Pyramid Peak via Rocky Canyon

We’ve attempted and failed to hike Pyramid Peak more times than I’d like to admit. Poor planning, late starts and crappy weather have all thwarted past attempts. Our friend Nolan has had a similar experience. After climbing far more challenging peaks, we (jokingly) began to wonder if we’d ever make it to the top of “the elusive Pyramid Peak.”

Finally, this past weekend we made it happen. The weather was looking to be perfect. We chose the most direct route – Rocky Canyon from Highway 50. We were determined to finally knock this one off our list. Continue reading “Pyramid Peak via Rocky Canyon”

Briones Regional Park


If you’re looking for a wild and rugged place to hike, Briones Regional Park is not it (unless you consider cows to be “wildlife”).  The park does offer a substantial network of trails  within the heart of Contra Costa County.  Rolling grassy hills provide spectacular views of Mount Diablo, the Carquinez Strait and the surrounding suburbs.  Briones is one of the many parks managed by the East Bay Regional Park District.  At 6000+ acres, it’s easy to hike or run 10+ miles if you’re looking for a challenge.  The trails which are mostly wide fire roads, are both dog friendly and mountain bike friendly.  We walked a 6-mile loop through oak woodland, to the top of Briones Peak and back down over rolling, sometimes steep terrain. Continue reading “Briones Regional Park”

Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point: Four Mile Trail


The Four Mile Trail (actually 4.8 miles) is one of Yosemite Valley’s most strenuous trails. It climbs up to Glacier Point – an ascent of nearly 3300-ft in just under five miles. After the grueling uphill slog, hikers are rewarded with unparalleled views of Half Dome and the rest of Yosemite Valley. Glacier Point can also be reached by car or shuttle, but the view feels much more rewarding when you walk. We hiked this on a rainy Saturday in late September. Though summer is over, there were still plenty of people out and about. You can’t expect much solitude on this trail, but you can look forward to a great workout and some good people watching! Continue reading “Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point: Four Mile Trail”

Round Top and Winnemucca Lake


Climbing to the top of Round Top is an interesting hike – it starts of very mellow/easy and gets progressively more difficult as you get closer to the summit. The final 100′ or so are considered an easy Class 3. This hike is located in the Carson Pass Management Area (part of the Mokelumne Wilderness), just south of Highway 88 near Kirkwood Mountain Resort. The beginning of the hike is crowded – many people simply hike up to Winnemucca Lake (a worthy destination in itself) – but far fewer people reach the summit of Round Top. When hiked as a loop, this trip is approximately 6.5 miles with 2000 ft of elevation gain. There are many trail signs; if one knows which general direction to head in, it’s nearly impossible to get lost.

Continue reading “Round Top and Winnemucca Lake”

Lyons Creek Trail – Desolation Wilderness


Things don’t always go according to plan.  I’m normally pretty good at planning stuff and I have decent luck most of the time, but every once in a while hiking does not go how I expect.

Continue reading “Lyons Creek Trail – Desolation Wilderness”

Loch Leven Lakes


Basics: Loch Leven Lakes are three very popular alpine lakes in Tahoe National Forest.  The lakes are surrounded by granite and typical Sierra scenery.  The hike is approximately 8 miles roundtrip.  It is slightly shorter if your destination is the first of the three lakes.  These lakes offer great swimming and camping – they definitely get crowded on summer weekends! Continue reading “Loch Leven Lakes”

Black Butte

Black Butte is a hike up a small volcanic peak with great views of Mt. Shasta. It’s a little over 5 miles round trip and 1850 feet of elevation gain.


We drove up to Bend, Oregon last week to visit family and spend a few days skiing.  Not much snow in California this winter, so Mount Bachelor was worth the long trek!  On our drive up, we passed under the shadow of Black Butte – a prominent peak right next to I-5 in the Mount Shasta area.  It looks relatively small next to Mount Shasta, but it is actually 6334-ft and looms steeply above the freeway.  As we drove toward it, we both exclaimed: “What is that peak?  Can we climb it?!”  Turns out, there’s an easy trail that goes to the top. Continue reading “Black Butte”

Billy’s Hill & Glascock Mountain

This 10 mile hike is located on BLM land, just across the highway from Cache Creek Regional Park. The hike starts off climbing steeply up to Billy’s Hill. If you continue all the way to Glascock Mountain it’s 10 miles and 3100 feet of elevation gain.


Basics: This 10 mile hike is located on BLM land, just across the highway from Cache Creek Regional Park. The hike starts off climbing steeply up to Billy’s Hill. After enjoying the views from there, it’s possible to continue on up two ridges (with a few steep sections) all the way over to Glascock Mountain. There is no official trail, but the path follows a combination of use trails, fire breaks and a somewhat overgrown fire road. Continue reading “Billy’s Hill & Glascock Mountain”

Annie’s Trail

Annie’s trail is a loop that was added to the existing Cold Canyon trail in 2012. Together, the two trails make for a 7.5 mile hike with about 2500 ft elevation gain – a moderately strenuous hike.

Basics: We started the new year off right with a hike along Blue Ridge near Cold Canyon. Annie’s trail is a loop that was added to the existing Cold Canyon trail in 2012. Together, the two trails make for a 7.5 mile, moderately strenuous hike. A highlight of Annie’s Trail is Annie’s Rock – a giant boulder outcropping near the top of the ridge. It’s a great spot for lunch.

The trail is still relatively new – in 2009, Tuleyome and supporters purchased Cold Canyon Headwaters, a 72-acre parcel in the upper watershed above Stebbins Cold Canyon UC Natural Reserve. Tuleyome volunteers built the 2.5 mile loop and named it Annie’s Trail. It is named after late Tuleyome board member Anne Schneider who was instrumental in helping preserve the Cold Canyon Headwaters. Continue reading “Annie’s Trail”