Sierra Buttes Fire Lookout


The hike to the Sierra Buttes Fire Lookout is about 5 miles (out and back) with a climb of 1500 feet (or more if you start at a different trailhead).  It’s a pretty cool destination!  We went with a group of 14 people and even the non-hikers seemed to enjoy the lookout!  The top (at 8587-ft) provides views down to Upper/Lower Sardine Lakes, the surrounding Sierra Buttes and many miles of Tahoe National Forest. Continue reading “Sierra Buttes Fire Lookout”

Martis Peak Fire Lookout

The fire lookout on Martis Peak can be reached from both Martis Peak Road and the Tahoe Rim Trail. We had a limited amount of time, so we opted to go up the paved road which is a slightly shorter route. This hike is 8 miles roundtrip, with about 1700-ft of elevation gain.


It’s been way too long since we got out and hit the trails.  We had some spare time before the holidays, so we decided to head up to Tahoe for the weekend.  There’s not much snow yet this year – 2013 was the driest calendar year on record (though water is usually summed by water year: Oct-Sep).  California is going to have some serious water problems if we don’t get crazy amounts of rain/snow in the next couple of months.  We wanted to use our snowshoes, but the road looked pretty bare so we left them in the car.  (Of course the road was completely covered in snow as soon as we turned the first corner.)  This hike was 8 miles roundtrip, with about 1700-ft of elevation gain. Continue reading “Martis Peak Fire Lookout”

Nordhoff Peak via the Gridley Trail


Basics: This 13.8 mile round trip hike climbs 3000-ish feet from the Ojai “guacamole wilderness” to the top of one of the area’s most prominent peaks. There is a skeleton of an old fire lookout at the top. It’s a great climb – views to Reyes Peak, Topatopa and out towards the Channel Islands. This is a popular trail with hikers and mountain bikers, but on a clear blue Sunday in February, it did not feel like it was overrun with crowds. Continue reading “Nordhoff Peak via the Gridley Trail”