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56 triplogs

Aug 05 2019
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 Guides 74
 Routes 101
 Photos 2,962
 Triplogs 56

57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Wildwood walkabout, CA 
Wildwood walkabout, CA
 
Hiking avatar Aug 05 2019
slegal
Hiking7.01 Miles 961 AEG
Hiking7.01 Miles   2 Hrs   3 Mns   3.42 mph
961 ft AEG
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Fun evening.
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Jul 27 2017
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 Guides 74
 Routes 101
 Photos 2,962
 Triplogs 56

57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Artist Ridge TrailNorth Cascades, WA
North Cascades, WA
Hiking avatar Jul 27 2017
slegal
Hiking2.00 Miles 120 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   2 Hrs      1.00 mph
120 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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For the second summer in a row, we travelled to Washington for a wedding. Last year our niece got married and this year our nephew got married. We made a week of it. This was our first full day in Washington. Aside from our family that lives in the state, none of the rest of our family was in town yet. So, I told my wife that “the chances of us making it up to Mount Baker once everyone else is in town will be slim. So, let’s go today”. She agreed.

We were staying in Lynden, about 5 miles south of Canada and off the beaten path. It’s a pretty town, but keep your windows closed at night because the smell of nearby dairy farms is strong. We took a different route to Mount Baker than I gave in the hike description. 99%+ of the people that visit Mount Baker will take the route I provided in the hike description, rather than the route we took. Our route was beautiful though.

Our plan was to hike to Iceberg Lake, but when we got to Artist Point, the parking lot was surrounded by 10 foot snow banks and I knew that the hike would be much harder and longer than anticipated with such a long stretch of deep snow. Also, the exposure on the early part of the hike looked pretty scary given how much snow was on the trail.

I looked at Mount Shuksan and really wanted to get to a nice vantage point to shoot a time lapse of the fast-moving clouds around the mountain. So, we headed up Artist Ridge instead. There was a lot of snow up Artist Ridge as well until we reached Huntoon Point. Once at Huntoon Point, the slope faced more southwest than the northeast facing slope that we hike up. So, I was able to find some bare ground to set up my tripod and sit and have a snack while my camera rattled off 600 frames over the course of 50 minutes. My wife killed time by exploring the rest of Huntoon Point. Here is a link to the finished time lapse: [ youtube video ]

All in all, I’m glad that we got to spend our time at Huntoon Point instead of Iceberg Lake. I’m sure that Iceberg Lake would have been beautiful, but Mount Shuksun was incredible.
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Selfie
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Jul 03 2016
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 Guides 74
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 Photos 2,962
 Triplogs 56

57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Devil's Backbone TrailLos Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Hiking avatar Jul 03 2016
slegal
Hiking10.80 Miles 3,600 AEG
Hiking10.80 Miles
3,600 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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This was a tough hike for me. I'm not sure what was wrong, but I was off from the beginning. When I made it up to the Baldy Lodge I stopped and ate a sandwich, hoping that would give me the energy that I lacked. Nope.

Better judgment would have me not summit today. Since the round trip drive for this hike is over 200 miles, better judgment is out the window. So up I went. It took me almost 4 hours to hike 5.4 miles. I was really sucking wind. Actually, I wasn't. My breathing was off. Nevertheless, I got some good photos up there.

On my way down and really considering buying a list ticket for a ride down to the parking lot. The lift ride would save me 1,500 vertical feet of hiking. It's all downhill on the trail, so I skipped the lift and hiked down.
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Apr 02 2016
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 Guides 74
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57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Sherwin LakesSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Snowshoeing avatar Apr 02 2016
slegal
Snowshoeing5.60 Miles 836 AEG
Snowshoeing5.60 Miles
836 ft AEG
 
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I knew this might be a tough snowshoe, but I underestimated how tough. I had hoped that the trail could be followed. Once half way up the manzanita forest, there was no trail to follow. The north slope was holding more than 4 feet of snow.

