27 Jul 2014 07:11 pm    Category: Hiking &Pacific Crest Trail     

Castle Peak, Basin Peak, & Coon Canyon Loop

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Loop hike, via the P.C.T. from Donner Summit to Castle Peak and Basin Peak, returning via the Warren Lake Trail.  There were spectacular displays of wildflowers in each of the drainages in Coon Canyon, below the northeastern face of Castle Peak.

The loop route starts on Castle Pass Road, joins the P.C.T. to Castle Pass, then up to Castle Peak, across the ridge to Basin Peak, proceeding north down Basin Peak to the connector trail towards Devils Oven Lake/Paradise Lake overlook, and then to the Warren Lake Tail that passes through Coon Canyon on the northeast side of Castle Peak. Finally up to the Frog Lake Overlook summit and back to the road. The wildflowers in Coon Canyon were spectacular! This loop doesn’t actual go to the lakes, you just get to see them from afar. I rated the trail “difficult” because of the steep, rocky, and loose trails on the ascent to Castle Peak and on the Warren Lake Trail, as well as the intermittently disappearing trail on the Devils Oven connector, but it’s basically class 1 and 2. The shortest access to Coon Canyon is from the I-80 P.C.T. trailhead via the Warren Lake Trail passing Summit Lake (signed junction with the PCT just north of the freeway).

13.91 mi (5.93 mi uphill, 6.25 mi downhill, 1.65 mi flat)
2950 ft total ascent – 16.4 % uphill grade, 75.8 % downhill grade
9:04:40 total time (7:18:05 moving, 1:46:35 stopped)
0:31:29 pace (1.9 mph average speed)
32.1 difficulty, 55.8 effort

Geotag Icon GeoLocator for latitude 39.3410416 longitude -120.3476334

20 Jul 2014 08:41 pm    Category: Backpacking     

Midnight Lake

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Backpacking trip to Midnight Lake in the John Muir Wilderness, Inyo National Forest, west of Bishop, California. Absolutely gorgeous area. Plenty of campsites on the granite plateau on the south side of the lake. Sunny on the hike in, intermittent rain on the layover day and most of the next night, then morning blue sky on the departure day turned dark as a storm came in. Sleet, rain, thunder and lightning as we hiked out. Drought year and we choose the one week of the monsoon weather pattern.

14.06 mi (5.55 mi uphill, 6.10 mi downhill, 2.13 mi flat)
2100 ft total ascent – 16.7 % uphill grade, 80.9 % downhill grade
2 days 3:36:35 total time (8:41:11 moving, 1 day 18:55:24 stopped)
0:37:04 pace (1.6 mph average speed, 8.5 mph max speed)
33.1 difficulty, 58.3 effort


Geotag Icon GeoLocator for latitude 37.2218704 longitude -118.6045074

12 Jul 2014 08:51 pm    Category: Tahoe Rim Trail     

Relay Peak via Tahoe Rim Trail

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Summer hike to Relay Peak from the Mt. Rose Summit Trailhead on NV 431, via the Tahoe Rim Trail and Galena Falls (upper and lower) on ascent and the Relay Peak Rd on descent. Nice wildflower displays despite the dry year and low water flow at the falls. The trail was crowded as usual to lower Galena Falls, but then we met only a few people on the new T.R.T. trail to Relay Peak. On the way down from Relay Peak along the usually gated service road, we met a convoy of SUVs with well-dressed people headed to a wedding on the ridge.

10.50 mi (4.14 mi uphill, 4.85 mi downhill, 1.41 mi flat)
1800 ft total ascent – 11.9 % uphill grade, 29.3 % downhill grade
6:29:52 total time (4:49:35 moving, 1:40:17 stopped)
0:27:34 pace (2.2 mph average speed, 5.3 mph max speed)
13.2 difficulty, 24.9 effort



Geotag Icon GeoLocator for latitude 39.3129196 longitude -119.8974609

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