Posts Tagged ‘trail’

Mount Baldy trip report posted

November 9th, 2010

Just posted a video trip report of Mount Baldy via the Ski Hut trail. The descent was done via the Devil’s Backbone trail. Look in the trails section of the site, or click here for the video.

Blog Entries, Video

Evolution Valley – July 2010

September 10th, 2010

During early July of 2010, I went on a three night backpacking trip starting at Florence Lake in the Sierra National Forest. There is a ferry service that will take you to the other side of the lake, where you meet up with a trail heading southeast. This trail passes near the John Muir Trail Ranch (private property catering to paid customers), then intersects the John Muir trail and heads towards Pilute canyon. After crossing the raging San Joaquin river via bridge, we continued a few miles down the trail and set up camp for a first day of 12 miles. The next morning we continued south, followed the JMT up into Evolution Valley and set up camp at McClure meadow. The entire trip was very scenic, but this area was out of this world. On day three we did some day hiking, then trekked back out of Evolution Valley (waist high creek crossing) and descended back into Pilute canyon. Our final day was 14 miles back to the Ferry. The snow line was about 11,000 feet and we only went that high for a few hours on our day hike.

This area of the JMT is well worth the trip. We ran into quite a few PCT through-hikers, as well as a few doing the North-South Lakes loop from the Bishop area. Highly recommend this area.

Blog Entries

Mount Baldy Panorama Posted

January 21st, 2010

I’ve just posted a moving panoramic photo from the summit of Mount Baldy. Be sure to use the drop down menu to access the other panoramas. Happy trials.

Blog Entries

Kearsarge Pass and Rae Lakes

January 15th, 2010

These photos are from a trip I took in July 09. I did not have my video camera with me on this one. I have since purchased a still camera with HD movie capabilities and will be taking that with me on future extended trips.

This trip started in Onion Valley, which is located west of Independence, CA (just north of Lone Pine where the Whitney turnoff is). We car camped the first night, then backpacked over Kearsarge pass into the Kearsarge lakes area. I think in hindsight we could have left San Diego early and hiked up and over the pass in one day. At any rate, the Kearsarge Lakes area was beautiful and there was a trail interconnecting the series of lakes.

The next day we hiked up and over Glen Pass. The north side of the pass was covered in snow, but following the shoe tracks did not prove that difficult. Hiking poles helped quite a bit on this stretch. It was a long day and I was pretty tired by the time we reached the middle Rae Lake. The Rae Lakes basin is beautiful (despite the numerous mosquitoes – bring netting). See the panoramas section for the view from Glen Pass.

The next day we did a day hike up to Dollar Lake. Again, stunning scenery and good fishing. This was a take-it-easy day and I decided not to venture up into the 60 lakes basin area to the west of Rae Lakes.

Next day we got an early start and hiked back over Glen Pass and then Kearsarge Pass. We stopped to make camp at Flower Lake. This is a nice area to camp because it’s by a stream (for water pumping) and it has a beautiful but small lake. I did notice more people here because it’s much closer to the main trailhead.

The final day was a short march down to the cars, pizza in Lone Pine and then a 4 hour drive back to San Diego. I am planning on doing the Rae Lakes loop from Sequoia National Park this upcoming 2010 summer. That would be a four night trip and cover about 45 miles.

Blog Entries

A visit to the Mud Caves

January 15th, 2010

This past weekend my wife and I visited the mud caves in Anza Borrego Desert State Park east of San Diego. I had heard quite a bit about these caves and was glad to finally check them out for myself. They are relatively simple to reach and require only about 5 miles of driving on dirt roads. Once in Arroyo Tapiado (where the mudcaves are located) you can spot the caves on the sides of the canyons. I estimate there are 4 -5 side canyons to explore and maybe 12-15 caves. We only had time to do four caves. Will be back to do further exploring for sure. See photos and a short video clip shot by my wife.

Blog Entries, Video

Iron Mountain – San Diego

January 3rd, 2010

Here is a video trip report of Iron Mountain in San Diego. This is an excellent training hike and offers excellent views. It can be reached from the main trail featured in this video or via the less traveled Ellie Lane parking lot.


Cowles Mountain – San Diego

January 3rd, 2010

Here is a video trip report of one of the most popular trails in the city of San Diego.
Cowles Mountain is the tallest peak in the city at over 1,500 feet and offers a panoramic view extending to the ocean.


Yosemite High Sierra Camps

October 22nd, 2009

When I was a kid, I remember my parents taking trips into Yosemite and staying at the High Sierra Camps.  These camps are located in the back country and you need to hike to get there.   I think these can be good family options because they allow someone not familiar with backpacking to venture into the wilderness but still have a bed (cot) to sleep on  and a hot meal.  These camps are very popular and there is a lottery system to get reservations.  Some people go to only one or two on their trip, others make the whole circuit of five.  Below is information about the High Sierra camps from their reservations site.

Located high in the wilderness, obtainable only by foot or by saddle, are five unique hike-to camps spaced 5.7 to 10 miles apart along a loop trail in Yosemite’s beautiful High Country.

