’s on our bucket list, for sure. The best spots in Tahiti during the North swells, November – March. Warm water, gorgeous scenery, and awesome waves — we’re purchasing our plane tickets right now!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Elise- @babeinthewaves

Costa Rica!
You didn’t think we’d leave out our tropical home base, did ya?! The surf in Costa Rica is very diverse.  Just about, every two miles there is another beach – and another surf spot. The surf pretty much goes all the way down to Panama. There are waves for all levels, from beginner to advanced, and there are beach breaks, point breaks, reefs, and river mouths. You can surf various spots all in one day. AND it’s MI OLA bikini weather year round! Check out our surf guides to Tamarindo, Playa Grande, Avellanas, and Guiones.

 

AND just in case you can’t escape, check out our top tips to surfing in cold water! Go on and #getoutthere!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Susi – @insta_susi

 

December
15

What the Male Gaze Means for Women Who Rock Bikinis

You’re on morning run on the beach, or doing a little yoga, or collecting shells with your toddler. And you’re rockin’ your MI OLA bikini – it fits, feels great, and stays put, just what you need because it’s summertime, you’re at the shore, and you’re on the move. You’re enjoying the sunshine and warm breezes.  Basically completely blissed out and in the moment.

Two men jog past. You see – no, you feel, the male gaze. We’ve all been there.

Although it’s a popular topic in today’s media, the idea of the male gaze was introduced in 1975 by filmmaker Laura Mulvey, a scholar, and filmmaker. She wrote an essay exploring how visual arts, especially films, sometimes frame women in provocative and sexualized situations. This perspective defines the woman as an object of desire – not only for the other characters in the film – but also for the viewer watching the scenes with a ‘male gaze.’

And today, while making memories on a beautiful summer day, you’ve been hit with the male gaze. What do you do?


Caption - Soaking us the sun at Grinnell Lake

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

Remember why you’re wearing a bikini. You may have heard the phrase ‘clothes make the man (or woman).’ Your fashion choices give clues about who you are as a person and what you see as your role.

So why are you wearing a bikini?

  • Well, you are at the beach. What else are you going to wear, a snowsuit?
  • You’re confident in your skin. You feel good about you. You’re living your truth with power and purpose. You’ve created your own path and are making your way, head up and looking forward.

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    Kerri in Tamarindo.

  • With confidence comes ambition. You’re determined and committed to your health, your family, and a life lived fully. This includes meeting your seven-minute mile time, or just running the first mile.
  • And you respect yourself. You like the choices you’ve made, the plans you have, and yes, the clothes you wear to express your strength and your spirit.
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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jen- @flentil

Your bikini may show your style, but it doesn’t tell your whole story. You are more than what you wear, and the male gaze doesn’t see it. Remind yourself of this.

  • You’re passionate about life. Always curious, on-the-go, and focused optimistically on what you can become.
  • You enjoy new experiences. Whether it’s traveling the world, going on the school camping trip, or finally tackling a paddle board, you’re eager to try and learn and grow – either on your own or with family and friends.
  • You have your own views about the world. You listen and watch and discuss. You don’t take social media, or any media at face value and go along, just because everyone else does. You form your own opinions and have reasons to back them up.

 

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ellen- @artemis_eleven

You can find your voice in these strengths. You know what you know. You know what’s important to you. You know who you are today and where you want to go next. The male gaze may still be part of how some men interact with you, but we’re well past 1975.

Stereotypes are being challenged more frequently, and some changes are happening. Here’s how to be part of the change.

  • Talk about it. You are sexy, beautiful and delightful – and you’re also an athlete, an adventurer and a human being. It’s okay to be all of those and to tell people those truths.
  • Be a spark. Staying true to yourself makes you an example to other women. Seeing you confidently wearing a chic MI OLA bikini and moving forward on your adventures may inspire others to step up, think for themselves, and embrace their life.

Meet the male gaze with a direct look. Keep going. Your life awaits and you’re not going to be held back by anything.

Invest in the best swimsuit ever made.

 

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Luanna in Avellanas.

 

 

 

November
10

Start Packing Your Bikinis – Our Top Winter Beach Getaways!

Just like that, summer flew on by and winter is knocking on the door in the Northern Hemisphere. With colder temperatures upon us, it’s perfect time to start planning a warm weather winter escape! Palm trees, warm sunshine, tropical drinks, and all the MI OLA bikinis you can fit into your suitcase – – yes please! Check out our top winter beach locations below!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ellen- @artemis_eleven

 

Vanuatu
Vanuatu is an archipelago made of more than 80 islands, on which 250,000 people live.  It’s located to the East of Northeast Australia and the west of Fiji and features great scuba-diving and wrecks, waterfalls, volcanos, surfing, and extraordinary cultural diversity – with over 1000 languages being spoke in the archipelago.

Check out our #GetOutThere Guide to Vanuatu!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ellen- @artemis_eleven

 

 

Jamaica
Jamaica has no shortage of beaches. The most famous, and well worth it, is ‘Seven Mile Beach’ in Negril. Endless white sand, turquoise water, and palms for days makes for one epic beach experience. Yes please!

