Tennessee Waterfall Hike: Burgress Falls State Park

hiking, nomad, State Park, Tennessee, Uncategorized, Van Life, Waterfalls

I wasn’t sure how I was going to like living in Tennessee, after growing up in the beautiful Pacific North West, but I was pleasantly surprised! Tennessee is extremely lush and has hills and mountains. There a lot of waterfalls to visit! (Here’s another one of my favorite Tennessee Waterfalls).

This hike is right off of the main Highway that goes from Nashville to Knoxville. It’s a super easy road trip stop if you are traveling in the south!

The hike is super short and is manageable for all skill levels! I stopped at this waterfall after going to the UT, LSU football game in Knoxville! I was driving back to Nashville.

The falls are MASSIVE and absolutely stunning! I’m so happy and thankful that I decided to make the stop. I was in and out of there in about 1.5 hours!

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

Stunning Scenic Lake In Southern Colorado: Smith Reservoir!

This is an awesome little road trip stop if you find yourself in southern Colorado! This reservoir is small but it’s so beautiful! I drove from Austin, Texas, cut over into New Mexico just before Amarillo and winded through some back highways until I got into souther CO! My grandpa taught me to always take…

Flaming Gorge Reservoir: Road Trip Stop On The Utah/ Wyoming Border

I’m always looking for new and beautiful places to explore around the United States! A lot of the time I will just zoom in on my apple maps on a green area or a body of water, and then research whatever names are posted in that area! That’s how I found the Flaming Gorge. I…

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado: Rocky Mountain Sand Dunes

Colorado is such a beautiful state! I’m so glad I took this route on my way up to Washington State! I weirdly had never been to Colorado, one of the only states I hadn’t been to yet (aside from the airport)! 🤯 seems like the first place I’d go lol. I also stopped at the…

The Mojave Desert: A South West Road Trip Essential Stop!

This was a quick stop for me on my drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles! I always try to see any many places as possible when I’m on road trips, even if I only have time to stop for a few hours. This place was nothing like I had never seen before! Growing up…

Ocean Jet Skiing in Destin, Florida: Destin Beach Trip Mini Guide

Destin and the entire Florid Panhandle have a ton of very underrated beaches! If you’re looking for white sand, and bright blue water, this is the spot! And it’s a pretty affordable vacation spot! I’ve been to the Panhandle a handful of time and it’s been a blast for all of them! Pro tip: it’s…

Middle Tennessee’s Best Hike, Waterfall, and Swimming Hole: Cummins Falls

I lived in Nashville, Tennessee for a couple years and this waterfall and swimming hole is by far my favorite place in the State.  Also… side note! If you’re going to Cummins Falls you should definitely spend some time in Nashville! I will be writing up a post on the best spots to go in…

Hiking Red Rock Canyon: Best Las Vegas Hikes- Calico Hills

I spent a couple months in the greater Las Vegas area! Between the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and Red Rock Canyon National Park! All of which are beautiful in their own way! One of my favorite hikes and hot springs is close by as well! It goes along the emerald colored Colorado river. If you…

Big Tree State Park, Northern California Road Trip

I was making the trip from Yosemite to Lake Tahoe, and of course decided to take the back roads! (Which also lead to another cool discovery and long dead end). I didn’t have a big plan, I was car camping and was stopping and going as I pleased! Luckily I saw the signs for Big…

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Big Tree State Park, Northern California Road Trip

California, nomad, Road Trip, State Park, Uncategorized, Van Life

I was making the trip from Yosemite to Lake Tahoe, and of course decided to take the back roads! (Which also lead to another cool discovery and long dead end).

I didn’t have a big plan, I was car camping and was stopping and going as I pleased! Luckily I saw the signs for Big Tree State Park and decided to stop. The two lane highway driving in near Arnold California was so lush and beautiful. Dense Forrest with massive trees everywhere!

This was when I wasn’t as good at self timer photos 🤣

This was just a small pit stop on my way to Lake Tahoe! But I’m sure glad I made the stop. So worth it!

It was pretty cool feeling super small next to these massive trees. Charles Lickens also loved checking out the tree roots! It’s a very unique place to be, especially if you have yet to experience the massive trees in the state of California. I’m lucky enough to have grandparents who live right next to the Redwoods in Northern California, so I was spoiled with beautiful scenery my entire childhood!

He talks a lot when he’s curious.

We went in early spring and there was still a lot of snow, so sadly we didn’t get to see a lot of the coolest part. We’ll be back!

California is in bear country, make sure to always have your bear spray on you anytime you are in the woods. The attacks are rare, but I’ve seen A LOT of bears. Better safe than sorry!

Bear Spray on Amazon
Sir Charles getting some fresh water. (And yes he always talks this much lol).

