Rolling Off Baden-Powell

Ridge below Mount Hawkins (PCT mile 381.6) to Vincent Gap (mile 374) (7.6 miles, +1,400/-3,200 feet). Well today had some surprises in store for us! Overnight the wind shifted from blowing up one side of the ridge to blowing up the other, but it was never much above 10 miles an hour so our tent…

A Ridge with a View

Camp Glenwood (PCT mile 400.6) to ridge below Mount Hawkins (mile 381.6) (20 miles, +7,000/-4,700 feet). Holy cow. Today was…. really hard.  Although we got a super early start, leaving camp around 5:45am, we needed nearly every hour of a very long day to achieve Half Cookie’s personal record: 20 miles in a single day. In hindsight,…

Half Cookie Rides Again

Mill Creek Summit (PCT mile 418.6) to Camp Glenwood (mile 400.6) (18 miles, +4,200/-3,500 feet). Thanks to my lovely and supportive parents, Half Cookie and I get to do a backpacking trip about twice a year.  They come down and party with our kids while we hit the trail. This year we were going to…

Ice of the Woods

Sunset Trail to Big Laguna Trail (4 miles, +500/-500 feet). It’s been a very wet winter in SoCal, and recently very cold too.  The last set of storms took the snow level all the way down to 3,000 feet, so we couldn’t wait to get up to Mount Laguna to hike around in it. There…

Slip Sliding Away

Canyon Oak – Desert View Loop (4 miles, +800/-800 feet). I almost decided not to go on this hike today.  My recent trip to the Channel Islands really zapped me, and the forecast called for rain, but Half Cookie persuaded me to keep to our plan of a family hike.  And I am really glad…

Day 4: A Peaceful Return

John Muir Trail campsite to Onion Valley Trailhead (7.8 miles, +1,600/-2,600 feet). We woke up early (as usual!) and hit the trail way before sunrise.  We did the short last bit of the Pacific Crest Trail before turning off towards Bullfrog Lake. The alpenglow was just settling in as we arrived at Bullfrog Lake, lighting up East…

Day 3: A Ridge with a View

Middle Paradise Valley to John Muir Trail campsite (17.1 miles, +5,200/-1,500 feet).   Today was the least enjoyable day of the trip, but I’m happy to report that it ended on a high note. We started from camp early, hoping to beat the heat and the bugs.  We beat neither!  By 8am it was buggy and steamy….

Day 2: The ‘Wow’ Lakes

Unnamed lake below Glen Pass to Middle Paradise Valley (17.7 miles, +700/-5,300 feet). We got up this morning and had to say goodbye to our lovely little lake. The 700 foot climb up to Glen Pass was relatively easy on fresh legs in the crisp morning air. We stopped at the pass to take pictures…

Day 1: Coyote Bowl

Onion Valley Trailhead to unnamed lake below Glen Pass (9.0 miles, +3,300/-1,000 feet). We left San Diego at 4am and stopped at the Sierra Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine to get our wilderness permit.  We then headed on to Independence, and hung a left to climb the switchbacks up to Onion Valley at 9,185…

Day 3: Up is Mandatory

Cottonwood Campground to Bright Angel Trailhead (16.7 miles, +4,400/-1,600 feet). It was going to be hard to beat our hike from the previous day, but we were happy that we would be on a different trail (the Bright Angel Trail) and we would be able to see the parts of the North Kaibab Trail that we…

Day 2: Snow Falling Up!

Cottonwood Campground to North Rim Lodge and back (19.1 miles, +4,400/-4,400 feet). Not to build it up too much, but I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that today was the most spectacular day hike I have ever done.  The Grand Canyon is, of course, unique in its beauty.  But the weather we experienced…

Day 1: Under the Gun

South Kaibab Trailhead to Cottonwood Campground (14.2 miles, +1,600/-4,800 feet). We should have known we were in trouble. When we got our wilderness permit application back from the National Park Service, they said they would approve our dates, but only if we filled out a questionnaire about our hiking experience.  As it turns out, any plan…