Once I lost the trail, I looked to see where others went. The primary pathway was too low. So I abandoned looking for a path to follow and chose a more direct route. I just headed straight uphill on snowshoes. Also, since the direction that the trail goes (east) is on a steep slope, I headed in a southwesterly direction instead. It was nowhere near as steep. I knew that eventually I would hit a steep slope, but not a very high slope.

It was a tough climb, but it was much easier than it would have been had I tried the more normal route. Once on top of the ridge, I found myself on very thin snow with none on the south slope that I needed to head down. No trail and lots of boulders made route finding a challenge. I finally made it down to the flats below where there was thin snow cover. Back on with the snowshoes for a little while until the snow cover became so thin that it wasn’t worth wearing the snowshoes. The lake level is the lowest I’ve ever seen at lake 3. I know it will get a boost when more snow melts.

This was by far the most snow that I’ve snowshoed through and the reward was stunning mountain views. I really enjoyed the scenery.

The trip down was much quicker than the trip up. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to snowshoe down a 20 degree slushy slope without falling. Once I reached a more reasonable slope the rest of the trip down was quick. Because I didn’t do the switchbacks, this hike was nearly two miles shorter than normal. However, it took nearly twice as long as normal.
Named place
Named place
Mammoth Mountain Sherwin Lakes
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Mar 27 2016
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 Guides 74
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57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Heart Lake - Inyo NFSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Snowshoeing avatar Mar 27 2016
slegal
Snowshoeing7.60 Miles 1,100 AEG
Snowshoeing7.60 Miles
1,100 ft AEG   5 Hrs   30 Mns Break
 
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I tried hiking to Heart Lake in December. There was a lot of fresh powder at the time and even though I had snowshoes on, I was doing too much post holing. It wore me out and I turned around short of the goal.

What is a 3 mile or so round trip hike in the summer is nearly 8 miles in the winter. The road to Coldwater Creek Campground, where the Heart Lake Trailhead is, is closed all of the way down to Twin Lakes. That means snowshoeing all of the way from Twin Lakes to the trail head.

From Twin Lakes to Coldwater Creek Campground is not very difficult. The hike is on Lake Mary Road next to a cross country ski run. There is a little bit of off road on the Lake Mary Loop to avoid the ski run on the now narrower road, but it’s mostly flat.

Once at the campground, it’s a little tougher because it’s all uphill and you have to stay off of the campground roads because they are ski runs. By the time I got to the Heart Lake trailhead I had already down 2.6 miles.

Unlike my December attempt, there was a cross country ski run cut into the bridge across Coldwater Creek. No matter. I crossed anyway. The ski run appear to head past the Mammoth Consolidated Mine, which was not the direction I was headed.

It was 50 degrees when I started the hike and the snow was quite slushy. No post holing this time made for a good pace uphill. That is, until the cross slope got steep. Then the cleats on the bottom of my snowshoes would not hold very well and I slipped and slid the rest of the way to Heart Lake. I even fell a couple times.

By the time I made it to Heart Lake it was getting colder and windier. I stopped and ate a sandwich and shot some photos. Then I added a layer for the hike back.

While less strenuous, the return trip down to the trailhead was a little more treacherous. Despite shortening my steps on the steeper downhill sections, I still had serious traction problems and fell a number of times. Fortunately, the snow was soft.

Once back at Coldwater Creek Campground it started to snow. At first, it was nice big flakes and made for a pretty landscape. Then the wind picked up and the snow turned to pelting graupel for the remainder of the hike. The last 2 miles were not fun. As always, I look back at the good parts and the accomplishment, not the bad parts of the hike. So all in all, this was a good hike.
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Oct 10 2015
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 Guides 74
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 Triplogs 56

57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Valentine Lake TrailSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2015
slegal
Hiking10.40 Miles 2,300 AEG
Hiking10.40 Miles   3 Hrs   53 Mns   2.88 mph
2,300 ft AEG      16 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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After my Deer Lakes Loop hike yesterday, I was pretty tired and not very motivated to do anything. My brother-in-law Joe was up and asked if I wanted to hike. I asked him to give me an hour or two to decide. It didn’t take long to get bored laying around the condo, so I called him and asked him if he wanted to head up to Valentine Lake. He and my sister-in-law Debbie had tried to hike to Valentine Lake last spring, but their dogs were not very cooperative and they turned around well short of the lake.

