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

28 Jun 2014 11:51 pm    Category: Pacific Crest Trail     

Raymond Lake from Tamarack Jct (P.C.T.)

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Hike via the Pacific Crest Trail to Raymond Lake, starting from the Tamarack Junction Trailhead on the Blue Lakes Road (near Hope Valley west of Markleeville, California).  I passed 20 backpackers on the trail (9 northbound, 7 southbound, 4 sitting), only two of whom were grizzled enough to be PCT through hikers. There were 9 fishermen at the lake when I arrived and the best campsite was occupied.  I didn’t see any fish being caught, but the two fishermen who left about the same time I did said they caught five trout.  Saw six deer, or maybe the same three twice since they were in the same area near an unnamed pond on the way in and out.

This is a longish hike from the PCT trailhead at Tamarack Junction.  It’s much shorter from Lower Sunset Lake or the Wet Meadows area, accessible when the dirt roads are dry.

The trail is good with moderate grades, except for a section traversing steep and loose volcanic rock at 38.61851° N 119.84413° W. Avoid and climb around (above) this area if the steep snow field  is covering the trail.  The trail was dry and reasonably good right now, but it is subject to erosion.

17.17 mi (7.47 mi uphill, 7.55 mi downhill, 2.08 mi flat)
2200 ft total ascent – 14.1 % uphill grade, 83.6 % downhill grade
8:28:19 total time (7:28:43 moving, 0:59:36 stopped)
0:26:07 pace (2.3 mph average speed)
30.0 difficulty, 57.9 effort


Geotag Icon GeoLocator for latitude 38.6200981 longitude -119.9081726

22 Jun 2014 09:34 pm    Category: Backpacking &Pacific Crest Trail     

Paradise Lake

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Overnight backpack trip to Paradise Lake via the Pacific Crest Trail from White Rock Lake.  The snow has mostly melted, earlier than usual, leaving this area lush and green. Nice views of Old Man Mountain, Basin, Peak, and Paradise Valley on this northern approach to Paradise.   Paradise Lake was beautiful as always.  We had neighbors, but not too close.  The campsite was a bit buggy, but controllable with DEET and nets.  Hiked out on the PCT retracing our steps, except taking the Mt. Lola Trail to White Rock Lake and crossing the dam. There was just a little water going over the spillway at White Rock Lake. The only wildlife seen were birds, fish, chipmunks, and a baby marmot at White Rock.


10.15 mi (4.08 mi uphill, 4.07 mi downhill, 1.86 mi flat)
1350 ft total ascent – 13.0 % uphill grade, 75.1 % downhill grade
1 day 0:24:43 total time (5:20:20 moving, 19:04:23 stopped)
0:31:32 pace (1.9 mph average speed, 7.5 mph max speed)
14.4 difficulty, 26.6 effort

Geotag Icon GeoLocator for latitude 39.4207001 longitude -120.3912811

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