Check out our #GetOutThere Guide to Jamaica!

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

 

Costa Rica – – MI OLA’s tropical home base!
Costa Rica has many direct flights from all over the continental US, perfect for a quick weekend getaway from freeing winter temperatures. Costa Rica is paradise for surfers and outdoor enthusiasts. Some of our favorite beaches to surf and explore included Tamarindo, Playa Avellanas, Playa Grande, and Playa Guiones.

Lifestyle photo shoot for Kim (@_thesunnyside_) at The Harmony Hotel in Nosara, Costa Rica. Kim is wearing a MI OLA surf bikini. Photographed by Kristen M. Brown, Samba to the Sea Photography.

Kim (@kimxmoore) photographed by MI OLA team rider Kristen M. Brown, Samba to the Sea (@sambatothesea).

 

 

Grand Cayman
Crystal clear, turquoise water, the sultry warm air and the amazing sea life — welcome to beautiful Grand Cayman! This island is an outdoor adventurer’s playground, from snorkeling, fishing, sailing, SUPing, diving, swimming with sting rays…and so much more!

Check out our #GetOutThere Guide to Grand Cayman!

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Jen P. @flentil

 

Sanibel Island, FL
Sanibel Island on the southwest coast of Florida to explore one of Florida’s most pristine beaches. Known for its wide variety of beautiful shells, Sanibel Island is a beachcomber’s paradise and nothing short of magical. According to the Sanibel tourist board, there are 250 different type of shells, 230 types of birds, 15 miles of beaches, and zero traffic lights!

Check out our #GetOutThere Guide to Sanibel Island!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda- @mermanda_

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Then shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

August
25

Top Five Labor Day Weekend Trips

With Labor Day next weekend, why not send off summer with a three-day weekend exploring the outdoors? Need some inspiration? You are in luck as we have you covered (literally!) with our top five trips to take before summer ends. Check it out below:

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Roadtrip in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are a collection of 43 islands connected by the 113 mile/42 bridge Overseas Highway. Follow our ambassador Amanda (@Mermanda_) on a mermaid style road trip down the Florida keys where she uncovers and discovers sunken treasures in her own backyard.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda- @Mermanda_

 

Chase Waterfalls in Escalante, Utah

Escalante is the hub for all things outdoors in south central Utah where visitors can hike, rock climb, race around in ATVs, explore amazing slot canyons, and chase some gorgeous waterfalls. Check out ambassador Becca’s #GetOutThereGuide to Escalante, with over 3,000 square miles of pristine backcountry paradise.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

Learn to Kiteboard in the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks in North Carolina is an outdoor lover’s playground, from fishing, hang gliding, world class surfing, windsurfing, SUP boarding, jet skiing, boating, kayaking, biking, or taking kiteboarding lessons with ambassador Adrienne (@yokeens). So go on hop in the car and head to the Outer Banks, a 200 mile long barrier island that sits off the coast of North Carolina in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Adrienne- @yokeens

 

Explore Puerto Rico’s beautiful beaches

This tropical island paradise is the home of MI OLA ambassador Andrea (@mermaid.drea ). When she isn’t in the water – free-diving to 40 feet, surfing, fishing, lobstering or playing in the waves – she’s on land doing yoga and exploring the outdoors (like hiking El Yunque Rainforest). After you check out her guide to her top five beaches in Puerto Rico, you’ll be booking the next flight to Puerto Rico!

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Photo by Elvin of MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

 

Surf trip to El Salvador

Are you feeling really adventurous and need to get off the grid for more than a couple of days? Head on down to El Salvador to catch some beautiful waves – – El Salvador’s coastline has 200 miles of beautiful beaches with magnificent, clean point breaks that are mostly right handers. Ambassador Verena has you covered with her Surf Guide to El Salvador!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

 

 

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Then shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

August
11

#GetOutThere Guide: Kesugi Ridge in Denali State Park

Our MI OLA brand ambassadors inspire us everyday to #GetOutThere – – these amazing women surf, paddle, hike, salute the sun, mountain bike, ski, kite surf,   and so much more. One of these amazing ambassadors is Ashley B. (@ayeboulet). Whether she is downhill skiing at her home base in Lake Tahoe, CA, hiking up a 14,000 footer White Mountain, beach hiking the coast in the Kalalau Valley on Kauaʻi, Hawaii, or exploring in the Turks and Caicos, we love following Ashley’s adventures. We caught up with this awesome mermaid and got the details on her latest #getoutthere adventure: hiking the Kesugi Ridge in Denali State park in Alaska.

(If you are in hiking shape and ready to tackle a challenge, read on and #GetOutThere.  BUT, if you are just starting out or need to refresh the basics, have another look at Hike Like a Girl, and work your way up to this challenge by doing shorter, less ambitious hikes.)

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MI OLA Ambassador Ashley B.

#GetOutThere Guide: Kesugi Ridge

The Kesugi Ridge trail is to date one of the best, most rewarding, and beautiful backpacking missions I have done.  Being a mountain girl from the Sierra Nevada’s I had high expectations for this backpacking trip, and this trail surpassed any preconceived notions I may have had.  I would highly recommend this trail for any intermediate backpacker wanting to explore the various terrain of Alaska.   Expect your jaw to drop around each bend on this one of a kind North American trail.