We did the long version off of the Sherwin Lakes trailhead. It turned out that Valentine Lake had the best Autumn Leave in the Mammoth lakes area. Joe is pretty fit, so we set a pretty fast pace. We still managed to stop for a bunch of photos. At one point Joe said that he was surprised at how fast we were going. I asked him if he want me to slow down. He said, “No”, so on we went.

Unlike how warm and windless yesterday’s hike was, it was pretty windy today. When we got to Valentine Lake, we had a snack and Joe said he was too cold. So we made it a quick stop and headed back down.

Glad I decided to hike. It was a great way to end my trip to Mammoth – well that and Dinner at Toomey’s after the hike.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
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Oct 09 2015
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 Guides 74
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57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Deer Lakes LoopSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2015
slegal
Hiking13.40 Miles 3,211 AEG
Hiking13.40 Miles   7 Hrs   3 Mns   2.18 mph
3,211 ft AEG      54 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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This has been on my radar for years. I’ve read about the hike and viewed the likely route from a distance, but didn’t actually do the hike until today.

There was a heat wave covering much of California today and it was noticeable even at 11,000 feet. I don’t think I’ve ever been as warm at that elevation as I was today. There was also no wind all day, which is very rare.

While hiking up the Crystal Lake trail I stopped to take photos of the glassy Lake George below. A couple hikers coming up behind me stopped to chat. They told me that they had done the same hike yesterday that I was doing. Today they were just heading up to the crest to do some rock climbing. They continued on ahead of me while I shot photos. Shortly after passing the red cinder cone section I passed them and that was the last I saw of them.

During my ascent up the Mammoth Crest it was quite warm. I sweat way more than I wanted to. Even as I approach the first 11,200 foot high spot I was thinking, is the heat going to turn me around today?

As I headed down the steep descent to Deer Lakes, My mind was made up, I would rather go to Duck Lake than head back up this nasty section. I stopped at a campsite that I had been to before. There is lots of shade here and several logs to sit on. I ate lunch and rested before the next big climb.

The trek between the campsite and the climb over the pass is not a forest service maintained trail and at times, the trail disappeared altogether. Route finding wasn’t too difficult though. The trail finally reached the top of a small ridge and I was right next to the highest of the Deer Lakes.

I looked for the best route up the steep rocky slope and chose wrong. As I scrambled up the rocks I could see what looked like a trail about 20 yards to my right. I scrambled my way to that section and there it was, a steep well defined trail up. I’ll keep that in mind for next time.

After cresting the pass I saw a basin ahead of me and a trail on the far side. I headed that way and after descending a while, lost the trail. Route finding wasn’t too difficult. Eventually I reached another use trail and soon I had a spectacular view of Duck Lake and Pika Lake. After shooting some photos I reached the Duck Pass Trail.

Once over Duck Pass, I made good time. It was mostly downhill from here. After passing Barney Lake I reached a spot on the trail where a couple months ago I saw a peculiar animal that I had never seen before. I didn’t get a photo of it, but after doing an internet search, I identified it as a brown tailed weasel. I looked for it again at this spot today but no luck. After 30+ years of hiking and only seeing one of these weasel, I figured that I would never see one again. About a half mile down the trail, I saw another weasel. Again, no photo. It just darted across the trail in front of me.

I continued a fairly good pace all the way to Emerald Lake. Emerald Lake didn’t look too good. It’s rare for high sierra lakes to have algae in them, but there was a lot of it in Emerald Lake.

The hike to Barrett Lake was the most boring part of the whole trek. Barrett Lake was not that pretty and was a good 20 feet low on water. Fortunately, Lake George is very close and I was energized when I got my first view of Lake George. Once at lake level, I was on the most crowded section of trail of the entire hike with lots of fishermen coming and going. Oh well. I’m just about done.

