A Surprisingly Beautiful Low Route

Dry Lake to San Bernardino Peak Trailhead (18 miles, +3,000/-6,100 feet). When we woke up this morning, we finally got to see a little better where we ended up in the dark last night. Oh well.  We were pretty careful to avoid vegetation and I packed out an old tent pole we found nearby to…

Dry Lake

Onyx Summit to Dry Lake (19 miles, +4,000/-3,200 feet). MixMaster and I were planning to head up to Kernville to do a Spring Hike/brewery combo today.  But the road to Forks of the Kern Trailhead is still closed today with the monster snows we’ve had this year.  So we decided to keep it local. I…

Cactus Spring Trail

Cactus Spring Trail to trailhead (8 miles, +2,500/-1,700 feet). Ahhh, the last day of a trip is always so much fun.  Beauty in the morning and civilization (ramen and beer!) in the afternoon. It was much warmer last night and calm, and we both slept well after our long cross country adventure yesterday.  I awoke…

Santa Rosa Traverse

Stump Spring to Ebbens Valley to Cactus Spring Trail (12 miles, +2,500/-5,500 feet). Wow today was hard. But also spectacular. I guess that’s the way it usually goes. We awoke to get our first real view of our surroundings since it was well after dark last night when we arrived. We discovered we had narrowly…

Sawmill Trail

Sawmill Trail to Stump Spring (7 miles, +4,000/-300 feet). MixMaster and I set out on an ambitious traverse of the Santa Rosa Mountains today.  The goal is to walk the ridge from Santa Rosa Peak all the way down to the Calcite Mine in two and a half days.  But the hike today was already…

Just One More Up

Upper Velma Lake to Inspiration Point (5 miles, +800/-2,000 feet) Sometimes I read the topo map wrong. Today was one of those days. I assured ZoZo that we had “just one more up” of a few hundred feet, and then it was all downhill to finish up our three day trip in the Desolation Wilderness….

Dicks Pass

Susie Lake to Upper Velma Lake (10 miles, +2,000/-1,900 feet) Man oh man the moon was bright last night.  I didn’t bring my umbrella on this trip because I didn’t expect rain or long hot fast climbs, but I sure wish I had brought it for its moon shade. Since we didn’t have to drive…

Lake Aloha

Echo Lakes Trailhead to Susie Lake (10 miles, +1,700/-1,400 feet) It’s time for another birthday trip with ZoZoZoom!  At 25 miles over three days and two nights, it will be her longest backpacking trip ever.  Not bad for a septuagenerian! But it is also personally exciting for me, too.  I’ve always wanted to see the…

Filling the Gap

Garnet Lake to Agnew Meadows (8 miles, +1,100/-2,500 feet). Our last day on trail was super easy and surprisingly pretty.  The main virtue of today’s route for me (other than the burger and beer at its end!) was to see part of the John Muir Trail I had to abandon on an earlier trip where…

Clinch Pass

Lower Twin Island Lake to Garnet Lake (11 miles, +3,200/-3,100 feet). Today was one of those happy accidents.  I have frequently found that Plan Bs end up being better than Plan As, maybe not because they are objectively better, but because they often involve surprise. I had no idea how spectacular the upper basin of…

Whitebark, Garnet, and North Glacier Pass

Forest camp above Ediza Lake to Lower Twin Island Lake (9 miles, +3,300/-3,000 feet). Today was extremely gorgeous!  We basically spent the whole time circumnavigating the highly photogenic Ritter and Banner Peaks and the lakes below them.  I will definitely need to come back to this part of the High Route. To make things even…

Nancy Pass

Devil’s Postpile to forest camp above Ediza Lake (13 miles, +4,700/-2,900 feet). Time for my annual hike with UltraShuffle!  Only this time we added two to our party, MixMaster and UltraShuffle’s son Rainbow T.  We drove up to Mammoth yesterday to acclimatize and then headed off on a section of the Sierra High Route.  Our…