Tinker Knob in the Winter

When our friends booked out the Lost Trail Lodge for a weekend, we jumped at the opportunity to explore some new terrain. Apparently it’s called the Lost Trail because nobody goes there. I can confirm that very few people venture back in Coldstream Canyon, compared to other places in the Tahoe area. The only tracks we followed all day were from snowmobiles. Continue reading “Tinker Knob in the Winter”

Mount Agassiz & Mount Price – Desolation Wilderness

Pyramid Peak gets all the attention, but its two sisters in the Crystal Range are definitely worth a visit.  Mount Price (9975′) and Mount Agassiz (9967′) can easily be hiked in one day. The Lyons Creek trailhead offers a direct approach to both peaks from the west side.  The roundtrip hike is approximately 13 miles with over 3000-ft of elevation gain. Continue reading “Mount Agassiz & Mount Price – Desolation Wilderness”

Yosemite’s North Rim

In the Footsteps of John Muir [Part II]

John Muir described two single day Yosemite hikes in Chapter 12 of his book The Yosemite. The chapter is titled “How Best to Spend One’s Yosemite Time.” By today’s standards, these hikes are very difficult – about 20 miles with around 5000-ft of elevation gain.  We followed his advice and completed the first recommended hike back in October 2013.  It was probably the hardest day hike we’ve ever done.  We were game for the second one. Muir’s second single day hike takes you up Yosemite Falls to Eagle Peak, over to the top of El Capitan, then back down to the Valley via the (now abandonned) Old Big Oak Flat Road Trail (OBOFRT).  Continue reading “Yosemite’s North Rim”

Red Lake Peak

On this day in 1844, John C. Fremont and Charles Preuss summited Red Lake Peak. It wasn’t a particularly impressive climb, or circumstance; it was however the first documentation of an identifiable peak climbed in the Sierra. Surely many people climbed peaks before this, but since this blog is a place where we document climbs of peaks (and other hikes), the 171st anniversary of the first documented peak climb seems significant.  In any case, repeating this climb seemed like the best possible way to spend a Valentine’s Day. Continue reading “Red Lake Peak”

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”

White Mountain Peak

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At 14,252-ft, White Mountain Peak is the third tallest peak in California.  It is located in the White Mountain range, east of the Sierra Nevada in Mono County.  The peak is often considered California’s easiest 14er.  A dirt road goes all the way to the summit.  Some people reach the top on mountain bikes.  The hike is a long one though – 14 miles roundtrip with approximately 2000-ft of elevation gain.  Hikers are often defeated and turned back by extreme winds or the high altitude.  It is by no means an easy walk. Continue reading “White Mountain Peak”

Schulman Grove Loop – Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

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This 4 mile loop snakes through one of several bristlecone pine groves in the White Mountains of California.  The bristlecones are the oldest living trees (and the oldest living anything) on earth!  This trail is pretty far “out there,” but these trees are incredible and definitely worth a visit.  The hike itself is at 9,500 to 10,500-ft elevation and has several hundred feet of up and down.  There is a visitor center at the trailhead.  There is also an option for a shorter 1 mile loop with equally spectacular views of the ancient bristlecones. Continue reading “Schulman Grove Loop – Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest”

Mount Williamson via Shepherd Pass

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There is nothing easy about climbing California’s second tallest peak. The approach is long (over 26 miles round trip) and involves climbing nearly 10,000 ft. Some super humans have day hiked this peak. We took three days to do it and it was still quite a challenge. Continue reading “Mount Williamson via Shepherd Pass”

Round Top and Winnemucca Lake

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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”