When I reached my 4Runner, I looked at my GPS and the trip log said that I had hike 13.81 miles. That’s a bit more than my estimate. One hiking book that I have says that the hike is 15 miles. The quirky thing about my GPS is that when I download the track log to my computer, the track log says that mileage is usually less than the trip log says. In this case, the track log said that I only hiked 13.4 miles. Whatever the distance, it was a spectacular hike.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Fall is very lake here in the Mammoth Lakes area. There were some aspens and willows by Lake George that had turned, but I didn't take a trail that I expected to see much fall foliage.
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Oct 08 2015
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 Guides 74
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 Photos 2,962
 Triplogs 56

57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Little Lakes ValleySierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Oct 08 2015
slegal
Hiking9.10 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking9.10 Miles
1,000 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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On the drive into Mammoth Lakes yesterday, I was very disappointed to see that autumn hasn’t quite arrived yet. Sure there was fresh snow above 10,000 feet, but everywhere I looked, most of the aspen were still green. So I figured that I needed to hike somewhere high in hopes that I would see autumn colors. I chose Little Lakes Valley. The entire hike is above 10,000 feet.

The only aspens I saw on the hike were less than a quarter mile in on the hike. There were a few willows, but not many. What there was a lot of was snow. It was quite pretty photographing the various lakes with snow covered mountains in the background.

Early on I stopped at Marsh Lake and shot a time lapse of the clouds racing across the ski. If interested, you can see the time lapse at this link: https://youtube.com ... 5EYk

I would say that the best part of the hike was climbing Morgan Pass and seeing a lot of snow on Mt. Tom in the distance. I had lunch while on the pass and enjoyed the view.

Upper Gem Lake was also pretty spectacular with lots of fish. There was lots of snow to hike through just to get to the Gem Lakes. I like snow hiking, but didn’t expect to hike in this much snow today. All in all, it was a great hike to start off my short trip to Mammoth.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
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Sep 27 2015
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 Guides 74
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 Triplogs 56

57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Devil's Backbone TrailLos Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Hiking avatar Sep 27 2015
slegal
Hiking11.50 Miles 2,500 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   2.56 mph
2,500 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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This was a warm up elevation hike in preparation for my annual autumn leaves trip to Mammoth Lakes in a week and a half. Nice day. Cool and windy early. The wind died down later and it warmed up. Shot lots of photos of the Devil's Backbone that primarily show the exposure on both sides of the trail.
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Sep 06 2015
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 Guides 74
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57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Devil's Backbone TrailLos Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Hiking avatar Sep 06 2015
slegal
Hiking3.10 Miles 3,700 AEG
Hiking3.10 Miles
3,700 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I’ve wanted to get up to Baldy all summer, but just couldn’t fit it in. So Labor Day weekend arrived and I didn’t have much on my radar. My wife wanted to have a date night Saturday, so we agreed that I could head up to Baldy on Sunday.

As I was driving east on I-210 I saw lots of clouds in the direction of Baldy. Was this going to be a washout? When I got to the ski area parking lot it was sunny, but there were lots of dark clouds up top, but they didn’t look very organized. So I figured I’d hike up and if it got dicey, I’d turn around.

I made good time heading up the FS road from the parking lot to the ski lodge. While hiking up a helicopter flew above and head up along the backbone. The summit wasn’t in view, so I couldn’t tell where it was going or what it was doing where I could hear it, but not see it. This happened several times on my way up.

I continued past the ski lodge and headed up the dirt road that takes you to the top of the western chairlift and the beginning of the backbone. I was making very good time.

Shortly after the backbone begins, there is a nasty section of trail that is slippery and loose and has a lot of exposure. I was pleased as I passed through this section that the forest service had done some very good trail maintenance on this section and it seemed like a whole different trail.

I finally rounded Mt. Harwood and there was that helicopter again, sitting on the summit with its rotors spinning. Not long after the helicopter came into view it took off and I never saw it again. What was it doing up there? Was this a medevac mission the involved multiple pick-ups?

I continued to make good time toward the summit. When I made it I saw a couple of larges caches of water and fruit. I recalled reading that there was a Labor Day run to the summit. Glad my hike was a day earlier. I settled down in one of the wind barriers and had lunch.

