Thursday, June 29, 2017

6.29.17 ... Bassi Falls ... it's my birthday so I'll hike if I want to!

Hike Details:

  • Elevation - 5,075' - 5,575'
  • Location - From Sacramento take Hwy. 50 East. About 20 miles past Placerville take a left turn on Ice House Road. Follow this road (very windy, but beautiful) for about 18 miles. (At about 12 miles is the Crystal Basin Ranger Station on the right--nice bathrooms, worth stopping!) Continue on until you cross a bridge over a creek. Big Silver Group Campground is on the left, and the turnoff to Bassi Falls is immediately across from it on the right. Take the turn, then when you reach a fork in the road, you can go left and drive up to within about a half mile from the falls. But we drove to the right and parked in a big open area where a trail headed down to the right towards the creek. It's about 2 miles to the falls from here, see the picture below with the sign.
  • Mileage - 4.5 miles roundtrip
  • Hiking time - 3 hours
I didn't make this map but it's pretty close to what we hiked. The green arrow is the turnoff from Ice House Road.

The trail pretty much followed the creek the whole way so we knew we were always headed in the right direction.
As you get close to the falls, the trail sort of disappears and you just follow the cairns and/or the sound of the waterfall over a field of granite.
We rounded the corner and caught a glimpse of the falls -- a wow moment! (even though it doesn't look so wow in this picture)
 closer...
 closer...
 Wow!
 
(Hiking with these two means we're always laughing while we walk.)
Happy birthday to ME!!!
It's like this whole area has been designed by a professional landscape architect! Oh, wait, it has! The original Landscape Architect! And just for us, isn't that amazing?!
 We met up with another friend who was hiking here on the same day. She'd told me there was a way to get to the top of the falls. We followed a trail up through the trees on the left of the waterfall.
 But then got to these rocks that looked a little trickier to climb than what we wanted to do. I decided falling down a waterfall on my birthday was probably not the best way to celebrate. ;) Maybe next time?
 Birthday lunch with a view, perfect!
 Time to head back down the trail. So beautiful!
It wouldn't be a birthday celebration without some well-deserved ice cream! Yum!

    Saturday, June 17, 2017

    6.6.17 ... Carr Lake

    Hike Details:
    • Elevation - 6600' - 6800'
    • Location - from I-80, take the exit for Hwy. 20 East, drive about 4 miles then turn right onto Bowman Lake Road, follow it for about 8 miles, watching for the turnoff on the right to Carr Lake. This is where the gravel road begins--sometimes fine, sometimes super bumpy. Then it's about 2 1/2 miles to the trailhead/campground parking area.
    • Mileage - 3+ miles
    • Hiking time - 2 hours
    I was so happy my friend Melinda could hike with me! And not just because she always brings homemade chocolate chip cookies as trail food. ;) So our plan was to hike past Carr, Feeley and Island Lakes and on to Penner Lake.
    But piles of snow changed that plan. We chatted with a Scout leader who was hiking in to meet up with his group. He told us the trail was about 95% covered with snow all the way to Island Lake.
    We had to cross a little creek/waterfall to get over to Feeley Lake.

    One side of the lake looked like summer.
    And the other still looked like winter. Crazy!
    We were up for a little snow hiking though and just did our best to follow tracks along the side of the lake.




    After lots of little ups and downs on snow drifts, we thought we were getting closer to Island Lake, but saw there was yet another ridge of snow to cross. So we decided to turn around at that point and save the lake for another trip.
    We headed back to Carr Lake to stop for lunch and enjoy the beautiful view.
    I'll pick a sack lunch with this view over the finest restaurant any day!
    On the way home on Bowman Lake Road we pulled off at the bridge over the South Yuba River to get a quick picture of the appropriately named Emerald Pools.There's just a short trail here but looks like a beautiful spot to check out sometime.

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