Farewell Canyon

Lower Franklin Lake to Sawtooth Trailhead (6 miles, +600/-3,100 feet). Today was an easy day, but that’s just alright with me given the last two days and my impending 7 hour drive back to San Diego. Last night was peaceful and calm again.  You’d think I would have slept well, but I kept having dreams…

Franklin Pass

Little Five Lake 10476 to Franklin Lake 10331 (19 miles, +4,800/-4,900 feet). It was calm and peaceful in my perfect campsite last night.  But in spite of my big day yesterday, I did not sleep much.  My legs still twitched from the cramping yesterday, and I was restless.  By the time the sky started to…

Glacier Pass

Sawtooth Pass Trailhead to Little Five Lake 10476 via Glacier Pass (8 miles, +5,300/-2,700 feet). Time for another trip to Mineral King!  My first trip here was with Nick and Meredith, and it was my first-ever backpacking trip in the Sierra.  This time I was supposed to go with MixMaster, but he couldn’t make it…

Hot Springs Mountain

Los Coyotes Reservation Campground to Hot Springs Mountain and back (10 miles, +2,600/-2,600 feet). Usually if you are #1, everyone knows it. That’s why it’s so surprising how few people in San Diego realize that the tallest peak in the County is not Cuyamaca Peak.  At 6,515 feet, that peak is still 20 feet shorter…

Spitler Peak

Fobes Trail to PCT Halfmile 168.6 and back (9 miles, +3,000/-3,000 feet). I’ve been itching to get into the Sierra with the low snow year we’ve had but May has turned out to be surprisingly cool and a little snowy — just enough for me to cancel a couple of trips. But not to fear…

Deep Creek

PCT Halfmile 297.7 to 314.3 (16.6 miles, +2,100/-4,000 feet). The wind calmed down last night, which was great because it was COLD!  Our water bottles didn’t freeze, but it certainly felt like it was that cold in the extremely dry desert air. We started packing up around 5am and were on trail half an hour…

Holcomb Creek

Cougar Crest Trailhead to PCT Halfmile 297.7 (22 miles, +2,100/-4,000 feet). Today Half Cookie and I were supposed to be hiking the Tonto Trail in the Grand Canyon today. So why aren’t we, you ask? Because of our dear President. He has scared everyone, calling Mexicans “rapists” and threatening ICE deportations and complaining about immigrants…

Hamilton Lake

Kaweah Mile 72 to Hamilton Lake to Middle Fork Trailhead (19 miles, +5,000/-8,000 feet). Wow. Just wow. Today was one of the most epic days of hiking I have ever experienced. I’m not sure I want to repeat some parts of it, but I feel really psyched to have achieved a crazy-hard goal and to…

Middle Fork Trail

Middle Fork Trailhead to Mile 72 on the Kaweah (14 miles, +6,000/-3,000 feet). I had originally planned to knock out 48 miles on the PCT this weekend, but it was supposed to be extremely windy in the Mojave and I have been really craving a return to the Sierra. The weather gods helped me out,…

Butler Canyon

Rockhouse Canyon to Butler Canyon (10 miles, +1,500/-1,500 feet). My buddy Quercus just got some new GPS toys to take with him on an upcoming trip to Baja, so he decided to do a test hike in the desert and he invited me to come along.  It’s a good thing he drove, too, because I…

Back to Scissors Crossing

Third Gate (PCT Halfmile 91.2) to Scissors Crossing (PCT 77.3) (13 miles, +2,000/-3,000 feet). MixMaster and I both slept really well and awoke about 45 minutes before sunrise. Perfect! I really, really, really love hiking in the predawn light!  The cotton candy sky made the trail look completely different today than it looked yesterday. At…

Carrizo Gorge Plan B

Arsenic Spring to Tule Canyon and back, then Scissors Crossing (PCT Halfmile 77.3) to Third Gate (PCT 91.2) (18 miles, +4,000/-3,000 feet). Carrizo Gorge is the site of the famous Goat Canyon Trestle, reportedly the largest wooden railroad bridge in the world.  I have always wanted to see the gorge up close and personal, and…