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MI OLA Ambassador Ashley B.

Kesugi Ridge- Denali State Park

This trail is located in the Denali State Park, bordering the Denali National Park. The state park and national park vary in regards to regulations, permits, trail access, etc.  The Kesugi Ridge is a well-defined 30 mile trail. Most backpackers will opt to hike the ridge one-way requiring the need for a shuttle to the trailhead, carpooling, or hitch hiking.

 

Getting there:

The trail is best accessed from Little Coal Creek Road.  I would recommend arranging a trail head shuttle with Byer Lake Campground.  A local family operates a daily shuttle from the day parking lot at Byer Lake to Little Coal Creek trailhead.  Call in advance and be sure to make a reservation.  Overnight parking in Byer Campground is $5 per night.

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MI OLA Ambassador Ashley B.

Distance and trail maps:

Byer Lake Campground is about a 2.5 hour drive from Anchorage. After arranging a trail shuttle, park in the campground day lot. Most backpackers prefer to hike from north to south as the vertical rise is less this way. Below are the maps we carried with us and used on this hike.

Northern section: http://dnr.alaska.gov/Assets/uploads/DNRPublic/parks/maps/kesuginorth.pdf

South section: http://dnr.alaska.gov/Assets/uploads/DNRPublic/parks/maps/kesugisouth.pdf

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MI OLA Ambassador Ashley B.

Pacing:

We hiked this trail in 3 nights/4 days.  We were hiking the duration of most days but wanted to make sure to allow ourselves enough time to enjoy the landscape and scenery. We camped alongside a small lake around mile 6 the first night.  The second night we camped near Ermine Hill junction around mile 15.  The third night we camped near Mini Skinny Lake around mile 25. Our last day (hiking out by way of Byer Lake) consisted of a mostly downhill hike for 4 or so miles.

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MI OLA Ambassador Ashley B.

Weather:

We were lucky when it came to weather on this trail. We had an opportune window of fairly dry weather for most of our days hiking.  Of course the highlight of clear sky day is seeing Denali (Mount McKinley) towering above the horizon.  This monstrosity of a mountain can be seen to the west for most of the trail.

I would imagine that certain sections of this trail would be much more challenging and difficult had it been raining.  If possible, leave yourself a window of time for hiking so you can plan according to the weather.

 

Wildlife aware:

Bears are a serious concern when it comes to hiking in the backcountry.  Be bear aware by packing smart, staying loud on the trails, and knowing what to do in case you come across a bear. There is other wildlife to be aware of in these areas as well, be sure to read up on what to do in case you come across any animals when hiking.

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MI OLA Ambassador Ashley B.

Decompression after hiking:

Talkeetna is a nearby mountaineering town where you can enjoy a Denali brewing company beer and burger while viewing Denali in the distance.   This is the ultimate stop for refueling and decompressing after hiking.  This small town has several patio restaurants, cafes, and shops to walk around. Live music can be heard from several restaurants or in the park on certain days of the week. I would recommend the Wildflower Café and Mountain High Pizza for something local and satisfying to eat. Couple that with a local beer, and you will be in mountain heaven.

Remember to stay hydrated and stretch after hiking to prevent sore muscles and cramping.

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MI OLA Ambassador Ashley B.

What to pack:

Backpack – I love my women’s 65L Osprey backpack. My pack is lightweight, has lots of compartments, and provides a great fit for my body. A good backpack is always worth the investment.

Water proof/water resistant hiking boots- The weather is variable in Alaska, especially in the mountains.  Be sure to pack water worthy hiking shoes as you will likely cross some creeks, muddy areas, and wetlands. Pack extra socks too!

Mole skin- In case of blisters you will want to be sure you have mole skin in your first aid kit. Happy feet is critical for long duration hiking!

First aid kit- Backpacking first aid kits are not only smaller size but also lightweight.  It is always wise to backpack with some basic medical items, just in case.

Bear mace/repellant- This is a must.  Although you cannot bring bear repellant in your checked luggage with most airlines, be sure to purchase some when arriving in Alaska.

Bear canister- This is mandatory in the National park, but not in the state park.  Regardless, I would highly recommend bringing one.  Be sure to place all scented items in the canister.  Aside from food items that would include sunscreens, toiletries, lotions, etc.

Flare Gun- We carried a flare gun in case we found ourselves face to face with a charging bear.  The flare gun supplements having a loaded gun with you.  The flare gun is much lighter and safer when it comes to protecting yourself.

Bear bells- This will help put your mind at ease when hiking in more lush areas where a bear, moose, or other animal may be near.  You do not want to sneak up on any of these animals, so be loud on the trail.

Bug spray- This is a MUST.  There are many flies and mosquitos in this area, especially in the wetlands.  Repellant is necessary to help prevent the likelihood of irritating bites while hiking.  That being said, Benadryl cream is a worthy item to pack in your first aid kit.

