Red Canyon

Pink Ledges Loop (1 mile, +200/-200 feet) and Arches Loop (1 mile, +200/-200 feet). Well it was super cold and windy today, so no need to burst out the door at the crack of dawn!  We slept in and then decided to go explore nearby Red Canyon.  We’ve always been in such a hurry to…

Riggs Spring Loop

7 September 2020 Riggs Spring Loop (9 miles, +1,900/-1,900 feet). The weather was *really* spooky today.  It was extremely windy, and we got an early start because it was supposed to be very hot.  We could barely see the sunrise through the morning haze of smoke from the California fires that followed us here from…

Cedar Breaks to Bryce

6 September 2020 Alpine Pond Loop (2 miles, +200/-200 feet) and Bryce Point to Sunset Point (2 miles, +300/-300 feet). Today we are moving on to Bryce Canyon.  We were supposed to do a backpack on the under-the-rim trail there, but today we’ll see highs in the 80s and tomorrow we’ll see lows in the…

Ramparts Overlook Trail

5 September 2020 Ramparts Overlook Trail (4 miles, +800/-800 feet). It was really hot at Great Basin National Park, so we decided to press on to our next stop, Cedar Breaks National Monument, since it sits at a nice cool 10,000 feet. Of course, everyone else had the same idea: the campground was full! But…

Baker Lake / Johnson Lake Loop

4 September 2020 Baker Lake / Johnson Lake Loop (13.1 miles, +3,200/-3,200 feet). I originally thought we might backpack in Great Basin, but the distances are quite small, and longer trips tend to go on ridges that sound a bit sketchy (at least they did when we spoke with a ranger at the Visitor Center). …

Glacier Trail and Alpine Lakes Loop

3 September 2020 Glacier Trail and Alpine Lakes Loop (6 miles, +1,200/-1,200 feet). Half Cookie and I wanted to do a Sierra trip this September.  But then all of California caught on fire.  So we searched the map for places that were a similar distance by car from San Diego. One place we have always…

Day 14: Down in the Valley, the Valley So Low

1 August 2020 JMT Cloud’s Rest Trail to Happy Isles (8.9 miles, +900/-3,200 feet) Today was our triumphant finish!  Bishop to Yosemite Valley, nearly 150 miles in two weeks. But it was a very strange ending.  This is obviously some of the most dramatic scenery on Earth, but it was sometimes hard to appreciate with…

Day 13: DA BEARS!

31 July 2020 JMT Lower Cathedral Lake to Clouds Rest Trail (11.7 miles, +1,200/-3,300 feet). We originally planned to camp below Clouds Rest today, but I was worried about trying to do 6,000 feet of descent to the valley floor on our last day.  So we decided to stick to the JMT and split the…

Day 12: Lower Cathedral Lake

30 July 2020 JMT from Ireland Lake Trail to Lower Cathedral Lake (11.2 miles, +1,400/-1,000 feet). Today was sad because we said goodbye to Flower Power who headed back home from Tuolumne. But it was also happy because we camped at Lower Cathedral Lake, one of my favorite of the trip! We broke camp in…

Day 11: Over Donahue Pass to Lyell Canyon

29 July 2020 JMT from Waugh Lake Trail to Ireland Lake Trail (10.4 miles, +1,800/-2,500 feet). We slept really well last night to the tune of Rush Creek, undisturbed by human visitors. We enjoyed breakfast and a sunrise and were on our way. We encountered the large group that camped ahead of us right away…

Day 10: Garnet Lake, Thousand Island Lake, and Island Pass

28 July 2020 JMT Ediza Lake Trail to Waugh Lake Trail (7.8 miles, +2,200/-1,600 feet). Well, the big group the surrounded us last night really upset Flower Power.  They were camped about 5 feet away from her and decided to have a very loud conversation from 4am to 5am and shine lights on her tent….

Day 9: Up to Gladys and down to Ediza

27 July 2020 Reds Meadow to JMT Intersection with Ediza Lake Trail (9.6 miles, +3,100/-1,700 feet). It was a little louder in the campground last night than I expected, but that’s why I bring earplugs!  Fortunately, by 10pm the guitar player stopped…. This morning started with some attention to feet before we wandered around the…