Love Your Gear: MindShift’s Rotation 180 Professional Backpack

We at Take a Hike Photography try to combine our two greatest passions of hiking and photography every chance we get. Over the years, however, we’ve discovered that these two hobbies don’t always mix well in the field, especially if you are crazy serious enough about your photography to carry a DSLR camera with you on the trail like we are.


We never set out on a hike without our Canon 7D bodies, a selection of lenses, various filters and a tripod in our kit. Believe you me, the weight of the camera gear alone adds up in a hurry, and lugging it around mile after mile takes some serious dedication. (more…)

Plan Your Trekking Adventure: Ladakh, India


Located in the Himalayas of northern India near the border with Tibet, Ladakh is one of the world’s great destinations for alpine trekking. With the promise of pristine landscapes, stunning vistas and the tranquility of trekking through a land far-removed from the distractions of the modern world, Ladakh is well worth traveling halfway around the world to get there.  (more…)

Marmot Mania!

Just watch any broadcast of the evening news in the United States, and it’s hard not to think that this country is going to hell in a handbasket. Our government is totally dysfunctional; deadly drought, rampant wildfires and countless other natural disasters plague the continent; and shocking violent acts have pitted policemen against the population they vow to protect. It’s all terribly depressing, isn’t it?

Well, dear readers, in the spirit of misery loving company, we thought you might enjoy knowing that things aren’t much better in the marmot world.

Marmot Mania!_2


Misadventures on the Road from Joshimath to Leh


Ever wonder what’s the best way to cure the hiking blues after finishing an amazing trek? Starting another one, of course!

With so many incredible hiking destinations to choose from in the India Himalayas, we had to take advantage of being halfway around the world and do another trek in this fabulous alpine locale before heading back to Chicago. So, after completing the Nanda Devi Alpine trek, we planned to meet up with friends in Ladakh, a region in the far northern India known as the “roof of the world.” (more…)

Discovering Uttarakhand: India’s Hidden Himalayas

Discovering Uttarakhand_3

The summer of 2014 was a banner hiking season for us. We’ve already told you about our amazing Wonderland adventure in Mount Rainier National Park, but, believe it or not, that trip was just the icing on the cake. We actually began our hiking adventures in India, of all places. That’s right, India! As soon as school let out, we headed to India’s Uttarakhand, where we spent 11 glorious days trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas. (more…)

Chicago Is for the Bird(er)s!

Chicago for the Birders2

As nature photographers and hiking enthusiasts, we are often bemoaning the fact that we live in Chicago. Now, don’t get us wrong. Chicago is an amazing city with tons of fantastic cultural offerings at our fingertips. But as far as hiking and wildlife opportunities go, we’ve always found it to be lacking. With skyscrapers providing the only change of elevation and pigeons being the predominant fauna, this urban setting is a little less than ideal in the nature department.

Or so we thought…


Big Fun in Big Bend

Big Bend National Park in far west Texas is an amazing place. Snuggled into a big bend of the Rio Grande on the US-Mexico border, this park is known for striking sun-kissed scenery where its three distinct habitats of mountains, desert and river meet.

Mountains, Desert, River

Even though this park is undeniably gorgeous, it seems to be a well-kept secret. At over 800,00 acres, like all things Texas, Big Bend is huge, yet it only sees an average of 300,000 visitors per year. Compare this to the 8-10 million people who visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and you’ll feel like you have this desert paradise all to yourself.

Why such a difference, you ask? In a word: Isolation. (more…)

Exploring the Natural Wonders of the Evergreen State

Iron Creek Falls, Mount St. Helens

For those of you needing a quick brush up on your state trivia, the nickname of Washington is the Evergreen State. While I am fairly confident that the moniker was intended to honor the abundant amounts of evergreen trees found in the state’s natural areas, sometimes I’m not so sure. Could it be that the forefathers of that great state had me in mind when the epithet was chosen?

You see, although I love spending time in Washington state, I have to admit that deep inside I am crazy jealous whenever I am there. Washington is a dream come true for any nature-loving, photograph-taking, outdoor-seeking person, and being there makes me “ever-green with envy.” Do Washingtonians realize how fortunate they are to live in such a beautiful place? Is it really fair for one state to have so much?