(See the Baldy Bowl Trail Triplog for the second half of the hike.)
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Sep 06 2015
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 Guides 74
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57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Baldy Bowl TrailLos Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Hiking avatar Sep 06 2015
slegal
Hiking4.30 Miles 4,300 AEG
Hiking4.30 Miles
4,300 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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(See the Devil's Backbone triplog for the first half of the hike.)

As usually the summit of Mount San Antonio is pretty crowded. So as soon as I finished lunch, I quickly exited the summit and headed down the Baldy Bowl Trail. It didn’t take me long to recall why I don’t hike this trail very often. It’s one big erosion hazard – poorly designed free-for-all that lacks switchback and has frequent drop-offs that mess my bad knees up. Today was no exception.

Nevertheless, I made good time. After the initial steep descent the trail levels out near a knoll before heading down a very steep section to a rockslide. The last time I did this hike this entire steep section was covered with snow and was very tough going. Today it wasn’t so bad. The Rock slide area seemed pretty good too. There is a little route finding to the rock slide area and clearly, I picked the best route this time. There is a first time for everything.

Despite the severe drought, I was surprised to see several running springs on my way down, the first just past the rock slide and just before the Sierra Club hut. I don’t think Baldy had enough snow to open last winter, so the springs were a big surprise.

Each time I head down this trail, it gets very warm once I drop below 8,000 feet. The canyon starts to open up as you descend and the tree covers becomes sparser, allowing the sun to heat up the trail. Today was no exception. The clouds that lingered over the summit were gone and it was hot.

The cruel reality of this hike, if you’re parked at the ski area (like me) rather than Manker Flats, is that you still have a mile of hiking with a 300 vertical foot climb followed by a steep, slippery descent to the parking lot. Oh well, it was still a good hike even if the end was anti-climactic.
Named place
Named place
Mount Harwood
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Aug 06 2015
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 Guides 74
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57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Duck Pass Trailhead to Duck LakeSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Aug 06 2015
slegal
Hiking8.00 Miles 1,700 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
1,700 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My wife and I went on a hike by ourselves today. We set out to hike the Duck Pass Trail. I wanted to go to Duck Lake, but my Linda refused. She only wanted to go as far as Barney Lake. Along the way we passed the junction with the Emerald Lake Trail and I suggested that we head down that trail on the way back. The Duck Pass trailhead and the Emerald Lake trailhead are only a hundred yards or so apart. She agreed.

The weather was cool and windy, so all of the lakes along the Duck Pass Trail were pretty choppy except for Red Lake. We found a nice rock outcropping overlooking Barney Lake and had a snack there. The temperature was probably only in the 50s.

We had never been above Emerald Lake on the Emerald Lake Trail. So this was a first for us. Almost immediately after entering the trail we were greeted with a nice view of Ritter, Banner and the Minarets. The slope dropped off steeply from that point and there are no real switchbacks. So heading up this section would be tough. It wasn’t that easy going down either.

The trail wraps around some fairly large granite shelves as well. It thought they looked spectacular, but wasn’t that impressed with the photos I took. Soon, Emerald Lake comes into view from high above. Just before reaching the lake we passed the only area along the entire hike with wildflowers – mostly tiger lilies, lupine and corn lily.

Emerald Lake looked fantastic with no wind and the sun finally coming out. We stopped for another snack and headed on down toward the trailhead. Glad we chose the alternate route back.
Flora
Flora
Tiger Lily
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Aug 05 2015
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 Guides 74
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 Triplogs 56

57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Valentine Lake TrailSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Aug 05 2015
slegal
Hiking8.44 Miles 2,300 AEG
Hiking8.44 Miles
2,300 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My son came up for just a couple days and wanted to head home today. So I took him to lunch at his favorite restaurant in Mammoth, Grumpy’s. I had a bacon cheeseburger and felt stuffed. No one want to go hiking today, so after saying goodbye to my son, I headed back to our condo to get mike hiking gear and headed off to hike to Valentine Lake.