Sunscreen- Even if you’re lucky enough to get a clear sky day with lots of sun, you should always be protected.  Even with cloudy days, you will want to be sure to wear sunscreen to prevent any uncomfortable burns.

Meals- Backpacker meals are not only lightweight but packed with the protein necessary for hiking. Depending on the amount of time you plan to backpack, you will want to pack as lightly as possibly. Every pound counts when it comes to food within your bear canister. I would recommend freeze dried meals, rice, pasta, granola bars, oatmeal, jerky, etc.  Canned food products tend to weight more than other freeze dried meal options.  Fruits are difficult to pack and perish quickly.  Be sure to pack enough food and snacks to supply energy and satisfy hunger throughout your trip.

Jet boil (or similar cooking device) – The jet boil helps store the items necessary for cooking conveniently in your backpack.  I have a mini backpack burner, small propane, and pot which I also pack for the convenience of cooking a few items simultaneously. Be sure to pack a cook utensil, small sponge, and environmentally safe soap as well.

Water purifier- You will find yourself purifying stream or lake water several times a day.  The water is fairly clean, yet I would recommend treating the water before drinking. Be sure to always top off or fill your water containers when passing a water source.  You do not want to find yourself hiking without water or desperately searching for the next water source. Plan ahead.

Face/eye mask- Depending on when you plan to hike, the sun may be a bit of a nuisance.  In July, the sun was shining until after 11pm.  This in mind, if you are light sleeper I would recommend bringing an eye mask.

Binoculars- You will want binoculars to view Denali (Mount McKinley) in the distance.  You will also want these on hand for bird and animal watching.

Other miscellaneous items:  There are a few items that I like to bring to help lift my spirit when backpacking.  On this mission I brought the following items:

Peanut butter – this sweet treat and can be mixed into oatmeal in the morning, making breakfast that much better.

Ipod/small speaker- music is always nice when decompressing in camp or leisurely hiking along the trail.

Camp pillow/sleeping pad- although not necessary, they do help make for a more comfortable night of sleep.

Hot sauce- This will help add some much needed spice to any generic meal.

Sugar/sweet treat- Something sweet to look forward to while hiking such as a fruit snack, lollipop, snickers bar, etc.

Essential oil- I love my oils especially when outdoors.  A little goes a long way when it comes to aromatherapy.

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Then shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

 

June
23

MI OLA 2017 Summer Bucket List

Ahhhhh, summer 2017 is officially here! With the super long days and warm weather, we chatted with the awesome MI OLA mermaids + brand ambassadors to create one epic Summer 2017 Bucket List. Are you ready for this? Check it out below!

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The MI OLA 2017 Summer Bucket List

Do you love paddle boarding, hiking and biking? Then head out to Lake Tahoe with Briana @wanderlovebri ! She is planning to paddle board around Lake Tahoe (~75 miles) over 4 days in July. Then, she will bike around the lake in a day.

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Photo by Briana @wanderlovebri

Sunlight until midnight?! Yes, yes, yes! Head to the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway above the arctic circle with Susu @insta_susi. The Lofoten Islands have been on her list for years and this summer it’s finally gonna happen! Picture road tripping, comfy tent, pristine white sand beaches, beautiful mountains, and even waves to surf! Check out Susi’s Surf Guide to Northern Norway.
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Photo by Susi @insta_susi

Ahhhhh Tahiti! Pristine beaches, crystal clear water, waves, tropical foliage, and our very own brand ambassador Elise @babeinthewaves who just so happens to have a kite surf school with her hubby. Yogi + ambassador Amanda @mermanda_ would LOVE to visit Tahiti this summer – – so connect with these two because you’ll definitely get great kite surfing lessons AND yoga sessions!
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Photo by Amanda @mermanda_

A yoga outdoor festival? Yes please! Check out Wanderlust, a favorite of several of the MI OLA brand ambassadors. With over 15 Wanderulust festivals in just North America alone this summer, you can stay as close to home OR have an adventure!. Briana @wanderlovebri will be attending and working Wanderlust in Vermont and California! Be sure to check out our guide to Wanderlust!
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Photo by Lauren @rock3roll

Do you love hiking as much as ambassador Ashley @ayeboulet? Ashley is heading to Alaska this summer for a two week road / backpack trip. She’ll be backpacking the Kesugi Ridge in Denali National Park. Or check out these hiking guides by our ambassadors: Na Pali Coast, White Mountain, El Yunque Rainforest, Columbia River Gorge, Glacier National Park, Lost Coast Trail, and our beginner’s guide to hiking ‘Hike Like a Girl‘.
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Photo by Ashley @ayeboulet

 What’s on your list this summer?  Let us know in the comments and inspire us!

 

April
21

How Whitewater Rafting Changed My Life

We love to support awesome mermaids that push the limits and #getoutthere. Like MI OLA brand ambassador Andrea (@andybabe88) who spends her weekends paddling some serious whitewater in her home state of Idaho. We caught up with Andrea recently and chatted about her passion for paddling – – what resulted was a beautiful dedication to the sport she loves. Check it out below!

“No man ever steps in the same river twice for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus

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Photo courtesy Andrea @andybabe88

I frequently hear the same question again and again, “Why?”