Overnight accommodations in Yosemite at the High Sierra Camps includes full dinner and breakfast, served in cozy dining tents. Box lunches for the next day on the trail are available at an additional cost and may be ordered the night before departure.

All lodging is in canvas tent cabins with dormitory-style steel frame beds with mattresses, pillows, woolen blankets or comforters. The staff makes every effort to keep members of a party in the same tent(s), but sometimes splitting a party is necessary.

Guests must provide their own sheets or sleep-sacks and towels.

Camp descriptions-

Merced Lake (1916)

Located along one of the largest lakes in Yosemite, this camp is encircled by granite ridges and domes. Because of its lower elevation, it is relatively warm and has slightly different vegetation, such as large white firs, aspen and lodgepole pines. With the largest occupancy it’s great for groups and often this camp has last-minute availability.  Merced Lake High Sierra Camp is also the furthest camp from any trailhead.  With roughly 14 miles of steep hiking to get to Merced Lake from either Yosemite Valley or Tuolumne Meadows, most visitors choose to stop at either Vogelsang or Sunrise first, and then continue on to Merced Lake the following day.   Merced Lake has 19 cabins with accommodations for 60 guests. Elevation: 7,150 ft.

Vogelsang (1924)

Located along Fletcher Creek, just beyond Fletcher Lake, Vogelsang is often named as one of the favorite spots in Yosemite by many a veteran visitor. It’s in an alpine setting with peaks and vistas, lakes, meadows and passes within close proximity and sits at the highest elevation of all the camps. Vogelsang has 12 cabins and accommodates a total of 42 guests. Showers not available.  Elevation: 10,300 ft.

Glen Aulin (1927)

Meaning “beautiful valley,” this camp is set alongside a stunning waterfall and lucent pool on the Tuolumne River.  Campers enjoy catching the sunset from a nearby promontory with a view of Mt. Cones.  Glen Aulin has eight cabins with a total occupancy of 32 guests. Showers not available.  Elevation: 7,800 ft.

May Lake (1938)

Named for the wife of Charles Hoffman, the first man to climb the peak that now bears his name. Mt. Hoffman is also the geographic center of Yosemite National Park and is an excellent, though challenging, hike for May Lake visitors. Located on a quiet high mountain lake, perfect for relaxing, swimming and fishing. The easiest camp to access via a short, one-mile hike from the parking lot off Tioga Road. A great family destination.  May Lake has eight cabins and has accommodations for a total occupancy of 36 guests. Elevation: 9,270 ft.

Sunrise Camp (1961)

Well-named for the spectacular morning views as the sun creeps over the mountains casting alpine glow on the Clark Range. Sunrise offers numerous vantage points for incredible vistas, including Echo Peak, Matthes Crest, Cathedral Peak and the Clark Range.  Sunrise camps has nine cabins for a total occupancy of 34. Elevation: 9,400 ft.

The camps fill up quickly and in order to maxmize your chances of getting the dates you are looking for, it’s best to enter the High Sierra Camp lottery.   Here is some information from their website.

  1. The deadline to request an application is typically late November of the prior year
  2. Applications will only be accepted on the official Yosemite High Sierra Camp Lottery Application Form.  They must be received by the Yosemite Reservations Office sometime in December.  Check the website for exact dates.
  3. A maximum of eight spaces (six for meals-only) may be requested on one application form.
  4. Please do not send payment until requested.
  5. Applicants will be notified in late February as to their standing in the lottery.
  6. You will receive notification once we receive your lottery application.  Please DO NOT CALL or email to check on the status after that. Due to the volume of applications received, we ask that applicants wait until the lottery is complete to make any inquiries.
  7. Any canceled space will be filled by a second round lottery using applications which were not awarded during the first round. Any available space not awarded during the first two rounds will be filled by phone inquiries on a first come first served basis beginning in early April.
  8. All reservations must be paid in full within 30 days of lottery award.

Blog Entries

San Jacinto Peak – Video Trip Report

September 15th, 2009

Below is the video trip report for San Jacinto Peak via the Palm Springs Tramway.    I did this as a day hike, leaving early from San Diego and catching the first tram up.   I hiked this late in the season (November), but the weather was nice and the first snow had yet to fall.  I’ve also done this peak via the Devil’s Slide trail out of Humber Park , which I found to be a little more challenging.  The hike from the Tramway is still challenging, but does not have quite the elevation gain.  I also thought the Tramway was quite scenic and added an interesting element to the day.


San Gorgonio Peak – Video Trip Report

September 15th, 2009

This is a trip report of the Vivian Creek trail, the more popular route to the summit.  San Gorgonio Peak is the tallest peak in Southern California at 11,500 feet and is near Big Bear.  We left San Diego and hiked to High Camp, dropped our packs, then continued to the summit before heading back to camp.  This trail is very challenging, especially the last couple miles as you are at elevation.  Arriving at the summit later in the day allowed us to have the whole place to ourselves which was really nice.  We hiked on a Friday and High Camp was not that crowded.  On our way out  Saturday we passed a ton of people heading to that camp, so I’m glad we went on Friday.  You do need a permit to hike in the San Gorgonio wilderness, they are free and all the info you need is on the wilderness website.   Check out the links section for details.