Stay safe and stay groovy!

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

Tennessee Waterfall Hike: Burgress Falls State Park

I wasn’t sure how I was going to like living in Tennessee, after growing up in the beautiful Pacific North West, but I was pleasantly surprised! Tennessee is extremely lush and has hills and mountains. There a lot of waterfalls to visit! (Here’s another one of my favorite Tennessee Waterfalls). This hike is right off…

Yosemite Valley, California Road Trip Stops

If you haven’t been to The Yosemite yet, add it to the bucket list! I give this place an 11/10 for beauty. It truly is one of the most breathtaking places you’ll go to! I drove in from Los Angeles Overnight. I want to say it was about a 4 ish hour drive! My cat,…

Southern California Road Trip Stop: The Salton Sea

The Salton Sea is the largest lake in the state of California! This lake is very close to where they host Coachella! I made a pit stop here on my South West road trip, traveling from Arizona to Southern California. There isn’t a ton to do in the area, but it’s a super unique place…

Mount Rainier National Park: Driving to the Top, Photo Gallery

Mt. Rainier is one of Washington States most iconic peaks. You can see the mountain clearly from Seattle. I was fortunate to grow up in Washington. My brother and I decided to take a longer drive to our cousins wedding, and we drove through Mt. Rainier National Park. You can drive almost all the way…

North Cascades National Park, Washington State: Guide and Photo Gallery

North Cascades National Park is heaven on earth. It hugs the Canadian boarder, you’ll even get some “Welcome to Canada” texts if you happen to have service any point! It encompasses serene alpine lakes, endless mountain peaks and dense forest! Everywhere you drive or go is another breathtaking view! It never ends. For Forests floors are…

Grand Canyon National Park: That Time an Elk Hiked With Me

This was my first time ever going to The Grand Canyon, so you could say I was pretty stoked!  I got up early where I was staying, in Flagstaff, which is just a little over an hour from the park! I threw on my spandex and USA hat and hit the road! I knew I…

Oregon Water Fall Hike: Ramona Falls in Mt Hood National Forest

Ramona Falls in Oregon is a Hidden little gem found in Mt. Hood National Forrest! My friend from Texas found it on the AllTrails app and we went for it! This hike made you feel like you are walking through a tropical rainforest, it was insanely green and lush!  The Trail Head It’s not too…

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Southern California Road Trip Stop: The Salton Sea

California, nomad, Road Trip, South West USA, Van Life

The Salton Sea is the largest lake in the state of California! This lake is very close to where they host Coachella! I made a pit stop here on my South West road trip, traveling from Arizona to Southern California. There isn’t a ton to do in the area, but it’s a super unique place to stop if you are close by!

I circled the Salton Sea on this map screenshot!!
The Ground is completely made of clay!
The ground was all cracked in a cool way!

Hiking Mt Hood, Oregon: MnNeil Point Summit

This was hands-down one of the most breathtaking hikes I have ever done in my life! And I have done a lot of hiking in my days. My friend has hiked around America, Europe and South America and he said the same! Mount Hood is Located just outside of Portland Oregon. You can see it’s…

Maryland Hiking and Sunset Locations: Sugarloaf Mountain

Not gonna lie, when I moved from Washington State all the way over to the North East…. Baltimore to be more specific, I did not expect to find a ton of places to explore outdoors. I moved there for a job and was planning on working as much as possible and saving a ton of…

Spokane, Washington Hiking: Big Rock

Growing up in the Pacific North West, good ole PNW, I was spoiled with serene mountainous beauty, clear lakes and endless exploring!  One of my favorite go-to-hikes when I’m back home in Spokane, is Big Rock! It’s right off the Palouse Highway! It’s about 10-15 minutes down the Highway if you’re coming from the South…

Car Camping: An Affordable and Safe Way to Travel The Country Van Life Style

camping, Car Camping, nomad, Road Trip, Van Life

I get a lot of questions on how I life the “Van Life” without having an actual Van or RV. It’s taken a lot of trial and error to find the best ways to live like this, but I have found ways to make it cozy, comfortable and affordable!

I also love that car camping allows you to lock your “bed” while your sleep. My SUV has an alarm too so I always feel at ease when I’m asleep.

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

Mountain Car Camping with Sleeping bag in Summer 2018

Setting Up the Bed

We spend a lot of time sleeping… well were supposed to anyways… so having a comfortable and safe place to sleep when you’re living on the road is very important.