Co-workers, family, old-friends and new non can’t seem to grasp my “why”.

Why do I spend every weekend, countless days and hours doing the same thing over and over? Why am I never in town? Why don’t I ever see my friends and family? Why do I put myself in harm’s way? Why do I paddle every chance I get?

I guess my response at this point is, “Why not?”

Why not utilize this life doing what I love and now?! Right now!  The future is something not guaranteed.  Spending these countless days and weekends adventuring and paddling as much as I do seems all but obvious.  Why not spend my time letting the river challenge me in new ways.  She is ever changing, can humble and bring elation all in the same trip. She’ll bring you closer to people than you have ever been.  So to answer their question of, “why”  – – the faces and places are my why.

Paddling has changed my life. 

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Photo courtesy Andrea @andybabe88

 

For better or worse, I’ve learned more about myself in one summer on the river than in all my time spent at home. Who you are currently and who you want to be… you can find it out there.  The river lives and breathes, and will get deep into your veins.  She teaches many lessons, most of all you that you cannot control everything in life.  Love the hole you’re in. In order to make it to the takeout unscathed, the river requires teamwork, respect, love, courage, patience, and self-worth.  There’s a saying you hear a lot from true dirt bag’s –  “The river doesn’t care about you”.  This may be true but the river also offers you a beautiful thing – the time to care, care about the moment, the people, and the places.

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Photo courtesy Andrea @andybabe88

A lot of activities bring people together, like the river.  The only difference I have seen is EVERY single person I have met on the river has been the most caring, loving, and genuine soul. I have met and made friends with some of the most remarkable people. I have gained lifelong friends I call FRAMILY, people who have absolutely made a difference in my life. I have had some of the best laughs, deepest conversations, wildest adventures and scariest moments of my life in the short time I have been paddling.  I love listening to people’s stories of adventure as well as am motivated by those stories.  I want to strive for more adventures, more days on the river.

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Photo courtesy Andrea @andybabe88

My heart grows more and more with each run, every stoke,  every boat flip, every booty beer!.  All while screaming at the top of my lungs because we just conquered what you thought was going to be the impossible.

So again, you may ask me – WHY?

Because I love the life we have been given. The people in it, the relationships with rad humans.  The places and the stunning canyons. I have never felt so at peace and so in control of the moment, past and present than when I am on the river. So, next time instead of asking why maybe come and find out. Who knows maybe it will change your life like it has mine.

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Photo courtesy Andrea @andybabe88

 

If you ever happen to be in Idaho and want to experience this all for yourself here are some great companies and guides to get in touch with.

PRC – Payette River Company
(208) 259-3702
Boise National Forest, 14 Memory Ln, Lowman, ID 83637
Guide – Jesse Delamotte  – Jesse will show you a great time and also help you stay cool on your trip down the river.

Cascade Raft & Kayak    
(208) 793-2221
7050 ID-55, Horseshoe Bend, ID 83629
Guide – Shane Ramasco (Head Guide for Cascade)

Bear Valley Rafting       
(208) 793-2272
Boise National Forest, 7864 ID-55, Banks, ID 83602
Kaylie Hoffman – Guide

Canyons River Company  
 (208) 634-4303  
160 Commerce St, McCall, ID 83638

Hells Canyon Raft
(208) 634-6366
1308 Roosevelt Ave, McCall, ID 83638

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Photo courtesy Andrea @andybabe88

If you’re looking to get hooked up with some sweet gear, PFD, drysuit, helmet anything you can think of that is need to be on the river to have a fun and safe time check out these local outfitters in Idaho.

Cascade River Gear – Ask for Renee Zettle

Aire –Ask for Sarah Ostberg

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Photo courtesy Andrea @andybabe88

 

April
14

Start Making Your Summer Plans! || Summer 2017 Outdoor Adventures

Are you ready for summer? Here at MI OLA, we can’t wait.  With the sun setting later, Summer means more time to #getoutthere! Summer will be here before you know it, which means it’s time to start planning your epic trips now – before the campgrounds and park passes sell out.  Read on  for inspiration… we know you’ll be adding these spots to your bucket list. Check out our top places to #getoutthere this summer!

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MI OLA Ambassador Ashley B. camping.

Hike, SUP, Kayak, and Whitewater Raft through Glacier National Park

Imagine jagged peaks reaching towards the Heavens, turquoise water inviting you to take an dip and hiking trails leading every way you could want to explore. If this sounds amazing, head to Glacier National Park. The park is quite literally changing before our eyes. The glaciers have been melting at an unprecedented rate so much so that they could be entirely gone by the next generation – – which means you need to go now! Check out Becca’s #GetOutThere Guide to Glacier National Park for more!

Taking an alpine dip in Grinnell Lake

Taking an alpine dip in Grinnell Lake. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Hike a 14er!

If you love hiking, get these spots on your calendar – White MountainLost Coast Trail, and the epic coastline of Kalalau Valley on Kauaʻi, Hawaii. White Mountain is a 14er (peak over 14,000 feet) –  the highest peak outside of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Lost Coast trail is one of California’s best kept secrets. Divided between two national parks, this hike is perfect for the adventure seeker wanting to sleep under the stars next to the ocean.  Kalalau Hike offers pristine views of the Na Pali Coast that are unlike any other coastal hike; the trail leads to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Kalalau Valley.  