Along the way I spotted a large group of bucks resting under some tree. We had seen bucks under the same trees a week and a half earlies, but at the time, all I had in the way of a camera was my phone. Today I had my Nikon and my 200mm lens and got some great shots.

On to Valentine Lake. This is probably my favorite hike in the Mammoth Lakes area. I decided to hike out of the Sherwin Lakes Trail rather than hike the whole distance on the Valentine Lake Trail. It turns out that the Valentine Lake Trail is closed below the junction with the Sherwin Lakes Trail.

Unlike a week and a half earlier while hiking to Sherwin Lakes along with an entire cross country team, the trail was relatively uncrowded. I only saw about 6 people coming down and one heading up. Once I passed the Velentine Lake Trail junction, I never saw another person the entire hike.

I took a lot of photos along the way. Valentine Lake was not particularly photogenic today, but the unnamed lake below Valentine Lake looked good. On my way down, just past the bubbling spring, I spotted Lost Lake for the first time.

When I got back to the trailhead, my 4Runner was the only vehicle there. I made great time today, finishing the 10 mile trek in 4 hours. I had the trail completely to myself for over ¾ of the hike.
Fauna
Fauna
Mule Deer
Named place
Named place
Lost Lake
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Jul 31 2015
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 Guides 74
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57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Heart Lake - Inyo NFSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Jul 31 2015
slegal
Hiking2.20 Miles 440 AEG
Hiking2.20 Miles
440 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Today we did a short hike in the morning before attending Bluesapalooza in the afternoon. My friend John and his girlfriend Jennifer came up to stay with us for the festival and were anxious to get out and hike in Mammoth. My wife and Vern’s wife were back in Thousand Oaks. My wife did not want to come up until after Bluesapalooza. She said something about too much beer or something to that effect.

I texted my other brother-in-law Joe, to see if he wanted to join us, but he responded that he was already at Duck Lake.

We have a good hike. It was cloudy and looked like it might rain. The clouds photographed well.

While at Duck Lake, Joe and my sister-in-law Debbie met us with their three dogs.

After our hike we walked from my condo to Bluesapalooza. It was a lot of fun. Gomez’s had $2 street tacos which were tasty and filling. Mammoth Brewery kept us well hydrated. The music was great, particularly Carolyn Wonderland, whom I had never heard of prior to the event. The next day was the brews fest. I think this was the reason my wife didn’t want to join us. By about 4 o’clock it started dumping rain. We decided we had enough and left.
Fauna
Fauna
Dog
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Jul 29 2015
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 Guides 74
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57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Agnew Meadows to 1000 Island Lake via JMTSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Jul 29 2015
slegal
Hiking10.60 Miles 2,800 AEG
Hiking10.60 Miles
2,800 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Since Vern really struggled on the High Trail and was keenly aware of the challenge that the JMT presented for the return trip, we agreed to take separate route back to Agnew Meadows. He took the River Trail, which is almost all downhill and I took the JMT to the Shadow Creek Trail to the River Trail to the PCT.

As is typically the case, I went out a little too fast. That is not usually a problem when I have a day pack, but is a problem with more than 40 pounds on my back. The weight didn’t really become an issue until the downhill from Garnet Lake to Shadow Lake. My knees were screaming at me with all of the tall step downs along the trail. I reached a nice shady log at Shadow Lake and sat for a long break and snack.

While at Shadow Lake I decided check my water bag and discovered that I had already drank 80 ounces of water. I filled my bag back up with filter water from Shadow Lake – very tasty. By the end of the hike I had consumed 150 ounces of water. I guess I needed some electrolytes.

On my ascent out of the value toward Agnew Meadows a very long mule train caught up to me. I had to break for 10 minutes to let them pass. I made it back to my 4Runner about an hour and a half after Vern. He kept himself occupied by consuming the remainder of our Bourbon. Thanks Vern… At least I was driving.

