Sand Point Loop

West Ridge Trail to Aptos Creek Fire Road (12 miles, +2400/-2400 feet). My buddy MixMaster recently moved to NorCal, so I went up to see him and his family after they got settled in.  And of course we had to hike!  He showed me a nice loop in Nisene Marks State Park.  It was so…

Slip Slidin’ Away

Red Cones to Horseshoe Lake (6 miles, +1,500/-1,200 feet). Today was super chill.  We rented a place in Mammoth for tonight, but check in was not until 4pm, so we took our time getting up.  We had a long breakfast, and then Geo, Bee’s Knees, Ultrashuffle, and I climbed up to the top of Red…

Red Cones

Fox Meadow to Red Cones (12 miles, +3,400 feet/-1,100 feet). Today we thought we might only make it to Rainbow Falls to camp.  But that area is very close to the developed areas around Reds Meadow, and it is dusty and mostly in a burn zone.  I was hopeful we would have enough energy to…

Fox Meadow

Marsh Lake to Fox Meadow (10 miles, +900/-3,500 feet). I finally slept well last night.  I was still having flashbacks to my nearly-fatal river crossing, but it only took about an hour to mellow out and drift away. I was up before dawn with Ultrashuffle, sitting by the fire and making coffee. Finder found a…

Long Canyon

Marsh Lake Trail to Long Canyon and return (9 miles, +1,800/-1,100 feet). I had a really tough time falling asleep last night. I kept replaying the nearly-fatal river crossing in my head, over and over.  My worst memory was me just holding onto the trunk, falling around on the surface of the water, watching my…

Fish Creek Almost Killed Me

Iva Bell Hot Springs to Marsh Lake Trail (7 miles, +1,900/-700 feet). Today was, in nearly all respects, another beautiful day with friends in the woods. But it was also the worst day of my life. Don’t worry, I will explain. The morning started uneventfully as we packed up from our lovely campsite. We started…

Iva Bell Hot Springs

Crater Creek to Iva Bell Hot Springs (10 miles, +1,900/-1,800 feet). I slept well last night, so I was eager to get up and start the day.  Ultrashuffle beat me to the punch, but not before the end of yet another gorgeous predawn light display. Eventually we all woke up, ate breakfast, and were packed…

Crater Creek

Twin Lakes to Crater Creek (11 miles, +1500/-3000 feet). I’m really lucky I get to do two trips with Ultrashuffle this year.  And on this first one, he brought family and friends! We originally planned to hike from Mammoth to Yosemite Valley on the John Muir Trail, but it’s been a huge snow year and…

Taboose Pass Trail

Taboose Pass to a mile past the Taboose Pass Trailhead (9 miles, +100/-7,000 feet). Today was down, down, down.  From my icy perch to the baking Owens Valley, it was a quick morning of extremes. I slept so hard last night!  I briefly woke up to see the sunset, the moonset, and the Milky Way,…

Pinchot Pass (Plus Three!)

Bull Lake to Taboose Pass(14 miles, +4,600/-2,900 feet). Today is a day I will never forget. It was really hard. It was maybe even harder than my solo trip over Forester Pass in the Spring of 2017. But it was way less scary. I knew what I was doing this time. Even so, it was…

The Sawmill Pass Trail

Sawmill Pass Trailhead to Bull Lake (8 miles, +5,500/-500 feet). Its been a while since I hiked! In May I had a losing argument with poison oak and it took more than a month for it to go away (it covered 2/3 of my body!). Anyhoo, occupational hazard I guess! I was originally going to…

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…