And, if you’re a less advanced hiker, we have you covered. Hike Like a Girl offers some great advice on how to start out and work your way up to doing a 14er by doing shorter, less ambitious hikes.

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Lost Coast Trail. Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Ashley B @ayeboulet

Roadtrip in Southern Utah through the Grand Staircase of the Southwest!

Picture yourself wading through a crystal clear emerald river with massive, red canyon walls on either side. Just a few days ago, you were camping out under the stars surrounded by nothing but desert and a few cacti scattered about. In another few days, you’ll mountain bike across some of the best slickrock in the world. Where are you?  Southern Utah is home to some of the best hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, rock climbing and canyoneering in the world. Check out our #GetOutThere Guide to Southern Utah to plan your own epic road trip.

Enjoying the view on Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park.

Enjoying the view on Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Explore the waterfalls at Columbia River Gorge!

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area boasts 292,500 acres of beautiful landscapes, incredible hiking, and the infamous waterfalls. The Gorge is just a short drive out of Portland making it a perfect after-work jaunt or a weekend getaway. There are a plethora of waterfalls, so you can spend as little as one day exploring multiple waterfalls OR plan a longer trip exploring all the Gorge has to offer. Check out our #GetOutThere Guide to Columbia River Gorge and start dreaming.

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Weisendanger Falls. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Do you have other awesome summer travel plans?  We’d love to hear about them – – leave a comment below! Now go on and #GetOutThere!!

March
17

#GetOutThere Guide: Jamaica

MI OLA brand ambassador Lauren @rock3roll was born in Houston (the birthplace of Beyoncé…) and spent time living in the Midwest before moving to NYC six years ago.  Now, she professionally wanders every four weeks, and is an incessant adventurer.  We caught up with this sandy mermaid and got the details on her latest #GetOutThere adventure to Jamaica.

 

#GetOutThere Guide: Jamaica

How to get there: I flew from JFK to Miami, and onward to Montego Bay. I would highly recommend flying into MBJ, as your trip from the airport to your hotel in the Montego area will be no more than 20 minutes!

Where to stay: I stayed at the SeaGarden Beach Resort. My intent in Jamaica was to explore (as is always!) The SeaGarden had great views (grab an ocean view room) and authentic Jamaican food. It was perfect for what we were looking for! If you’re looking for more of a “stay-put” type of vibe, I would definitely stay at one of the Sandals locations. Partly because of The Office, but also because they seem to have a lot of properties to choose from, and great reviews!

When to go: I traveled to the island in July and had great weather. It’s always good to be aware of the rainy seasons on any island. Jamaica has two main rainy seasons. May is the first, followed by October- November.  Also, keep Hurricane Season in mind from June through the end of a November. Island rain typically is brief and patchy (in my experience), but if this is your one and only escape for the year, better to not take your chances!!!

Negril:

Jamaica has no shortage of beaches. The most famous, and well worth it, is ‘Seven Mile Beach’ in Negril. Endless white sand, turquoise water, and palms for days makes for one epic beach experience.

If you’re not staying in Negril, travel by cab or by catamaran. The Dreamer is a fun snorkel (booze) cruise that takes you from Montego Bay to Negril. If traveling by car, it’s best practice to rent a driver for the day (prices very from $100-$200, not including tip). Your driver will stay with you, affording you the flexibility to go and stop where you please!

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

While you’re in Negril, make sure you stop by The Cliffs, more specifically, Rick’s Café! There are multiple spots along the cliff where the brave can jump in from various heights. Not interested? No worries grab a drink at the bar and watch the professionals do what they do best: jump. If bar food isn’t up your alley, head to Ivan’s. Located not far up the road from Rick’s Café, Ivan’s is nestled within the cliff side, offering up stunning ocean views. It’s the perfect place to nom on jerk lobster and drink flaming rumrunners while the sun floats down.

 

 

Montego Bay:

Centrally located between tourist haunts Negril and Ocho Rios, Montego Bay is the perfect spot to find an all-inclusive for your stay. Walk down to Margaretville for a Bob Marley (your new favorite drink for all-of-time) and a bounce on their ocean trampolines and slides.

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

 

 

Ocho Rios:

Up the road roughly 1.5 hours from Montego Bay is a plethora of unique island experiences. Popular among locals and tourists, the Blue Hole is made up of a combination of waterfalls and swimming holes. Interested in cruising around the watery landscape solo? Take the paths, and wander. Looking to jump and swim? Hire a guide. Water shoes are recommended, and sold at the entrance for you to comfortably cruise around the falls. Have a GoPro? Your guide will happily become your professional photographer (just make sure you’ve got a waterproof case!) You’ll be able to jump off of falls as steep as around 20 feet. Expect to pay around $15 to enter, plus a little extra for a guide!