  1. Start but laying down all of the back seats in your SUV (or whichever vehicle you are using). If it doesn’t lay down completely flat, I would recommend taking the seats out completely and storing them somewhere safe (hey, mom and dad!)
  2. Place some sort of soft pad on the bottom. I bought a 2 inch pad, click here. If you are doing it short term, feel free to grab the one off your bed, just make sure it has a sheet (or maybe two, one for each side) so that it doesn’t get dirty!
  3. If the weather is cold, pack a sleeping bag, If it’s on the warmer side bring blankets so that your body can breath. If you are in the mountains I would recommend always having a sleeping bag, it gets cold at night! Right now I have a regular king sized blanket. I like to get them bigger than my car so that I can bunch them up on the side for extra cushion.
  4. Bring Pillows! I have four pillows, again to add some extra cushion and make it cozier!
  5. Set up battery or solar powered lights inside (I use this waterproof solar lantern). This was a game changer for me to help me relax in the evening after the sun goes down. Having lights in there makes it feel more like home and allows you to read, write and draw! … or to see your beautiful fur babies face!
  6. Face your trunk pointing towards the best view. I love relaxing with the back trunk wide open in bed while enjoying a beautiful view.
  7. Cover with a tarp and pack your things on top of it!

Setting Up Outdoors

My best friend and I do car camping together, we fit two in this Rav4 we rented (I didn’t have an SUV yet) comfortably.
  1. TARPS. I love tarps (outdoor rugs work too!). I set them up outside of every entrance of my car I’m going to use. This allows you to keep your shoes by your door without tracking a bunch of dirt into your car. I put one outside of the trunk and one outside of the back side doors (you can’t open the trunk from the inside so in the morning you have to go out of the side). Amazon basics has some nice and affordable tarps.
  1. Folding table. I have a folding table that lays flat in the back of my car on top of my bed. I usually set it up near the fire pit, since that’s where I prep most of my food. Put it where you are going to cook! Having a table makes a huge difference, you can find some affordable ones online and in store.
  2. If there isn’t any shade, I create some. A lot of people use an easy up, I don’t have one (yet), so I typically open my trunk and use bungee cords to hook a tarp to the top of it and then clip the other side of the tarp to a tree or another car near by! This creates shade just outside of your bed and makes a bigger shelter! I do this when it rains too to give me more dry space.

They also have those really cool tents that you can attach to the back of your open SUV trunk!

SUV Tent, so badass.

4. OPTIONAL. Set up your hammock on your campsite. I love relaxing and taking naps in my hammock, gives a cozy feel to your “home”.

Setting up the tent and unloading the car!

Efficient Packing

You obviously don’t have to pack the way I do, but I’ve learned a lot from others over the year on how to pack efficiently and in a very organized way.

If you aren’t interested in the “Van Life” and just want to go on a little camping trip, skip to step 2!

1. Become a MINIMALIST. This is one of the most challenging parts. We all learn to love and become attached to our belongings. You just need to pull the bandage and DO IT.

I got rid of almost everything, aside from a little bit of clothes and some kitchen and bathroom essentials.

I picked a few “cute” outfits to keep for when I meet up with friends or go out and got rid of the rest! It was hard but I knew I wanted to make the transition into this lifestyle so I did what I had to do.

I have one (shallow) clear tub of pants, one for t-shirts & tanks, one for long sleeve & athletic tops and then a deep large tub or warmer clothes (jacket, sweatshirts, gloves, snow pants).

2. I pack EVERYTHING in clear plastic tubs with lids. Click here for the ones I’m talking about! This is way cheaper than buying in person too. In person they are about $8 a piece. on amazon you can get 6 of the nice ones that have the lids that lock shut for about $30. I mean I put EVERYTHING in them. Underwear, food, shampoo, you name it! I got a lot of this from Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix; she does into a lot of detail as to why packing in clear tubs is important.

Clear tubs allow you to see exactly what’s inside without having to dig through it. They also store and stack nicely if you get uniform ones. I have found that the shallow, but large size are best for staying organized.

3. Pack your food in one, cooking supplies in another, clothing in one, bathroom supplies, etc.! Combine two different things if there’s room.

Setting up the car bed! (Shawn at the end)

How to Find Places to Camp

First, be sure to check my camping section, I’m working on adding more!

There are a ton of campsites all over the United States and Canada, and plenty of them are free! In fact, some of my all time favorite places to stay have been on free sites.

One of the best ways to find free land to camp on is by going onto the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) site and finding free public land. You can stay in these places for up to two weeks and then after your time is up you have to move at least 20 miles to the next BLM spot. These are always free, but they don’t have facilities (water and bathroom) so you need to go extra prepared!

Another great way to find BLM spots on your phone and other FREE spots is through the Boondocking app. It will show you all of the free spots around the United States and also gives you information for each spot.

Another great website/app I use is Ioverlander.com. This site/app will show you all places to camp, free and with ones that cost money. I like this one because it has filters. You can put if you want showers and other amenities.

