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° 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.

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