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

After the Blue Hole, take a car back down towards Montego Bay for an afternoon stop at Bamboo Blue. Located in Mammee Bay, you’ll get a first class beach seat and bright blue water, all for the cost of a Piña Colada. Rent a cabana, and sip on whatever frozen concoction floats your boat.

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

Finish up your trip back to Montego Bay, by stopping at the Luminous Lagoon in Falmouth, Jamaica. The brackish water in the Lagoon is home to millions of microorganisms called dinoflagellates, that when disturbed emit a light-blue GLOW.

YES. YOU CAN SWIM IN GLOW-IN-THE-DARK WATER!

Get to the Lagoon around 6-6:30 p.m. (in the Summer months; in the Winter, arrive an hour earlier,) to grab your free rum punch (included in the $25 USD per person tour) before the tour starts. It’s not enough just to go on the boat to look at the glow in the boat’s wake; you will want to swim, so wear your MI OLA suit and bring dry clothes to change into (I made that mistake; I swam in a dress…WORTH IT). There are four other places where this phenomenon exists: Indonesia, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico. It is said that Jamaica is home to the brightest Lagoon out of the four!

 

Roadside Stops

If you do end up taking a cab to various places (or renting a car), make sure to stop for roadside soup and porridges. Some of the best porridge I’ve ever had was on the road (full disclosure, it was also the first time I’ve ever had porridge).  Jerk Chicken stands, and highway restaurants are frequent sights, so absolutely jerk the wheel to pull into any one you see. On your way out of town headed towards Ocho Rios, you’ll pass a few coconut stands. Stop at the LAST one that is nestled in the woods. The coconuts are known among locals as THE BEST.

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

 

Jamaica is home to beautiful people and culture. Get out there and have a blast!

 

 

 

September
16

#GetOutThere Guide: Columbia River Gorge

We’ve all seen photos of lush green foliage with a rushing waterfall cascading down the center. Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge is subject of many of these photographs with incredible views, hiking, and an extra special emphasis on the waterfalls!  MI OLA ambassador Becca is currently on an 8 month road trip with her husband traveling in a 38 year old Toyota Chinook. They take the time to explore diverse landscapes in every area they visit. Here Becca give us her insight into an epic day of chasing waterfalls in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls 

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area boasts 292,500 acres of beautiful landscapes, incredible hiking, and the infamous waterfalls. The Gorge is just a short drive out of Portland making it a perfect after-work jaunt or a weekend getaway. There are a plethora of waterfalls. I could go on and on about how many days you could spend here, however, I’ve shortened the list to my favorites that YOU CAN SEE IN ONE DAY.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Multnomah Falls

Where to start/ How to get there:

From I-84, take exit 28 and follow the Historic Columbia River highway 3 miles to the Multnomah Falls parking area. You will want to arrive early as parking is limited and may be full by 9AM.

Multnomah Falls:

Begin your day early at Multnomah Falls to beat the crowd.  This is one of the most photographed waterfalls.  It’s a must see, but you don’t want to be jocking for space as you focus. Multnomah Falls, at 620 feet, is the 2nd tallest waterfall in the United States with over 2 million people visiting far and wide stopping to see her beauty.

Weisendanger Falls:

After viewing Multnomah Falls, hike along trail #441 (Larch Mountain Trail) up the switchbacks to the brink of the falls. Follow the trail up the creek to Weisendanger Falls. You can either continue on to complete a loop trail to view more waterfalls or continue back to the Multnomah Falls parking area.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Weisendanger Falls

Upon returning to the Multnomah Falls Parking Area, drive 2.2 miles east along the Historic Columbia River highway to Oneonta Creek. Park here along the side of the road in one of the pullouts, grab your MI OLA bikini and get ready to cool off from your hike in Oneonta Gorge!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Oneonta Gorge

Oneonta Gorge and Oneonta Falls:

From the parking area, head towards the obvious creek and start walking upstream. After a short ways, you will be met with a giant log jam. Carefully scramble over the logs. Pay close attention as they will most likely be wet. After scrambling over the log jam, continue walking upstream. You will shortly come to a narrow portion where you will be required to wade chest high in the creek. After wading through the water, you will be rewarded with Oneonta Falls!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Exploring Oneonta Gorge just after the log jam.

From the pullout next to Oneonta Creek, continue heading east along Historic Columbia River highway 0.5 miles to Horsetail Falls Trailhead.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Ponytail Falls

Horsetail Falls and Ponytail Falls:

From the Horsetail Falls trailhead, walk along trail #438 viewing Horsetail Falls and Ponytail Falls. Walk behind Ponytail falls and continue walking along the short trail to a gorgeous lookout of the Columbia River Gorge. Retrace your steps to the Horsetail Falls Trailhead.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Overlooking the Columbia River Gorge from the lookout just past Ponytail Falls

Upon returning to your vehicle at Horsetail Falls Trailhead, drive back west along the Historic Columbia River HWY to I-84. You’ve completed some of our favorite hikes in this beautiful landscape!

