Monday, July 26, 2010

Mt. Tallac - South Lake Tahoe

Gloomy clouds move over Mt. Tallac.
 Hiked to the top of Mt. Tallac in South Lake tahoe on Sunday, July 25, 2010.  Let Sacramento at 8:00 a.m. hat left the car for the trailhead at 10:35 a.m.   We returned to the car 7 hours later at 5:35 p.m.with sore feet and a sense of accomplishment.  This hike offers a stunning panoramic view from the top.   Most of the trail is over a well defined but rocky surface. 

The forecast called for thunderstorms and a chance of precipitation starting at 11:00.m.  About a half hour after we hit the trail we heard thunder, which became steady for the next hour.   We felt some light sprinkles and decided to put on our windbreakers.  The trail starts by paralleling Fallen Leaf Lake.  It then passes Floating Island Lake, which gets its name from odd floating tufts of grass.  The lake was very shallow and pretty stagnant, covered in pollen. 

Floating Island Lake with floating grass.
The hike continued through tree covered forest.  A bit before Cathedral Lake is a creek.  I finished off one of my liter bottles and refilled it from the creek (purifying it with my SteriPen).  Coming up and back we saw people swimming in Cathedral Lake.  From Cathedral Lake you assent up without shade of the trees.

I thought we might have to turn around when we got to Cathedral Lake, but we decided to take our chances with the weather and head up the mountain. Fortunately, the storm move away from Tallac and by 1:00 p.m.  the weather was good. 
Looking down from the summit.

We ate dinner at the Beacon Restaurant about a mile away from the trailhead in Camp Richardson.  We heard two songs before the live band ended their show at 6:00.  The food was good and we were back in Sacramento by 8:55 p.m. 
One of the marmots at the summit.

Water: 4 liters total. 
2 - Nalgene liter.  One refill up and another back

Rock shelter built below summit.
Time: Seven hours up and back.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mt. Roundtop

Hiked to the peak of Roundtop Mountain in the Eldorado National Forest on Friday, July 23.  The trailhead parking lot has a small volunteer built and staffed visitor's center. We had excellent weather.  A bit of snow remained around th mountain, but did not obscure the trail.  The elevation gain seems minimal as you approach the mountain.  The trail was easy to follow until you get make the diversion to the peak.  There is not an official trail to the top, but by climbing up the saddle between the Two Sisters, we did find a route.  At the top you need to use both hands to scramble up the rock. 

Wildflowers with Roundtop in the background. 

Water: Carried two liters of water.  Refilled one liter after coming down the mountain in stream.  

Time: 4.5 hours up and back.

A view from Winnemucca Lake.
Climbing to the peak
Near the "false peak."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Crocker Park to Discovery Park

Did the Sacramento Hiking Group Meetup from Crocker Park to Discovery Park and then across the Tower Bridge to West Sacramento's Riverwalk Park, where we listened to the the Mighty Delta Roadmasters. (They were really good!)  I took my seven-year old along and he enjoyed both the hike and the music.

This is a 4.13 mile walk that takes you to the point where the American River meets the Sacramento River.  It is a nice mid-week walk.  You may come across some homeless people on this walk, but the bike path is traveled pretty regularly by people, so it should be safe.   Even so, walking with others may make some people feel more comfortable.

Park your car at Crocker Park (parking is free after 6:00 p.m. and free on Sunday). Walk across overpass (over I-5). Follow sidewalk. To avoid crossing the street at the I Street bridge, take the walkway under the bridge to the moored boats. Walk through Old Sacramento to the end of the Railroad Museum. Follow the bike path to Discovery Park. Cross the Jiboom Street Bridge to cross the American River.  Return following the same route.

A shot of the Tower Bridge from the West Sacramento side of the river.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lake Tahoe - Fallen Leaf Lake

We spent three days camping at Fallen Leaf Lake campground in South Lake Tahoe.

We did a two-hour horseback ride to Fallen Leaf Lake. 

Horseback riding to Fallen Leaf Lake.
Creek exhibit

Convict Lake Horseback Trail

While staying at Mammoth Lakes, we rode horseback on a trail that took us almost halfway around Convict Lake.  This was a two-hour ride with a $60 fee. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Yosemite - Dead Giant Tunnel Tree

While driving from Mammoth Lakes through the Tioga Pass, we stopped in Toulamne Grove and did the trail that leads to a grove of Giant Sequoias and the famous Dead Giant, the first "tunnel tree."  The trail is a now closed road. The hike is two miles up and back with a 400' elevation.  The Tunnel Tree was hollowed out in 1878. has some interesting information about this tree. 
The "Dead Giant" is a famous Sequoia stump located on the first stage road into Yosemite Valley, in the Tuolumne Grove of what is now Yosemite National Park. The veteran Sequoia tree had been struck by lightening but was still living when she was cut down at 90 ft from the ground and debarked. Tunneled c. 1875 to entice stagecoach tourists from San Francisco, this was the first of California's "Drive Thru" trees - macabre roadside displays created to provide entertainment and recreation. has this map.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mono Lake

While staying at mammoth Lakes, we drove 40 minutes to Mono Lake.  We hiked the South Shore to Navy Beach trail. 

Mammoth Lakes - Devil's Postpile to Rainbow Falls

While staying in in Mammoth Lakes, hiked the Devil's Postpile trail to Rainbow Falls and then to Red's Meadow Resort.