Mount Saint Helens

Basics: This is a challenging winter climb to the summit of an active volcano in the Cascade Range.  The weather is unpredictable, but on a clear day the views are well worth the effort.  The hike from this particular route is approximately 12 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of over 5700 feet.  There is one other trail (with less elevation gain) to the summit, but it can only be accessed when the road to Climber’s Bivouac is free of snow.  Parking is free but permits are required anywhere above 4800 ft. Continue reading “Mount Saint Helens”

Ape Cave in Washington

Basics: This is a short hike through a lava tube at Mount Saint Helens in Gifford Pinchot National Forest (Washington state).  The cave is very dark – two light sources per person are recommended.  There’s not terribly much to see, but it’s a unique and interesting experience.  Including the return hike, the trip is under 3 miles.  A parking permit is required and can be purchased at the parking lot.  During the summer, lanterns can be rented at the kiosk near the entrance. Continue reading “Ape Cave in Washington”

Mount Judah at Sugar Bowl

Basics: If you have been to Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, you may have already been to the top of Mt. Judah – the Summit Chair above Mt. Judah Express takes you nearly to the top. Unfortunately this isn’t Switzerland, and they don’t run the chairs year-round, so if you want to get to the top in early June when there’s crazy amounts of snow still on the mountain, you’ve got to get up there yourself. The route we took was about 4 miles round trip, with about 1200 feet of elevation gain – sounds easy but walking side-slope on snow at elevation adds some difficulty. Continue reading “Mount Judah at Sugar Bowl”

Feather Falls

Basics: Feather Falls has to be one of the best waterfalls in California (outside of Yosemite), especially in the spring when it is huge!  It is located in Plumas National Forest and can be visited year-round.  The hike is 7 to 9 miles depending on which trail you choose to take.  There is an elevation loss of about 1000 feet on the way to the falls. Continue reading “Feather Falls”

Bald Mountain

Basics: This hike is to the top of the 2729-ft Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.  From the top you’ll have views of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys along with the San Francisco Bay Area and many of the nearby peaks.  This hike is approximately 6 miles roundtrip.  The parking fee is $8.  Potential hazards include: rattlesnakes, sun exposure. Continue reading “Bald Mountain”

Fiske Peak

Basics: Sweeping vistas of the Capay Valley, Coastal Ranges, and on a clear day, the Sierras.  This hike begins at the Cache Creek Regional Park Lower Site.  It is approximately 8 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of 2300 ft.  There is a $6 parking fee – and bring a pen to fill out the little envelope.  Dogs on a leash are allowed.  Potential hazards include: poison oak, rattlesnakes, and treacherous terrain. Continue reading “Fiske Peak”

Mount Saint Helena

This is a hike to the highest peak (4339 ft) in Sonoma County, though it’s only about 1500 ft or so away from the Napa County line. The hike is 10.2 miles roundtrip, with an elevation gain for around 2300 ft.

In honor of Robert Louis Stevenson’s 160th birthday today, we are proud to present the first post ever on our blog.  This trail is located in Stevenson’s own California State Park, where he lived in a cabin and wrote The Silverado Squatters.

Summary: This is a hike to the highest peak (4339 ft) in Sonoma County, though it’s only about 1500 ft or so away from the Napa County line.  This trail follows a gently graded fire road, so in cool weather it’s fairly easy despite the distance.  The hike is 10.2 miles roundtrip, with an elevation gain for around 2300 ft.  Parking is free on the side of the road.

Continue reading “Mount Saint Helena”