Lastly, the park4night app is another great resource for finding all different types of places to stay. This one will also show you parking lots that allow you to crash overnight in your Car, SUV or Van. It also has BLM land and campgrounds and typically provides information on each location.

With the van life, if you just need a quick spot to pull over and sleep, Wal mart allows overnight travelers to stay overnight in their parking lot (most locations, double check before). This might sound sketchy, but it is actually one of the safest options. There are security cameras, security, and indoor bathroom.

Stay safe and have fun!

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

If you have anything to add or ask, please comment or email me! I’d love to chat and get more tips and answer your questions. (enter below)

Idaho Mountaintop Hot Spring: Hike up to Goldbug Hot Spring

hiking, Hot Springs, idaho, nomad, Van Life

Goldbug hot springs tops the cake for my favorite hots spring in the United States (at least thus far in my adventures). Adding an amazingly breath-taking view on top of a fully natural hot spring makes it stand out among the rest. Hopefully I will be able to make it back many more times while I’m still breathing on this beautiful planet.

Goldbug Hotsprings, Idaho

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

I have gotten numerous messages from people about geotagging. I understand when people don’t want to share their locations to hidden gems, but that’s not my mentality. I love to share my spots and get more people off their phones and out enjoying the great outdoors. I won’t be directly geo-tagging on Instagram …. But I will gladly share on my website!

Location

Goldbug Hot Springs are located about 30 minutes south of Salmon, Idaho. Salmon is a cute tiny little mountain down in east-central Idaho off hwy 93. You can get there from multiple directions! I went in January and the mountain roads were still accessible, they have a lot of winter road gear up there. I would still recommend going with good tires and preferably four-wheel drive if you are going in the winter time. Summertime should be a breeze!

The address is: 34 Warm Springs Rd, Salmon, ID, 83467.

The parking lot is just about a quarter mile off hwy 93.

There are some other breathtaking Hot Springs in Northern Idaho that are stunning as well!

Local Attractions

I went to Bertram’s Salmon Valley Brewery in Salmon the night before I went on the hike. They had delicious beer! They had a good-sized menu as well with a variety of options.

The whole downtown strip was cute! I would recommend walking up and down it and chatting with the locals.

Gear to Bring

Your Beautiful Body

-Swim suit

-Towel

-WATER (lots of it, those hot springs plus a hike will dehydrate you). I always bring my Hydroflask to hot springs. It keeps my water ice cold even when it’s down in the hot water with me!

Get the Hydroflask I have on Amazon

-Snacks. Climbing up a mountain and sitting in a hot spring can really deplete your energy. Before hiking back down I would recommend eating something, even if it’s small! It will help a lot with your energy when going down. I have found that hikes back after a hot springs seem way longer, your body gets super relaxed in those baths!

-Hiking shoes. I wear Keens, they have great grip and tread. They don’t have my exact ones on amazon but click here for ones that have shorter ankles length but the exact same show other than that!

-Micro Spikes. This hike can get slick in the winter. I hooked my micro spikes right onto my hiking boots! Helped so much.

Winter and Spring:

You don’t NEED spikes but they make the trek easier and quicker. The start of the hike is steep as well as the end right before you get to the springs for about ¾ of a mile. I had my Yak Tracks on and passed a lot of people who just had regular shoes or even hiking shoes on. The mud in the Spring makes it very slippery as well.

Goldbug Hot Springs, Idaho

 I also brought my trekking poles, which are always a huge help on any hike regardless of snow or if its steep. I’ve found that using my trekking poles helps even out the strain from the hike over my entire body, rather than just my legs. We all want toned arms to go with our hiking legs, don’t we?!

Summer and Fall:

You just need the basics from my list above. Make sure you still having hiking shoes on, as there are some steep and rocky spots. Lots and lots of H2O!!! I was running low on water so I put some fresh snow in my Hydroflask, but if you don’t have fresh snow you won’t always have this luxury! Hydroflasks are great because they either keep things super cold or super hot! I love mine so much and use it every single day.

On the way up there are numerous waterfalls that are surrounded by greenery. You feel like you are on a tropical island, but really you are on a small mountain in Idaho. Take your time and sneak into the little waterfalls!

There are 8 different pools you can choose from, they get hotter the higher up you go.

You’ll know your are at the main hot springs when you cross a small wooden foot bridge… it’s super obvious.

Have fun and stay safe!

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

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    Goldbug hot springs tops the cake for my favorite hots spring in the United States (at least thus far in my adventures). Adding an amazingly breath-taking view on top of a fully natural hot spring makes it stand out among the rest. Hopefully I will be able to make it back many more times while…
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