Friday, October 25, 2013

10.25.13.....Hope Valley

Hike Details:
  • Elevation - 7,000 - 8,000 ft.
  • Location - Off of Highway 88, past the intersection of Highway 89. We parked in the lot of Sorenson's Resort, website here, the trailhead starts right outside their property. They're very helpful, just stop by the office and ask for directions.
  • Mileage - 4+ miles
  • Hiking time - 3 hours
  • Route - we hiked up to the ridge overlooking Sorenson's Resort and Hope Valley
  • Weather -gorgeous fall day
We missed the peak time of the fall colors by a few weeks, but it was still gorgeous and gave us a taste of what it must have been like. This will definitely be a repeat trip next year.


 Follow the yellow brick road (literally!). That rock cliff in the center of the picture below is where we hiked up to -- looks daunting, but it wasn't too tough of a climb.


 There was a little patch of snow lingering from an early fall snowstorm.

 One of the adorable cabins (St. Nick's Cabin) at Sorenson's Resort



 Yes, the colors really were this intense!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

10.04.13......Castle Peak


 Hike Details:
  • Elevation - low 7,400 ft. to high 9,109 ft.
  • Location - 39.36540°N / 120.349°W
  • Mileage - about 7 1/2 miles
  • Hiking time - 2 hours up, 2 hours down
  • Route - Hwy 80 East, take Castle Peak/Boreal exit, go left under the freeway and follow the road until it ends at the dirt road. We continued down the dirt road until it got too bumpy and parked on the side. There's a fork in the road, we hiked down the right hand road that went downhill. It crosses the PCT, where we headed left up towards the saddle between Andesite Peak and Castle Peak.
  • Weather - COLD! Gusty and windy, but sunny
More Castle Peak info here:  Summitpost-Castle Peak
This was a gorgeous hike and one we'll definitely do again, just not when it's so cold and windy. Would have been perfect at this time of year without the wind.

This is at the start of the trail...Castle Peak looks SOOO far away.

27°...ice on the road, yep it was cold!
 

Yay for sun shining through

The toughest parts of the trail were along the saddle where it was gravelly and slippery

Lots of cool rock formations

Thank goodness for cozy hats!

The approach to the peak is from the West side ridge coming from the Pacific Crest Trail

Cool rock formation made into a giant cairn - Heidi, Tami E., Misty, Dia & Leslie.

Loved wearing my "Faith Hope Heidi" shirt - great inspiration!

Cool overhang at the top where someone had built a campfire.

Amazing 360° views - looking out at Donner Lake and Lake Tahoe.

On top of the world...


Epic photo (until you realize I was only about 6 feet off the ground, haha).

Adding another rock to the pile

At the summit

Last, but not least, we spotted 3 pretty deer at the end of the hike.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

9.19.13.....Grouse Ridge to Island Lake

Hike Details:
  • Elevation - low 6800 ft to high 7700 ft.
  • Mileage - 5 miles
  • Hiking time - 4 hours
  • Route - Hwy 80 East, Hwy 20 exit toward Nevada City, turn right on Bowman Lake Road, turn right on Grouse Ridge Road, follow until arriving at a campground, parking is just above the campground. We hiked a little back towards the lookout on Grouse Ridge, then followed the trail back down past Milk Lake, Round Lake, Long Lake and finally to Island Lake.
  • Weather - not too cold, not too hot, perfect and beautiful!
 The view looking West from the lookout on top of Grouse Ridge.

 Long Lake
Island Lake
 Looking East, the lake might be Sanford Lake
 Round Lake
More Island Lake

 Lunch on the rocks with a view -- better than any cafe!



Friday, June 14, 2013

6.14.13......Mt. Judah

Hike Details:
  • Elevation - low 7000 ft. - high 8243 ft.
  • Location - Trailhead is located near Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, click here for good directions
  • Mileage - 4+ miles
  • Hiking Time - 3 hours
  • Route - I've done this hike numerous times and have always done it counter-clockwise for some reason. From the trailhead, climb up the zig-zagging rock trail, which leads under the ski lift for Sugar Bowl. There's a fork in the road to go left, but we always continue straight to come around the South side of Mt. Judah and take a little detour on the PCT to check out Roller Pass (where the pioneers crossed over). On the way down from Mt. Judah, we take another side trip to Donner Peak.
  • Weather - beautiful!
  • Hikers -Too many to name! We had a big crowd this time with the addition of a few people doing pre-hikes for Girls' Camp and the Pioneer Trek, plus some of our kids tagged along.
Making our way up the very rocky mountainside
Crossing a field of wildflowers
A little historical sign about Roller Pass -- it's incredible to think about the daunting task those pioneers faced.
Amazing views


 Spencer is on top of the world


This is probably one of my favorite, go-to hikes -- it's easy to get to the trailhead, the hike is moderately strenuous but do-able for just about anyone, and the payoff at the top is spectacular!

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