Friday, January 24, 2020

1.24.20 ... Donner Summit Snowshoeing

Hike Details:
Elevation range - 7200'
Location - Donner Summit Sno-Park
Mileage - 3.75 miles round trip - from the Sno-Park trailhead past Azalea Lake, then a loop around Flora Lake and back.
Hiking time - about 3 hours, with lots of time for stopping to take pictures.

Link to the CalTopo map:

As someone who doesn't normally like the cold, somehow snowshoeing has become a favorite winter activity! Cue the music..."the cold never bothered me anyway!"... :) 
We always start off with lots of warm layers, but it doesn't usually take more than about 15-20 minutes before we're shedding jackets and gloves because it's so easy to warm up when you're snowshoeing. It's a great workout!
The trail heads out from the Donner Summit Sno-Park parking lot and essentially follows the hiking path of the PCT.

 We went past both Azalea Lake and Flora Lake. The sun kept popping in and out all morning through quickly moving clouds, which was beautiful.

 After Azalea Lake we climbed the ridge looking out over Donner Lake--gorgeous!


 Snow much fun! ;)

Friday, July 5, 2019

7.5.19 ... Wrights Lake to Twin Lakes

America the Amazingly Beautiful!!!

We had a free day after the 4th of July so we (meaning I) decided to head out on another hike (and the boys went along with it, haha!). This was a new one that I hadn't heard of, though I've hiked a few trails in the general vicinity. I have to say this is now right up there in the top 5 of my favorite hikes for its incredible beauty! And a good thing it was so beautiful, because it was a tough little hike--good incline, higher elevation and a few added miles due to the campground being closed for parking (see info below).

This is Wrights Lake, so clear and beautiful!

Hike Details:
Elevation range - 7,000-8,000'
Location - Desolation Wilderness - Take Hwy. 50 East from Placerville, go just past Kyburz and turn left onto Wrights Lake Road, drive 8 miles to the entrance of Wrights Lake Recreation Area. When we arrived, the gate was closed and the campground was not yet open, so we had to park in the first parking area and then walk a mile in to the trailhead, adding 2 miles roundtrip to the hike!
Mileage - See above, without the extra mileage, the hike would be 6 miles roundtrip, but we ended up doing 8 miles
Bathrooms - Not for us, bummer! But when the campground is open, the pit toilet bathrooms (no running water) should be open.
Hiking time - 4 hours

Friday, January 25, 2019

1.25.19 ... Echo Lake Snowshoeing

Hike Details:
Elevation range - 7400-7600'
Location - Echo Lake - from Hwy. 50 Eastbound, take the Echo Lake/Sno-Park turn-off (just before reaching Echo Summit). A Sno-Park permit is required ($5) and must be purchased ahead of time, I got mine at REI. The snow trail begins right across from the entrance to the Sno-Park, on what would be Echo Lakes Road.
Mileage - 1.25 mi. from the parking lot to the edge of Echo Lake. From there we hiked up just a little ways on the north ridge to see the view overlooking Lake Tahoe.
Hiking time - about 3 hours, with lots of time for stopping to take pictures and lunch at the lake.

An awesome group of nine of us set out on the trail on this beautiful, sunny winter day! A few of the women were first-time snowshoers, so it was fun to share a new adventure with them! I've hiked here in the summer a few times, so I was looking forward to seeing what it was like all covered in snow.
The trail to the lake essentially follows what would be Echo Lakes Road during the summer. The snow was pretty packed down from lots of previous cross-country skiers and snowshoers. But that made it nice and easy to find our way. It's a relatively easy trail, just a few ups and downs to give you a little extra exercise.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

4.5.18 ... North Table Mountain Ecological Preserve

Hike Details:
Elevation range - about 1200-1300' (lots of little ups and downs but no huge elevation changes)
Location - take Hwy. 65 North, through Marysville, to Hwy. 70 North to Oroville, take Grand Ave. exit, turn left on Table Mountain Rd., then right on Cherokee Rd., it's a windy, small road up to the top of the plateau. Parking lot will be on the left by a large oak tree. Note: This is now a fee area, go here to purchase a pass before you go:
Bathrooms: Yes, porta-potties
Mileage - 5 miles roundtrip (depending on how much wandering around you do)
Hiking time - 3 hours

Everything here is unbelievably green...

Friday, February 9, 2018

2.9.18 ... American River/Calcutta Falls

Hike Details:
Elevation range - about 600-700' (lots of little ups and downs but no huge elevation changes)
Location - from Eastbound I-80, take the Hwy. 49 South exit towards Placerville, follow it through Auburn and down into the American River Canyon. Parking is along the street or in a few lots that require a permit. For this trail, we parked on the right side of the road, right after you cross the bridge over the river.
Bathrooms: Yes, porta-potties
Mileage - 4-5 miles roundtrip
Hiking time - 2 hours

Friday, February 2, 2018

2.2.18 ... Flora Lake Snowshoeing

Hike Details:
Elevation range - about 7200' (lots of little ups and downs but no huge elevation changes)
Location - from Eastbound I-80, take the Boreal Ski/Donner Summit Sno-Park exit, turn left (going opposite of Boreal) and the road dead ends at the Sno-Park (fee is $5 per vehicle, passes need to be bought ahead of time at REI or other Truckee locations). You could also possibly park at the rest area at the next exit which is closer to the junction with the PCT.
Bathrooms: Yes, a pit toilet 
Mileage - 4-5 miles roundtrip
Hiking time - 3+ hours (including stop for lunch)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

1.6.18 ... Pt. Reyes

Hike Details:
Elevation range - sea level :)
Location - Limantour Beach at Pt. Reyes, we parked at the Limantour Beach Parking Lot
Bathrooms: Yes, pit toilet
Mileage - 5 miles roundtrip
Hiking time - 2 hours

Friday, December 8, 2017

12.08.17 ... Stevens Trail

Hike Details:
Elevation range - from about 2300' down to 1300'
Location - from Eastbound I-80, take the Colfax exit (135), turn left at the stop sign to get on to the frontage road called North Canyon Way, drive .6 mile to the parking lot on the left.
Bathrooms: Yes, a pit toilet (better than nothing, just barely)
Mileage - 7.5 miles roundtrip
Hiking time - 4 hours (including stop for lunch)

Saturday, November 18, 2017

11.18.17 ... Codfish Falls

Hike Details:
Elevation range - about 800' (lots of little ups and downs but no huge elevation changes)
Location - from Eastbound I-80, take Exit 130, W. Paoli Lane. From the exit, turn left onto W. Paoli Lane, then continue straight on Paoli Lane (don't go back over the freeway on W. Paoli Lane). It ends at Ponderosa Road, then turn right and just keep going! It becomes a dirt road, single lane, and is SUPER bumpy! We drove my husband's truck and we were still worried about all the bumps! Definitely not a place I'd go with a sketchy vehicle as there's also no cell coverage down in the canyon. Just keep driving down the windy road until you get to the river and there's a small parking lot.
Bathrooms: Maybe? Might be a pit toilet at the trailhead, if there was we didn't use it.
Mileage - 3 miles roundtrip
Hiking time - 1-2 hours

Friday, October 6, 2017

10.6.17 ... Training Hill - Auburn

Hike Details:

  • Elevation range - 600' to 1630'
  • Location - Auburn State Recreation Area at the intersection of Highway 49 and Old Foresthill Road, also known as the "Confluence" of the American Rivers - parking is free along most parts of the road, but there are also a few fee area parking lots
  • Mileage - 4.5 miles roundtrip
  • Hiking time - 2 hours 
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