All in all the trip to Thousand Island Lake was awesome and I will do it again.
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Jul 27 2015
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 Guides 74
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57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Agnew Meadows to 1000 Island Lake via PCTSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Jul 27 2015
slegal
Hiking8.70 Miles 2,435 AEG
Hiking8.70 Miles
2,435 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We arrived at the smaller Agnew Meadows Parking lot at about 6:40 AM. I don’t think I got any sleep the night before. Brother-in-law Vern wasn’t feeling well. Not good, because he also was not in shape for this hike. We were on trail by about 7:00 AM. I made it to Thousand Island Lake and made it a little before 1 PM.

While searching for a campsite on the north side of the lake we past a large group, mostly high school kids with a couple of guys that I assume were chaperones. They are setting up camp on a slope on top of vegetation. A no-no. We found a campsite just past where this group was.

Right after sunset Vern told me to grab my camera, Just about 20 yards uphill from my tent was a line of 5 bucks walking by. I've been hiking in and around Mammoth Lakes for several decades and this was the first time I ever saw a buck. Not only did I see 1 buck, but 5 bucks at Thousand Island Lakes as well as 8-10 bucks on two separate days around the edge of town.

About 1AM the next morning I awoke to load yells and screams and bright lights flashing in every direction. I figured out that the noise was coming from the large group on the other side of the ridge from us. I could also hear the word “bear several times. I didn’t have my rain fly on my tent so I sat up and looked out my tent while all of this was going on. Suddenly, the bear that they were yelling at came up over the rocks and ran right by my tent and our bear canister and continued on up the hill toward the JMT. I was awakened two more times that night by the same group. Apparently the bear kept coming back and apparently, the group did not store their food very well.

The next day and night were uneventful. I shot more than a thousand photos on this camping trip. I just couldn’t get enough of the place.

By the way, the water out of Thousand Island Lake is the best water I've ever tasted.
Culture
Culture
Intrepid Back Shot
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Feb 28 2015
slegal
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 Guides 74
 Routes 101
 Photos 2,962
 Triplogs 56

57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Brookview - Los Robles - White Horse LoopLos Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Hiking avatar Feb 28 2015
slegal
Hiking10.50 Miles 2,200 AEG
Hiking10.50 Miles   3 Hrs   33 Mns   2.96 mph
2,200 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It was supposed to rain today, but it was sunny when I woke up. So I went hiking. There were lots of clouds to the north over the Los Padres NF, but not as many in Thousand Oaks. I hiked pretty far. The weather was cool and windy, so it felt great to be out today.

There are still lots of wildflowers out. However, if we don't get some meaningful rain soon, the hills will dry out quickly once the vernal equinox hits. So I have a few weeks left to enjoy the wildflowers.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Photoset shows lots of wildflowers. I got a pleasant surprise toward the end of my hike when I spotted some Padre's Shooting Star. I didn't think there was any left, but this was a new bloom. The Bush monkeyflower is just starting to coming and wasn't worth photographing, yet.
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Jan 25 2015
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 Guides 74
 Routes 101
 Photos 2,962
 Triplogs 56

57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Sherwin LakesSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Jan 25 2015
slegal
Hiking5.60 Miles 836 AEG
Hiking5.60 Miles
836 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Living the life.

Today I skied all morning and hiked the rest of the day. For me that’s living the life. When I was younger I used to go running after skiing. But as I got older, I pretty much just skied of hiked, but never both in the same day.

Today I wanted to do both. I wanted to ski with my wife and daughter. The snow was surprisingly god, albeit thin yesterday, so I figured we would have fun. As it turned out, we did have fun up until noon, when the snow took on the consistency of a Slurpie. So off the mountain we went.

An hour later I was on the Sherwin Lakes Trail. I brought my hiking poles again because wet ice and show is the worst kind and I anticipated some. The trail was a little worse than I expected, but I managed through it pretty well.

I reached Sherwin Lakes quickly and had the place to myself. I saw lots of people coming down while I was heading up, but no one once I got there. Last January I walked on the frozen lake. Today the ice looked very thin and there were lots of puddles on the ice. Anyone that would walk on the ice today is a fool.

