In this section, I will address questions asked by readers.  Have an informational question that isn’t represented here?  Ask it in the comments box below!


Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park, South Dakota

Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park

Q: What four states can you see from bear butte?

A: From the top of Bear Butte, you can see Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota


Q: Is there a waterfall in Custer State Park?

A: The only one I know of is at the far end of Sylvan Lake.  This one may be seasonal, and can be found in a fisher of the rock to the left of the dam (if you’re facing the lake on the far end).


The Golden Cathedral in Neon Canyon, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

The Golden Cathedral in Neon Canyon

Q: Is the Golden Cathedral hike hard?

A: Well, it depends what you mean by “hard”.  It’s an 8+ mile hike over sandy terrain with at least one river crossing (the Escalante River).  Depending on which route you take (Fence Canyon or the Beeline Route) you may end up climbing sand dunes and/or fording the Escalante 3 or more times.  So, although the terrain itself is fairly flat, no, it’s really not an easy hike, but it’s certainly not the hardest hike I’ve ever taken.  See my reviews of the Fence Canyon Route and the Beeline Route for more information.


Q: Can I dive into Neon Canyon?

A: Is that “dive” or “drive”?  Because, no, you can’t drive into Neon Canyon.  I personally wouldn’t recommend diving into Neon Canyon.


Buckskin Pass near the Maroon Bells, Colorado

The view from Buckskin Pass

Q: What mountains can you see from Buckskin Pass?

A: From Buckskin Pass, in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, you can mostly see only Snowmass Mountain (Snowmass Peak).  You can also see the Elk Mountains a bit to the left of Snowmass Mountain.  On the left side of the pass (if you’re facing Snowmass) is “The Sleeping Sexton” and North Maroon Peak.  Looking back towards Maroon Lake, you can see the back side of Pyramid Peak.


Q: When can I visit Maroon Bells?

A: You can visit Maroon Bells any time of year.  The road to Maroon Lake is closed in the winter (mid-October to mid-May, most years) and between the hours of 9am and 5pm in the summer and on weekends during the fall.  During the summer months and on weekends during the fall, a bus service (fee charged) runs from Aspen up to Maroon Lake.  No motor vehicles are allowed on the road during bus hours, although non-motorized forms of transportation such as hiking, rollerblading, bicycling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, etc. on the road is allowed at any time of day, any time of year.

2 thoughts on “Q&A

  1. Kay

    Are there any times you’d recommend not hiking in the North Cascades? Looking to avoid crowds and snow/ice.

  2. Anne Post author

    Hi Kay – If you want to avoid snow and ice, you’ll have to hike in August or September. For crowds, your best bet may be a weekday in September. Very popular trails like Cascade Pass and the Maple Pass Loop will probably have other visitors throughout the hikeable season. Hope that helps! ~Anne

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