Sunday, September 26, 2010

Horsetail Falls to Ropi Lake in the Desolation Wilderness

On Sunday, Septmebr 26, 2010, I hiked Horsetail Falls to Ropi Lake in the Desolation Wilderness.  I did this with the Sacramento Hiking Meetup Group. I went with five others. The hike was about eight miles, round trip.

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Pyramid Creek Trailhead map. 
The trail head is just past Strawberry about an hour and a half from Sacramento.  The trail is in the El Dorado National Forest.  Pyramid Creek Trailhead is located at Twin Bridges.  The Forest Service has a has a parking lot with a fee of $5.00.  Pit toilets and water are available.  We arrived at about 8:30 and hit the trail at 8:45 a.m.  The trail is initially easy.

At the farthest end of the loop, you will find the tail into the Desolation Wilderness. Filled out the permit for your group and head up trail.  This trial becomes harder to follow.

Eventually we guessed which way to go and followed the creek. It becomes a scramble to the top. This is a good workout and the rock is slick in some sections.  After the long scramble, hike is easier to the lake.  The weather was a surprisingly warm, 90 in Strawberry, but with a slight breeze is was a beautiful day for a hike.

We spent about an hour at the lake.  We returned to the parking lot at 2:30. The drive home slowed to a crawl for some reason around Placerville. 

Top of Horsetail Falls.

Horsetail Falls from a distance.
Horsetail Falls near top

The water on its way to the falls.

Water before the falls.

Ropi Lake.

Another view of Ropi Lake.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Grouse Ridge Lookout

On Saturday, September 5, 2010, I did the Grouse Ridge hike with the Sacramento Trail Mix Hiking Meetup.  This is located about a two hour drive from Sacramento in the Tahoe National Forest.  The hike takes you around a number of lakes and follows some old mining trails.  The end point of the hike is a visit to the Grouse Ridge Lookout.  This Forest Service fire lookout was built in 1923, but has been vacant and vandalized since the 1970s.  You cannot go into the building, but that may change as a group is looking into restoring the building. You can walk around the balcony, which was quite windy.  The Lookout provides a beautiful vista at an elevation of 7707 feet.

Island Lake from the Grouse Ridge Trail.
A view from Grouse Ridge.
The Trail up to Grouse Ridge Lookout
Outhouse at the end of the world (or at least Grouse Ridge.)

Someone in the group posted this video of the trip.