I was much slower descending than ascending the trail. The trail was so slippery on the way down that I took my sweet time. Eventually I made it back to the trailhead. When I got into my 4Runner the thermometer said the temperature was 57 degrees outside. Small wonder why all of the snow is melting in Mammoth lakes today.
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Jan 23 2015
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 Guides 74
 Routes 101
 Photos 2,962
 Triplogs 56

57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Valentine Lake TrailSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Jan 23 2015
slegal
Hiking4.25 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking4.25 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   1.55 mph
1,200 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We got up to Mammoth late last night. So when we got up this morning no one was motivated to go skiing. There is very little snow on mammoth Mountain so only the groomed runs with snow making are worth skiing. Since my wife and daughter didn’t want to go skiing (my son stayed home this trip) I got the green light to go hiking.

I went to the Valentine Lake trailhead for the simple reason that the trailhead is a couple hundred feet lower than the Sherwin Lakes trailhead (meaning less snow). Also, since it gets less traffic than the Sherwin Lakes Trail, the Valentine Lake Trail is less likely to be icy. Despite the fact that it hasn’t snowed since Christmas Eve, there was more snow than I bargained for. Also, since the snow is a month old, it was crusty on top and soft underneath, requiring a lot more effort every time your feet sink through the crust.

Snowshoes would be good if not for the fact that there are long stretches of bare earth making for awkward walking on dirt and rock. So hiking boots had to do.

I made it to the top of the initial climb. The initial climb is the hardest part of this trail, regardless of the season. I was averaging less than 2 miles per hour, so I was using a lot of energy for so little forward progress.

After climbing about 1,200 feet, the snow was deeper and there were fewer bare spots. I never expected to make it all of the way to Valentine Lake and it was clear to me that there was a good reason that I was leaving the only tracks on this virgin snow. The hike was too hard for others. I turned around and made my way back down. No disappointment in the shorter distance of this hike. I got a great workout out of the hike.
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Oct 11 2014
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 Guides 74
 Routes 101
 Photos 2,962
 Triplogs 56

57 male
 Joined Jan 27 2007
 Thousand Oaks, C
Parker Lake TrailSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Oct 11 2014
slegal
Hiking4.00 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
600 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
On my way back to Mammoth Lakes from Lundy Lake on Thursday I took the June Lake Loop so that I could stop at June Lake Brewery to pick up a growler. I spotted lots of aspens on the road to Parker Lake and decided to head there today.

So up the dirt road I went, shortly before reaching the trailhead I spotted what had caught my attention two days ago, a long line of beautiful aspens with yellow and red leaves, lining a small unnamed stream. There are no trails along this stream so unless I wants to bushwhack through dense scrub I was limited to two short access roads. The second access road did not disappoint.

After shooting some photos at the stream, on I went to the Parker Lake Trailhead. This is no secret spot. The parking lot was full and cars lined the road over a quarter mile down from the parking lot. Make that a quarter mile plus one dirty 4Runner now. By the time I got my knee braces on and grabbed my camera and hip pack, four cars had parked below me.

On I went up a steep chaparral lined trail. Just as I reach the top of the bluff the canyon that Parker Creek runs through came into view. It is lined with lots of aspens than their leaves were giving a show. Some very high peaks behind Parker Lake also came into view.

As I neared Parker Lake the trail became more forested and the terrain flatted out. Parker Creek runs beside the trail and its waters were placid. There are lots of fallen trees along the creek. My guess is that this happened in 2011 when Mammoth Mountain received nearly 700 inches of snow. My guess is that the creek flooded and undermined the roots of many of the trees lining the creek.

I reached Parker Lake and my first impression was “Way too crowded”! I quickly decided to cross Parker Creek and get away from the crowds. Crossing the creek wasn’t easy. I’m glad my boots are waterproof. My GPS was having on my pack and it popped off into the creek. I’m glad my GPS is water resistant. My camera lens hit a fallen tree while I was negotiating my way across the creek and the lens cap popped off. I’m glad it landed on the fallen tree and didn’t get wet.

Alas, I made it across the creek and escaped the majority of the crowd. I found a good place to eat lunch and shoot a few photos. Beautiful scenery everywhere.

On my way back to the trailhead I was greeted by a panoramic view of Mono Lake.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Extreme
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1 archive
average hiking speed 2.19 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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