A few things to keep in mind:

  • These hikes are not considered strenuous, but be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks.
  • The Columbia River Gorge is a very popular destination for locals and travelers alike. Respect the land, pick up trash and be courteous to other hikers.
  • The Columbia River Gorge can be accessed year round. Spring boasts the “most impressive” waterfalls with increased water volume. The waterfalls in Summer will offer relief for hot hikers. Autumn will reward hikers with beautiful leaves. Hikers in Winter can be awestruck with frozen waterfalls. Pick your season, it won’t disappoint!

 

LODGING & EATS

  • The Columbia River Gorge does not have much to offer in the lodging department. It would be best to stay near or in Portland.
  • The only food options in our waterfall guide are located at Multnomah Lodge. Reservations are recommended for a table at Multnomah Lodge. However, they do have a small snack bar with coffee. Packing a lunch with lots of hiking snacks is a great option to keep yourself going!

Happy Travels Mermaids!

 

Be sure to check out Becca’s guides to Southern Utah and Northern California Highway 1!

 

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Then shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

September
2

#GetOutThere Guide: Northern California Highway 1

 

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

MI OLA ambassador Becca just spent over 3 weeks traveling up the coast of Northern California along Highway 1. She is in the middle of an 8 month journey around the American and Canadian West discovering the most incredible landscapes along the way. Read on to plan your own NorCal Highway 1 journey!

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Highway 1 twists and turns through massive Old Growth Redwood Forests, traverses across rocky shorelines and takes the traveler through vistas one can only imagine. Exploring Northern California along Highway 1 is not a quick 70mph drive. Although Google Maps says the 324 mile trip from Bodega Bay to Crescent City takes just over 7 hours, you’ll want at least 4 days! My husband and I spent over 3 weeks exploring the coastline by backpacking the Lost Coast Trail, hiking among the Redwoods and finding private beaches along the way. We narrowed down our favorite spots just for you!

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Backpacking along The Lost Coast. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

The Best Backpacking Trip

The Lost Coast Trail is located in the King Range National Conservation Area – which encompasses over 68,000 acres of wilderness along 35 miles of untouched shoreline. Enthusiastic backpackers enjoy a one-way, 25 mile trip along the shoreline with awe-inspiring views for the entire way. This backpacking trek does require a shuttle unless you would like to double the mileage. We backpacked a small portion of The Lost Coast Trail departing from Black Sands Beach. Don’t forget to register for a permit and rent a bear canister! If you want to spend more time on the Lost Coast Trail, check out our more in depth Lost Coast Trail #GetOutThere Guide by Ashley B.!

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Mountain biking in Jackson Demo State Forest. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

The Best Mountain Biking

A mountain biking paradise lies right outside one of the larger towns along HWY 1, Fort Bragg. The biking is in the Jackson Demo State Forest, just a few miles outside of town. There is enough singletrack that any biker will have fun for days and chances are you won’t see a soul! This area boasts soft trails through a towering Redwood Forest. What’s not to love?! Stop in Fort Bragg at Fort Bragg Cyclery for more info and directions.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

The Best Beaches

EVERYWHERE! Literally everywhere. While we were traveling along the coast, we drove an average of about 30 miles/day stopping at every beach we saw along the road that looked promising. Our rule of thumb – If there’s a beach, stop and soak up the sun! Some of our favorites were in Salt Point State Park, Sonoma Coast State Park and MacKerricher State Park.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

The Best Day Hikes

The Humboldt Redwoods in Northern California boasts the largest remaining old-growth forest of coast redwoods. It’s impossible not to be humbled and inspired all at the same time as you’re meandering through the forest. These trees live up to 2,000 years and can be over 200 ft tall. Stop at a visitor center to learn more about these impressive trees and find the right trail for you!

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Hiking in Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

The Best Place to Get Off The Grid

If you’re looking for a place to get off the beaten path, Usal Beach at Sinkyone Wilderness State Park is your paradise! To get to this deserted beach and hiking paradise, visitors need to travel along a very steep, narrow and rough dirt road for 6 miles. From the trailhead, hike along the beautiful coast and through a Redwood grove for sweeping, 360-degree views. Don’t forget ample food and water as there aren’t any modern facilities. Usal Beach is camping only.

California is known for being sunny and 75 almost every day of the year. Lucky you, this means you can plan your road trip anytime you feel the need to get away! Be aware that this area can become quite crowded during the summer months because of families on vacations.

 

 

What to Bring and Where to Sleep

Your journey along HWY 1 will consist of a whole lot of gorgeous scenery and not a whole lot of amenities. The sleepy coastal towns that you’ll pass through will provide gas, one or two B&Bs, a local restaurant and the obligatory bar. First, decide if you’d like to camp (many people choose this option as there are a plethora of campgrounds along the route) or stay in a plush bed! You can’t go wrong with either! I’d recommend bringing the following whether camping or not.

• Reusable Water Bottles or a Water Jug – There aren’t too many public drinking sources along the way. Make sure you don’t get dehydrated and fill up along the way!

• Snacks, and lots of them! – As you’re traveling along HWY 1, you won’t see many options for quick eats. Pack a cooler with lunch food and snacks to avoid hanger!

• Athletic clothes to enjoy the outdoors, hiking boots or good walking shoes and plenty of SPF.

• Your favorite MI OLA bikini!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree