O Canada… One of my favorite parts about living in Seattle is the accessibility to our gorgeous neighbors up north. Growing up, we used to take road trips to Vancouver once or twice a year to feast on delicious dim sum and Chinese food (which puts Seattle Chinese food to shame). In college, my friends and I started taking an annual ski trip to Whistler, which to this day is still one of my favorite traditions. Banff has always been high on my list of places to go, but I had never done a real roadtrip this long so I procrastinated planning until last fall! We did the whole drive of Seattle-to-Banff and back in 7-days, and it was such a fun way to explore more of Western Canada!
If you’re a Washington State hiker, you’re sure to have heard of the beautiful (and daunting) Enchantments. The thru hike itself ranges somewhere between 18 – 24 miles and over 4,500 ft. in elevation gain, although can be even longer/higher if you lose the trail or choose to explore off the path. The Enchantments are more commonly known for backpackers — there’s a lottery-style permit system every year that generally rewards less than 10% of entrants to camp out overnight along the trail. I’ve entered the lottery for 4 years now without winning, so this year I decided to take on the Enchantments as a thru hike, and I want to share my experience for those of you hoping to do the same!
Patagonia was at the top of my bucket list for 5 years before I finally thought — what’s stopping me? I’ve been lucky enough to save up for a big trip a year, so why haven’t I chosen to go to the one place I tell everyone I’m dying to go? So I booked it. The trip was 9 days in total including a layover in Mexico City, 2 days in Santiago, 2 days in Puerto Natales, and a 5 day backpacking trek through Torres Del Paine’s W trail.